I’m a dog person. Who lives with 10 cats. Get the picture?
My first brush with the romance genre happened in my high school junior year. I discovered Gone With the Wind and hid it behind my American history book to read during class. (The Civil War is American history.) The ambiguous ending left me dissatisfied, though. Rhett and Scarlet needed a happily-ever-after. Believing in happily-ever-afters positively screams romantic-at-heart.
On the other hand, I love murder and mayhem as much as happily-ever-after. My usual television fare is fiction and nonfiction crime shows, not love stories. Which accounts for the mysteries I sneaked into my historical romances. Now I’m trying my hand at writing a humorous mystery, sans historical and sans emphasis on the love interest. I even prepared for my mystery-in-progress by attending the local NRA’s Pistol School. Shooting pistols is great fun. I adore the .22 semiautomatics.
After graduating from high school without distinction, I earned both Bachelor and Master degrees at a state college. Again, without distinction. I held several part-time jobs during my college days: file clerk in an insurance company, long-distance telephone operator, kimono-wearing waitress in a Japanese restaurant.
And then I began my teaching career, eighteen years in the eighth grade and thirteen years at the high school. Weary with the same old routine, I decided I needed a creative outlet. So I decided to write a romance novel but only managed to talk about writing one. After five years of listening to me, a friend said to stop talking and start writing.
So I did.
I made every mistake known to man. Blunder would be a more appropriate word, but I did learn using the trial and error method. As well as studying the works of authors I admired.
After five years of writing for nothing but love, I sold my first novel. Since then, I’ve sold eighteen novels and won several awards— National Readers’ Choice Award New England Readers’ Choice Award, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice and KISS Awards, B. Dalton and Bookrak Awards for best-selling author. My novels have been translated into fifteen languages and sold in twenty countries.
If I had my life over, would I become a writer? Nope. I would enjoy being a Victoria Secret model. Perhaps in my next incarnation I won’t be too old, too short, or too unphotogenic.