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The Best of…Sia Huff

by Carol Burnside

Given the task of finding my favorite post by Sia Huff, I soon found it difficult to choose one. As a writer, I melted at her August 12th, 2013 post: A Total Fangirl Moment. I think of all the things writing does for me, this is the thing I want the most, for others to be positively affected by my writing. Sia’s post brought that into sharp focus for me, reminding me to strive for excellence, to keep in focus the goal of writing the best book I can write.

Here’s A Total Fangirl Moment by Sia Huff:
People go crazy over celebrities. Being an avid reader and aspiring writer, my swoon moments are over authors. This last July during Romance Writer’s of America © National conference here in Atlanta, I got to meet the lady who started it all for me.

First let me tell you a secret… I wasn’t a reader as a young girl. Most other writers I know gush on about their vast reading experience from girlhood. Not me. I loved stories, just somewhere between Dr. Suess and the Berenstein Bears to adult reading my interest waned. I’d try but invariably I’d set the book down unfinished. The one exception was Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series.

Then one summer day, when I was sixteen, my Dad said to my Mom, “I don’t care what it is, just get her to read.” My Mom handed over my first romance novel, Karen Robards Island Flame and magic happened. I didn’t just finish the book, I devoured Jon and Kathy’s story. Yes, I still remember the character’s name and the plot line, believe it or not. And I was hooked in a big way. I wanted more. I figured out what was missing in all my adolescent and teenage reading… romance. Ahem, except for Meg and Calvin’s sweet romance subplot in A Wrinkle in Time.

Okay, fast-forward to summer 2013. After a great workshop, I walk into a book signing and there seated on the last row toward the corner is the woman who started me on my love-of-romance books journey. The first book she wrote is the first book I read. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read since Island Flame, but it runs into the thousands. Romance is a magical escape that gives me hope and lifts my spirits until I sigh at the happily-ever-after. And Karen Robards was the catalyst. I tried not to fidget while I stood in line and talked to the person next to me, like everything was normal. But it wasn’t normal at all. I’m got to meet the woman who set me on a course which led me to my love of reading, and resulted, in turn, with me working toward becoming a published author.

Karen was lovely. We had a nice chat where she told me she appreciated me sharing my story with her. And graciously she took a picture with me. It’s wonderful when the idol you have on the shelf becomes more.

So what about you? What is the first romance novel you read? If you can’t remember, what’s your favorite?

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So about that difficulty I had choosing one… As a reader, Sia’s free read from nearly a year ago, The Final Gift stood out. Click on the link, and enjoy!


Marilyn Baron - December 10, 2013 - 7:11 am

I love this post. I especially love Sia’s father’s admonition to “teach that girl to read.” I was always an avid reader. I remember reading “The Flame and the Flower” by Kathleen Woodiwiss. But it wasn’t until I was an adult on a cruise when I wandered into the ship’s library and discovered Nora Roberts. Since then, I’ve been addicted to romance, although I read a variety of genres. I guess meeting Nora Roberts for the first time was my fan girl moment.

Pam Asberry - December 10, 2013 - 8:31 am

I love this post too, Carol. Some of my favorite “rock stars” are writers! And it is just as big a thrill to meet them. :-)

Connie Gillam - December 10, 2013 - 9:10 am

Meeting Linda Howard at my first RWA conference was my fan girl moment. I know she got tired of me waving at her everytime I saw her. LOL.

Great post!

Maxine Davis - December 10, 2013 - 10:28 am

Carol, you picked the perfect post. I, too, want to write the best I can and have someone remember it. Right, Marilyn, I read the Kathleen Woodiwiss and Jennifer Blake, etc. books and wanted to write. Sia, you said what we all seem to think. Thank you.

Carol Burnside - December 10, 2013 - 1:05 pm

I’m glad this post is resonating with others as it did me. I also remember meeting Nora and her agreeing to a picture. I was amazed that she took the time with her signing line as long as it was.

Sandra Elzie - December 10, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Great choice. I think we can all relate …as a fan of someone we can’t wait to meet some day…and as a recipient of that fan adoration. Sia, you’re a loyal fan and I applaud you.

Susan Carlisle - December 10, 2013 - 10:53 pm

This is a great post. I remember Sia stopping by my table excited about meeting Karen. There was a special twinkle in her eye and a glow about her after the meeting.

Sia Huff - December 11, 2013 - 11:59 am

Thanks, Carol. I’m so glad so many of you enjoyed this post. I think it’s because we all can relate. It certainly was a highlight for me.

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