When I say my first experience with romance, I’m referring to my exposure to the genre as a reader. LOL! I’ve heard tales from romance authors of the first romantic tales they began reading as girls—some of them quite scandalous too. My experience was much tamer and sweeter as the first romance author I read was Grace Livingston Hill when I was in the fifth grade.

For those of you unfamiliar with this author, Grace was a Christian romance novelist of another age (called the Mother of Inspirational Romance). Her first book was published way back in 1877 and she continued writing books until her death in 1947—more than a hundred titles. She was incredibly popular in her lifetime and her books continue to be good sellers to this day. Within her romantic stories were plainly defined Christian messages, a clear cut delineation between good and evil, and an ending that brought resolution to problems both physical and/or spiritual.

She is an author I look up to and who still inspires me in my writing today. In fact, it was after reading one of her books back in 2003 that I decided to write my own for the first time. Three years later my first book was published. Authors are busy people. We get wrapped up in our writing and promotion, make time for our families, and try to accomplish some housework. It is very easy to loose track of what we really are doing.

As inspirational authors more than any other genre, we really have a responsibility to our readers. I never realized that until my first Inspirational, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Your Wedding, released. I received so many emails from readers on how much this book touched them. Then they would give examples from the story on how this situation was similar to something they experienced or that character was just like them or their daughter. Some of their stories were incredibly emotional. I was moved by the response and even educated. I wasn’t just writing for me, I was writing for them and the impact I would make.

At the end of last year, I wrote another Inspirational story, Relationship Rescue. It’s just a short story but one with great emotional drive and a dollop of humor. It’s very hard for me to write without some form of humor. This story came from an idea of—what if a couple broke off their engagement because one still hadn’t figured out what love was all about. He still had some growing up to do both spiritually and emotionally. And what if friends of theirs saw the unhappiness of this broken up couple and decided to get them back together…well, at least talking again? What would happen then?? That is the premise behind this story. It released this past September from The Wild Rose Press. I’m happy to have another Inspirational story to add to my collection. I write in several genres because I just love them all, but Inspirational is close to my heart and no matter where I go or what I do I will remain an Inspirational reader and writer. I really must thank Grace Livingston Hill for that. She instilled the love of romance and even more the Christian romance into my heart and that is something which will stay with me to the end.

So…everybody dish, what was your first experience with romance??

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