I’ve been a writer since before I could read….
Seriously — my father used to copy down the stories I dictated, into my mother’s college blue books. If memory serves, most of these creative forays involved Princesses who got bored with wimpy Princes, and ran off with the Dragon instead. :?) Also, my first name came from, of all things, a Victoria Holt novel, and I was born on the day that William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes (in 1616), and William Wordsworth (in 1850) all died. So if you believe in Fate, I was either meant to write or to die — but then we’re all meant to do that ;?).
Tolkien was my earliest literary influence — I asked my mother to read me The Hobbit when I was four; she thought I’d get bored, but instead, I loved every minute of it. Next came Laura Ingalls Wilder and The Nancy Drew Books; then the Trixie Belden series (like Nancy, only more real). Judy Blume, Louisa May Alcott and L.M. Montgomery came next, and when I was ten, I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. Wow! Who knew so much passion could exist in such subtlety?
When I was in junior high, we moved to Alaska, and it was there my budding love of writing began to grow. I’d recently discovered romance novels, but at the time, thought I wanted to write fantasy. My first book was completed in one summer, between my junior and senior years, on an electric typewriter. Two drafts, start to finish, in a little over a month. I still write fast, but not that fast!
More years trying to write fantasy, then a few more working on what I call “The Big Welsh Book,” set in Anglesey in 350 A.D., and on one or two historical romances, until I finally wrote a medieval time travel. Doing this made me realize that what I really wanted to write was single title contemporary. LOL!
Actually, what happened was that as I finished up the time travel, I discovered I was having way more fun with the contemporary parts of it. I also noticed that I’d turned it into a mystery, centered around how the heroine could get back to her own time, if she wanted to try. So when I was done, I decided to take a stab at contemporary romantic mystery/suspense, with a solid dose of humor. I love quirky characters, and I really like complex plots and surprising my readers.
What I found, ultimately, though, is that while I still love to read romance novels, I’m not a romance writer. After three completed romances — none of them exactly bad, just hard to pigeonhole, since they weren’t “true” romances — I’ve switched genres. To what, you ask? Good question! For more on the answer, see my What page….