I’ve always loved stories. My mother would read to me as a child, but more often than not, she’d make up her own stories to tell me. She always made me part of the process, asking me what I thought should happen next. This grew into a love of books and a love of writing. I wrote my first story (that I can remember) at age 8, and my first book at age 12, and my poor mother sat and listened to me read aloud a portion from every project.
Occasionally she would ask me how I came to ‘know about such things’ but other than that she never told me that something I had written was wrong or unacceptable for my age. I’m sure I must have terrified her at times! There were nights when she would knock on my bedroom door and tell me to go to sleep, only to find me laboring over a notebook, scribbling like mad. I would reply, “I can’t!” and she would shut the door. One Christmas I came downstairs to find a writing desk and electronic typewriter (yes, I’m dating myself) waiting by the tree. We were fairly poor, and I’m not sure how she and my father were able to afford the the setup on a lumberjack’s pay, but it was the perfect gift.
Ten years later I was living with my fabulous boyfriend (whom I later had the good sense to marry), and working at a job I hated with a manger I despised even more. My boyfriend suggested I quit the job, go back to university and, “write that book.” Since we were living in Canada at the time, and a full year of university would only run me a few thousand dollars, I decided the risk was worth it.
I sold my first book before the start of my second year. It was a historical romance, and the beginning of a career that would land me on the USA Today bestseller list, win me a few awards, and see my words translated into roughly a dozen languages. Best of all, that career introduced me to so many wonderful people, many of whom I consider good friends.
Since my first book came out in 2001, I’ve written more than 25 books and 3 novellas, all of them for publication. I begin every book with the mantra — to make it the best book I can. Each new project is a way for me to improve and grow as a writer. I’m always eager for the next book because each one is like a new beginning.