The first time I ever read a romance novel I was fourteen.
My mother had grown tired of seeing me read Judy Blume's books over and over again. She insisted I could recite them in my sleep (she was half right. One night while I tried to fall asleep, I actually recited the first few pages to, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret in my head) so she gave me a book she'd just finished. A Harlequin Presents? Feh! But since I was bored and we only had five channels on TV in those days, I sat down to read.
When I got to the end, I sat back with a sigh. Then opened the book and started reading again. From that day on, I was hooked. Sure, I got some teasing about my choice of reading material from the other kids, but I didn't care. Sadly, not much has changed since my high school days. Romance still doesn't receive the respect it deserves.
I've always had stories running around in my head, but it would be many years before I picked up a pen, grabbed one of my kid's marble notebooks and started to write.
I live on Long Island with my darling husband (who is great at giving me ideas and proofreading my work), four insane children (no idea where they get that from) and three entertaining Italian greyhounds; Rosie, Stripe and Santa's Little Helper (yes, that's his real name).