As part of #LoveAtTheLibrary, we’re asking our authors to share why they love their libraries. Check back over the next few weeks to read their thoughts and remember to follow Mills & Boon to see all the romantic displays!
Anyone who’s been following my writing career (hello mum!) knows my first foray into the world of Mills & Boon began when I was twelve and my great-aunt Myra left a copy of Penny Jordan’s Blackmailed in my bedroom. I have no idea how many times I read that books; dozens at the least. It was a few more years before I discovered something even more wonderful – that my local library had shelves and shelves of Mills & Boon books. It was like discovering paradise!
From that moment on I would take the bus after school a couple of times a week to Stony Stratford library. Oh, how I loved that place. I’d been borrowing books from there since I was a small child but now I was deemed old enough and trusted enough by my parents to go there alone. It was one of my favourite places on earth.
Having graduated from the children’s section on the ground floor, I now joined the grown-up delights of the first floor. How mature I felt, walking up those stairs with my schoolbag slung over my shoulder and my school uniform on! I would find a table and take out all my school books, then surreptitiously select a Mills & Boon book. Anyone looking at me would think I was revising for exams or doing homework, which is what my parents believed (I always remembered to keep a pen in my hand and an open exercise book to my side) and not devouring as much of a Mills & Boon book as I could before my mum collected me. If she came and I hadn’t finished reading, I would shove the book back on the shelf but try and hide it so no-one else would be tempted to take it out before I could come back and finish it.
I spent over a year reading them this way. I never dared actually borrow them because I was convinced the kindly librarians would be scandalised by what I was reading. That was until one of them, when I was signing a different, non-scandalous book out, asked me which Mills & Boon author was my favourite and I realised the entire staff knew exactly what I’d been doing! After that, I was more than happy to sign them out and read them at my own leisure. Which made my school work suffer even more because I would read them until the early hours with one hand on my bedside-light in case of Parents on Patrol, then wake bleary eyed for school the next day wondering why I felt so tired! The Lynne Graham, Michelle Reid, Susan Napier, Carole Mortimer and Sara Cravens of this world have a lot to answer for!
All these wonderful memories came back to me when Mills & Boon announced their #LoveAtTheLibrary campaign. I got in touch with Moulton Library and offered my services for their part in it. How could I not? Libraries are a place of magic. They’re a gateway to other worlds where the reader can go on an adventure, fall in love, solve a crime or break a spy-ring without having to step foot outside. And for me, libraries are a huge part of the reason I am fortunate enough to be sitting here writing this post
Thank you Michelle for taking the time to talk with us! Her latest book, Wedded, Bedded, Betrayed, is available now.