We are delighted to welcome inspirational romance author, Ann H. Gabhart to The Romance Dish today! A Kentucky girl with deep roots in the Outer Bluegrass region of the state, Ann lives just a mile away from the family farm where she spent her growing up years. She started writing when she was ten years old and hasn't stopped since. A busy wife, mother, grandmother and dog mom (We love dog moms here at TRD!), Ann has still managed to publish twenty novels. Please give her a warm welcome!
The Romance of Writing
Have you ever thought about making up a cast of characters and dropping them down into a world you created? A world where they might find love? Are you in love with words? Do you like how words look spilled across a page promising knowledge or adventure or romance? Are you amazed at how you can rearrange the twenty-six letters of the alphabet to tell endless stories? If you smiled and nodded yes to any of the above, then you may have been captured by the romance of writing.
I fell in love with writing when I was about ten. I wasn’t thinking much about writing romantic stories then. I was too busy scribbling words to solve a mystery the way the Hardy Boys did in their books I so enjoyed at the time. While I might not have been worried about romance, I was definitely in love with the written word. I’ve written about dozens of characters since my first attempt at writing that mystery years ago, and love has seeped into most of the stories. Romance can sweeten any story.
A few times my characters have also been in love with the written word and the idea of stories the way I am. Jessamine Brady in The Gifted (Revell trade paperback, On sale now) is one of those characters. From the very beginning of the story she’s wondering about love. She might live with the Shakers who try to teach her that romantic love is not proper, but her heart won’t be convinced. Before she came to the Shakers, her granny told her fairytales. Princes ever showed up in those stories, and love always curled up in the hearts of the characters with a pleased sigh of contentment. Her granny promised the same would be true for Jessamine. A prince would come. If only she’d wait. But then she ends up with the Shakers who not only frown on the idea of romantic princes but also try to quell Jessamine’s love of story. The Shakers’ creed is “Hands to work and hearts to God,” and that doesn’t leave any room for fanciful stories. While they get very imaginative in their worship, they prohibit reading or writing fiction. In spite of their rules, Jessamine can’t stop the stories dancing in her head. It’s a gift she wants to embrace but one she worries might not be proper.
Stories dance in my head too until I coax them out onto paper or the computer screen. I love stories. I love the way a book can carry a reader off into a new world with characters who capture my heart. While the actual act of writing is often hard work and not nearly as romantic as we might wish or imagine, once the story is written, then the romance of writing can bloom between author and reader. I’ve always believed storytelling takes two – one to tell the story and one to listen. A book can’t truly come to life until a reader adds his or her imagination to the author’s and lets the story play in his or her head. That’s the romance of writing and the joy of reading.
Have you been captured by the romance of writing or reading? What do you like best about the books you read? The romance? The adventure? The history? Tell me why you love stories.
Ann is giving away two copies of The Gifted today. A print copy will go to a randomly selected person from the U.S./Canada leaving a comment and a digital copy will go to one randomly selected international commenter. Please indicate US/CAN or INT in your comment to be eligible for the giveaway.
Check out more about Ann's stories on her website, www.annhgabhart.com.