I do. I love them… well, the “good” vampires, anyway!
A little history (because I know you find this random information about me just fascinating)…
I grew up reading Nancy Drew (who didn’t?!?!). Then, at some point in my pre-teen years, I discovered Christopher Pike* and devoured every one of his books that I could get my grubby, little hands on. I don’t know what came next… maybe Stephen King or some Mary Higgins Clark. I’m sure there were many, many others, but you get the point… I was a huge mystery/horror fan.
In high school, there were the geeky AP English classes… and I guess it was probably then that I started reading “real literature” for the first time. I must’ve liked it a little because I then went on to study English for 4 years in college. Talk about some literature… holy Moses! I was in.un.dated with literature and analyzing every word, every space, every comma in every book ever written (a slight exaggeration… hey, this is my blog; I’m allowed to exaggerate!).
By the time I graduated with my hard-earned Bachelor’s degree in English, my eyes hurt and my brain was fried. I didn’t care if I never saw the name Shakespeare or Dickens or Bronte or Fitzgerald or Morrison or Hemmingway or Faulkner (just to name a few) ever again. Honestly, at that point, I didn’t care if I ever saw another book again.
So, for the better part of the next decade, I didn’t read much. And when I did, I had no clue what to read… so I grabbed whatever John Grisham book was currently on the shelf or checked to see what Oprah was reading at the time. I can’t say that I read much during that time period that I loved or that made me feel passionate about reading again.
Also, during that time, I started working as an editor. I spent 8 hours each day sitting in my cubicle, staring at a blue computer screen with lotsa words on it… I copy edited, formatted, and added a million and a half pesky commas (that doctors apparently have no use for) to medical journals. The last thing I wanted to do at the end of an exciting day in my cube was crack open a book and read some more!
During that decade, I also became a wife and mother and traded my cubicle for a freelance editing job so that I could stay home with my babies, changing diapers, wiping drool, and watching them take their first steps. Still not much pleasure reading going on in my world.
[Stay with me, we’re not too far now from present day… and I’m just about to get to the climax of this story (I think… English class was a long time ago)!]
In February of 2007, I celebrated my 31st birthday. And I received a mystery box from Amazon… a birthday gift from my friend Angie. Angie gave me my very first “TBR pile,” made up of four books that I never, in a million years, would have EVER purchased for myself: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb, Dark Lover by J.R. Ward, The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt, and Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh. Romantic suspense, historical romance, PARANORMAL romance???
I thought Angie was crazy; I really did. Didn’t she know that I spent 4 years studying literature, that I read “real books??” Just the covers of these books, with the half-naked women and the shapeshifter people and the… fangs? Oh, Dear God… the covers made me giggle (and blush a little). I just knew that if I cracked open one of those books, I’d be forsaking my English degree and my husband would make fun of me for reading smut.
I was such a silly, silly little girl…
I cracked open the first book… and devoured it. And immediately placed an order with Amazon for the next three books in the J.D. Robb “In Death” series. I loved every word on every page of every one of those books that Angie sent. Dark Lover was probably the one I was the most skeptical about… there was no way I could read this vampire book and keep a straight face. Oh, I kept a straight face alright… and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. And when I finished it, I wanted to read it again, right now! (I was back on Amazon ordering the rest of the books available in that series… and I’ve been pre-ordering all the books that have come out since.) And then I convinced my friend Trish that she just had to read Dark Lover. I didn’t even know if Trish liked to read… but I knew she had to meet Wrath. And, today, she might be even more of a fan of that series than I am. (It’s worse than crack, right, Trish?? lol)
In the past two years, I’ve been a reading machine. I don’t care that I still spend most of my day staring at words on a computer screen… I can’t wait to get away from the computer and lose myself in a book, in another world, in somebody else’s fairytale romance (and the more blood-sucking, the better). I don’t care that the other moms waiting for their kids at the elementary school in the afternoon look at the cover of the book I’m reading and snicker… I know that they have no idea what they’re missing. They can have their deep, depressing, thought-provoking Oprah books and their classic literature… I have Wrath and the boys, and Scottish Highlanders, and ass-kicking heroines. And sex, there’s lots of sex (never a bad thing!).
Now that I’ve told you this painstakingly long, drawn-out history… now, the original point of my post will be lost and buried 1,000 words later. I promise there was a point. I was going to tell you about a new vampire series that I’m currently in love with and point you to another site where it was mentioned today. But now I think I’ll save that for another day and a post of its very own, because I’m beginning to wonder if anyone will actually read this post all the way to the end. (I tend to babble and ramble and lose my train of thought, in case you haven’t noticed. I think I get that from my dad, maybe… I’m sure he gave up on this post at least 500 words ago, so he won’t be offended by that!)
So, now this post has a different theme, I guess… something along the lines of “everything you never wanted to know about Erin’s reading history.” Oh, and “how I will forever be in debt to my dear friend Angie for bringing books back into my life.” And, last but not least, “romance novels are ‘real books,’ too (they’re just more fun than all the others)!”
The End (almost, there’s a footnote! bwahahahahaha)
If you made it this far, do me a favor and leave a comment. I think I’ll have to give away prizes for that! (Seriously)
*Speaking of Chris… I recently found a whole slew of his books, the very same ones that I stayed up ’til all hours of the night reading when I was a kid, at my local Goodwill store. I’ll have to write a whole ‘nother post on this later…just maybe this makeshift footnote will remind me to do that!