Celebrating Journeys of the Heart
Stories have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was young, my father made up wonderful, adventurous bedtime stories about a little girl (me) and a flying horse. I devoured fairytales, fables, adventures, and mysteries. The ones I liked best had an “against all odds I have to do this” reasoning of the hero or heroine. Sacrificial love—a love that would make the character face his/her fears, mature, put another before themselves…and in the end win—these are the stories that spoke to my heart then, and they still do. They are the stories I love to read and the stories I want to write. They intrigue me, inspire me, and captivate me.
I’ve read romances that make me laugh, make me cry, and make me root for a character, hoping that the tremendous odds stacked against him won’t break him before he comes to a full understanding of his truth. When in the end, he emerges stronger for his struggles and wins, (in a romance, they always win) his reward is more than he hoped for. Now that is a satisfying ending I like!
The journey of the heart is powerful. It is life-affirming. It’s an adventure! And the great thing about romances are that they celebrate that journey in a myriad of forms~ westerns, paranormals, military, inspirational, suspense, historical ~ there’s a story for every type of reader, every type of mood on a continuum from fun and flirty to angst-ridden and emotional.
I think authors from other genres have caught on. Even The Hunger Games, about a bleak dystopian future, has a romance and it makes the story. Romance rules!
I recently read Shelley Gray for the first time, compliments of a 99 cent “deal” on Amazon. A Texan’s Choice is book #3 of her Heart of A Hero Series. Now I know I will have to read the first two books of that series. Her tough characters are so very flawed that they pulled me in as I rooted for them to overcome their past and their problems. Another author I like is Kristin Hannah. On my TBR pile is her Firefly Lane.
Questions for the Author:
Describe the most daring, adventurous, or inspiring thing you ever did.
When I was twenty, I drove across the country to go to college. My Dad accompanied me from the Pacific coast to Texas to make sure I didn’t get stranded in the desert. (This was before cell phones!) I dropped him off at the airport in Amarillo so that he could fly home, and I continued in my VW Bug to the Midwest on my own—just me, my sleeping bag and a bean bag chair. I had John Denver blaring on the radio and a summer storm nipping at me most of the way. I arrived just ahead of a tornado that wiped out the phone lines, so I couldn’t call and let my folks know that I’d arrived safely.
My writing journey
When our boys were young, we moved to a small town for my husband’s job. I loved my first chance to be a stay-at-home mother, but I felt very isolated. Reading romance between diapers and dinner became my “me time.” I came across a short story contest in Redbook Magazine and, on a whim, entered. When my story placed ninth out of hundreds of entries, it was enough positive reinforcement to start me thinking seriously about writing.
A Book that Changed my Life
When I was younger, Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona—the first historical romance I ever read and “set” in my own backyard in southern California. Who knew that history could be so interesting? Not a traditional HEA “romance” but romance saturates every page.
Kathryn is generously offering two print copies of The Rebel and the Lady and two print copies of Texas Wedding for their Baby’s Sake. (1 book each to 4 winners, domestic only, apologies to international friends.)
After writing in medical charts (where fiction is frowned upon) as a nurse, Kathryn Albright was delighted to use the “other” side of her brain to write historical romance for Harlequin, Mills & Boon. Her next release is part of Harlequin’s Wild West Christmas Anthology coming in October 2014. She lives in the Midwest and loves to hear from her readers at www.kathrynalbright.com.
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