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Judith Arnold
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When I was a child, I never really thought about becoming an author. Creating stories was simply something I did, like eating, sleeping and hanging out with my friends. I could not remember a time when my mind wasn't full of stories begging to be put into words. Even before I knew how to write, I used to tell myself bedtime stories when I couldn't find an adult to tell me one.

I still have a copy of my first short story, written when I was six. It told the tale of a lonely bear. None of the other animals in the forest wanted to play with him. Then he met a boy, and they became friends and lived happily ever after.

I went on to write countless stories, poems and theater pieces. I wrote the fourth grade class play. In sixth grade, I wrote an award-winning poem honoring National Dental Week. As a teenager, I wrote dozens of short stories about adolescent angst, as well as free-verse poetry railing against war, oppression, hypocrisy and other great evils. I wrote for my high school's creative writing magazine and edited the school newspaper. But it never occurred to me that I might actually become an author.

In college, I wrote a play that won a money prize and was produced on campus. I took this as a sign and decided to become a playwright. Over the next ten years, I wrote several plays and had them professionally produced at regional theaters around the country. All the while, I continued to write short stories and novels.

Eventually I burned out on theater work. It required me to travel, usually at my own expense, to the theaters staging my work, and once there I had to deal with directors, actors and producers who all wanted to rewrite my scripts. Since I found it nearly impossible to earn a living as a playwright, I also taught bonehead English at a couple of local colleges. My husband dared me to take a year off from teaching to see if I could write and sell a novel.

How much did I dislike teaching bonehead English? So much that I planted myself at my typewriter and wrote non-stop, one eye on the page and the other on the calendar. Before the year was up, I had sold a romance novel to Silhouette Books.

That first novel, Silent Beginnings, came out in October, 1983. My first son also came out in October, 1983. Needless to say, it was an eventful month. Since then, I've written more than seventy-five novels which have been published by Silhouette, Second Chance at Love, and Harlequin's Temptation, American and Superromance lines. (See Booklist.) I'm now writing single-title women's fiction for Mira Books. Nine books after Silent Beginnings, right between False Impressions and Flowing to the Sky, I also gave birth to a second son.

My family lives in a small town not far from Boston, Massachusetts. My three boys-one husband and two sons-take good care of me. They make me laugh and keep me supplied in chocolate. Since chocolate and laughter are essential to my creativity, I guess they deserve a little credit for my having become an author.

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Photo: Judith Arnold
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