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I wanted to write ever since I was a child growing up in Holland. I was a dreamer, always reading books and making up my own stories. I had notebooks full of stories which I used to illustrate with crayon drawings. I also always wanted to travel. The across Holland is very flat and I wanted to see mountains and coconut palms and tropical beaches and deserts. I wanted to meet interesting people and learn about different cultures and see how people lived their daily lives. And then I wanted to write adventurous stories set in these exotic places.
I got lucky and fell in love with a globetrotting American. I met him in Amsterdam, he asked me to marry him in Rome, and we tied the knot in a ten-minute ceremony in Kenya, where he was a Peace Corps Volunteer. Some wedding that was! Not the stuff of romantic dreams, but really good for a laugh.
After Kenya we lived in the States for a while, then spent four years in Ghana, where our first daughter was born and I wrote my very first Mills and Boon romance. It was set in Ghana, and I called it Sweet Not Always, a slogan found on a big colourfully decorated truck that transported people, goods, and live chickens.
Since Kenya, we've also lived in Indonesia, Ramallah (Palestine), another three years in Ghana, and most recently, six years in Armenia. Along the way we acquired a couple more kids, so now we have three altogether.
I’ve written over thirty books now, many set in exotic locations such as Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, Java, Kenya and Ghana, as well as Holland and the US. Writing as Mona van Wieren, I received a RITA for a Silhouette Romance entitled Rhapsody in Bloom.
I love the creativity of writing romances, although it was, and is, never easy. I also love the challenge of living in a foreign country where the food is different, the people interesting and life gives me endless inspiration for my writing.