The Writer’s Wheel 3/1/2020: How Linda Howard Influenced My Writing
Have you ever had an author influence your writing? Of course, you have! For most of us, their work inspires us to write our own. In the romance field, there’s a lot of authors I’ve been inspired by Diana Gabaldon, Heather Graham, Nora Roberts, and more but there’s one writer who stands out for me above the others: Linda Howard.
She Wrote Both Suspense and Romance.
What I loved about her books were the relationships. No matter if it was a suspense about some weirdo trying to kidnap the heroine who was a bodyguard to a rich man like himself and the secret agent who she developed a relationship with in the meantime to a heartwarming family opening their heart to a woman with no past. She wrote complicated, messy, TRUE relationships. The kind I aspire too. Because let’s face it, messy is REAL. Or as close to reality as you can get.
Families that LIVED and BREATHED.
Her families such as the McKenzies seemed as if they could walk right off the page into your hearts. They fought for each other and loved each other just as fiercely. They were equals before equals became a “thing.” They made you laugh and cry at their antics. When you finished the book, you felt as though you’d just said goodbye to an old friend.
Suspense That Stabbed You in the Heart.
Women that were not mere “damsels in distress” littered her pages. She knew how to twist that knife into you and keep it there till your last breath. I remember reading somewhere that this deep, magical writing had a dark side for her though. She had many stalkers over the years that drove her into seclusion. It’s a shame that such a great talent disappeared from a life of normalcy because of fans determined to get to her. (Update: she is still writing and traveling with her husband.)
It is precisely this part of her life that held me back all these years as a writer. I didn’t want to face people like that. Because I’d already faced similar patterns in my past. The longer I live though, the more I realize, that’s letting those type of persons win. You can’t put your life on hold because of them. You can’t scare yourself to the point of not doing something you love. And most of all, publishing what you love. Not that I presume to think I’ll reach her heights or Nora Roberts or Diana Gabaldon for that matter. But I won’t let fear hold me back any longer. I learned long ago, if you give those kind control over you, you lose yourself piece by piece. So, as I stood long ago at last for myself, I’m going to do the same for my writing in the future. No more holding back.
Have a great week, take care, and God bless!