On the sofa with me today is the ever lovely Belinda McBride!
Thank you for coming on over sweetie...I shall let you have the floor - while I sit on the sofa!
I never thought I’d reach the day when reading became part of my job. In the past, reading was strictly for pleasure, part of my escape from reality. I read my first novel when I was in the second grade; it was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. That novel triggered my love of horses (though I never did get past my fear of them) and also instilled a lifelong love of the written word. Over the years, I read everything I could get my hands on. Since I live in a rural area, it was fortunate that my grandparents collected and kept books, so I had titles in my little library that dated from early 20th century as well as classics such as the Three Musketeers and Little Women. I particularly loved the westerns by B.M. Bower and Zane Grey.
When I look back and try to pinpoint what worked for me, it generally comes down to the same elements: a solid plot, compelling characters and a level of beauty to the narrative. Early on, I read Little Women and honestly, I don’t remember the major gist of the story, but what I do recall are feelings that emerged while I was reading. I could relate to the embarrassment of a stained glove or frizzy hair. I remember how Amy evolved from a brat to a wonderful, warm young woman. So many elements to the book were accessible to a young woman in Northern California.
Sometimes, a brief line or image seared itself into my memory. In an old western , a young, broken-hearted cowboy decided to head east to get a new start away from the girl he’d loved. He ended up working in stables and feed lots in big cities. One day, he was forking some hay and came across a sprig of sage…the sort that grew on the plains where he’d lived so much of his life. I don’t remember the book, but I vividly recall the scene…a lonely young cowboy surrounded by the noise and crowds of the city. He sat on a bale of hay, letting the scent of a weed bring back sunsets and cattle drives. It was vivid and poignant and made me cry.
Those are the moments that worked for me, the ones were the author managed to grab a small moment that immerses the reader. Or they create a character that continues with you even when the book is finished and put away. Some writers tap into our emotions, pulling up anger, sympathy and grief. Others anticipate what the reader wants, and manages to successfully nab a faithful readership.
So what works for you? Who are some authors who successfully made an impression that will live forever?
Belinda is the author of over thirty erotic romance titles, including Passionate Plume winner An Uncommon Whore.
She lives in Northern California with her family and a pack of unruly Siberian Huskies.
Belinda writes for Loose Id, Changeling Press, Passion in Print and Dreamspinner Press.
To learn more about Belinda, visit her website at: www.belindamcbride.com
Or her blog at www.belindam.blogspot.com