One of the first things people ask me when I tell them I’m an author is, “What do you write?” And since I love my job, I’m happy to tell them.
But before I continue, I need to go back in time.
I’ve always loved to read. My favorite memories are coming home with a stack of books from the public library. The love continued through high school. Once I got to college, fiction went to the wayside while I studied. Then, when I entered the work force (in the totally non-creative writing field of dentistry), I resumed my lifelong passion of reading.
Somewhere along the line a friend I worked with introduced me to romance novels. I fell in love. With the characters. The stories. The idea that love was bigger and stronger than anything I could imagine.
And then one day that same friend said, “We should write a book.” My immediate response was, “Sure.” What did I know? Nothing, I soon learned, but I studied craft and the business of writing in the hopes that my new dream might come true.
Fast forward twenty-some years. Not only do I write romance novels, but the world of writing has opened up so much, I write in other genres as well.
Romance will always be my first love. I’m a hopeless romantic and can’t fathom a world without love stories. I’ve been fortunate to write for Harlequin Heartwarming, their wholesome fiction line. While these stories don’t have a faith element, these books still celebrate the greatest gift of all. Love.
I’ve also been able to write my second favorite genre, mystery. Who doesn’t love a story where you have to figure out “Who done it?” I love the layers, the red herrings and the logic behind piecing together a good story you hope a reader won’t put down until they get to the very last page.
This year, I’ll be starting work on books for a Women’s Fiction line. Another step into a different genre and I can’t wait to get started. Real life issues tackled in a way to connect women, to bond over stories of family, heartache and life changes.
Even though I’m not published in Christian fiction, I still consider myself an inspirational author. After all, as a writer, I want to move readers with the journey of my characters, the growth and lessons learned along the way. No matter what genre you read or write, we can always close the book after the last page having made new friends and making new discoveries. It’s the magic of books that will never go away, and that’s why I love sitting at my keyboard every day, creating stories I can’t wait to share.
When I first started writing and had trouble getting published, my husband suggested that I not limit myself to one genre. Best advice ever. Now I get to work with different publishers. I’ve made new friends as my career as grown. Best of all, the ideas in my head eventually get a home.
If you’ve ever thought about writing, I encourage you to start by writing those first words. You never know what can happen. All those years ago, I never imagined being an author. If you love to read, keep supporting the authors whose books you love to read. We may never meet you face to face, but trust me, we appreciate the time you take out of your schedule to get lost in one of our books. It’s a privilege and an honor, one that is never taken for granted.
Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. Family values, a bit of mystery and of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her next Harlequin Heartwarming romance, available in August. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TaraRandelBooks. Sign up for Tara’s Newsletter and receive a link to download a free digital book.