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The best Christmas present Janice ever received was a portable typewriter. She was 16 years old, and had asked for one from her parents. The day it arrived, she was home sick from school. In those days, delivery people would leave packages between the screen and larger exterior wooden door. Of course, she happened to notice the box, but left it there for her mother to retrieve when she came home. She could hardly wait for Christmas to legitimately acknowledge her first typewriter.
All winter long Janice wrote serial novelizations for her school friends. Each morning they’d greet her at her locker, eager to read the next installment. She didn’t know it then, but she was a budding romance writer. It would be another 25 years, however, before her aspirations were realized with the publication of her first Harlequin novel, Double Jeopardy .
What happened? Life intervened. Marriage, work, travels through Asia, India, Africa, and Australia, and last but never least, children.
Feeling the need for a night out, Janice signed up for a romance writing course at a local college. That motivated her to start piecing together the fragments of plot that had been spinning around in her head for a year. And yes, she started it all on the same old manual typewriter that she’d received years before. Fortunately, an electric one came along part way through her manuscript. She’d rationalized that, even if she never sold her novel, she’d become an expert typist by the end of it.
A year after beginning her book, Janice sold it to Harlequin Intrigue. And bought her first computer with her earnings. The excitement of it all was heady, but after the champagne bottle was emptied, life beckoned once more.
Writing is a solitary craft, as every writer knows, but exhilarating as well. The power of creating characters and lives for each of them, inter-joining all in a quick-paced, interesting, and original story, is indescribable. Still, one of Janice’s happiest moments remains the time that her daughter — then five years old — pointed her out to her teacher and said proudly, "My mommy is an arthur. "
Those daughters of Janice’s are grown now and so, she believes, has her writing. She continues to work hard to improve and to, someday, write that unforgettable novel a reader can’t put down. She loves to practice her craft and she’s proud of accomplishing a lifetime goal of being an author. Though in her heart, she knows she’ll always be just an arthur.
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