This week a couple of readers and I were discussing influences in books we read when we were younger and as a writer I am aware that certain things moulded me early in life. Of course my life experiences have a lot of input when I write my books, drawing from what I know is the most powerful tool I have. Second to that my love of psychology really helps when trying to decide how my characters should act or scenarios play out, and my obsessive people watching in life prepared me for a lot of scenarios that I myself had not gone through. However, I cannot deny that the books I have read through my entire life has moulded on some level the writing I produce now.
It was when looking back at books which still stand out to me to this day that I noticed that three authors probably had the biggest impact on what I became. These are not the only books i read, or the only authors. I mean mills and boon had a huge role in how I viewed sex and love, so I guess I should include them in my backlist of ‘what tainted my mind’ LOL
So I want to share with you my teen obsessions and the books which I am now scurrying to eBay to own once more for my Carrero bookshelf. I feel these books in some vague way became a part of what is in the essence – My Carrero .
Jackie Collins –
she showed me how to be fearless when writing gritty and sexy books. I admired her grab life by the balls and don’t give a shit what critics say. I loved that as a woman back then, she was not ashamed to show her mature sexuality or share it with the world. She wasn’t afraid to write about the things people considered taboo and although I didn’t LOVE all her books, I have to say, I loved most of them. She is still to this day my idol as a writer and will always hold a place in my heart.
The book – Rockstar
‘Music was their business – pleasure was their game.
Rock Star blows the lid off the hard-driving lifestyles of today’s music superstars.
Kris Phoenix – The legendary and wildly sexy guitar hero,
Bobby Mondella – Black soul superstar with a past,
Rafealla – An exotically beautiful girl who comes between them with a vengeance.
Rock Star takes you on a dangerous trip through the jungle of broken dreams and blackmail, hit records and hit men…a jungle of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Rock Star is a love story that burns.’
Danielle Steel –
Okay so she was not one of my favourite authors to be fair but this one book stayed with me and I can see how the softer romantic in me was fed with her work. I guess my wholesome parts and path to real love (with added heartbreak and realism) came from this softer more gentle writer. I do still to this day feel like my love of family sagas started here.
The book – Family album
‘Through forty years—from Hollywood’s golden days in World War II to the present—Faye Price would create first a career as a legendary actress, then a family, and finally she would realize her dream of becoming one of Hollywood’s first woman directors. But nothing was more precious to Faye than her five children. In a changing world, a milieu where family values are constantly challenged from without and within, the Thayers would face the greatest challenges and harshest test a family can endure, to emerge stronger, bound forever by loyalty and love. It is only when Faye is gone that they can each assess how far they have come, and how important their family album is.’
Virginia Andrews –
So this woman fed my dark soul and I completely connected to the heroines in the centre stories of these books. Pain is a part of life and no one shows heroines with true inner strength the way she did. The fearless guts to write about abuse and incest and make them a hit , just blew me away. This particular series spoke to me on many levels and I feel like my modern day Camilla has some vague connection to Heaven Leigh.
The Casteel Series
So those are my teen books, which carry the main essence of Carrero – gritty, sexy, sometimes dark but always at the root – a family who is bonded by love.
Guess they got to me more than I thought.
One last ode to one set of books I didn’t mention. Scoff at me all you like. These are the Marmite of books – you either love or hate them and they pushed my ass back into the writing world with a boom. I thank E.L. James, for showing me that women can do it for themselves when they have faith in their story. Write what you want, write what makes you happy. Love your characters in all their flaws. Sometimes it’s not about the skill and your education – sometimes you just have a story to tell.