Friday, March 16, 2012

When it all started....

I stopped by a garage sale in my neighborhood last Saturday.

In the driveway was a box of a few books. As I was looking through them, the lady managing the sale told me, "There are a bunch of other books over here too if you're interested."

I walked over, and yeah, I barely could control my grin.


I bought 15 books from that garage sale at .25 cents each. Most all in like-new condition. (most of these weren't ones I would have purchased new anyway, but for a quarter I'd give them a try, so no writer's guilt...)

The writer I am had to ask who the reader of the house was. Come to find out, it was an elderly woman who was "downsizing" and moving into an apartment/assisted living.

Instantly my mind went to my own grandma. Memories of going to her house and searching her bookshelf flooded my heart. My grandma's bookshelf held my first taste of Christian Fiction, Janette Oke, Lori Wick, and Grace Livingston Hill, to be exact.

A few years ago, my grandparents moved into a nursing home/assisted living facility, and my mother salvaged a few of the books for me from the similar garage sale.  There are no words to tell you how special those books are to me. They are how I fell in love with books, they are what birthed the dream of being a writer someday.

Sometimes, in all the craziness of everything, I like to pick one of them up, snuggle up with a blanket, and read one of those "old" books of grandma's. They make me smile, they made me remember, and they make me appreciate the journey.

Because this writing life IS a journey, a crazy, fun, scary, wild, sweet, wonderful journey.

It also makes me appreciate anew the simple act and pleasure of reading a book.

Those "non"-bookies don't always understand this emotional connection we have to a book. It doesn't really make a lot of sense. But it's special. I can't aptly put it into words (oddly enough!) but it just plain is!

Discussion: What was your first "memorable" book you read? Who inspired YOUR writing journey at it's infant stage?

Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and a contemporary romance author. She recognizes that life can be frustrating and just plain not fun sometimes, but believes that laughter and smiles can make the not-so-fun a little better! She blogs about the amazing things God has been doing and her journey as a busy momma of 4 and caregiver to a daughter with a rare congenital heart defect at She is represented by the fab agent, Rachelle Gardner, and her debut novel, Sandwich, With a Side of Romance, releases in September 2012.


Arieth said...

I also love books. The best book I read as a teenager was a book about the second world war. Chosen to live. It is written Dobschiner Ruth. You know it? For this book I stayed up all night. That was the first time a book kept me from sleep.

Here a link to Ruth's story on Youtube (english)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Books have held high importance in my family. I can remember my family gathered around the fireplace while my dad read the Chronicles of Narnia to us. I remember my grandmother giving me her copy of her favorite book, The Girl of the Limberlost, and I was in heaven. My aunt would give me bags of her books (she was a member of the Harlequin club) when I was a teenager. I'm not sure why my mom didn't say no to that, as they weren't the most "appropriate" reading for a girl my age.

So yes, I've been fed a varied diets of books throughout the years and it has only whetted my appetite for me.

Jeanne T said...

This is a fun post, Krista. :) One of my earliest books read and loved was Little Women. I have vivid memories of my mom getting lost in her books, lying on our family room couch. Somehow she stayed oblivious to the antics of three girls. I'm still not sure how she did that. :)

I read Ann McCaffrey and lots of other authors (good and not so good) as a teen. My first Christian fiction was Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series.

The book that inspired me to be a writer was a "naughty" book I read when I was thirteen. It shall remain nameless. :)

Lindsay Harrel said...

Ah, there are so many, but I loved the Anne of Green Gables series. It touched my imagination and helped me dream. And of course, Anne herself is a writer...

Joanne Sher said...

I have a guess what that book might be, Jeanne (just have to say that LOL).

I always loved to read, but the first Christian fiction I read was Left Behind - cuz I didn't become a Christian until '99.

As a kid, I loved just about anything I could get my hands on. Fun post, Krista!

Unknown said...

Krista, I smiled sooo much at your post because I used to borrow books from my Grandma every time I went to visit. Good ol' Janette Oke, Lori Wick, Gilbert Morris, etc. The Love Comes Softly series is the first "adult" series I remember reading.

I'm grateful to both my parents and my grandparents for encouraging not only my love of reading, but also writing.

Rebecca Gomez said...

I always liked reading (thanks to Dr. Seuss and Shell Silverstein when I was little), but the book that really turned me into a "book person" was Watership Down. I read it during my senior year in high school and was completely blown away!

