Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Confession of a Romance Reader

I once read a story (by Nora Roberts) about two photographers who teamed up on a cross-country road trip, taking pictures for a photo-essay book about America. It’s been so long that I don’t even remember the title, but the story and characters stayed with me in a recessed corner of my mind.

The feeling of awe, the shared sense of wonder between the characters, the romance of our country as portrayed by the author, is something I’ve remembered ever since I read the book more than six years ago. I can’t remember the title, but I will never forget how that story made me feel.

Breathless. Excited. Inspired by the simple beauties that exist outside my very own front door.

Nora Roberts is a master storyteller. For all that I’d NEVER let my kids read one of her books because of sexual content, I love her style. And I can admit that before I discovered YA, I went through a phase when I devoured her work. Certain books of hers moved me, changed me. And ever since the photographer-road-trip story, I’ve wanted to take a similar drive. One in which I could stop to experience a little taste of everywhere America. The cheesy, the beautiful, the amazing.

And then fate stepped in.

My husband was sent across the country for a lengthy, intensive training for which he needed a car. And because of the length and distance, he invited me to drive with him (because he’s sweet like that). I thought of the book—even though it was years ago—and remembered to take pictures. Of everything. Lots of them. We stopped to see small stuff, and big stuff, and cool places, and streets with names that made us laugh. We drove more than 2,500 miles in one week.

We saw America.

We would’ve made the drive anyway. But would it have been as enjoyable? Did a book I read years ago enhance or encourage or in some way affect my experiences on the road? And more, did it affect my husband’s experience?

I think it did. And I’m grateful. I want to be the author who moves people to think harder, to see a different view of things, to take chances. I want to help people learn how to soak up more of their own experiences.

It’s my ultimate goal. What do you think? Realistic? Crazy? What’s your ultimate goal?


Carolyn V. said...

I think it's an amazing goal. I hope to be that kind of writer too. It would be awesome. =)

ali said...

What a beautiful goal. And yes, absolutely doable. YOU are a fabulous writer, Nichole. Your books will touch people's hearts. I know it.

(And I'm a closet NR fan too!)