A Spanish Inheritance
(Latin Lovers)
April 1, 2003
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Susan Stephens

When anyone asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up I always said, 'Something connected with English and Music.'

After having my first books accepted by Harlequin, I can now say that I have been lucky enough to make both those dreams a reality.

When I left school I studied Music at the Royal Northern College in Manchester, as well as Trinity College London, and later the University of York.

My career as a professional singer was happy and varied, and included many thrilling moments such as singing the Messiah as a member of the BBC Singers under the baton of Sir Charles Groves with the Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra. I was also a member of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company for two years, and presented the Children's television programme 'Play School'. With my own cabaret act I began to indulge my love of travel and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sail into New York on the QE2. It was during a trip to Malta that I met my husband, Steve, and my life became centred on love, marriage, and children.

Three children later I lost the urge to travel too far from home and became a full-time music teacher. It was when my eldest child, Sara, had a terrible asthma attack in Venice that I felt compelled to put pen to paper in order to share her story with other sufferers and their careers.

When Sara's asthma was back under control I still felt the urge to write. It occurred to me that all the wonderful tuition I had received from many dedicated music teachers was basically an aural tradition and could so easily be lost. This propelled me into writing a series of non- fiction music books.

But all the while, and especially when I was writing the harrowing account of Sara's illness, I found myself turning to Romance. Reading and writing romantic stories lifted me more than I can possibly explain, but I never thought of having one published until a chance encounter with Penny Jordan changed everything.

We both attended a costume ball on the theme of Pride and Prejudice, in aid of The East Cheshire Hospice, and Penny had offered this lot in the charity auction that followed the dinner: "Be An Author For A Day. Spend a day with a local author." Already one of Penny's fans, I couldn't believe my eyes, and was thrilled when my husband, Steve, bought the lot for me.

And so Penny and I met. We hit it off immediately and have since become great friends. Penny has been a constant source of encouragement to me. The warmth that comes through her books is a true reflection of the woman who writes them.

So for me only the balance has changed - now I listen to beautiful music whilst writing romance -- definitely a dream come true.

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