Yet a few have remained in my memory. And those few, I read over and over to study why. Why did they make an impression?
I’m currently reading Linda Howard’s Mackenzie’s Mountain, a romance I first read twelve years ago and once nearly every year since. I read it last week and as soon as I finished, I started it over again, hunting for the “whys” of its appeal. There are point of view shifts within the paragraph. Dated philosophies. Said tags galore (my pet peeve). Yet, for me, the book creates all the warm fuzzies I want from romance: The strong alpha male and the plucky heroine who goes toe-to-toe with him.
Nora Roberts’ MacGreagor series is a favorite, too. She taught me the value of secondary characters, of weaving family into the romance.
Jill Shalvis is a master at internal dialogue. I’ve learned a lot from her writings, too. Her description of Wade in Slow Heat as he leans in an open car door to talk to the heroine is a lesson in itself. Thank you, Jill.
While I also enjoy historical romance, some are so shallow in research that the story could be set in any era or any country. I love the stunning details of historical research that transport me almost from the first paragraph. Beth Trissel, Susan Macatee and Claire Ashgrove excel.
In her Plum Series, Janet Evanovitch taught me ways to write humor. I’ve read every installment, and every time I do, I sleep fitfully. I think it bothers my romantic mind that she won’t or can’t choose between Morelli and Ranger. Go figure.
Do you enjoy learning the craft of writing from other authors? What things have you learned in your pleasure time of reading?