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Eye On Romance
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Ann Major

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Marriage at the Cowboy's Demand
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Roxanne St. Claire
Pseudonym/s: Rocki St. Claire-chick-lit
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First of all, let’s not go back too far. I grew up in Pittsburgh, moved away at 17 to attend UCLA, led a colorful existence in California, I legally changed my last name from Zink to St. Claire because a TV producer asked me to, had bit parts in two well-known sitcoms (also because a TV producer asked me to), took off to Boston for a fabulous career in PR, met my husband in an elevator while I was climbing the corporate ladder, and moved from Massachusetts to Florida in a moment of insanity that hasn’t ended. After spending most of my adult life promoting and publicizing everything from solid state rectifiers (they are not what you think) to Free Fry-days at Burger King (they are what you think), I sent a mind-bogglingly brilliant marketing plan to a client with the cover note that said, “Read it and weep.” That night, I read the last page of a mind-bogglingly brilliant romance novel, closed the book, and I did weep. Not because of the heart-wrenching ending, and certainly not because I thought I could do better. But because in my heart, I knew I didn’t want to write about target audiences, strategic objectives or public relations tactics anymore. I wanted to write about love and danger and a cast of characters who existed only in my mind. I wanted it so much that I did the one thing that all aspiring novelists are told NOT to do: I quit my day job. In early 2000, I slid out of my panty hose and power-suits, fired my nanny, shredded my Bloomingdale’s credit card, set my alarm to 4:45 AM and spent the pre-dawn hours of the next six months writing my first book, before my children opened their eyes and demanded my attention. I had no idea you could have so much fun in front of a computer. And certainly not at that ungodly hour. When I finished my romantic suspense, I began the process of submitting it to editors and agents and had no idea how painful a form rejection letter could be. I eventually won enough writing contests to attract the attention of a literary agent. On January 28, 2002, at 3:27 PM, I got the call that Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books wanted to buy my romantic suspense. My baseball-loving son proclaimed that I’d been drafted by the Yankees and I had to agree. Since then, I’ve written about a dozen books for two publishers, in three sub-genres, under two slightly different names. I’ve immersed myself into the world of commercial publishing and have convinced my two children, devoted husband, and all my neighbors that I’m famous.

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Photo: Roxanne St. Claire
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