Monday, July 18

Harry Potter Changed The World

Like a zillion other people, I saw Harry Potter this weekend. Great flick. As the last scene faded, I had the same reaction as when I finished reading the book - I hope I can write something that satisfying someday. Rowling managed to tie up every single loose end from all seven books, give us a feel good ending that wasn't a deus ex machina, and stay true to the story. Masterful! On top of that, her books reinvigorated an entire generation to reading, helped launch the current paranormal trend, and made YA more approachable to adults.

Which led me to think (of course!) about the romance genre. What books have done that for me? Industry wide, it is said that Kathleen Woodiwiss set romance on its head with The Flame and the Flower. But for me, it was her novel Shanna, read surruptitiously in my closet so my mother wouldn't discover I was reading such an adult book at age 11. It launched me into the world of romance. Exotic setting, steadfast love, utterly romantic alpha hero - it had everything. Including a sexy, unusual name for the hero, which I still adore. Probably a little too much bodice ripping for today's audience, but it sent me happily down the romance road.

Of course, I need to give a shout out to the book that led me to writing. Nora Roberts Born in Fire, at least for me, signaled the beginning of the trend of contemporary single title trilogies. My favorite thing ever! I feel that she was the vanguard of this trend. Marketing gurus everywhere were probably thrilled. This title - and all that came after - pulled me away from historical romance, which had been my favorite up to that point. It brought the contemporary away from secretary-marries-boss stories, and made all the characters smart, layered, and fun. It had the heft of what we are used to today as a single title romance.

Those are the books that changed my romance world. What did it for you?


  1. I think I may be the only RW alive who didn't and hasn't read Kathleen Woodiwiss. Is that spelled right? Anyway, I just never got her voice. Started a page here and there, then quit her. But a lot of people love her, so she must be awesome!

  2. Have to admit that I'm not a Potter all. I've never 'gotten' the stories, which everyone tells me is crazy. I like paranormal romance, adventure, etc., etc. But those books/movies just aren't me.

  3. I think JK Rowling is genius. And my youngest daughter is one of the readers she created.

    I read Jordan the first two books and when the third one came out, I was so busy that it was hard to find time to sit and read aloud. Finally Jordan took it and read it herself. Three or four times that summer. It's still her favorite HP book!

    And she's been reading ever since. Ms. Rowling is my hero for more reasons than one :)

    And Nora's Born in Fire trilogy is my favorite among hers. I so wanted to become a glass sculpter in Ireland because of her.

  4. Kristi, not a HP fan either. Just don't get it. Brandi, who isn't really a reader, loves them, but I just can't get into them.

  5. My list is too long, but Shanna changed something for me, too. So did Janet Dailey, because she was the first American romance author I read.