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Like so many other writers, I had the urge to create stories from the very beginning. I probably left scratches in my mother’s womb that resembled cave drawings. As a child, telling stories in comic strip form was a natural for me. Then I created stories to perform while bringing to life the pretend console “radio” my sister and I concocted from a large cardboard box. That was a l-o-n-g time ago. No soap operas or even Sergeant Preston of the Yukon on the radio anymore.
By the time I was fourteen, I’d sold my first article to my hometown newspaper. Along the way, I’ve sold short stories, interviews, and articles to magazines and newspapers.
Michigan State University’s two-inch-thick catalog blew my mind with all the wonderful classes it offered, so that’s where I attended.
But deep in my heart, I wanted to write–and sell– a book-length story—a novel! I jump-started my understanding of writing and selling a novel when I joined Romance Writers of America. I spent a four-year stint on the other side of publication as editor of the Mid-Michigan chapter’s newsletter, the Mirror and was immersed in informative and insightful articles and chapter programs from top-notch authors.
It is with deep gratitude that I’m using what I’m constantly learning from fellow writers, family, and friends to create my writing projects and now my novels.
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Jolana was born in Brooklyn, NY, and began her writing career at age 3 1/2 by carving her name on her mom's credenza. (Now uses a MacBook Pro.) First job, door-to-door sales; first employer, Girl Scouts of America. Also worked as a salesclerk in Macy's Herald Square store, as an advertising secretary/receptionist/ghost copywriter, an elementary school teacher, a reporter, columnist, editor and as a publicist. Working on adding published author to the list. B.A. Degree, Hunter College of the City University of New York; M.S. Ed. Degree, St. Johns University, New York. Loves books; they're stacked two deep on her shelves. Also loves old movies, big band, oldies and classical music, Star Trek and Firefly, is learning to paint, and adores Betty White. Would love gardening too if she wasn't the kiss of death to plants. Married, two sons, eight grandchildren.
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I first inscribed picture stories on my closet doors with purple crayon until I discovered that paper and pencil were an easier medium to work with. As a child, I started writing because I couldn’t find books about the kinds of people I wanted to read. I liked strong, independent girl heroines who were smart AND who embarked on grand adventures – like how I envisioned my life should be. Unfortunately, my adventures usually ended in disaster with me being grounded and things requiring repair work or stitches.
I dreamed of seeing my name on a real book cover, but alas, one has to have a reliable job to pay the bills, so I detoured through two bachelor degrees and a Doctor of Optometry degree and dabbled with the raising of two children, two cats, and one husband before the siren call of writing became impossible to ignore. Those courageous heroines could no longer be denied their stories as they set about turning the adversities of life into advantages. And if a not-so-charming hero complicates their efforts, it makes for an even more interesting tale. Toss in a romantic historical setting and it’s a recipe for a grand adventure for all involved.
By day, I’m saving the world one eyeball at a time…By night, I’m penning romantic tales of resilient heroines and the sexy men who cherish them.
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I consider myself a hopeful romantic.
I write sexy, small-town contemporary romances with a happily ever after, of course.
I love writing and learning about the craft of writing romance. In addition to my membership here at MMRWA, I also belong to two other RWA affiliated chapters, Detroit RWA and Contemporary Romance Writers and a non-RWA writing organization, Capital City Writers.
The Midwest has been home to me for most of my life. I grew up in southern Ohio and attended Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. After graduating with a B.A. in English I took a position as an Admissions Representative at Alma College in Alma, Michigan where I met my husband. We spent a year in Louisville, KY before moving back to Michigan where we have been ever since. We've lived in southwest Michigan for over thirty years. It was not our intention to endure this many winters but somehow we're still here.
I have two children who are no longer children and two four-legged pals in our home who keep us entertained. A dachshund named Rojo, and a border collie named Oreo.