|Posted by Sugar Jamison on August 1, 2014 at 8:35 AM||comments (2)|
Tonight I celebrate my love for you....
I have fond memories of my parents playing that song when I was a kid. I find that song the perfect way to describe how I feel today. August is Read a Romance Month but I say every month is Read a Romance Month because I couldn't imagine my life without romances.
I wasn't a reader. I wasn't that kid who had her nose in a book. I used to lay in front of the television for hours and let my brain turn to mush. My mother hated that. She would tell me that words were beautiful, that books were better than television. I didn't believe her. What fourteen year thinks their mother knows anything anyway? But she was right.
She gave me CHANCES by Jackie Collins, which isn't a romance, but it changed my life. All she said to me was, "I remember really liking this book when I was a teenager. I think you'll like it too." I did like it. I loved it. There was sex in it! And cuss words and drama. And I was a fan because I didn't know that books could be like that. I thought they had to be boring, that they always had to have some preachy lesson like the books they made us read in school. I never thought I could read to escape.
It wasn't until I was sixteen and I had my first real job at a little gift shop on the highway did I discover romance. My first was a historical. A reprint of an old Catherine Coulter book. Instantly I was drawn into another world of Earls and bodices and yumminess. But there was also love in those books. Love and happy endings and I was addicted.
From there I went on to Jude Deveraux whose words I fell in love with. And then there was Susan Elizabeth Phillips who introduced me into the world of contemporary romance and really swoon worthy heroes. I read every book put out by these authors. I only made $6.35 an hour at my little job, but my paychecks were spent buying books. Buying romances.
It wasn't until college did I discover Jennifer Cruisie. I had read so many of her books but it was BET ME that shook me. I saw that heroines don't have to be model thin or classically beautiful to be loveable and sexy. And I decided that I wanted to write books like that. Funny books that made others as happy as all of those books made me. So I picked up a pen that day and never put it down.
My paychecks may have gotten a little bigger since my teenaged days but they still get spent on buying books
And now for the questions! Every author participating in RARM is asked to answer these questions. Here I go!
1 - Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever
I'm not daring. I feel bad for saying that. But I'm a super planner. I'm quitting my full time job to focus on writing more. But even that was planned out. I'm going to be daring one day. I plan to be.
2 - Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide
to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you
knew?) I started writing in college. I talked about that above a little bit, but I was at work one day and I looked around and thought .. "I can't be stuck in this same place for the next thirty years." I knew I had to get out but wasn't qualified to do anything else,so I figured I would get good at writing.
3 - Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)
BET ME is the reason I started writing. But THIS HEART OF MINE but Susan Elizabeth Phillips was my introduction to romantic comedy. That book wasn't just funny. It was tragic and sweet and had an ending I'll never forget. That book really rocked my world and my made me look at romantic comedy in a whole new light.
Thanks to Jeannie Moon for recommending me and READ A ROMANCE MONTH for existing!
|Posted by Sugar Jamison on April 29, 2014 at 10:00 PM||comments (1)|
Last year my entire family came from New York to celebrate my twenty-eighth birthday. We went to a small family owned Mexican restaurant that makes kick ass guacamole and really good raspberry margaritas. That fact that we were ALL together was a novelty. With work and school and living in separate states it's rare we all get to eat at the same table.
So there I was seated between my parents and across from brothers. Everybody was having their own conversation when my mom mentioned to me that she was still reading Dangerous Curves Ahead and that one scene brought up a memory from her past. I knew the scene she was talking about. I knew it very well because it took place shortly after my hero and heroine get it on for the first time. So, I turn to look at her and quietly say, "I guess you survived the sex scene."
At that point all conversation at the table had stopped. My father looked off into space as if he had suddenly went deaf. Three brothers stared at me. The word SEX seemed to have a magical effect on them, because normally they never pay any attention to what I say.
"Yes, I survived the sex scene," my mother continued, not seeming to notice that the table suddenly went quiet. She put her hand on her forehead and stared at me. "I can't believe you know so much. I can't believe you're so descriptive. A mother doesn't want to think about her daughter knowing so much about sex. It makes me uncomfortable."
I have read HUNDREDS of romance novels in my day. While my stuff isn't exactly sweet, it certainly isn't anywhere near erotica. "You just don't read romance novels trust me, Ma. That was nothing."
Meanwhile in my head I'm thinking, wait until she gets to second sex scene. Wait till she reads my books that are coming out for Harlequin. But I say nothing. I catch my youngest brother staring at me from across the table. He's always surprised when I know anything about sex. In his eyes I'm supposed to be this lame virginal super good girl, who has never heard the word PENIS much less have seen one. And I understand why he thinks that way. I'm the prude in my family.
But I'm twenty-eight. Hello!
"It's like Fifty Shades of Grey without the torture," my mother goes on, clearly distressed about my life's choice to write romance novels.
"It is not!" I'm offended by this. There is no bondage in my book. There is no sex for sex sake. I'm rather fond of those scenes. They're some of the best I've written. "Besides, you've never read Fifty Shades. How would you know?"
"I just know," she says.
My brother Jordan who always has something to say, says nothing. Jason continues to eat tortilla chips. Jonathan keeps looking at me as if he is trying to figure out if I'm secretly turning tricks on my free time. My father continues to stare at the sun sculpture on the wall behind him. I feel sorry for the man. He didn't deserve this.
I'm sure my family all thinks I'm a pornographer now, but that's okay. I'm going to keep on reading and writing those sexy sex books. And maybe someday my family will get who I am.
What about you? How would you feel if your kid starting writing romance novels?