It’s hard for me to imagine that I’ve been writing romances for over twenty-five years now! I started at the young age of 21, just after I got married. Reading romances, and then writing them, came about as a result of having too much time on my hands. When I first married my husband Don, I was working a regular nine to five job and he worked swing shift, from four in the afternoon until midnight. It wasn’t an ideal schedule for newlyweds, and in order to pass those hours when I was alone I started reading romances, and eventually tried my hand at writing them.
The road to publication wasn’t an easy one. It took me five years and dozens of rejections to make my first sale, which was to Harlequin for their “Stolen Moments” line. THE FAMILY MAN, written under the pseudonym Danielle Kelly, was one of the twelve novellas published in 1993 for this promotional line.
It took me another two and a half years (and more rejections!) to sell my second book. HEAVEN’S GIFT (written under my own name) was published in October 1995 by Leisure Love Spell for their “An Angel’s Touch” series. (HEAVEN’S GIFT is now available as an e-book and has been retitled as KISS OF AN ANGEL). Another two years passed of collecting even more rejections before I finally sold to Harlequin Romance and Harlequin Temptation. At the time, writing for both Temptation and Harlequin Romance provided me with a wonderful creative outlet for both my modern, ultra-sexy stories, and my warmer, traditional romances. But as the years passed, I realized how much I enjoyed writing the sexier stories and streamlined my career accordingly so that I was no longer writing the sweet traditional romances, and instead focused on the hotter, sexier stories for Temptation and Blaze.
After writing over three dozen books for Harlequin, I decided to branch out. I wanted to write anthologies and single titles, and came up with an idea about three sexy brothers with the last name of “Wilde”. Little did I know that those Wilde brothers would become such a sensation with readers. In the second Wilde book, WILDE THING, four Wilde cousins were introduced, and readers started writing in for their stories, too. It’s been a joy and pleasure to write each of the Wilde stories, and I want to thank everyone for purchasing those books and putting them on the USA Today Bestseller list! Though I’ve moved on from the Wilde series, I continue to write hot contemporary romances with equally hot heroes!
I’ve been a full-time writer for years, which consists of being deep in deadlines, writing proposals (growling at the husband to fix a glitch in the computer so I can get back to work!), perusing contracts, line-edits (stressing over a scene that won’t work or characters that just won’t talk or cooperate with my plans for them!), galleys, art-fact sheets, promotion, and other publishing paperwork. Admittedly, I wouldn’t trade all the craziness in for pantyhose, rush hour traffic, and a nine-to-five job again. Writing is hard work, but I find the rewards are well worth the effort. Fan letters are one of those priceless rewards, and can keep me on a high for days! I’ve met the most wonderful people through my books, some of which I now consider good friends.
I met my husband, Don, when I was sixteen and he was twenty. I was still in high school and he was in college, and we dated for five years before getting married. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary, and I’m looking forward to spending at least another twenty-five years with him. His incredible support and encouragement has enabled me to follow my dream of writing. He’s truly the best, and never complains when dinner isn’t on time (or doesn’t happen, which is much too often!) because I’ve spent the day holed up in my office, lost in one of my current stories during one of my deadlines. During that time, the laundry tends to pile up, too, so I’ve made sure to buy him two weeks of socks and underwear to tide him over! What a guy, huh?
A few years ago we moved from Southern California to Oregon, where we now live with our two daughters who are in college. While we were all born and raised in Southern California, we absolutely love it in the Pacific Northwest and can’t imagine living anywhere else. We also have a Heinz 57 dog we adopted (Sandie), and a feisty cat (Zoey).
When I’m not writing or spending my time with my husband and girls, I enjoy jewelry making. I’ve learned to wire-wrap and do a lot of bead stitching and weaving, and I’m constantly trying and learning new techniques. I love the creative aspect of making jewelry, and find the whole process to be incredibly relaxing and fun!
Like most writers, I have special writer friends. The ones that are the nearest and dearest to my heart are my Plotmonkey Pals, Carly Phillips, Julie Leto, and Leslie Kelly. These three women are the ones I turn to with writing news, be it good or bad, and the ones that I trust to pull me out of a writing slump or when I need career advice. Even though we are scattered throughout four different states, we keep in touch daily by email.
Carly, Julie, and Leslie are also my plotting partners. Once or twice a year we get together for a plotting weekend, where we all discuss our upcoming stories and leave refreshed and rejuvenated, with new ideas to write. We’ve been to Florida, New York, Las Vegas, and Nashville, to name a few places, and we always manage to fit in some “fun” time during our time away. Our weekends are filled with good food, great discussions, gossip, comradery, and ultimately, lots of plotting!
The four of us also blog together at www.plotmonkeys.com where we discuss everyday events, what’s happening in our lives, and even post about writing woes. We’re a fun and lively group and have discovered that we have the best readers out there on the internet! Every Friday is our Giveaway Day, where we give away lots of FREE STUFF! Please stop by any day of the week and join the fun!