When Diane Gaston was a little girl, she'd learn all the words to popular love songs. When she played, her dolls acted out tragic love affairs with the current heartthrob on TV or in the movies. She thought everyone in the world made up romantic stories in their heads to get to sleep at night. The third daughter of an army colonel, Diane moved often as a child, once even to Japan. But mostly she lived in the Washington, D.C., area, where she now resides. The life of an army brat bred strong values of duty and honor and discipline, and until new friends could be made, Diane relied on books to pass time. It was always the romance in books that kept Diane reading. She read Nancy Drew more to see what Nancy and Ned were up to than for solving the mystery. And she will never forgive Louisa May Alcott for not letting Jo wind up with Laurie. It wasn't until college years that Diane discovered romance fiction, but although she majored in English literature, her course work never included the kinds of books she most loved to read. For a career, however, Diane decided to help others craft their own happy endings. She earned master's degrees in both psychology and social work and became a county mental health therapist. She also married and raised a daughter and son, now grown and on their own. At work sometimes Diane and her colleagues would fantasize about their dream job. Diane always said hers would be writing romance novels. When her life settled down enough, that's exactly what Diane set out to do. It took years, but finally her dream came true with a call from England. The Harlequin Mills & Boon editor who judged her first Regency Historical (it won!) in the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest also made an offer to publish it. Diane was on her way. Shortly after that sale, she put her mental health career behind her and became a full-time writer. Before ever selling a book, Diane reaped a world of friendships through her romance writing, a wonderful bonus to living her dream. When not writing, Diane enjoys emailing with her friends and traveling to England for research. And she's lived in the same house for over 20 years now, with her husband and three very ordinary house cats.Diane loves to hear from readers and friends. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the first 18 years of her life Nicola lived in Yorkshire, within a stone's throw of the moors that had inspired the Bronte sisters to write Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. One of her grandfathers was a poet, and her family contained teachers and avid readers who filled the house with books. With such a background it was impossible for Nicola not to become a bookworm.Nicola went to school in a historic building that had originally been the dower house of a stately home. It was the sort of school that taught girls how to find a rich husband and how to get in and out of a Rolls-Royce gracefully. Unfortunately Nicola did not pay enough attention to the bit about the rich husband and has therefore never had the chance to practice the bit with the Rolls- Royce. She was too busy reading. It was also at school that Nicola developed her love of history, English literature, and French, due to some truly inspirational teachers.Meanwhile, Nicola spent her evenings reading piles of romances and historical novels and watching costume dramas with her grandmother. Her grandparents were very influential to her and also taught her canasta, ballroom dancing, and how to grow rhubarb, all of which she is determined to incorporate in a historical romance one day.At 18 Nicola went south to study history at London University and during her holidays did a variety of jobs, from sticking price tags on shoes in a factory to serving refreshments on a steam railway. When she left college she had to settle for something far less interesting in order to earn a living and worked as an administrator in a number of different universities. She moved to Somerset and lived for seven years in a cottage haunted by the ghost of a cavalier.Nicola met her future husband while she was at university, although it took her four years to realize that he was special and more than just a friend. Her husband, being so much more perceptive, had worked this out much sooner but eventually an understanding was reached.This lack of perception also meant that Nicola did not realize for years that she was meant to be a writer. She wrote bits and pieces of novels in her spare time but never finished any of them. Eventually, she sent in the first three chapters of a Regency romance to Mills and Boon and, although they were rejected, she found she had become so addicted to writing that she could not stop. Happily, her third attempt was accepted and she has never looked back. Nicola loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted by email at email@example.com or via her web site, http://members.madasafish.com/~ncornick/.