RICHLAND, Wash. - Renee Riva, an author living in Richland, is exploring the romance genre with her new novels.
Riva has written more than a dozen books. She said she caught the writing bug in second grade when she won a school writing contest.
In high school she was accused of plagiarizing a ballad she wrote. Her teacher told her it was too good to be her original work.
Riva then wrote more than 500 verses while working for a greeting card company after she graduated from Washington State University.
Her picture books for children were picked up by Random House Waterbrook in 2005, but she wanted to write for a wider audience.
"I just wanted to write my own story about growing up on a island as a kid," said Riva.
She started by writing Saving Sailor in 2007. David C. Cook publishing picked up the novel and even asked for it to become a trilogy.
"My daughter grew up reading these books," a Richland resident told Riva at the Farmer's Market.
Riva said she thought she was done writing after the trilogy, but her first writing teacher, who is now 80 years old, encouraged her to continue.
Six months ago Riva began writing for Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications. The press company highlights small town, clean romances with a Christian background.
Riva said she has written a book a month, inspired by the categories the company gives her to write on. Now she has six romance books ready for young readers.
"When I write my stories I just write for kids to kind of hold out for the best, don't settle," said Riva.
She said her 35 year marriage inspires her to still believe in love and kindness. Her stories are often historical or comical and always have a happy ending.
Riva sells her books at the Richland Farmer's Market every other Friday.
Her brand new book, Reluctant Cowgirl, was just released on Amazon.
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