I discovered the internet during the winter of 1996.
At the time MSN was running a crafty deal (if you signed up with them for 2 years, you got a $400.00 rebate on whatever computer you were buying) I wanted a computer, and that $400.00 instant rebate cut the cost in half, so I signed up with MSN as my internet provider, and bought my first computer. And that’s when I discovered this entirely new world called the internet.
By the mid 1990s, I’d been an avid romance reader for years, but I didn't have anyone to discuss my beloved romance books with. My family were big readers, but they didn’t read romance and while they never said anything, I always got this subtle sense of contempt from them in regard to my reading tastes. The town I lived in had all sorts of book clubs, but none that read romance, so I craved the chance to discuss my favorite authors and books with other romance lovers. So the first thing I did, on that very first trip online, was search for romance reading groups.
I found them by the dozens. Groups, bulletin boards, and message forums for every sub-genre of romance you could imagine. I was in heaven. I read pretty much everything, so I jumped right into all those enticing book discussions.
My favorites were romances that had elements of suspense, so I gravitated toward discussions about that sub-genre. I used to haunt the local bookstore, just waiting for the Silhouette Intimate Moments (SIM) to come out. And it was through one of these SIMs in the summer of 1996, that I discovered this amazing, riveting, incredibly sexy warrior called a SEAL. The book was called Prince Joe, by Suzanne Brockmann, and it turned me into a lifelong Brockmann fan, and a SEAL devotee.
I wasn't the only reader immediately smitten by SEALs, all the bulletin boards and forums I visited were buzzing about Price Joe, and that buzz just got stronger when Brockmann released the second book in her Tall, Dark and Dangerous series. Then someone on one of the bulletin boards started up a Tall, Dark and Dangerous fan group on Yahoo, which I joined.
.Joining that yahoo group probably had the most impact on my writing career outside of discovering the internet, because it introduced me to an aspiring romantic suspense writer who was writing a SEAL series of her own. This author’s name was Jenny Low, and the book she was posting chapter by chapter, to the yahoo group was titled Kissing Games.
Through Jenn I was introduced to an entire community of writers, including Patti O’Shea who became a longtime critique partner. This interaction with writers rekindled my own interest in writing.
The funny thing is that back then I wasn’t writing military romantic thrillers. I was writing romantic suspense that featured law enforcement heroes. While I loved reading about SEALs, I had no interest in writing them. Jenn Low eventually sold her Kissing Games (which was retitled Into Danger) as well as the rest of her SEAL series to Avon and began publishing under Gennita Low. I kept plugging along with my cop heroes.
Until one cold February Night in 2010 when I had a horrifying nightmare. The nightmare was about a plane getting hijacked and all the passengers slaughtered. And the men trying to stop the carnage were Navy SEALs. I woke from that dream driven. I couldn’t get those hunky SEALs out of my head. They were so real, so alive, and so insistent that I write their stories.
Suddenly I found myself switching focus completely and writing a military romantic thriller series.
It’s funny how things work out. I’d lost touch with Jenn Low years ago, but when I released Forged in Fire, the first book in my Red-Hot SEALs series, we reconnected. Turns out she’d received the rights back to the SEAL series she sold to Avon all those years ago, and self-published them . . . at the same time I’d self-published Forged in Fire.
We'd come full circle.