I grew up with the most amazing parents. Very supportive, very loving. They are still together today! They encouraged me to always live my dreams, to never give up, and always stay true to myself. Maybe that’s why I love them so much. I have one older brother and two younger sisters. Talk about torture while growing up -- which I received from my brother, then gave to my sisters. As we grew older, we all became best friends. I can’t imagine a day without them.
I did not discover my love of fiction and writing until the advanced age of thirteen. (You probably thought all writers were born with a pen and notebook in hand) I despised every type of literature (even my own) and always tested below the required level. . .until I discovered the Sweet Valley High series. What wonderful books! I devoured every book in the series. Okay, I also stole a few romance novels from my grandmother’s house and read those. Much to the surprise of my teachers, my reading level began to improve. And improve. And improve. I would lock myself away for hours, reading and creating my own stories. When I reached high school, I became the girl everyone paid to write their research papers!
I met my husband in high school -- and no, he didn’t pay me to write his stories. (I wrote his for free) We married at the age of eighteen, just two months after our graduation. He won me over with his sense of humor, gorgeous smile, and tight butt in football pants. I won him over with my short cheerleading skirts.
I attended college several times, but each time I stopped after a few semesters because I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I finally decided on some sort of medical career and attended both nursing and phlebotomy classes. Yet, neither of those satisfied me. I was always left feeling restless, unfulfilled, and frustrated. So I began creating worlds of my own, where people knew what they wanted and lived their dreams. After finishing my first manuscript, I began to dream about seeing my name on the cover of a book. However, much to my surprise no one wanted to buy a futuristic/paranormal/contemporary/inconsistent/too short romance titled HEAVEN’S FURY. Go figure.
Over the next few years, I wrote three short contemporaries, and I could tell that I was getting better. Less confusion, characters staying in character, more creative scenes. I even had a few agents nibble, but ultimately no takers. Then I wrote a very sexy paranormal...and Lord, I’d found my niche! Oh, I’d never had so much fun writing a book. That book won me my agent, Deidre Knight. I didn’t stop writing, though. I quickly wrote another sexy paranormal, and that book won me a two book contract with HQN.
What did I learn as I walked down the long, arduous path to publication? Never give up your dreams. The day you give up is the day you might have succeeded. Never relinquish your hope. The day you do is the day you lose sight of all you could have accomplished. I wish you all the best in all of your endeavors!