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Eye On Romance
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Ann Major

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Marriage at the Cowboy's Demand
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Starr Ambrose
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“I live in a small town in Michigan north of Detroit. Outside of town, really, on a small farm where my husband and I raised our two daughters along with a series of horses, dogs, cats, and chickens. But that’s starting at the end. In the beginning… I grew up in the outer reaches of suburban Detroit, MI., in the kind of small town where everyone knows everyone else. My childhood memories consist largely of riding bikes, climbing trees, and reading books. Lots of books. Our town didn’t have a library, but the next one over did. I devoured books on horses and dogs, particularly Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books, and the much older Walter Foster books about collies. I knew I’d write my own stories about dogs and horses when I grew up. When I was a little older I discovered science fiction, and decided to be a science fiction author. Dogs in space! But then there were all those distracting mystery stories, and I thought I’d finally found my calling. In the 1990’s I began seriously writing mysteries with a critique group. A friend told me I had a good voice for romance. I’d tried reading romance once before. I hated it. I tried it a second time. Still hated it. But, third time’s the charm, right? This time I read a romance novel and the heavens opened and angels sang, and beams of golden light shone down upon… well, not really, but a light did click on in my head. I realized there were romances about smart, funny women, written by smart, funny women. What a concept! I wanted to be one of those women. I wrote a short romance novel. It wasn’t exactly awful, but I hadn’t found my voice yet. There followed a lot of rejections and a lot of learning experiences through the Romance Writers of America and my local chapter, the Greater Detroit RWA. I got smart. (Wasn’t that easy?) I thought about what sort of tight spot I could put a heroine in, and what would happen if the hero caught her, and what she might be trying to achieve, and then it all came together. That novel became the one that I eventually entered in the First Chapters Romance competition on Gather.com, the one that came in second out of several hundred entries, and the one that Pocket Books offered to buy. Success! The first of many, I hope. There are so many ideas in my head, and so many tricky situations that a smart, funny heroine can get into.”

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