I Love Jude Deveraux

1991 - Read my very first romance novel by Jude Deveraux
1991-1996 - wrote my own time travel romance, Return of the Rose
1997 - Joined RWA
1998 - 2009 - wrote at least 15 novels (time travel, contemporary, romantic suspense)
2003- 2008 - Finaled six times in RWA's Golden Heart Competition and signed with two agents
2009 - 2010 - Decided to kill some characters off. Wrote my first thriller, Abducted
2011 - Self published in March, 2011
2012 - Signed my first publishing agreement with Thomas & Mercer
2013 - Sold a half a million books and became a NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

2013 - Met Jude Deveraux!!!!

I recently returned from Kansas City after attending my very first Romantic Times Convention. I will be blogging about all of that in a few days.

More importantly, though, I met Jude Deveraux and I feel as if I have come full circle in my writing career.

I'm not one of those people who gets overly excited to spot a celebrity in the airport. But when my husband pointed out that my idol, Jude Deveraux, was signing books not too far away from where I was signing on Saturday May 4th at the Sheraton in Kansas City, I quickly ran off to meet her.

It's really weird to think that ONE person can change your life. What if I had never read A Knight in Shining Armor? Would I have become a writer? Sadly, I don't think so.

"The moment I read the last page, I knew I wanted to be a writer."

It all happened twenty years ago when I was pregnant with my fourth and last child and on leave of absence from work. My sister handed me Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor and for the next few hours I was taken away to another world. The escapism and the joy I felt while reading AKISA was something I had never experienced before. I was so connected with the characters, Douglass and Nicholas. I cried and I laughed and the moment I read the last page, I knew I wanted to be a writer, too. I loved watching the heroine, Douglass Montgomery, slowly develop a backbone. She grew right before my eyes and I knew whatever life tossed her way, she would be okay. She found true love and she would find it again. I literally have chills just thinking about the story. There are so many great scenes, simple everyday events like making brownies come to mind, and seeing Dougless fall to her knees, overcome with emotion.

It's a special writer and a special book that can do that to someone...conjure up feelings so strong that they are literally life changing. That's what happened to me.

How about you? What life changing books have you read in your lifetime?