My name is Kay Springsteen and I write romance. But before I was a writer, I was a reader, and it has been the kinds of books I’ve read throughout my life so far that have influenced the kinds of stories I tell and the way in which I tell them.
I began my journey into books as a reader when I was about 4 years old. My mom, an English immigrant at the end of WWII, was an avid reader and a true Lewis Carroll fan. She started me into the wonderful world of fiction with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
I so loved those fantastical images created by Carroll, I went looking for more. I dug through my dad’s prized possessions and found a very old edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Oh, some of these haunted me – we’re talking original versions of the stories, not the cutsied up Disney versions. The Little Tin Soldier, The Little Match Girl.
Of course I had the requisite collection of Little Golden Books – The Pokey Little Puppy, Tootle, and more. One of my most memorable books as a child was my very first Scholastic Book Club book EVER. Flip by Wesley Dennis. I read that and re-read that so many, many times I don’t know how it didn’t fall apart.
And of course there were more Scholastic Books. Sometime in the third grade I found one called The Golden Sovereign by Dorothy Lyons. That became another of the books that I would read and reread. I was introduced to mysteries when I discovered Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys.
By high school, it became pretty obvious that my romance habit would have to be an in-closet activity. So I tested science fiction, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Robert A. Heinlein. In college, it was James Michener whose books captured my interest. And by the time I was married and having children, Tom Clancy’s technothrillers had my attention, along with John Grisham’s legal thrillers, and the medical thrillers of Patricia Cornwall. Along about then, I also found the first book to make me cry uncontrollably – The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. Eventually, I decided I wanted to settle back into a softer, more gentle genre, and I sought out romance again. This time, it was Nora Roberts who commanded my attention. I bought every trilogy and mainstream book I could get my hands on. I scoured used book stores for her out of print Silhouette books. Then one of my friends who owned a used and new bookstore brought me into the world of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and I lost myself in the lives of Jamie and Claire. More recently, I’ve read Nicholas Sparks; the man does know how to tug on the emotions.
And somewhere in all of this reading, probably as far back as my very first Scholastic book (Flip), I began writing my own stories. Now, I wouldn’t want to even find anything I wrote back in those days, and much of what I wrote, even as an adult was more cathartic for me as opposed to being marketable fiction. But more recently, after the last of my children moved out, I had time on my hands, and I decided to start writing in earnest. The results were some pretty pleasing contracts writing the kind of romances I like the most: edgy sweet and emotional, with huge measures of sexual tension and undeniable chemistry between the characters scattered throughout. And it all began one morning sitting at the kitchen table while my mom read to me from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
I’m sponsoring a giveaway today. The grand prize is the two-book set of Orson’s Folly stories – Lifeline Echoes and Elusive Echoes along with five stories of your choice from this list:
1. Kim (Wayward Soul)
2. Jean (Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights)
3. Bri Clark (Cafe Seduzione)
4. Stephanie Taylor (Lucky For Her)
5. Stephanie Taylor (The Picture)
6. Kay Springsteen (Heartsight)
7. Lisa Kumar (Through the Rabbit Hole)
8. Stephanie Smith (Lizzie and the Rebel)
9. Monique O’Connor James (The Keepers)
10. J. Gunnar Grey (Deal with the Devil, part one)
11. Felicia Rogers (The Perfect Rose)
12. Kristine Cheney (Spartan Heart, part one)