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?