I’ve always been a writer at heart. From a young age, I loved to read. I excelled at English and History subjects in school, and actually enjoyed learning about sentence structure and the American Revolution. My favorite place to be was the library. Each week I’d come home with bags filled with books. From the Sweet Valley books, to Fear Street, to classic literature and magazines, I read whatever I could get my hands on.

My mother owned a pristine collection of Harlequin novels, displayed on a shelf in our living room. I was in high school by then, so I was curious about them. I was told NOT to touch those novels under any circumstances—which I of course ignored. (I was a teenaged girl, after all!) The content of these books gave me my first glimpse at romantic fiction.

At the age of sixteen, I picked up Night Song by Beverly Jenkins. When I read this book, my mind was literally BLOWN. It depicted African Americans during Reconstruction, a time period I was already fascinated with, and contained a balance between historical facts and a beautiful love story. I think that is the day the writer inside me blossomed. Alas, I didn’t get serious about writing until many years later – but that’s where it all began.

Book List in Order: 41 titles