I've been writing romances for over ten years, and even from that first book I attempted to write (which is now stuffed in a box in the garage rafters) I knew I wanted to write category romance, because those were the kind of books I loved to read. It took me five years to make that first sale, which was to Harlequin for their "Stolen Moments" line. THE FAMILY MAN, written under the pseudonym Danielle Kelly, was one of the twelve novellas Harlequin published in 1993 for this promotional line.
It took another two and a half years to sell my second book, which, unfortunately, wasn't slotted as a category romance, though I have the rejection letters to prove that I tried to sell it to Harlequin first! HEAVEN'S GIFT (written under my own name) was published in October 1995 by Leisure Love Spell for their "An Angel's Touch" series. The book went on to become a 1995 HOLT finalist.
Another two years passed (sigh) of collecting rejections before I found two wonderfully supportive editors, and everything finally fell into place in 1997 when I sold two books to Harlequin Temptation for their Blaze series, and another two books to Harlequin Romance (Mills & Boon). Writing for both Temptation and Harlequin Romance supplies a wonderful creative outlet for both my modern, ultra-sexy stories, and my warmer, traditional romances.
I live in Southern California with my engineer husband, whose incredible support and encouragement has enabled me to follow my dream of writing. He's the best, and never complains when dinner isn't on time (or doesn't happen!) because I've spent the day holed up in my office, lost in that faraway world I've created for my characters. The laundry tends to pile up, too, so I've made sure to buy him two weeks of socks and underwear to tide him over! As for the house - - well, the eight and ten-year old gremlins I have running loose are like those cyclones that wipe out everything in their path. The fiesty indoor cat we have tends to add to the destruction. I've learned to live with the chaos. So have they. And luckily, so has my husband. And those two energetic daughters of mine, Danielle and Kellie, certainly keep life interesting and give me plenty of ideas for the young, mischievous characters I include in some of the books I write.
A few years ago, I left my day job as a construction secretary to write full-time. Now, I find myself elbow deep in deadlines, proposals (growling at the husband to fix a glitch in the computer so I can get back to work!) contracts, line-edits, (stressing out over a scene that won't work or characters that just won't talk or cooperate with my plans for them!) galleys, art-fact sheets, and other publishing paperwork. Admittedly, I wouldn't trade all the craziness in for pantyhose, rush hour traffic, and a nine-to-five job again. Writing is hard work, but I find the rewards are well worth the effort. Fan letters are one of those priceless rewards, and can keep me on a high for days! I've met the most wonderful people through my books, some of which I'd now consider friends.
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