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Was I born a writer?
Absolutely not. I was born a bit of a drama queen. The very first thing I can remember wanting to be when I grew up was some kind of a missionary nun, praying and struggling away in a far off land.
I blame my tenth grade English teacher for nudging me into the writer’s life. Sister Rose Terrence insisted that I enter a short story contest sponsored by the Detroit News, and I won! I still have the dictionary with my name engraved on the cover. (The story was a romance about two teenagers who were brought together by a St. Bernard.) But at fifteen, although I had long since deep-sixed my dream of missionary work, my current goal was to become an actress when I grew up. (Note – the career path has changed, but the drama queen thing is still in play.)
Eventually, I majored in drama in college and I did become an actress. My career was short lived because I fell in love, and since my husband to be was in graduate school, I turned to teaching for a steady paycheck. (Lucky for me, I “fell” into a career that I absolutely love – every bit as much as I love writing. I suspect it’s because the teaching – standing up there in front of a room full of students – allows me to indulge my inner drama queen).
It was only after my three sons were in school that I turned my full attention to writing again.
Was I an overnight success as a writer?
Absolutely not. I wrote for seven years and received numerous rejection letters before I sold my first book. (My reaction to the rejections was always to cuddle up in the fetal position on the floor and cry. Very mature!) But I never gave up.
Finally, I sold my fourth book, C.J.’s Defense, to Harlequin, and when it was released, it made the Waldenbooks Best Seller List.
Since then I’ve written eighteen more books for Harlequin Temptation, Duets, and Blaze, and I have three more scheduled to be released in 2006. My books have been nominated for many awards, including the Holt Medallion, the National Readers Choice Award, the Award of Excellence, the Golden Quill, and Romantic Times Magazine’s Career Achievement Award in Love and Laughter. The Black Sheep, won the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Award. Most recently, Moonstruck in Manhattan won the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence and Short, Sweet and Sexy won Romantic Times Magazine’s Award for Best Temptation of the Year.
When I’m not working on my next book, I teach writing at Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College. I am a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops. (Ever the drama queen!) In my spare time, I try to keep tabs on my three sons and enjoy my latest hobbies – inline skating and decorating my new townhouse. As often as I can, I fly to Fort Meyers, Florida, laptop in tow, to visit my two grandchildren – Marian who is three and Andrew who is six months. My last visit included a birthday party with pony rides! (And guess who’s inherited the drama queen gene?)
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