J. L. Wilson
I was born in the 1950s in a small town in Iowa, and grew up there living a 'Beaver Cleaver existence' (as described by one friend). Riding bikes to the swimming pool, fishing in farm ponds, popcorn on the courthouse lawn while listening to the local band playing, square dancing in the intersection outside the library. A typical, Midwestern existence.
College beckoned in the 1970s, and continued to beckon for many years. I earned five college degrees (B.A., M.A., B.S., M.S., A.A.S.), usually while working at a University (and they paid the tuition -- such a deal!) My fields of study were varied: Information Theory, English Literature, and Horticulture. I was able to parlay the education into job interviews, which landed me my first technical writing job, documenting purchase order software for a small company in Pittsburgh. That led to jobs documenting medical systems, then more complex jobs documenting file systems on UNIX platforms.
Then I moved to the Midwest, mainly to be closer to my family in Iowa. I got a job at a local supercomputer company (you figure it out, how many supercomputer companies got their start in the Midwest?), and started documenting the underlying file system structure. That led to a job with another software company, where I currently work (quite happily).
In 2003 I read my first romance novel and was startled that this genre existed. It was something I'd never encountered, even with degrees in British and American fiction. I immediately decided that this was the genre for me.
But there was a problem: the books I read all featured young heroines, interested in starting a family and having babies (it seems like babies just about always figured into it someplace). This was not a group of people I could relate to. They were very spunky, and courageous, and all that jazz but the whole baby thing -- nope.
So I started writing about older women, with some age on 'em, who are interested in men, and sex, and having a good relationship (which may or may not include a marriage). I'm also very interested in writing about men who've spent time in Viet Nam, during the war. That's an untapped wound in America's psyche that I don't think has been explored nearly enough. I know so many people who were affected by the war -- I know I was affected by it, very deeply. How are those men faring today, as they face retirement and the other stresses that all Baby Boomers are facing? Now those are people I want to read about and write about.
That's when I started writing romantic suspense, with an occasional side-track into my first love, Sci-Fi/alternate America. I have a long-running, never ending saga about a post-apocalyptic America that I keep returning to, working on it when I get frustrated with our current society, laws, and politics. It's so much fun to create a world where I can kill off a large amount of the population and restructure the remaining society into what I think will work. It's very cathartic.
Four of my books have found a home, and I'm hoping the others I've written will follow. Speaking of home, mine is in Minnesota, outside the Twin Cities. The bleak winters suit me just fine, as do the summers at the lake. I'm married to a very talented glass artist who spends a lot of time in the studio, making amazingly beautiful things. We have assorted animals who live with us, and who make regular appearances in my books under various pseudonyms (they know who they are).
I'm active on several Romance Writer's of America (RWA) sponsored Yahoo groups. I'm also lurk on the RWC critique loop and the RWClist loop, as well as the loop for my local Romance Writers of America chapter, Midwest Fiction Writers (MFW). I'm also the new VP for Communications for MFW for 2007. I'm a member of Kiss of Death, FF&P, and From The Heart Romance Writers.
Am I busy? Yep.
Do I enjoy it? You betcha.
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