I’m excited to welcome Julie Anne Long to Lit, etc! Today she’s talking about the first story she wrote and how she came about to write about rogues. You can read an exclusive excerpt here.
From Rabbits to Regency Rogues
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea is my fourteenth published book. Well, fifteenth, if you count the Crayola-illustrated, bound-in-staples affair about a talking rabbit named Reddy I self-published when I was about six. It was a thrilling milestone—to me, the whole point of learning to write was so I could finally record the stories I was forever making up. Even before I could read, I would sit cross-legged with the grown-up chapter books in our house (our house was chock full of books of all kinds), and stare at the pages, willing the words to give up their meanings, or invent stories to go with the illustrations of picture books.
So how does one make the leap from writing about talking rabbits to writing about a Regency rogue like Ian Eversea?
Well, if my writing career were points on a graph, the first point might be the moment my sister and I stole Rosemary Rogers novels out of my mother’s nightstand drawer. Sweet Savage Love. Good God. Who wouldn’t be enthralled by a title like that? Let alone the men on the cover with wild hair and magnificent pectorals—and the second point might be a run at rock stardom (I played guitar and sang in San Francisco bands, which also featured men with wild hair), and the next might be (well, truthfully, an overlapping point) a significant stint in the corporate world, where men did NOT have wild hair. They wore Dockers. But I picked up dozens of useful skills along the way—graphic and web design, for instance—and I did write—songs, and financial and software documentation. My creative needs were more or less being met.
It wasn’t until about the time the first dot com bubble burst, when I found myself, shall we say, underemployed and broke and bored, when I finally refocused on my first love: writing. Magically, it incorporated all of the things I loved best, after all: drama, passion, humor, angst, and of course, men with unruly hair. If you guessed I learned a bit about rogues while playing in bands, well, you guessed correctly.
So even thought my path today, and Between the Devil and Ian Eversea , followed a bit of an uneven trajectory, as it turned out, everything I learned and experienced up until 2004 when my first book was published, seems in retrospect, absolutely necessary to launching my publishing career. The first book I sat down to finish (The Runaway Duke), was released about a year after I finished it in 2004, but in a way, it was decades in the making.
How about you? Do you remember the first romance you ever read, and how you discovered it? Have you been a romance reader for long, or did you come to it later?
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