Most romance writers grow up reading romances, beginning with Kathleen Woodiwiss and Barbara Cartland. I never did. My mother and sister both read mysteries rather than romance. I’m sure I’m giving my age away when I tell you our house was filled with books by Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and others of that quality and caliber. Mysteries fascinated me. I loved figuring out the puzzle.
Even as I grew older, married, began collecting my own books, the closest I cam to romance was Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney and of course, Dell Shannon (who also wrote as Lesley Egan and Elizabeth Linington). She was the queen of police procedurals and today we’d say her books had “romantic elements.”
So of course, I expected to write a mystery. I bypassed a lot of those now-ragged spiral notebooks and concentrated on the plot my coworkers had helped me develop. It took placed on the campus of a Catholic university (similar to the last place I worked) and took place in the sanctuary of the chapel on campus.
I had my list of characters, all based on people involved with the university. Sort of a roman a clef. I had my plot. I had my name—Murder at Mass. So I sat my butt down in my chair and began to write. Yeah, well, so much for my big ideas.
I think I rewrote that first chapter at least six times. Nothing seemed to click. I couldn’t get my heroine right, or my hero, or even how they met. By the time I finished chapter three I was so sick of the story I didn’t care if I ever finished it. Which was a good thing because after three months I still hadn’t gotten past chapter three. And I was beyond discouraged.
Then a read a book that changed the entire course of my life.
Tomorrow: Desiree Holt Day Six
Desiree Holt’s writing is flavored with the rich experiences of her life, including a long stretch in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her, many of whom might recognize themselves in the pages of her stories. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit, multiple winner of the Whipped Cream Book of the Week Award and is published by five different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: “Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.”