Since this month’s topic is about books OUTSIDE our genre that have influenced us, I’m not sure where to begin. I read a lot of books outside my genre. I read to learn, to be entertained, to escape boredom and boring friends, to understand the madness of my neighbors, the psychosis of people of different races, the teen angst… The list goes on and on.
Having four older brothers and two older sisters, I started reading grown-up books at a very young age. My oldest sister read romance, so I was introduced to romance at a time when there was no kissing in romance books. I still remember my first book, Shutter the Sky by Janet Daily. Then there was Barbara Cartland’s historical romances. The ton. The handsome rakes. The young ladies swooning. I don’t write historical, but yes, I’m old.
My brothers introduced me to espionage books before they started turning them into movies . I loved the intricate plots of Tom Clancy books (Jack Ryan books), the intensity of Robert Ludlum (Jason Bourne books), the cunning minds of criminals in Mario Puzo books.
Then there’s non-fiction. The one that tops that pyramid is the Road Less Travelled Scott Peck. I love learning how people’s minds work and the root of mental illness or psychosis.
So now I write romance with suspense, wicked villains, totally flawed characters, paranormal and fantasy elements