I’ve been writing fiction for many years. I’m also an artist and that finds its way into every book I write. After that happened a few times, I realized a pattern – no matter how much we try to write something different or unusual, within our prose are the seeds of who we are. We write what we are. Or rather, pieces of what we are. Each memory, even those buried deeply in our subconscious, perhaps even ‘tribal’ memories, are the scraps of fabric that make up the quilt – the book. Ahem. You might guess I also did a lot of time sewing over the years. Made a quilt, too. And every time I look at it, I remember the origin of each square – my personal history.
As writers, we twist and torture those bits of our ourselves, the scraps of fabric, into all sorts of shapes and patterns, until something new and hopefully, cohesive and coherent, is achieved. And, hopefully, readers like it, too.
I was a voracious reader from the time I first learned b-o-o-k spelled book. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene (all of them!), Mrs. Mike by Nancy and Benedict Freedman, Sweet’s Folly by Fiona Hill, and more, are the books I grew up with. As a teenager and young adult, I adored the great romantic suspense and gothic writers – Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Daphne Du Maurier, Norah Lofts, Mary Stewart, Madeline Brent and so many others. The Devil on Horseback still carries me away. The most amazing historical romances I ever read, and what prompted me to first try writing my own books, were the wonderful Medieval romances by Roberta Gellis. My paperback copies are brown and brittle, but have accompanied me faithfully through twelve moves and several decades and I re-read them every year or so – as if re-visiting my old and very dear friends at Roselynde. Now, I own them on Kindle. Top that off with Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry and everything Stephen King and Dean Koontz ever wrote – and you have my reading preferences. If you can figure out that puzzle, you’re smarter than me! I think I just love a good story.
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