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:
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.
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.
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!
“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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org