I've always loved romance.
My first romance novel was written in a school exercise book at about age eight. I don't recall the story but I did a very nice drawing of a man carrying a woman in his arms. The nuns were not amused. Perhaps there had been no mention of a wedding in my little masterpiece.
But by then I was hooked.
As a child I devoured the novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder and fell in love with Almanzo (who, by the way, has a made-for-romance name) as he rode his sled through blizzards to collect Laura from her remote prairie schoolhouse at the end of each week. That taught me about slow-burning love that lasts a lifetime.
When I read Wuthering Heights over a rainy winter's weekend at age 13, I was devastated. This wasn't Laura and Almanzo's gentle love. This was gut-wrenching, tear-jerking stuff. And it didn't end well. But I discovered that love could also be passionate, possessive and so fiercely elemental it's combustible.
Onwards through the novels of Georgette Heyer, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, I enjoyed a cascade of enriching love stories. Some were laugh-a-minute sexy duels while others were wet tissue extravaganzas. I loved them all.
Today, the romance stories I love to read and write centre around modern women finding love with their perfect hero. Of course there are obstacles to overcome but I try to make my hero and heroine equal partners in creating their Happy Ever After.
I live in Melbourne's inner north with my perfect man. We love to travel, meeting new and interesting people in unexpected situations. Everyone has a story and my notebook is always at hand.
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Books:Red Dirt Duchess, August 2014