The Author That Started my Love for Reading
I was on the school bus being completely ignored by my friend who had her nose stuck in a book. Here I was flapping my gums with zero responses from her. This was completely foreign to me as no one prior to this ever leaned back in the seat with their legs bent up, pressing their knees to the seat in front with a book perched on their lap. Not unless it was a last-minute study cram for a test that day.
Finally, tired of being ignored I shifted her book so I could see the title "V.C Andrews - My Sweet Audrina. What's so interesting about it?" I demanded to know.
She lifted her head and started to tell me about it. It wasn't what I had wanted to chat about for the last twenty minutes but at least she was engaging with me. In the end it was her that had my full attention.
That evening I told mom about the book. Mom was an avid reader and was always trying to encourage me to read more. I guess my interest in a book that was more than twenty pages long or wasn't a Scooby-Doo or Archie comic made her happy, for when she returned home from work the next day, to my delight she handed me my first hardcover novel.
So excited I raced to the living room and curled up on the big comfy chair and started to read. Me being a newbie to a book without pictures I was instantly struggling with following the lines. Mom must have noticed, or maybe I complained, for she handed me a bookmark telling me to use that to guide me. I turned the bookmark sideways as instructed, placing it under the first line sliding it down as I went along.
The next day with nearly one chapter under me I got on the school bus joining my friend and mirrored her sit. I leaned back in the seat sliding my bottom to the edge. I lifted my legs and pressed my knees to the seat before me. Opening my new hardcover book and arming myself with my handy bookmark I began to read.
By the end of the week the bus had grown quieter as I got lost in this world that lived between the front and back cover, and I no longer needed the bookmark for anything more than holding my page.
I fell in love with reading with that first book. The images that played in my mind as the storyline moved along was something that amazed me. I had no idea that a book could allow you to tune out the world around you and just play everything out in your mind like it did. I was hooked!
Eventually, the same friend that got me into reading had finished her book and started V.C Andrews - Flowers in the Attic. I was super excited to check it out but I was even more impressed with myself as I saw my first book approaching the end. I couldn't believe that I had read nearly an entire book! I did however start prepping my mother for my next great read telling her the few details my friend had provided me of Flowers in the Attic. My mother, taking my hint, and of course thrilled to see me enjoying a novel, bought me my second hardcover.
For those of you that don't know V.C Andrews works her stories, at least the ones I read generally were dark stories about a family - Always involved a family secret, a tragedy, and some form of forbidden love. Probably not appropriate for the age of eleven or twelve us girls were when we started reading them, but they kept us interested.
That Christmas mom completed the series by giving me Petals on the Wind (1980), If There Be Thorns (1981), Seeds of Yesterday (1984), and Garden of Shadows (1986). I loved seeing all my beautiful books, all in hardcover with their great cover sleeves lined on the bookcase of my headboard that previously held a mug of ice water at bed, along with some trinkets.
I read a few more series of V.C Andrews gifted to me by my mother, Heaven being my next series, followed by the Dawn series, and finally the Ruby series inside all the other authors I started to read. I was loyal to her. I loved her books.
My last gifted V.C Andrews book was Olivia, but I had long since started exploring other authors. Though V.C Andrews had given me my love of reading I had moved on. Mom must have known as she only bought me the first book in that series. To this day I have still have not read it.
Somewhere in the middle of the first series I was reading - Flowers in the Attic - my friend told me that V.C Andrews had passed and her family was writing her books - that it wasn't V.C Andrews that had written them at all - Not entirely accurate. It wasn't until I hit my adult years and the next generation was still reading her work that I discover that she had passed away in1986 from breast cancer, and her family hired a ghostwriter to complete the manuscripts she had. The last two books considered to be written by her but completed by Andrew Neiderman were: Garden of Shadows (1986) - the final book of in the Flowers in the Attic series, and Fallen Hearts (1988) - the third book in the Heaven Series.
I want to thank V.C Andrews (Cleo Virginia Andrews) and Andrew Neiderman for your work gave to me my love of books, and in that, my dream of writing. I am not sure at such a young age if that first book had not of sucked me in if I would ever have developed my love of reading.
What Author or book gave you your love of reading?