Another month, another authors’ Round Robin!
And this month our topic is set by author Rhobin Courtright…
How much reading do you do, both for pleasure and for a work in progress?
The answer is… a lot! Like nearly all writers I know, I have at least one book on the go all the time. Reading is never a chore for me, and all reading is a pleasure.
If you’re interested in Anne Lister’s life, the book I’m presently reading, The Early Life of Anne Lister and the Curious Tale of Miss Eliza Raine, by Patricia Hughes, tells the tragic and little-known story of her girlfriend Eliza Raine, an Indian heiress brought to school in the cold north of England as a child. I’ve found it a heartbreaking story, and it puts Anne Lister’s life in a new light. I do hope the life of this intelligent and affectionate girl reaches the same wide audience as her friend’s, because she truly deserves to have her voice heard. It’s thanks to the author’s diligent research we know more about her.
Besides my non-fiction history of women’s lives, I write and edit romantic fiction, and so I read a lot of romantic novels. (It’s hard work, but someone has to do it!)
I’ve chosen a few from my bookshelf to share here.
8 books for writers of romance to read for research (and pleasure!)
The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang
Helen Hoang said she wanted to write a gender-swapped Pretty Woman, and I love this refreshing take on that story. The heroine, Stella, is autistic, and I also love that the author is writing from her own experience on the autism spectrum. She said of this book, ‘I want to believe that I can be a main character, I can be a leading character in my life, that I can have a happily ever after, that I can find true love, and I can get married, and conquer, and be happy.’
Romance novels so often include an important message. (If you know anyone who thinks romance novels are trite and formulaic, why not recommend The Kiss Quotient for research? 😊 )
Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding
If you know someone who’s never read a romance novel, and wants to know where to start, this would definitely have to be on the list for research. It seemed revolutionary when it came out, I think partly because the heroine’s life seems so relatable. She’s just bumbling along in an office, feeling as though her life is a failure. It’s become a classic, and Bridget Jones is one of the fiction’s best-loved heroines.
The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne
I’ve mentioned this book before as one of my favourite novels. It’s definitely on my list of books for romance writers to read for both research and pleasure. The author does a brilliant job of racking up the tension, and the focus of the novel stays firmly on the hero and heroine and the developing romance. There aren’t many writers who can make a funny and page-turning read for chapter after chapter out of two people working in an office, but Sally Thorne succeeds brilliantly!
The Duchess War, by Courtney Milan
This is the first book in the Brothers Sinister series, and the first book by Courtney Milan that I read, which is quite a few years ago now. I picked the book up for research purposes (as I said, it’s a tough life being a romance writer and editor 😊), because Courtney Milan is a massively bestselling author, because this series had some great reviews, and because they were self-published. I wanted to see what readers loved about her books, and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved this book, too.
And here are four books for romance writers on my to-read shelf:
Clean Start at Forty-Seven, by Nora Phoenix
I downloaded this book after listening to Nora Phoenix’s interview on the Self-Publishing Formula podcast with the lovely James Blatch. You can listen to that episode here.) Nora Phoenix is a self-published author who is making an excellent living from her novels. What I particularly liked about this interview, though, was listening to her writing (and editing) process. I enjoyed listening to her so much, I downloaded one of her novels straightaway, and I can’t wait to read it.
Again, Rachel, by Marian Keyes
Marian Keyes needs no introduction! I’m so looking forward to catching up with Rachel. I follow Marian Keyes on Twitter. She’s the only person I know who can make a train journey to Rugby sound like a hilarious day out. And I love Adam Buxton’s podcast, too, and I’m also really looking forward to listening to his interview with her.
Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston
This book was an absolutely massive bestseller when it came out, to rave reviews. I bought it at the time, and had to put it down after two chapters. I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. But someone told me recently it’s one of their favourite books, they’ve read it several times, and they even check out the fan fiction. So now it’s back on my tbr and I’ll give it another try!
And finally one I’ve recently bought for my work as an editor, which writers may also find useful:
An Editor’s Guide to Working with Authors, by Barbara Sjoholm.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of books. Have you read any of these? If you were going to recommend a romance novel to someone who has never read anything in the genre, what book would you suggest? I’d love to hear from you!
And if you’d like to hear what the other authors in the Round Robin have to say on this topic, please click on the links below…
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2yB
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com