Hooked On The Books
One of the earliest memories I have of my mother is of her reading a romance novel while I played on the floor on the rug in the family room. When she was done with each book, she would write down the date, title and author in a spiral bound notebook that she kept in the drawer by the kitchen telephone. Over the years, she must have gone through at least a dozen notebooks!
Of course, it made perfect sense that I would also gravitate toward romances. I can’t remember how old I was the first time I read one, but I suspect I was just barely in my teens. Boy was I hooked, and since I devoured my first romance under the covers with a flashlight, I have been a boy-a-day reader when I can fit it into my busy writing schedule.
There truly is nothing I love more than reading a romance. If I need to relax, if I want to laugh, if I’m ready to be drawn in by emotion, all I need to do is pick up a romance.
I suppose I should have known that I would become a romance writer one day. It seems pretty inevitable now that I look back on my passion for books and the genre. From the moment I started writing my first romance ten years ago (in a spiral bound notebook, just like the one my mother used to track her reading), I knew that I’d found my true calling. Ten years later, I’m amazed to have not only sold nearly 2 million books via self-publishing and to have signed the first-ever print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA for my Sullivans, but am most amazed by the way readers have embraced my books. I set out to write the kind of books I most love to read — contemporary romances about a big, closely connected family that are emotional, fun and sexy — and every day I get both the joy of writing about my Sullivans and chatting with my fabulous readers on Facebook, twitter, Goodreads and via email.
I love romance readers…and I’ve always been very proud to be one myself!
Questions for Bella:
What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?
I used to be a Feng Shui consultant, so I make it a point to surround myself with things that give me pleasure to look at it and use and make me happy to have around.
If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)
Live, Laugh, Love
What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?
A kiss from my husband.
If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be?
I’d suggest that they start with the first book in my Sullivan series, THE LOOK OF LOVE. One of the most romantic scenes in that book is when Chase and Chloe are having a picnic on a hill at the Napa Valley winery and Chase tells her he’d like to be her friend, first and foremost. It’s a very sweet scene….and is a lovely prelude to all the sexy scenes that follow! 🙂
You are reading this essay at ReadARomanceMonth.com. Be sure to visit the About Read-A-Romance Month to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are celebrating the romance genre during the month of August.
Bella is generously donating one $25 email gift card to a US reader and one to an International reader (International readers enter here). To enter the domestic contest, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both. (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.) Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 30 to be eligible, though winners will be announced at a later date.
Also visit the Awesome Contests page to register this week to win a Kindle Paperwhite and “A Month of Romance” (31 books) from Amazon Montlake, or the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!
If you love Read-A-Romance Month and decide to buy recommended books, please consider using the links from the site. Every bit helps and I do get a tiny percentage of sales. Thank you for considering it!
Having sold nearly 2 million self-published romances, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre’s novels have appeared on Top 5 lists at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine ”Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages, and her Sullivan books are already Top 20 bestsellers in Brazil. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and most recently in TIME Magazine. Bella’s Sullivan series is being released in paperback by Harlequin MIRA in a major global English language launch in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia in continuous back-to-back releases from June 2013 through April 2014.