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I never planned on being a writer. If I pursued any of the arts at all, it would have been drawing. Or painting.
Or so I thought.
Instead of becoming an artist, however, I became a registered nurse, and worked in the intensive care unit of a large trauma centre in Detroit. It was a far cry from being an artist, but a very satisfying career nonetheless.
For several years before settling down to have children, Me and my husband – a scientist – did a good bit of travelling. I consider our backpacking trips in the Canadian Rockies near Lake Louise some of the most interesting and challenging excursions. While in Europe, the ruins of towns and castles that were more than five hundred years old gave me an appreciation of time that, as an American, I didn't have before. This sense of the past was augmented by a degree in History, which I went back to earn after several years of nursing practice. I recall that there were times in my studies when I thought fiction couldn't possibly be any stranger than history – especially the medieval period. It was difficult to believe that the professors weren't making it up as they went along!
When my husband and I decided to have children, they came quickly. Our daughter and two sons arrived in four short years and so it was a crazy life for a while – with multiple school activities and sports events while I worked part time in ICU and my husband’s commute was an hour away – but the kids are teenagers now, very independent and all very close.
Writing became my great escape from the stress of work, and the hustle of daily life when my kids were small. I read my first romance novel during a family vacation, and decided right then that ‘happily ever after’ stories were what I needed. Combining historical fact with an imagined scenario was fun, but in order to do it right, I studied the genre on my own and attended two writers' conferences given by the Detroit Women Writers' Association.
Since 1999, when my first book, The Bride of Windermere, was released, I have sold more than five novels to Harlequin – all historicals. I am writing full-time now, and enjoying the flexibility in my schedule – something I didn't have while nursing. With three teenagers at home, and lots of family activities, I like to be available for whatever comes up. And I love the fact that I’m indulging my artistic side once again.