Leigh Michaels was born on July 27 in Iowa. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, after three years of study and maintained a 3.93 grade-point average. She received the Robert Bliss Award as top-ranking senior in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and won a national William Randolph Hearst Award for feature-writing as an undergraduate.
When she was fifteen, Leigh wrote her first romance novel and burned it. She burned five more complete manuscripts before submitting to a publisher on Friday the Thirteenth. In 1984, the first submission was accepted by Harlequin, the only publisher to look at it, and was published. Now, Leigh Michaels, is the author of more than 85 contemporary romances for Harlequin. She writes sweet, traditional romances, set in Midwestern cities or small towns, and emphasising family values.
More than 27 million copies of her books have been printed, worldwide, in 650 editions. Her work has been translated and published in 120 countries in more than 20 languages, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, German, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Czech, Bulgarian, Turkish, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. She was the guest of honour at an autograph party sponsored by Mills & Boons' Japanese division, for readers who chose her as their favourite author, and was recipient of the 1994 Pioneer Award presented by Iowa Romance Novelists. Fifteen of her books have appeared on the Waldenbooks Romance Bestsellers List. Five of her books (Ties That Bind, The Lake Effect, Travelling Man, The Unlikely Santa, and The Daddy Trap) have been finalists for Best Traditional Romance novel of the year in the RITA contest, sponsored by Romance Writers of America and Family Secrets, received a reviewer's choice award from Romantic Times magazine.
Leigh Michaels is the author of, Writing the Romance Novel with Leigh Michaels, a how-to-guide for romance writers, in addition to a series of audio tapes on writing and the romance genre. She teaches an annual seminar on the romance novel at the University of Iowa and has written articles for, Writer's Digest, and, The Writer. She also authored, Dear Leigh Michaels... A Novelist Answers the Most-Asked Questions about Getting Published; wherein, she addresses topics such as finding a publisher, contracts, rejection letters, pen names and writing query letters. She also wrote a cookbook entitled, A Taste of Love, featuring family recipes coupled with stories about the significance of each dish. Here, Leigh reveals a long line of tradition in her family.
Leigh Michaels is married to the artist/photographer, Michael W. Lemberger, they reside in her native Iowa. She and her husband have been featured on Iowa Public Television.