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Shana Abé

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Sweetest Dark, The
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Carol Ericson
Pseudonym/s: Mia Varano
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I blame it all on my sister. When she finished reading a paperback copy of Victoria Holt's The Secret Woman, she handed it off to me. After I devoured the book and every other book Ms. Holt had written up until that time, I was hooked on romance. But I not only wanted to read romance...I wanted to write it. I also figured writing was a good way to find a home for those stories and characters that were always intruding on my thoughts. You mean, that's not normal? I took a detour through the hallowed halls of UCLA, earning my B.A. and my M.A. in English literature. After attending a summer school program at Oxford University in England, I started writing my first book -- a gothic romance set in Oxford during the late 19th Century. When I finished the book 20 years later (I'm a slow typist), I discovered there was no longer a market for the old-fashioned gothic romance. (Don't care what anyone says, when Connan TreMellyn blocks the door to his library and asks his dear Miss Leigh, "Do I look the sort of man who would wait until the morning?" THAT'S hot!) So I moved on to plan B -- contemporary romantic suspense, soon followed by erotic romance, and contemporary romantic comedy. I've been writing like a fiend ever since. By the way, I still love Victoria Holt and have collected most of her books in first edition hard copy. I also adore Georgette Heyer and would never attempt a Regency for fear of treading on hallowed ground (that's the second time I've used the word hallowed here, and I swear, I never use that word.) For current thrills, chills, and romance I enjoy Debra Webb, Jayne Ann Krentz, Eloisa James, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I share my life in Southern California with my husband, who’s a cop and my go-to guy for research, our two boys, and our 200-pound English Mastiff. When I’m not working my day job as a technical writer, I’m at the Little League baseball field, or the soccer field, or I’m running with my iPod, or I'm reading. And in the midst of it all, I'm writing because I have to -- still have those stories and characters milling around in my head -- and for me that's normal.

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Photo: Carol Ericson
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