Let's talk about how all this began. My story-telling days began in an unlikely place.
Imagine a narrow, cold, dreary brick building, empty except for the long wooden benches lining the damp walls. Imagine children huddling on those benches while enemy planes drone overhead, and the deafening roar of exploding bombs tear the silence apart.
In the center of the bomb shelter stands the lone figure of a child, holding enthralled her audience in spite of the mayhem outside. Magical, fanciful stories spin from her fertile mind, transporting the children of Blitz-weary London to fantasy lands where they are safe, and peace reigns supreme.
That was how I began my story-telling career.
I was first published at eight years old, with a letter to a national newspaper.
Obviously I'm a late bloomer, since the second sale came nearly 50 years later. In between I worked as a receptionist, accountant, office manager, executive secretary, and for a change of pace, a salad maker in a restaurant.
I once worked with the first prototype computer. It took up the entire room, with tapes almost as big as me. The noise of all those wheels whirring around was distracting. That's just a testament to how far we have come in such a short amount of time.
I enjoyed a short career on the stage as one half of a sister act, until I immigrated to the United States. That put an end to my stage career, but I kept my hand in by playing piano and singing at a local English-style pub every month on British Night.
My son was born in 1968, and during the first few months of his life, I stayed home and renewed my interest in writing. The first manuscript I had the nerve to submit was accepted by Silhouette Books in 1987, and my new career began.
I wrote my first book on a typewriter. I often say that if computers hadn't been invented, I would not be a writer today. As it was, graduating to a computer changed my life. Back then, comparatively few people had access to a chat room. Those who did were usually savvy computer types, business people, and writers.
With my thirty year marriage breaking up, the chatrooms became salvation. I found companionship, friendship, and eventually love.He lived on the east coast, I lived on the west. That was in 1993, when computer time was charged by the minute. When our computer and phone bills added up to $1,500 a month, we decided it would be cheaper to get together.
We met for the first time at the airport in Portland, Oregon, and the next day drove across the country to Philadelphia. I had to call my sister and close friends every night to reassure them that I wasn't with an axe murderer.
A year later, we were married in Las Vegas on our way back to Oregon, where we've lived happily ever since. Twenty-five years and counting. Now, how's that for romance?