Laura Kinsale: Romance Author Knows Her Limits and Does It Her Way, by Deborah Bouziden

New York Times Bestseller and Romance Writers of America RITA award winner Laura Kinsale may not pump out a book every year or even every two or three years, but her readers don’t care and neither does she.

“I began to write because I loved to write. That is still the only way.”

Kinsale wrote her first story in third grade. In high school, she had a story published in the school paper and then as an adult, she picked up a pen and legal pad and started writing stories while she was enmeshed in her full-time career as a petroleum geologist. Sitting on drilling rigs and pulling all-night shifts in the middle of nowhere in Texas, Kinsale decided enough was enough and traded in her hard hat for an office chair.

Even though she had no formal training in writing, her characters’ emotions and motivations were so deeply revealed that Kinsale drew a devoted readership with the release of her first book, Hidden Heart, in 1986. Writing ten books in twelve years took an emotional toll, and by the time she finished her tenth manuscript, it was as if her creative energy had packed its bags and deserted her. She tried to write by determination and perseverance, but by this time thoughts of even turning on her computer sent her into a crying heap.

While the industry demanded she turn out a certain number of books every year or so, Kinsale couldn’t force her heart and mind to do what every fiber of her being was screaming not to do. Kinsale believes writing a book takes time. For her, the characters and plot need time to ferment like a fine wine and without that time the finished product will end up flat and not worth presenting to the world. So instead of bowing to the gods of industry and their ever-increasing hunger for product, Kinsale decided to take her time, coax her Muse gently, and write the stories she wanted to write, how she wanted to write them.

Known for her dark, intense books, when Kinsale writes she doesn’t see her books in that vein. She writes characters that portray real life with real-life issues and problems. She creates her character-driven stories because she wants to reach her readers in a deep and memorable way.

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