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Real-Life Romance to Become a Book: Did This Really Happen to Me?

sampayshieMy love of romance began with The Love Boat and that flirtation between Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner in Wonder Woman. I consumed stories more feverishly when Nici, my high school BFF and future matron-of-honor, handed me my first Harlequin Presents circa 1983–when I was negative 10 years old. There were a few detours before I wound up editing romance novels full-time and–shockingly–finding a hero of my own.

My husband and I have a great love story, but I didn’t consider writing about it for public consumption, aside from the occasional mention on social media. Even though we got to meet Anderson Cooper and appear on the Rachael Ray Show, I still thought, we are far too boring. Secretly, I wrote a few versions of our romance with the intention of stowing them in my closet, along with my many pairs of black shoes and questionable knitting projects.

Late last year, I was telling someone about how Sam and I reconnected, and it hit home how uplifting our story is. It’s about finding love after you’ve given up (and the irony of editing romance through nasty breakups). One of the reasons why I read romance is that the stories make me happy. Of course, I want to write my happy story. In February, this book sold to Dutton and will be coming out early next year. It details my growing love of the romance genre, running parallel to my decreasing interest in real-life romance–until Sam.

I still can’t believe this happened to me, even though I spent the last five months writing and writing. I can’t believe it to the point where I haven’t said much except to a few friends, colleagues and family. Well, until now! What an extraordinary journey this has been.

Please pinch me.