To Writers with love
I have had a few people contact me in the past couple of years, asking me if I had any tips for them on writing a romance novel. While I have done my best, I often find myself falling back on recommending a book I started with. Namely, Mary Wibberley’s “To Writers With Love: On Writing Romantic Novels”.
Mary was a Mills & Boon writer, which is the UK equivalent to Harlequin, and she wrote stacks of the things. Funnily enough, I never read any of her actual books, (my favourite M&B author was Lynne Graham), but I found her book for aspiring writers absolutely fascinating, and I have read it several times and even revisit it every once in a while.
She had a great, chatty style and it’s almost like sitting in an old friend’s kitchen listening to her give you the benefit of her advice. In fact, I was inspired to contact her and thank her for her wisdom but google informed me she passed ten years ago in 2013. I felt really sad to read this, even though I’m pretty sure I would not have picked up my paperback copy in a charity shop until circa 2015.
In fact, I recently could not find my copy, so I bought another off eBay. It was a hardback, cheap at £3.00 odd, and when I opened it, I found it was actually a signed by the author! I was flabbergasted and very chuffed, needless to say. Mary even included a couple of lines wishing the budding writer well, I could not make out if the aspiring author’s name was Fiona, or Jillian, but I would love to know if she actually managed to write her book.
Being unable to contact Mary, I actually looked up my fave Mills & Boon writer from back in the day to tell her which of her books (“Bond of Hatred”) is my comfort read to this very day. Knowing how much it means to me when I receive emails like that, I was happy to be able to finally let her know. I also finally got around to finally bidding on a couple of Mary Wibberley novels on eBay. ☺