...and I'm an author.
My all-time favorite author is Louisa May Alcott. My copy of Little Women has been read so many times, the cover is completely gone, and there is duct tape on the spine. I think the first illustration, copywrite page, and other 'cover' pages are missing.
I checked out her biography so many times in the library, my name was the only one on the checkout card, in my childish, 4th-grade handwriting.
My entire library of LMA books is mismatched. Every time I'd find one I didn't have at a garage sale, I'd buy it. Some collector is probably furious with me for buying only Eight Cousins instead of the entire set. But that was before I learned the value of keeping a matched set together! (And yes...I'm slightly irritated with my high school self too...)
Anyway...I wanted Meg's wisdom; Jo's ability to write; Beth's musical talent; and Amy's name. Later I would also envy Amy marrying Laurie Lawrence! But I digress.
In the 6th grade, I was introduced to Judy Blume. She took ordinary, flawed girls and showed how other issues besides boyfriend or popularity problems could be dealt with effectively. In fact, when I began writing, I patterned book #3 of my AU series after her controversial First Love book, which chronicled a HS senior losing her virginity.
When I finished the 6th grade, my mom let me read Kathleen Woodiwiss' The Flame and the Flower. I was instantly hooked on romance. But I don't care to write historicals; too much research. I did, however, fall in love with the Civil War era, and was soon allowed to watch all of Gone With The Wind. I was always sent to bed after the war was over, but stayed awake to listen to the rest. I always wondered what the big deal was about the staircase scene; I'd gotten up during Rhett and Scarlett's 'fight' and Mom discovered me in the hallway as Rhett carried Scarlett up the stairs.
In college, I read my first Danielle Steele book, but soon discovered I didn't like the guilt the heroines always felt. After college, a friend introduced me to Lavryle Spencer, and I instantly fell in love. Separate Beds. Hummingbird. The Hellion. Three of my favorites of hers, as well as Family Blessings. When she retired, I thought, 'I can take her place!' I had three books under my belt at that time, and was working on completing #4.
During the same period, my mom gave me my first Nora Roberts book, Montana Sky. I now own many Nora books, and my favorites include the Key Trilogy and the Sister Trilogy (Megan, Kate, and Laura).
And among the erotica authors? Take a look to the left. I started an erotica on the sly after reading Mary Winter's Water Lust. I still haven't finished it; I wrote it in longhand and in private, as I blushed every time I used certain words. And as I continued to read other authors' work, I continued to write and worked up the nerve to submit some of it. All because a certain author dared me to challenge myself, to see if I could keep the heat level up. And promptly 'borrowed' my idea, but the stories are in no way the same, so I'm not upset. Initially, yes. But I got over it.
So there you have it. Influenced by many, but my voice is my own. Maybe someday there will be someone saying, 'Thanks Kenzie, for inspiring me'??
Thank you Louisa, Judy, Lavryle, Nora, and Mary! And to Brynn, Bron, Kelly, Anny, etc for furthering the 'corruption', ha ha! Seriously, if any of my books get to be half as beloved as yours, I'll be thrilled!