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I was a teenager when I came to Canada with my parents after my English father retired and my Canadian mother wanted to return to her roots on Vancouver Island. I'm not sure my parents knew it, but I planned to stay a year then go back to England and my friends.
Fate and the Canadian Navy, in the person of Able Seaman Bob Gregory, intervened. We met in the unromantic setting of a dog club banquet - he was a blind date - and were married a year later. We then moved to Winnipeg, which was a shock to a young woman used to rainy summers and wet, green Christmases. Thunder Bay, where we lived next, was only marginally warmer in the winter, and I was relieved when we finally settled in Vancouver with its comfortably familiar rain.
For the next few years I was busy raising two sons and a collection of dogs, hamsters, gerbils, rats and ferrets. There wasn't much time even to think about my longtime ambition to be a writer, especially after Bob returned to school so he could become a teacher. During those years I had more jobs than I can count, everything from removing the roe from dead herring, to packaging paper bags (the bags won and I lost the job), running a health food bar, cleaning office buildings and working in a variety of offices as a rather uninspired secretary. Once, when asked what I did for a living, I remember replying, "I don't know. Mostly I change jobs."
Eventually I did find time to take a series of creative writing courses which resulted in bad poetry, children's fiction, literary stories about the human condition and aging - at 25 I was, of course, an expert - humorous articles about family life and rats, and what I fondly imagined was suspense. Up until the time I sold my first book, my most notable writing achievement was a letter in the local newspaper asking if anyone could provide a nice home for 34 rats. My elder son had brought home four of his school's rodents for the holidays, and a rat called Demetrius had enjoyed a splendid summer doing what he did best with three lovely lady rats called Athena, Cassandra and Aphrodite. Yes, believe it or not, we did find them all homes. I'm not the only crazy mother in B.C.
In 1986, one of my suspense novels turned out to be a romance, and I sold A Star for a Ring to Mills & Boon. Since then I have published 29 books, novellas and short stories with Harlequin Mills & Boon and other publishers, in over 20 languages. My most recent book release was Opposites Attract from Ulverscroft Press. Some of my books are also available in Large Print and audio, as well as electronic format with Muse Creations. Even though I'm a techno-nerd, I firmly believe e-publishing will be the way of the future.
I am currently working - that's what I tell people anyway - on my 30th book, which will be a sequel to A WOMAN OF EXPERIENCE.
Now, after many years of doing what I didn't want to do, I am lucky enough to have the best job in the world - writing books that people actually want to read.
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