I was born on Valentine’s Day.
This auspicious date, as well as a love of reading, set my destiny as a writer of romance and women’s fiction from an early age.
There have been some experience-gathering detours on the way, of course. My love of words led to an Arts degree with majors in Linguistics, Russian and French. I gained the unique perspective of living in another culture by working as a nanny in the French Alps, and have also worked extensively in theatre, both on stage and, under another name, as a playwright. My plays have been professionally performed by some of Australia’s most prestigious theater companies, and have received two award nominations for Best Play from the Australian Writers Guild.
In my early twenties, acting the same role over and over again in a long theatrical season (the Cheshire Cat in “Alice in Wonderland” if you’re interested) taught me the importance of striving to keep my work fresh. As my tally of published novels has climbed, this has been of crucial value. I’m proud to say that every one of my characters is real and different, and the romance in each novel is always one that I believe will stand the test of time after that stardust moment on the final page.
I’m married to a wonderful New Yorker, also a writer. His studiously researched works on military history might earn him splashier book launches and shinier dust jackets… but my sales are, I have to say, higher. We each read and critique everything the other writes. We started our married life in New Jersey and Ohio, but twelve years ago I hit him over the head with a cricket bat and dragged him back to Australia, where we’ve been ever since.
I’ve now written over seventy-five romances for Harlequin and Silhouette, and a women’s fiction novel “Café du Jour” for Mira Australia. The Melbourne Age newspaper described this book as “warm and witty… an excellent read.” Career highlights include three nominations for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Rita award - two in 2003, for FINDING HER PRINCE in the Best Traditional Romance category and THE DOCTOR’S MISTRESS in the Best Short Contemporary Romance category, and one in 2006 for THE FATHER FACTOR in the Long Contemporary Romance category, as well as two nominations for RT Bookclub magazine’s Best Silhouette Romance award, for SAVING CINDERELLA in 2002 and THE MILLIONAIRE’S CINDERELLA WIFE in 2005. In 2008, THE MILLIONAIRE’S MAKEOVER was nominated for a Reviewer’s Choice award, also from RT Bookclub.
Along with shelves of books to our credit, my husband and I have four children, the three eldest now in their teens. We have a big yard, a spoiled and sweet-natured black and white cat, a vegetable garden, twelve chickens and, on a nearby farm, my daughter’s beloved thoroughbred horse, which she’s training in the tough equestrian discipline of Eventing.
Being a creative person, I have a huge appreciation for the creativity of others. I love music in all its forms, beautiful gardens, inspiring architecture, history-laden antiques, inviting interiors, gourmet food, and my husband and I have also started buying art – nothing earth-shattering or expensive, just something that catches our eye as we wander through a gallery. A recent acquisition has been unkindly described by some as “a plank of wood,” but honestly, it’s the most beautiful plank of wood I’ve ever seen. We also have a gorgeous and newly-purchased wedding anniversary gift to each other – an Amanda Maclean pastel, showing the mountain ranges to the west of us under the shadow of a brooding blue-black rain cloud. I love it!