I was born in an 'old' English county called Middlesex. You won't find it on any modern map - it's been swallowed up by Greater London and at the swish of a bureaucratic pen it disappeared. Nevertheless, I had a perfectly happy childhood there with two parents who love me and a younger brother I still like! Painfully shy, books were my passion and my first career ambition was to be an author -- mainly, I think, because I didn't fancy leaving home.
Everyone seems to have one teacher who's inspired them more than any other. I met mine when I was thirteen and his name was Frank Richards, our drama teacher. He introduced me to theatre and at fourteen I walked on stage for the first time in a play he'd written. It was the beginning of a new passion.
After a three-year classical theatre training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, I started my career in professional theatre under my Equity name of Jessica Dean.
In 1991 I married my husband and we decided to start our family. I must have harboured some kind of daft idea that I would have a baby, put it in a papoose and carry on pretty much as before. Not surprisingly it didn't quite work out that way. I hadn't realised quite how powerful mother-love is. I had five children in six years, working only very briefly during this time.
I'm blessed with an easy, happy marriage and five great children, but when illness touched our lives I started to reassess my future. It was the start of my writing career. My second submission to Mills & Boon was accepted in December 2003.
I now live in Bedfordshire with my husband, who's in remission from cancer, and my children. I love antique fairs, collect kitchenalia, paint in watercolour, and am a signer for the deaf (BSL). My house is in a constant state of disarray but I make great cakes, write books and no one seems to mind.