Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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!!!!

Me and Jude at RT in Kansas City - 2013

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 lifechanging. That's what happened to me.

How about you? What lifechanging books have you read in your lifetime?


Faith said...

So cool you got to meet her. But just imagine when it's your turn and someone is that excited to meet you!

Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Faith! I didn't even consider that...I can't even imagine. Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie said...

I'm a huge fan of Jude too....congrats on meeting her.

While Kathleen Woodiwiss' books were the ones to launch me firmly into the world of reading romance novels, A Knight in Shining Armor was one of the most emotional reads, ever. Laughing, crying and doing it all over again. I have at least 5 copies of the book - just in case I lose one.

I'm hoping I'll meet her someday too!


Theresa Ragan said...

Thanks, Carrie. Kathleen Woodiwiss is a favorite of mine, too. The Wolf and the Dove and Shanna and so on.

I have about five copies of A Knight in Shining Armor, too! Some with the old cover and some with the new! I do hope you can meet her and get a quick picture, too!

Fred LeBaron said...

So lovely meeting you in KC, Theresa, thanks for sharing this! My family too were thrilled to meet Jude Deveraux, and you!

Kendra said...

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I read each one several times. Finally I thought, "I can do this!" Did I even attempt a time-travel historical? No. But I wrote a contemp where my characters kept tripping over dead bodies until I realized I should be writing RS.

Denise Z said...

What a wonderful journey and awesome meeting. I would like to think I would play it cool meeting this lovely woman, but would probably dissolve in a puddle I have been a fan for so long LOL.

Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Fred, I am so happy for you and your family that you were able to meet Jude, too!

It was also so much fun running into you everywhere I went! You are loved by many!

Theresa Ragan said...

Kendra, I have not read Diana Gabaldon's books, but I need to do that!

Having your characters trip on dead bodies was a good sign that you needed to write RS!! LOL

Theresa Ragan said...

Denise, LOL. It took everything I had to stay cool... I didn't want to scare her. :)

Bindu Adai Mathew said...

How amazing is that! I have been a huge fan of Jude since high school when my high school teacher secretly told us about A Knight in Shining Armor and the Montgomery brothers! My friends and I even nicknamed one of our crushes "Nicholas" after the character. But yes, first Jude and then later, Judith McNaught, made me want to become a writer. I was able to escape a good but boring childhood and cataplulted myself into unforgettable world that left me with an incorrigible grin on my face!