5 Romance Writers Share Their Author Inspirations

It's the most wonderful (read: anguished) time of the year for writers: NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. For the non-initiated, NaNoWriMo is a 30-day challenge that encourages writers to complete a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. Yep — it's harder than it sounds. Luckily, Bustle will be providing NaNoWriMo tips and tricks all month long, and today, I have a fun one for the romance readers among us. Five bestselling romance novelists told us all about the one romance writer who inspires them to write their best work.

New York Times bestsellers Christina Lauren, Laura Griffin, Jennifer Probst, JT Ellison, and Alice Clayton are all readers, first and foremost. They've already told us about how they write sex scenes, about how they create tension between characters, and about the male heroes who get their blood pumping, but this week, they dish on the authors who've inspired them to pick up a pen and write. If you're looking for more stories on romance novels, urban fantasy, and women's fiction, visit XOXO After Dark.

Christina Lauren:

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates and brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA Today, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful Bastard and Wild Seasons series, Sublime, and The House.

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"We have so many, it’s really hard to choose one. But a standout for brilliant consistency is Colleen Hoover. She is singularly amazing when it comes to building unique and compulsively readable stories. But maybe more importantly, she is just a downright wonderful human being, and when it comes to reading about relationships, you want someone you can trust emotionally behind the keyboard."

Click here to buy Beautiful by Christina Lauren.

JT Ellison:

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter.

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"There is a trick to succeeding in publishing: Do the work, and be kind to others. Two wonderful writers embody this sentiment for me: Robyn Carr and Catherine Coulter. I’ve had the honor of writing with Catherine for four years now, and she is a joy. I’ve known Robyn for years, and I’ve always admired how she keeps her head down and does the work. They are both wonderful role models, consummate professionals, and unfailingly kind."

Click here to buy No One Knows by J.T. Ellison.

Alice Clayton:

Alice Clayton worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read: laptop). She enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her.

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"I have two, and they inspire me in the same way. Both Tiffany Reisz and Ruthie Knox create complex worlds and complex themes and complex conflicts and complex characters, but they do so effortlessly. I'm not saying it is effortless for them, in fact I know they sweat and wince and cringe and tear their hair out to make sure when it makes it to that final page, the page that my eyeballs get to pour over and devour, by that time it reads as effortless. I am constantly in awe of how they make their stories so intricate and yet so effortless. It's pure talent."

Click here to buy Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton.

Laura Griffin:

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin is the author of the Tracers series, the Alpha Crew series, the Moreno & Hart series and several other novels.

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"I always look forward to a book by Kristan Higgins. Her characters are relatable, her stories are touching, and everything is sprinkled with a dash of humor. I laugh, I smile, I get weepy. When you read an author who can do all that with her words, it’s an inspiration!"

Click here to by Deep Dark by Laura Griffin.

Jennifer Probst:

Jennifer Probst’s novels, novellas, and ebooks range from sexy contemporary romance to erotica. She is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author.

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"My all-time fave romance novelist is Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who writes fabulous contemporary romances with tons of humor. She’s helped me so much in my writing career. Her stories are full of interesting, well developed characters who leap off the page. I’ve re-read her books several times and tried hard to bring this type of great quality to my own writing. I’ve also seen her speak several times at writing conferences, and she always advises to protect the work. That is the number one priority for writers—forget the negative voices, reviews, worries about sales, social media, etc, and concentrate on the writing. This has helped me tremendously."

Click here to buy Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst.

Images: Cathryn Lavery/Unsplash