Guest Post: I Became a Writer Because of Emilie Loring

I wonder how often Emilie Loring’s readers are inspired to write their own fiction? Our guest writer and I met one hundred posts ago (!), when I first started blogging. We bonded over Emilie Loring and learned that we both tried to write books like our favorite author’s. Today, Kate shares her story with us: 

“I read Emilie Loring all the time.”

If you had told me when I was 14 that I would become a writer, I would have laughed at you. My mother, who was also my teacher, would have as well. I was not someone who liked writing. Of any sort. But then one magical day, I was at the public library with my mother and sister, and my mother ventured into the adult fiction. She came back with what was to be my first Emilie Loring book. That book has become one of my favorites: Here Comes the Sun! From there on, it became a whirlwind romance for me as I consumed every Loring book my library had. I honestly think I read every single one of her books in that library. Give or take one or two.

Not only did I fall in love with an author, but Emilie Loring’s books are what started me on the path to becoming a writer. I became enchanted with Mrs. Loring’s style of writing; marvelous descriptions of scenery from flower gardens and estates to elaborate dinners that made my mouth water, charming and handsome heroes, heroines with moxie, the chance to visit new and exotic places like Maine and New England (it was exotic to me who lives in California), exciting plots and patriotism, and romance. Pretty much every reason mentioned in the guest post Guest Post: Seven Reasons Why I Love Emilie Loring. Oh and romance. I mustn’t forget the romance. I think Emilie Loring put me on the path to being a hopeless romantic despite still being single at 35.

Painted in Waterlogue
“So I started my first romance story”

So at fourteen I became a bona fide lover of anything Emilie Loring, and needless to say, I wanted to emulate her writing. So I started my first romance story ever. There was a girl, there was a guy who had to marry her (I was never sure why), he owned a fancy schmancy restaurant in Sonora, California, there was a suspenseful plot that never took off, a reason why they were not really in love but had to move in together. There was plotting in my mind and typed up pages. It was bad. It was really quite terrible. It never became anything more than about 5-6 pages of immature writing.

“I think I have come into my own.”

However, those first pages were what started me on the path to writing romance, and being a writer period. While my first pages were a form of copying Mrs. Loring’s style, over the years I think I have come into my own, so that while it has themes of Mrs. Loring, it is distinctly my own. If there is one thing that I appreciate most about Mrs. Loring’s writing, it is her descriptions of the seasons, landscapes, and flower gardens. I feel like I’ve been transported into some charming setting. That is something I try to repeat in my own way, the California way, because while I would like to write about New England and all its charms, I have never been there.

To quote one of my favorite descriptions from Here Comes the Sun!

“I appreciate most… her descriptions of the seasons, landscapes, and flower gardens.”

“The color along the enclosing brick wall had changed, she noticed. The pinks and blues of the week before were being supplanted rapidly by the crimson and gold of autumn flowers. Scarlet gladioli, red cockscomb, clumps of nasturtiums running the gamut of shades from claret to lemon, nuggets of golden-glow, the orange heads of calendulas, the yellow and bronze blossoms of marigolds nodded and swayed. The fragrant breeze which came straight from a thousand pines was snappy with a premonition of September.”

That is a style of description I try to emulate, though I can never do it with the grace of Emilie. Sigh. I do try. I also try to come up with exciting plots full of suspense and romance, but I haven’t achieved the right recipe yet. As I like to joke, I write a lot of plotless novels. I also gain some encouragement by the fact that Emilie didn’t start writing till she was 50. I have at least started. If by the time I’m 50 I have published, well then, I’m doing okay.

Dust-jacketed Loring paperbacks for travel

Even if I am not a published writer, I still write. All the time. And I read Emilie Loring all the time. She is my favorite author, much to the disgust of my local library. I have yet to figure out why they detest having vintage books on a shelf. I have my cherished hardbacks for at home and my scrapbook, dust-jacketed paperbacks for when I travel. An Emilie Loring is never far away for that inspiration I need as I tap out part of a story. And while I’ve never finished my own novel, I write a lot of flash fiction that I hope captures some of the spirit of my inspiration.

Emilie Loring is the epitome of a classic writer. In today’s standards, I would say an Emilie Loring is like a really good Hallmark movie. Okay, I actually think that Emilie Loring writes much better stories than Hallmark, but I’m very prejudiced about the time period in the books. If I ever succeed in completing anything to her level of writing it will be a good day.

