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A quick word from Bobbi Dumas, your host.
Hi everyone! Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month. You can find out more about this fun, month long event here. And check out all the great authors taking part this year on the calendar, here.
The theme this year is The Romance Of Reading, The Magic Of Books and we have an awesome assortment of writers – both romance and mainstream fiction authors – sharing about books, reading, romance & magic. I hope you’ll visit everyday.
(Also, be sure to check in to The Romance Of Reading FB page, where one of the RARM authors will be hosting the page each day in August. Today Karen Hawkins will also be on the page.)
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Melinda Curtis – The Magic of Reading
I grew up in a reading household. We went to bookstores and libraries. We brought home biographies, how-to books, romances, fantasies, mysteries, and classics. You name it, we read it. That background gave me an association of reading with happy, relaxing times.
When I graduated college and landed my first “professional” job, it was stressful. Because I had to wear suits and heels of a certain quality and my husband was still in school, we had to watch every penny at home. During the day, I was tested – a woman in a man’s world, constantly judged on what I wore, what I said, and what I produced. When I came home, I needed to relax and escape. Reading books helped me recenter and rebalance, whether those books came from the library, or a used or a new bookstore.
Why? Characters in books faced difficult challenges and triumphed. They solved riddles and crimes. They made mistakes but learned from them and became stronger. They found happiness and love because of the journey they’d been on. I needed these stories, especially the romances where you were guaranteed a happy ending. I needed to know there was justice and a pot of emotional gold at the end of the rainbow. It gave me the internal wherewithal to stay strong in the boys club. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy reading and writing stories about characters who are on the outside looking in. For me, there is something magical about a journey where a character endures hardship and comes away stronger for it.
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2019 RARM Questions:
Tell us about a time in your life that felt magical to you.
I grew up on a 50-acre sheep ranch in Sonoma County, California. We had no neighbors nearby, no sidewalks, no collection of kids to hang out with. My brothers and I only had each other to play with, which made us very close. Looking back, that was magical. We weren’t on individual devices or rushing around to get to soccer practice and dance class.
Tell us about a book that was magical for you.
I have two books I reread every year – A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James and Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. These two romances have heroines (outsiders!) who are willing to give up the men they love so their heroes can be happy. I cry every time I read these books and then as an author, I take some time to sit back and marvel at the magic these authors have created. It’s not easy to write words that bring readers to tears.
Tell us about a “magical moment” in your writing or your career?
I had been asked by a publisher to write a single title series for them. Over the course of three years, I wrote the proposal, revised the proposal, wrote a full book and revised the full manuscript. They ended up rejecting the project. Four months later, the series was bought by Grand Central Forever. It’s a rise from the ashes moment for me..
For writers who use magical aspects in their books, what attracts you to those elements? For those of you who don’t, are there specific themes or elements you’re attracted to and find yourself going back to? Why do these resonate with you?
I find myself drawn to fish-out-of-water and wallflower stories. I tend to write these and redemption stories. I can relate to being on the outside looking in and to stories where heroes and heroines have made a mistake in their past they regret. We’ve all made mistakes in our past, me included. I like the opportunity to make amends and wish the world was a more forgiving place.
Creativity is a kind of magical experience. What inspires you, keeps you going, helps you when you lose focus, etc.?
When I’m down, I have a very supportive family who give really great hugs and motivational speeches. When the writing is hard, I have a couple of fantastic writing friends who’re able to help me – or my characters or plot – back on track. Writing may be a solitary business but it takes a village to keep an author happy, healthy and productive.
Drawing – Melinda is generously giving away an autographed copy of Kissed by the Country Doc (open to international, though international winner will receive an ebook.)
To enter, leave a comment below. Open until August 4, 2019 11:59 PM EST.
All commenters will also be entered to win a bundle of books from the Week 1 participating authors. Must comment by 8/14/19 11:59pm Eastern.
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Melinda Curtis is the USA Today bestselling author of light‐hearted contemporary romance. In addition to her Sunshine Valley series from Forever, she’s published independently and with Harlequin Heartwarming, including her book Dandelion Wishes, which is currently being made into a TV movie. She lives in California’s hot central valley with her hot husband – her basketball-playing college sweetheart. While raising three kids, the couple did the soccer thing, the karate thing, the dance thing, the Little League thing and, of course, the basketball thing. Between books, Melinda spends time with her husband remodeling their home by swinging a hammer, grouting tile, and wielding a paintbrush with other family members.
Sign up for Melinda’s mailing list and receive a commemorative postcard, plus two free ebooks! (Sign up here.)
Discover all of Melinda’s books:
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