Friday, January 23, 2009

Guest Blogger: Tracy Wolff


Two weekends ago, when I was doing my first booksigning for my brand new erotic suspense, Full Exposure, a very nice man came up to me and asked me if he could bring his sixth grade daughter over to meet me.. She loves to read and write, he told me, and it would mean a lot to her if she could meet a real, live author. Of course, I said yes, and the girl and I had a lovely talk about the books she’s been reading and the ones she’s hoping to read in the future. About that time, her father reached for one of my books and asked if he could buy it for his daughter. Too which I responded, “Absolutely not! But it would make a lovely gift for her mother.” I did mention that Full Exposure is an erotic suspense, didn’t I? Somehow I didn’t think that very nice gentleman would appreciate what the book would teach his daughter . . .

The young girl went away with a handful of chocolate and an autographed bookmark instead of my book—along with an armful of books I’d recommended from the YA section of Barnes and Noble, and I think it was a good compromise. Even so, I couldn’t help thinking about when my mom gave me my first romance novel to read.

I grew up reading the stories of Judy Blume and L.M. Montgomery—the writer of the fabulous Anne of Green Gables series). I also loved, of course, the mysteries of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, the Sweet Valley High series, the YA historicals that were titled simply with the main characters’ names, and the novels of Cynthia Voigt.

I loved reading so much that by the time I was in fifth grade, I’d read everything in the YA and classic sections of my local library. After a disappointing trip to the bookstore—one that had me in tears because I couldn’t find ONE book that I hadn’t read—my mother handed me one of her romance novels and said, “Here. Try this.”

I looked at this book with it’s lurid cover (this was in the heyday of 1980s historicals) and thought, why not? And from the first page of that first book—Jude Deveraux’s The Velvet Promise (yes, I still remember it) I was hooked.

So hooked that I read it in one day and then devoured the next three books in the series in the same week. So hooked that I read and re-read it until both covers had ripped off and pages were falling out. So hooked that I raided my mom’s bookshelves every single night until I had read every romance she had in the house (we’re talking hundreds here). And the best part—every month, more Harlequins came out. More historicals hit the shelves. It was like a well that never ran dry and I couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Now, twenty-three years later, I came face to face with a young girl with the same love of reading and writing and happy endings that I have, and can’t help hoping that one day, someone will hand her a romance novel and that she’ll take it. And read it. And love it as much as I loved my first romance. That book won’t be Full Exposure (unless, of course, she wants to give her dear, sweet dad a heart attack) but I hope, whatever it turns out to be, that it makes her feel the same way that that Jude Deveraux novel made me feel.

So, tell me—if you can remember—what was the romance novel that hooked you on the genre? And if you can’t remember, I’ll settle for one that you’ve read and loved (as I’m always on the lookout for another great book.) Post a comment and be entered to win a copy of my November Superromance, A Christmas Wedding.



Tracy Wolff is the author of A Christmas Wedding and Full Exposure, available from your favorite bookstore. To learn more about Tracy, visit her website at www.tracywolff.com

22 comments:

Laurie said...

The book that got me hooked on romance was Lavryle Spencer's "Forgiving". I was on vacation and there was a book cabinet at the pool and I picked this one out and fell in love with HEA's!

Tracy Wolff said...

I remember Lavryle Spencer-- I haven't read her in years, but I used to really like her books.

CrystalGB said...

Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss was the book that got me hooked.

Raven99 said...

The book that hooked me on romance was Dreaming Of You by Lisa Kleypas. I did not start reading romance until I was in college. My mom gave the book to me to read while I was home on a break. I loved it and started reading any romance I could get my hands on.

Anonymous said...

I was 8 (maybe 9?) and I wouldn't call it a romance, but the series definitely had romance in it. Looking back I can't believe my mom let me read it! lol Anyways, my first adult book was Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. I still love the series to this day.

Marie said...

Silent Melody by Mary Balogh was the one that got me hooked.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Tracy--that's a great story! I don't remember the first romance I read--it was definitely some YA one, like Marjorie Sharmat's How to Meet a Gorgeous Guy or one of Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High titles or Silhouette's First Love books... In high school, a geometry classmate lent me my first grown-up romance--I haven't the faintest idea what it was now, but boy, I was hooked. I read through all the books at our library (mainly categories), but didn't do much reading for fun during college. The book that re-hooked me was Jenny Crusie's Crazy for You. Her books never fail to make me laugh :)

Tracy Wolff said...

flchen1-- I love Jennifer Cruisie! Her new books with Bob Mayer are fabulous as well.

Marie-- I've never read Mary Balogh but maybe I should-- everyone loves her stuff.

Natasha-- Clan of the Cave Bear was a fabulous series!

Raven99-- I discovered Lisa Kleypas with her first contemporary, Sugar Daddy, and was instantly hooked. She's fabulous!

Crystal-- Kathleen Woodiwiss? How awesome to have been hooked by one of romances grand dame's herself.

Cheri2628 said...

I think it was Scruples by Judith Krantz. Then I started reading Nora Roberts. Now I read lots of different authors, but always romance!

Estella said...

I don't remember the name of the book, but it was by Barbara Cartland.

sarabelle said...

I remember reading Daniel Steele and Sweet Valley High books getting me hooked on the romance genre.

Eva said...

Julie Garwood's Guardian Angel

Tracy Wolff said...

Eva-- I read Julie Garwood when I was young, too. My mom was a big historical fan so I cut my teeth on Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, Linda Lael Miller and Jude Deveraux.

Sarabelle-- my best friend through high school was a huuuuuuge Danielle Steele fan!

You know, Estella, I'm ashamed to admit I've never read a Barbara Cartland novel. I should remedy that.

Cheri2628-- Nora hooked me with her MacGregor series (the first time it was published) and I've loved her ever since. I've read every single one of her books more times than I care to admit.

Denise Eagan said...

On the Night of the Seventh Moon, Victoria Holt. It was a few years after that before romance "threw open the door" so to speak, and started giving us books from Rosemary Rogers and Katherine Woodiwiss.

Sandi Shilhanek said...

I can't remember exactly the first grown up romance I read, but when asked this question I always respond I believe it was The Promise by Danielle Steel.

Like you I remember spending hours upon browsing the bookstore shelves. I remember my sister picking up some book and saying does mom know what you're reading? I don't remember the book, or whether or not mom knew what I was reading!

Anonymous said...

SANDI! You just made me remember two of Danielle's that I had forgotten about! I used to read them over and over...I wonder whatever happened to my copies :(
I used to LOVE (and still do) love Wings and Message from Nam!
Thanks Sandi, I will have to find those again...

tetewa said...

A friend introduced me to Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series. I've read them all and I'm always looking for new authors and series to read!

Deborah said...

Hi Tracy! I first got hooked on romances by reading MacKenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard.

Karen H in NC said...

The first romance book I remember reading (aside from Gone With The Wind) was 'Forever Amber' by Kathleen Windsor back in the mid-60's. But the authors who really hooked me on historical romances (which has always really been my preference) are Valerie Sherwood and Patricia Matthews.

Margie said...

I don't remember the name of the book but it was by Nora Roberts. I've been hooked ever since.

robynl said...

LaVyrle Spencer's book with purple flowers on the cover but can't remember the title.

ddurance said...

It was one of Johanna Lindsay's Mallory novels, though I don't remember which one exactly. She was my first love. LOL

Deidre