Version 2
“Emilie Loring’s books have inspired me the most”

As a writer, I read a lot, learning techniques and styles from every author I read, from point of view to descriptions. Emilie Loring’s books have inspired me the most and they continue to inspire me each time I read something and think “I can do that.” I like to think that had it not been for my mother pulling out that first Emilie Loring book I may have never become a writer.

We’ll count on Kate to let us know when her first book is published. Until then, see more of her writing (with many references to Emilie Loring!), book reviews, and photography at her blog, Kate’s Bookshelf

Do you have an Emilie Loring experience to share? If you would like to write a guest post, drop me a note, and we’ll make it happen: 





10 thoughts on “Guest Post: I Became a Writer Because of Emilie Loring

  1. Good luck with your writing! I began twelve years ago. My work doesn’t resemble Emilie Loring’s. But what I got from reading her at age fourteen was the genre. I grew up reading mysteries. Now, I pick up an Emilie book every now and then and study her work as a writer. Study how she uses setting, description in particular. I truly treasure these books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. vicki, thank you so much. I totally understand what you mean about treasuring Emilie’s books. It’s nice to have older authors that you can study their work and take from it various things. I think I am always trying to find mysteries that match the quality of Emilie’s, but I have yet to find something that isn’t so full of modern themes. I always liked the clean themes. Good luck with your writing as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I was also going to mention that I haven’t yet read Here Comes the Sun! I look forward to it! I still have about 20 of her books left to read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh the delight of 20 books left to read. I could probably go back through all of them, especially ones I haven’t read in years and it would be like Christmas. I love the themes of Here Comes the Sun. The first two chapters get you hooked. I’d say more, but I’d give away all the fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post because I can totally relate. As a recent Loring reader, I can’t say she was the author who inspired me to write, but I do spend a lot of time writing love stories. I’m not published and don’t know if I ever will be…not even sure whether or not I’ll try. I mostly write sweet romance stories for my own enjoyment and to help me grow as a writer because it’s a hobby I enjoy and want to improve at. I do get inspiration from all my favorite authors, including Loring, but I also get inspiration from dreams, thoughts, internet stories, and everyday observations. I base my stories in all kinds of settings and time periods, but I really do love the era Loring wrote in. I also have noticed that libraries tend to like to stay up-to-date and rarely have vintage books, which I think is sad. I’d love a library that had everything old and new to search through, but at least used bookstores often have the older books. I love the fact that it was your mother handing you an Emilie Loring book that got you into writing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that with my kids! I will definitely check out your blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfect: “I’d love a library that had everything old and new to search through.” And I have great respect for ventures undertaken for growth and enjoyment. That’s quality of life, right there!


    2. I know what you mean about writing stories for your own enjoyment. Every week I write with a group of women and half the time it is the start of something, but rarely do I work on it more than that week. But I like sometimes just having that story for myself. It is a hobby sometimes. Okay, more so because I don’t actually make any profits from it. 😛 It sounds like you are like me. I have inspiration all around me and sometimes it’s hard to turn off the “ooh I want to write about a, b, or c.” Libraries do like to stay up to date, so I am trying to slowly build my Loring collection. Thank goodness for used bookstores! And I still always love that it was my Mom that gave me that first book. I wonder how she feels about it. I mentioned it the other day, but didn’t ask her. And thank you so much for your comments. Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean about it being hard to turn off the “ooh I want to write about a, b, or c.” It’s come to the point where even my kids are like, “Mom, you should write a story about that!” I have read my 12 yo daughter a few of my stories. My sister and her mother-in-law read two, and my mom read one. Mostly, I tend to guard them closely! My 15 yo son, who is not at all into romance, likes to sneak up behind me while I’m typing. If I don’t click off of it quickly enough, he starts reading it aloud just to annoy me! Yet, even he gives me ideas for stories (I’ve written at least two or three based on his ideas, and he has helped me name a few characters). While my family sometimes gets annoyed at me for spending too much time at the computer, I love that they support me in my hobby. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Debbie, my family is the same as yours, giving me ideas to write about. Usually I write them down for later, but most of the time it’s actually something they said that gets my mind going and I ‘blank out’ while they are talking. I guard stories very tightly too, sometimes wanting to share them, but it not being the right time. I read most at my writing group where they are very accepting. I think that’s funny about your 15 yo son! I remember one time my mother coming up behind me when I was writing on the family computer, long ago, and her being shocked at what I wrote. I got very guarded after that. Ah family, helpful, and funny, and exasperating when it comes to writing.

        Liked by 1 person

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