Harlequin Historicals author Amanda McCabe is here to talk about an old, favourite stash - Sunfire novels!
For the last few weeks I’ve been sorting and packing my books to get ready for a move. So far I have about fifty boxes full, but the job is going very slowly because I always end up sitting on the floor by the shelves re-reading the books before they go into the box! It’s so much fun finding old friends, rediscovering gems I forgot I had, and laughing and crying over favorites. I’m sure I’ll do the same once I unpack them in the new place.
One great thing I found was my stash of old Sunfire novels. These were my introduction to historical romance (along with Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer, and old Fawcett Regencies by Marion Chesney and Joan Smith). I was in junior high when I found this line, and I loved them. I ran to the bookstore every month to get the new titles. Who needed that silly Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club when there were the Sunfires???
These books were essentially YA romances/”girl power” stories set in various American historical settings. (The Old West, the Revolutionary War, etc—there was a very wide variety, including stories centered around the War of 1812, Vegas casinos, and the Triangle factory fire). There was always a smart, independent young woman looking for her place in the world and two love interests. (You could tell which one she would choose because he was always depicted in the right side of the cover—spoiler).
My first was Emily, a rich Gilded Age New York girl who wanted to be a nurse, and impress the hunky doctor from the wrong side of the city. I also loved Victoria (the Alamo), Nicole (the Titanic, way before Leo and Kate), Danielle (the Civil War), Sabrina (the Revolution), Elizabeth (Puritan New England, though she had a heinous ‘80s perm on the cover), Merrie (Pilgrims), and of course Amanda (wagon train).
Sadly, I lost many of them in a move when I was about 15, but thanks to Ebay and library book sales I have retrieved many of them. Going through these books now takes me back to when I first discovered them, and I realize I still love heroines like the ones I found in these pages—brave, smart, willing to change, fearless in standing up for her beliefs and fighting for her love.
What are some of your earliest romance reads? How have they influenced what you read or write now? And does anyone have any tips on organized a move???
Amanda’s new book, The Winter Queen, a tale of passion, danger, and Christmas at the court of Elizabeth I, is featured on her website at http://ammandamccabe.com, along with Behind the Book historical info and dates of upcoming releases. You can also visit her on the Risky Regencies blog.