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Denise Domning
Pseudonym/s: Denise Hampton
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I like to say I got my MBA from the U of H.K. That's hard knocks, not Hong Kong. With one degree from that prestigious school under my belt, (i.e. my company took a nose dive and I couldn't get a job) I decided to go back to that same institute of higher learning for a doctorate in Medieval history, then use what I'd learned to write books. If you can't see the connection between an entrepreneur and an author, look more closely. All those business plans I wrote for my start-up company taught me to write novels--there is no greater fiction than a business plan for a new venture!

I had better success with writing than I did in the electrical lock business. My first Medieval novel, Winter's Heat, received the Romantic Times award for "Best First Historical Novel of 1994". That led me into a series of books that take place in the twelfth century, the time of Robin Hood and Richard the Lionheart in which I follow the lives of the five FitzHenry brothers. After Winter's Heat came Summer's Storm. This was followed by Spring's Fury, which was nominated for "Best Medieval of 1995", while Autumn's Flame was nominated for the same award for 1996. Kristin Ramsdall of the Library Journal lists the final book of the series, A Love For All Seasons on her recommended reading list, including it in the Library Journal's 1997 annual publication "What Do I Read Next".

From there I thought I'd dabble a little with the Elizabethans. Publisher's Weekly liked Lady in Waiting, the first of these two books, calling it "well written, well researched, with an accurate portrayal of Elizabeth I". Lady in White, an Elizabethan ghost story, followed in October, 1999.

I've since found my way back to the Middle Ages, now the thirteenth century instead of the twelfth, and a new series for Avon Books, along with a new name. The first book, The Warrior's Damsel appears on store shelves May, 2001. And my new name, chosen through an incredibly scientific method that included numerology and a pendulum, came from Hampton Court Palace in England.

The second book in the series will be on shelves in February, 2002. It tells the story of Josce FitzBaldwin, Rafe's friend from The Warrior's Damsel. I'd share the title, but the book doesn't have one yet. I'm terrible when it comes to naming my own books. It was my stepdaughter, Amberly, who came up with the original names for the Graistan series, which Topaz then changed into what they are today. Since Amber didn't get a chance at the titles for this series, I've let Avon Books and my editor name these books. We'll all have to wait and see what it is, I guess.

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Photo: Denise Domning
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