This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Lia Riley is the author of the New Adult series, Off the Map. She's been telling Novelicious how Outlander by Diana Gabaldon helped her fall in love with romantic fiction, and not just reading it, but creating it.
In many ways, books are my best friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an extrovert by nature. I really love being around people (makes the solitary nature of writing tricky), but fictional lives and journeys have profoundly influenced my life. It’s impossible to choose one book that changed me. There are so many. Charlotte’s Web first inspired me to read, To Kill a Mockingbird taught me about justice, Lord of Flies made me question human nature, and so on. After considerable grappling, I’ve decided to share the book that most shaped my current life, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Yes, yes, Jamie Fraser is a fetching book boyfriend, all manly kilts and red-haired splendor. However, more to the point, this is the book that started me on my journey to becoming a romance writer.
I started reading Outlander right after my second child was born. Late night nursing and diaper changing wreaked havoc on my circadian rhythms and reading helped me pass the time between midnight and 4am. I tore through my Kindle at a voracious pace and when a friend suggested Outlander, I had to get it. Here’s why:Me: I need a new book series.
Friend: Oh, read Outlander!
Me: What’s it about?
That giggle, friends, sold me. I needed to uncover the meaning of the giggle. Within 72 hours, I rang my sister.
Me: You need to read a book called Outlander.
Needless to say, the pattern repeated itself.
Soon, I was toying with my own fictional world. A few ideas were jotted down, followed by a few more. Soon I had a first page, a first chapter, and finally a first book. I fell in love with the idea of creating romantic fiction, entertaining exhausted women in the middle of the night, and passing along the gift of the giggle. Thank you to Outlander and Ms. Gabaldon for pointing me in the right direction.
Lia's latest book Inside Out, the third in the Off the Map series, is out now.