Beth K. Vogt said...

I was one of those kids who wore out her library card reading just about anything. My first favorite "read it over and over again" book was Little Women -- and I don't remember how I came across that one. My aunt, like Sherrinda's, was a member of the Harlequin book club, and I read some of those back in the days when the kissing scenes were still tame. (Long, long ago.)
In later years, I do remember reading those books you've got pictured for this blog too

Susan Anne Mason said...


What fun to find such treasures at a garage sale!

My first writing inspirations were the Nancy Drew books. I loved those and read all the Hardy Boy books as well from my brothers bookshelf. I even tried to write my own kid's mystery as a teen!

Anne of Green Gables was the next series that hooked me, and after that it was mostly Harlequin books. But what got me wanting to write again after my kids were born was Nora Roberts! She brought the love of romance writing back to me! Though I mostly read Christian Romance now, I still have to get Nora's latest!

Thanks for the memories!


Unknown said...

This post brought back so many memories! I remember begging my mom to sign us up for the book club Heartsong Presents so that I would have a steady stream of books coming in the mail each month. It was always a happy day when that box arrived! Bliss!

That picture above holds the two authors who introduced me to Christian Fiction--Janette Oke and Lori Wick. I adore reading their books, even if my writing style has evolved into something different from that. Picking up a book and recognizing it as a pioneer from the 80s and 90s with that particular feel reminds me of when it all started, when this dream was just a seed.

Thanks for the memories!

Casey said...

I can't point to a specific book that encouraged my writing, but my reading definitely did!

I LOVE Janette Oke. Still do. There is just something about her books that I never tire of, no matter how much the market has changed and her books wouldn't sell today. I still love them and keep building my collections.

I scored the same way this last summer with several series in near-new condition. Makes my heart happy. Like this post, thanks Krista!

Ruth Douthitt said...

Where the Red Fern Grows was the first book I remember that truly inspired me.

But I was the kid curled up in the corner reading an Encyclopedia rather than a novel.

Great post!

Keli Gwyn said...

I can't remember the first book I read that impacted me. For one thing, I'm so old that thinking back that far taxes my brain. LOL For another, each book impacts me in some way.

I do remember when I discovered romance. I fell in love with Almanzo Wilder right along with Laura. I know the Litte House books aren't classified as romances, but the romance was there nonetheless. Almanzo was a hero in my book.

Next came Laurie in Little Women. How I wanted Jo to end up with him, but alas she didn't. That experience convinced me of the importance of happy, hope-filled endings.

I discovered Christian romance when I picked up my first Grace Livingston Hill novel. I devoured them in my twenties and owned used copies of durn near all of them at one point.

Krista Phillips said...

Oh, I've LOVE LOVE reading all your stories of your "inspiration" books!

Prior to my grandma's books, I was a big reader still, just not Christian fiction. When I was REALLY little, I think I read every LIttle Golden book ever published. Then I moved on to what I loving call the "die" books.

Anyone read those? ... there is a link to them.

Looking back, I have no clue why I had such a fascination with them. I bawled through each and every one of them. Most contain a dying or ill teen that has to face death and love.

That's what I was reading when I found my grandma's books. WOW what a difference!!!

NOt that the others were bad... but I'm glad God brought me books filled with HIS home.

Then when I was 17, I read Redeeming Love, closely followed by the Mark of the Lion series.

Yeah, by then I was completely hooked and brainstorming my OWN first Christian romance:-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

Robin Jones Gunn is one of the first authors who got me "hooked" on Christian fiction. And now to be represented by the same agency? Yeah, I pretty much NEVER thought that would happen!

Mary Vee Writer said...

My inspiration: A unique mission's trip to a Crow reservation here in Montana. Went home, wrote, had a sale in a short time.
So hooked after that, and am glad.

First books fell in love with, Ray Bradbury back in 5th grade.

Heather Hart said...

Okay, Lori Wick is my all time FAVORITE author! Her writing is amazing and she simply inspires me. I have read every book she has ever written, and I use to own most of them, but had to downsize myself so I got rid of them :( I do miss them though!

Janette Oak actually inspired me to start writing again because I read one of her books and it just left me completely unsatisfied - I loved the plot and story outline, it just didn't seem to be...enough? So I re-wrote it, lol.