I’ve never gone along with the idea that you should write what you know—otherwise I wouldn’t have ended up writing paranormal and science fiction. But I do believe you should write the sort of things you love to read.
That doesn’t limit me much as I actually read across a wide range of genres, but if there’s no romance, I feel as if something is missing. But then I started at an early age…
I first encountered romance books at the age of eleven (up until then I’d been hooked on pony books) when I started reading Mills and Boon romances. My reasoning for this change of direction was that I was always running out of books to read, and my mother had hoards of Mills and Boons stashed all around the house.
The very first one I read was, Sea Waif, by Anne Weale, and from that moment on, I was addicted. I hungrily devoured Sarah Seale, Kay Thorpe, Charlotte Lamb, Carol Mortimer and many more through my teenage years, probably developing some totally unrealistic expectations of the future men in my life.
Obviously, I still ran out of books, there were never enough. But at that point, I discovered historical romance, and once again, I was hooked. I’ll always remember reading, The Flame and the Flower, by Katherine Woodiwiss. That was followed by Shirley Busbee and Rosemary Rogers and a whole load more. All those fantastic stories about runaway girls disguised as boys, gorgeous but totally arrogant heroes, and even the odd pirate ship thrown in. Pure escapism.
But I also had an older sister who was also an avid reader, and from her I started on science fiction and fantasy. The Lord of the Rings, Robert Heinlein’s, Glory Road and Time enough for Love. Anne Rice, who showed me the potential for vampires as heroes rather than villains.
Then adventure books, Wilbur Smith, Harold Robbins, Frank Yerby….
Roll on a few years (well maybe more than a few actually) and I’m writing now. My writing always involves romance of some sort, but also includes elements of all those other books I’ve loved so much over the years.
This is especially true of my recent release, BREAK OUT, Book 1 in the Blood Hunter series. Break Out is essentially a space opera—an adventure story based in the future. But it also has a vampire hero and a whole load of romance.
Break Out takes place in a future where earth is no longer habitable and man has fled to the stars. There they have discovered the secret to immortality. A substance called Meridian—it’s very rare, exorbitantly expensive, and available only to a select few. A new class has evolved, known as the Collective—they are super rich and immortal.
Just about everyone is desperate to earn enough money to pay for the meridian treatment. Everyone except my hero, Ricardo Sanchez, because he’s already immortal.
Do you remember the first romance you read? Did it change your life?
Blurb for Break Out:
The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.
Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!
Rico pressed his comm unit. “Tannis?”
“What?” Her tone was grumpy, and he suspected what he was about to say wouldn’t cheer her up any.
“If you’re not already strapped into anything right now, you might want to consider it.”
He closed off the connection and settled back in his seat, locking his safety harness in place.
Everyone was still standing. Was no one capable of taking orders anymore?
“Sit,” he roared.
Rico gave them ten seconds to comply, then hit the new coordinates. The Cazador slowed, shuddered, but before the ship had time to come to a complete stop, he hit the boosters and sent her into overdrive. The engines shrieked as she spun and shot off in the opposite direction, the force of her speed pushing him back into his chair.
Behind him, someone crashed to the floor. They really should have listened.
It was only seconds before he saw the speck of the space cruiser on the screen. They were hurtling toward it, but he didn’t slow down. They had to do this quickly, before the other ship realized what was happening.
The ship grew bigger, definitely the same one from the attack the other day. If attack was the right word. He locked on the lasers and fired. The Cazador wasn’t powerful enough to do any real damage, but he was betting he could still wind them up.
Now was the moment they should retaliate. But he didn’t think they would. Of course, if he was wrong they would all be space dust in about two seconds, and while he liked to think he was never wrong, there was always a first time.
The other ship wouldn’t even have to shoot. They could just keep going, slam into them and El Cazador would be smashed into tiny little pieces. The bigger ship probably wouldn’t sustain more than a scratch.
He held his breath, fighting the urge change course as the image of the space cruiser filled the screen.
Mierda. He was wrong. They were going to crash.
At the last minute, the cruiser veered. The power of her back-thrust washed over El Cazador, rolling her, and for a minute, he hung upside down from the harness. He ignored the crash and subsequent yelp as someone collided with the ceiling.
When the ship righted itself, the screen was empty. Rico released his breath and assessed the place for damage. A few red buttons blinked on the console, but nothing too drastic.
Skylar was picking herself up off the floor. He should have guessed she’d be the one to disobey orders. She winced and rubbed a spot on her hip, but otherwise she appeared okay. Perhaps he would offer to kiss her bruises better… later.
If you would like to win an e-copy of Break Out please leave a comment on this post answering- what books did you enjoy most as a child or young adult?