Hi, Romance Writers and Readers!
I'm so happy to be here with you. This time last year I was preparing for tax season in an accounting office. (That's a painful stretch for the jumbled brain of a basically creative person!) I owe this moment to a broken leg and a timely call from Victoria Curran. But I digress . . .
I sold my first book, Winter's Bounty, to Debra Matteucci on March 9, 1983 at age 38. (I can hear you all doing the math.) I had a husband, three teenagers, and a full time job managing a bookstore/Hallmark shop here in Astoria, Oregon. Ron (husband) had read in The Wall Street Journal that Harlequin was opening a New York office and looking for manuscripts about American women, written by American women. (That was just a happy accident. We do not have one stock or investment and he was just waiting for a friend.) Having written madly for myself since second grade, I always had a manuscript of some sort under way.
Retail in Astoria is pretty quiet during the winter, so I wrote a novel between customers, on a portable typewriter that I carried back and forth with me every day for about four months. I took the call from Harlequin telling me I'd made the sale at the bookstore one rainy morning and came close to cardiac arrest. Thankfully, I survived, and went on to write 88 novels and novellas over the next 21 years.
In 2004 I felt the need to escape my office and got a job in an accounting firm. I enjoyed the people, if not the numbers, until last March when I broke my leg while walking the dog. What seemed like a nasty event coincided with a call from Victoria, asking me to submit an idea for the new Heartwarming line. I was thrilled to be invited home to Harlequin and to have something to do while I was in a cast! After a revised effort (I seldom do anything right the first time) I made the sale! It was as thrilling as the first time. And here I am with a wonderful band of new friends and fellow authors.
My as yet untitled book comes out in August and deals with an artist-heroine who is in remission from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and a CPA-hero who runs a business and has just inherited his two nephews after his brother's death. It's all about beating down our monsters (or making friends with them) and BELIEVING that we're stronger than our situations, and that love will not only help us to endure, but to prevail.
I'm delighted to be among this group of writers and editors, and to have the chance to gab with all of you!
I apologize that there is no photo, but I'm techno-challenged. Pamela offered to walk me through but by the time I realized I needed help, it was midnight and she's a time zone away. (Actually, no photo of me is not a bad thing.)