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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Fifteen Authors In Fifteen Minutes

Write down here the names of the first fifteen romance authors that have influenced your reading the most.  Just write the names down without thinking too much; whether you hate them now or still enjoy their works, their writing styles and stories are what will always be your favorite go-to themes.  You'll start to dig deeper after the first six names or so, but you mustn't analyze too much! Just keep writing down the names as they appear on your mind.


Linda Howard
Nora Roberts
Rosemary Rogers
Laurell K. Hamilton
Ann Rice
Christine Feehan
Helen Bianchin
Merline Lovelace
Iris Johannsen
Susan Johnson
Christina Dodd
Katherine Sutcliffe
Anne Stuart
Carolyn Jewel
Debra Dixon

The first three names are easy enough.  Linda Howard opened the world to me to the possibilities of different types of romance stories, besides the usual contemporaries.  Her name is coupled with Nora in my head because I collected their stuff incessantly when I re-started my romance with the genre. 

Rogers' Sweet Savage Love was the probably the first "single title" historical I ever read in the seventies, after a steady diet of Mills and Boons (series romance).  That I remembered the story, the title, and the author in the 90s, twenty years after reading it and fifteen years after I dropped out of reading romances, proved how influential this book was of my reading.  I've reread it in the 90s and can't say that I enjoyed the experience as much as when I was an impressionable teen, but there were certain scenes that still riveted me, and even the horrifying and disgusting ones were still WTH-must-have-gone-thru'-my-teenage-mind worthy.

I know Ann Rice isn't a romance author but there were romantic elements in her books that started my love of the dark, vampire genre, and definitely influenced me into imagining the world of the vampire differently. 

You'll also notice that once you come up with a name, another name pops up that is connected to the one before, suggesting that you're attracted to these clusters because of certain similarities.  For example, my writing down LKH immediately brought up Ann Rice, and then Christine Feehan, back-to-back-to-back, even though I read these authors years apart.  This, to me, shows my awareness of how these three authors built on my fascination with the vampire genre. 

Sutcliffe brought up Stuart, showing how I tie these two authors--dark stories, dark heros.  I'm still trying to figure out why Bianchin gave me Lovelace as next, since they aren't similar in style or story at all.

So, come on, let's see your list!  I know many of you will probably name more recent authors because YES I AM ANCIENT when it comes to reading romance.  The exercise is fun because it bunches together past and present writers.  I was very surprised by the appearance of Carolyn Jewel, for instance.  I do love her writing, but never would have put her ahead of a few of my other favorite authors, but on second thought, yeah, I've always had a thing about the way she writes her heros ;-).  Which, of course, brings me Anne Stuart, the queen of my heros.


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Mary Stella said...

Nora Roberts
Jennifer Crusie
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Catherine Cookson
Kathleen Woodiwiss
Kay Hooper
Linda Howard
Laurie McBain
Anne Stuart
Johanna Lindsay
Suzanne Brockmann
Lisa Kleypas
Deborah Smith
Beth Ciotta
Barbara (Samuel) O'Neal

These are all jumbled together over time with some very early influences as well as some more recent adds.

Evangeline Holland said...

1. Julia Quinn
2. Eloisa James
3. Betina Krahn
4. Sherry Thomas
5. Meredith Duran
6. Jade Lee
7. Catherine Coulter
8. Jane Feather
9. Liz Carlyle
10. Rosalind Laker
11. Victoria Holt
12. Michelle Styles
13. Linda Howard
14. Madeline Brent
15. Sarah Mayberry

Having Julia Quinn's name pop up first surprised me--but maybe I associate her very strongly with historical romance? Eloisa James was easy, since I think of her next when I think of Quinn, and I'm a big fan. I've got many of my favorites listed, and authors I've enjoyed in the past, but Styles and Mayberry must be the result of living in Harlequin land for the past two months. *g*

alund said...

Oh boy, this post really brought back long forgotten memories.

Margaret Mitchell
Daphne du Maurier
Anne Stuart
Kathleen Woodiwiss
Rosemary Rogers
Johanna Lindsay
Linda Howard
Judith McNaught
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Rachel Gibson

Moriah Jovan said...

What an AWESOME post!!! I couldn't come up with another five, but these are actually in order. Definitely #1 is truly my first writing influence.

1. Laura Ingalls Wilder (with a good dash of Rose Wilder Lane)
2. Carole Mortimer
3. Kathleen Woodiwiss
4. Victoria Holt
5. Madeleine Brent
6. Random fairy tale translators
7. V.C. Andrews
8. Valerie Sherwood
9. Kathryn Harvey
10. Tom Wolfe

Linda Kage said...

I stalled a bit at 8, but once I hit 15 again, I could've kept going to probably 50.

Sandra Brown
Linda Howard
Nora Roberts
Judith McNaught
LaVyrle Spencer
Julie Garwood
Suzanne Brockman
Meagan McKinney
Jill Greggory
Lisa Kleypas
Julia Quinn
Roxanne St. Claire
Anne Stuart
Catherine Anderson
Suzanne Enoch

And now that I look back at this, I can't believe I forgot to add Gennita Low (slaps hand to forhead. Duh)!

Gennita said...

Interesting that you have so many historical authors in your top six or seven. I was looking at my list again and was surprised I had so few because I love historical romances.

Gennita said...

What an interesting group in your list! You started with Laura Ingalls Wilder and ended with Tom Wolfe!

Gennita said...

Yeah, I find myself stopping around the mid-point too, and by the last three, newer names start to pop up and I could name a bunch of the more recent authors I enjoy, but it's the first batch that is interesting because these authors' works obviously hold a spot in our writing hearts, as well as gave us our a certain elemental pleasure before we even knew about tropes and themes, blah, blah.

By the time we hit the seventh or eighth name, we already know why we chose those writers, and by the fourteenth or fifteenth, we're just naming favorite authors and not necessarily those whose writing influenced us past or presently. IMHO.

alund said...

Maybe you guys can help me out since my memory betrays me. When I was a teenager (late 1970's), I read several books by an author whose last name is Stewart. I remember one of the books (romance, espionage) as taking place in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt. I remember loving the book, but have totally forgotten the author's name. Any clues?


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