I am the sixth out of seven children and was raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life I spent a lot of time reading romance novels and riding a chubby buckskin gelding named—unimaginatively if eponymously—Buck. I also spent a lot of time practicing the piano. My first career was as a technical writer and editor, a busy profession that nonetheless left enough time to read many, many romance novels.
It also left time to grab a law degree through an evening program, produce Beloved Offspring (only one, but she is a lion), and eventually move to the lovely Maryland countryside.
While reading yet still more romance novels (there is a trend here) I opened my own law practice, acquired a master’s degree in Conflict Management (I had a teenage daughter by then) and started thinking about writing.... romance novels. This aim was realized when Beloved Offspring struck out into the Big World a few years ago. (“Mom, why doesn’t anybody tell you being a grown-up is hard?”)
I eventually got up the courage to start pitching manuscripts to agents and editors. The query letter that resulted in “the call” started out: “I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing—and if that doesn’t narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought.” (The dear lady bought the book anyway.)
Please feel free to contact me. I love reader mail.
Learn more about Grace in these blog posts:
I love to write. I love to wake up in the morning, come downstairs, turn on the computer, make a cup of decaf tea and play "let's pretend" for hours. I wrote two million words of romantic fiction before I was published and enjoyed every one. Somebody that passionate about words must occasionally be indulged with a focus exclusively on language, and that's what the word corner is for. It's my equivalent of a toy corner, and I'm inviting you to come join me as I spend time with the language, words and phrases that please and fascinate me most.
The latest in the Word Corner:
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any.
Russell Baker from “Growing Up” (1982)
Where did we go right?
Mel Brooks from “The Producers” screenplay
Even bad books are books and therefore sacred.
Gunter Grass from “The Tin Drum”
I wanted to use what I was, to be what I was born to be—not to have a “career,” but to be that straightforward obvious, unmistakable animal, a writer.
Cynthia Ozick from “Metaphor and Memory”
I am for an art that tells you the time of day, or where such and such a street is. I am for an art that helps old ladies across the street.
We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
Joan Didion from “The White Album” (1979)
When literature becomes overly erudite, it means that interest in the art has gone and curiosity about the artist is what is most important. It becomes a kind of idolatry.
Isaac Bashevis Singer, from About Everything, interview with Richard Burgin in The New York Times Magazine, November 26, 1978
If he wrote it, he could get rid of it. He had gotten rid of many things by writing them.
Earnest Hemingway from “Winner Take Nothing” (1933) Fathers and Sons
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
Virginia Woolf from “A Room of Her Own” (1929)
Publish and be damned.
Attributed to Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, when the courtesan Harriette Wilson threatened to publish her memoirs and his letters
Woman would be more charming if one could fall into her arms without falling into her hands.
Ambrose Bierce from “Epigrams”
Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. “The Class of ‘61” from Speeches (1913)