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Since I sold my first book to Harlequin, my life simply hasn't been the same. It's fun, exciting, and I never have enough time – but I enjoy every minute of it.
I grew up in a small farming community called Smetana outside of Bryan, Texas. It was never my plan to be a writer, but I always enjoyed it and even won an essay contest when I was still in high school. My English teacher told me if I could get my grammar and emotion on the same level that I could be a good writer. I didn't pay much attention to my words because I'd always planned to be a nurse.
In college my life took an unexpected turn when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and had to drop out of school because of the pain. Nothing in life could have prepared me for this. Luckily I had a wonderful man waiting for me – my high school sweetheart and own personal hero. With his love and support I learned to deal with the hardship of having a crippling disease at such an early age.
With so much time on my hands, I took art classes and began to paint. To my surprise, my paintings started to sell and win awards. This kept me busy for a number of years, until the turpentine and fume from the oils began to irritate my eyes. The doctor suggested that I put the paint away for a while, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do instead.
I'd always loved to read, so whenever I was in hospital my friends and family always bought me books, and that's how I discovered the wonderful world of Harlequin. However bad I was feeling, I could lose myself in a Harlequin novel, knowing that whatever trials the heroine had to go through there was always hope, always a happy ending.
Though my family put pressure on me to start painting again, I secretly thought of trying my hand at writing – even thought the only credentials I had for such an insane idea were years of reading and sheer determination. I began by writing long hand in a tablet, until my husband bought me a computer and I had no choice. I had to write in earnest.
After a lot of hard work, tears, perseverance… and more patience than I ever thought I possessed, I'm finally doing something I love – writing. And those happy endings? I write them now and hope they touch someone who needs a lift, a smile, or just a good feeling day. No matter what, I believe there is a happy ending – you just have to find it.