MINI-SERIES: Arabian Heat / Delta Secrets / The O'Briens / The Royal Wager / Marrying an M.D.
In all honesty, not once in my youth did I ever aspire to be a writer. During my formative years, my passion was dancing, from tap to jazz to ballet. Particularly ballet. From the age of six until I was approaching thirteen, I took lessons four days a week, sometimes two to three lessons per day. Add that to school, church choir and cheerleading practice, and my routine began to resemble a corporate mogul's hectic schedule. That routine began to take its toll not only on me, but on my mother as well—the designated chauffeur. Something had to give. I chose to quit ballet despite the fact that I had been moved to the "big girl's group" that year, one of two of the youngest students in a more advanced class. But I'd been on pointe for two years, my feet hurt constantly, the work was tough and required a huge effort just to keep up with the three classes a week. At the time, that choice seemed like a no-brainer, yet when the year-end recital came around—an elaborate event held at a college campus—I regretted the decision. After my tap and jazz rehearsals were over, I sat in the auditorium and watched the production of an act from Swan Lake. Had I chosen to remain in ballet, I would have been on that stage, wearing those "big girl" full-length tutus, sporting beautifully crafted make-up in the shape of swan's wings, and participating in the finale that always earned a standing ovation.
I cried that day, and that night after the recital. I felt as if I'd given up too quickly on a dream, choosing instead to take the easy way out. The path of least resistance. Shortly thereafter, I gave up dancing altogether, although I thought about it often, and wondered….
Twenty-some-odd years later, I embarked on another venture that unbeknownst to me would become another dream—writing. At first it was simply a whim; I'd always been a voracious reader, I'd possessed an active imagination in childhood and I was relatively good in English. Of course, I could just sit down and magically come up with something brilliant, right? Up to that point, for the most part I'd been a stay-at-home mom, owned a small dress shop managed by someone else, had served on the PTA board and volunteered at a women's shelter. I needed something more challenging in my life, as if raising three children wasn't enough. And believe me, composing a full-length novel without really knowing what I was doing became very challenging. But this time, I didn't give up, even though the road to publication took me seven years, several manuscripts and numerous rejections before I finally sold my first book in 1999. Whenever I was tempted to throw in that proverbial towel, I relied on the memory of sitting in that auditorium all those years ago, filled with regret for what might have been.
Many years have passed since I started my first book (that has never sold nor never will), a wondrous journey that has seen its ups and downs, heartache and hardship, delights and disappointments. I am still amazed that people actually pay to read my stories. I am still in awe when I receive a letter or an email from an appreciative reader. And I still have stories to tell. I've sold over twenty-five books to date, and I hope to sell at least twenty-five more. But if I never see another one of my releases on the shelves, I have no regrets. I no longer cry over what might have been, but celebrate what is to come. I have fulfilled my dreams, and I plan to keep right on dreaming.
"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it."
William Arthur Ward
1996 Romance Writer’s of America® Double Golden Heart Finalist
2001 Romance Writer’s of America® RITA Nominee,
Cowboy for Keeps, Best First Book
Ten-time Romantic Times BookClub Top Pick Designation
Romantic Times W.I.S.H. Award
2004 National Reader's Choice Winner, Best Short Contemporary Series
Romantic Times BookClub Reviewer's Choice Winner for Best Silhouette Desire, 2003, 2004 and 2005
2004 Romantic Times BookClub Lifetime Achievement Award Nominee, Series Storyteller of the Year
Seven #1 Waldenbook Series Best-sellers
2007 Romance Writers of America® RITA Finalist
2008 Romance Writers of America® RITA Finalist
2010 National Readers Choice Award Finalist