Friday, February 22, 2013

To My Inspirations, With Love

By Lena Hart

I would have never guessed, at the tender age of six, that I would become an avid reader growing up, much less a writer. I was a struggling reader and the impatience and constant displeasure from my 1st grade teacher made me hate reading. But that all changed on summer when my older sister forced me to turn off the television and pick up a book. It was then that I became an avid reader and my love for writing evolved with the added interference, encouragement, and creativity of these other inspirational people.

First I have to thank my sister, Sandra, for pushing me into picking up a book. After the trauma of learning to read, I never voluntarily chose to read a book. But that all changed the summer before I entered middle school when my sister dragged me to the public library and forced me to check out a book. At the time, I resented her for it but after picking up my first Goosebumps book, I realized I was missing out.

RL Stine’s Goosebumps and Fear Street series really changed the way I viewed reading. I would have never realized I could enjoy reading as much as I do if it weren’t for his stories of magic and the supernatural. His books opened a whole new world for me and I have to praise Stine’s imagination for helping me become an enthusiastic reader.

But not long after, I moved on to more “adult” books and read my first romance novel by Amanda Quick. After reading Seduction, I fell in love with the genre. I consumed as many romance novels as my little library card could hold. Love stories became my source of hope and inspiration when adolescence became too much to deal with. Romance transported me to another world where there was always a happily ever after.

Eventually, my passion for writing was awoken by my creative 8th grade Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Cohn, who made every lesson interesting and fun. Her first writing assignment for us was to write a screenplay with just five characters. We created character sketches, detailing out their features and personalities. I went on to write a children’s book, drawing my own illustrations, and also a short story in that class and had too much fun writing them!

And though I went on to write and daydream stories for fun, it was my 11th grade AP English teacher, Ms Shahandeh (a literary drill Sargent) who turned me a strong critical reader and writer. She introduced us to compelling and complex literature and helped me develop my writer’s thick skin. She was tough but she was exactly what I needed.

Now many years later, I’m a newly published romance author who can only begin to imagine how bleak and boring life would have been if it weren’t for these inspiring individuals opening up a new world for me. With much love, and many thanks.

Lena Hart’s debut novella, BECAUSE YOU LOVE ME, is currently available and her next novella, BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE will be released by Secret Cravings Publishing this spring. To learn more about Lena and her work, visit or find her rambling at


  1. Let's hear it for Big Sisters everywhere. (Yes, I'm one.) I'm glad Sandra dragged you to the library. I am happy to say that I too dragged my sisters to the library, and now I drag my nieces and nephews. One of my sisters is published and is one of my nephews. I am very proud and I talk full credit, as all Big Sisters should. Congratulations, Lena. Regards to Sandra.--maria

  2. PS-- and of course, I can't spell. The Writer's Curse. Taking full credit again. --m