Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's Read-a-Romance Month!

-->First of all, let me say thank you to Bobbi Dumas, Lorraine Heath, and Katharine Ashe for including me in this wonderful event. It's a pleasure to join in the fun! 

My name is Erin Knightley, and I peddle happily ever afters :)

I’ll never forget the time back in seventh grade, when five fellow students and I were clustered around one of the round tables in the lunchroom shortly after we had turned in our book reports on The Outsiders. With elbows resting on the dingy white melamine tabletop, we discussed the book, which was the most grown-up novel we’d ever been compelled to read. Several liked the book, thinking it gritty and heart wrenching. Others couldn’t have cared less—they didn’t like reading or books, and never would. I was the only one at the table who vehemently disliked the book. Why?
Because I wanted a happy ending.
I argued with the other kids at length: Yes it was compelling, yes it was an interesting story, but if I walked away feeling worse than when I started it, why would I want to read it?  Even at that age, I knew what was important to me. There was enough bad stuff in the world. Why would I want to read about more bad stuff? I read to escape and experience different times and places, but most of all, I read for enjoyment. I read to feel better about life, and love, and all the possibilities for finding joy and excitement. A book could lead me on a merry chase, making me cry even, but at the end, I wanted a big, goofy smile that would stay in place for days. Was that too much to ask?
So, is it any wonder I turned to romance? Is it any wonder that I was willing to lose myself in an emotional book that might bring me to the highest highs and the lowest low, but that I could absolutely count on to leave me hopeful and happy? To me, there is no greater thing on earth than love. I choose to read books that celebrate that, that show the struggles and triumphs, the compromises, the passion, and all those emotions humans have experienced throughout history. I’m happy to lift up the most positive thing of all in a world full of negatives.
From time to time, I do branch out and read literature and mainstream fiction, and yes, I do enjoy them. But I always find my way back home to romance. And it is my promise to you, dear readers, that when you read my books, you can always rely on that wonderful, elusive thing: a happily ever after :)

 Now - onto the 3 Questions past of the blog!

1 - Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did. 
            When I was 19, I went to live in Russia for the summer, working on an international drilling project in Siberia. I was with 2 other American students, but other than that, we were completely on our own.  Talk about a culture shock! It was a life changing experience for me to see how another culture literally halfway across the world lived, loved, worked, and played. Remarkably, I came away with the realization that no matter how different we may look or sound, deep down we are all the same  :-)

2 - Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)
Me when I got The Call :)
I’ve always loved to write—won the Young Authors competition in 4th grade, in fact!—but it was something I had set aside when I graduated college and entered Real Life. For the next six years, I worked diligently during the day and read voraciously every night. At one point, my work started to get overwhelmingly stressful, and I decided to escape with writing again. I was rusty at first, but before long, I found myself with a completed novel! Believe it or not, I actually sold that book. MORE THAN A STRANGER came out in June 2012, and it’s been a wild, wonderful ride ever since.
I am currently writing my sixth book (tenth book if you include novellas!), which is the third in my Prelude to a Kiss series set at a music festival in Bath.

3 - Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)
This may sound corny, but it was actually the Serendipity children’s book series that was mailed to my house once a month when I was around four or five. I was the youngest of three kids, and one-on-one time with my parents was highly coveted. Every month when the newest book arrived, my mom would cuddle up with me in my parents’ big bed and read the newest adventure. The pictures were vivid, the stories compelling, and my mom’s attempts at voices predictably laughable. It was a precious escape for me, and led me to cherish those books and the special time they afforded with my mother.

Thanks so much for joining me today! If you’d like to try one of my books for free, you’re in luck! For a limited time, I’m offering RUINED BY A RAKE, the first in the All’s Fair in Love novella series, free! To download, simply follow the link for you format of choice:

Recommendation: Looking for someone new to love?  I’d love to recommend Heather Snow, who has Regency smarty-pants heroines down to an art, and Catherine Gayle, who writes hockey romance that require a minimum of a handful of tissues to read J I hope you’ll enjoy these ladies’ books as much as I do!
Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science.  It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn't any fun at all.  Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina.
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