To tell the truth, writer was my third choice of career.  My first choice was to be a first communion girl.  There was this procession right by the house, once a year, and they all wore these dresses and I thought… cool!  It’s an easy job – once a year! – and you get the dress and the veil and everyone pays you tons of attention. 

I don’t know who broke it to me that first communion girl was not a full time job, didn’t pay and in fact you could only do it once.  I’m sure I was devastated. 

However, I’m one who always rebounds from difficulties.  So I found this old picture of an angel and I thought “oh, cool.  You get the dress AND wings.  You can fly and drop things on people from above.  How many kinds of coolness can that be?” 

Turns out it too isn’t a full time job, not as such.  More of a promotion.  One you’re unlikely to get if your main interest in flight is to drop icky stuff on your enemies.  Oh, yeah, and it’s a position people are dying to get.  Literally.

So it was back to the drawing board, and by this time I was three and I read a lot.  These books seemed simple things to write.  You just made up stuff.  Sort of what I had to do every time my mother asked me how my dress had got torn, or what exactly had happened to the neighbor’s window.  Easy stuff.  Here, at last, was a job I could do.

Turned out I was right.  In only … thirty years, give or take, I became a published writer.  And on the way there, I acquired enough rejection slips that if the power grid ever goes off my house will NOT freeze.  Ever.  Even, you know, in the face of a new ice age. 

Of course, given my innate ability to position myself, it will surprise no one that my first book, the first of a trilogy that reconstructed Shakespeare’s life, this time with magic and elves – Ill Met By Moonlight, All Night Awake, Any Man So Daring – came out a month after nine eleven.  To be honest I was so shell shocked I didn’t think of the impact on my career till six months later when we started hearing that it was “the worst quarter in American publishing.  Ever.” 

So, the other two books in the series were doomed.  I think some people read them.  Not my relatives, though, because they don’t read in English.  (I was born and raised in Portugal.  For more information, go here:  ) Actually a lot of people read them.  Just not early enough to keep them in print. 

Fortunately I signed up for a Musketeer Mystery series with Prime Crime: and a Fantasy Series with Baen Books:   Then there was another Fantasy Series from Bantam Books:   (In case you wonder, yes, there are excerpts at all of those links.) 

This brings me just about up to date and my most recent books, which are, in order of apperance, as it were: 

Darkship Thieves, a Space Opera (which in this case has been called an Urban Fantasy In Space) which came out January 2010.  It is a story of love and romance and revolution.  There are excerpts here:   It is probably one of my favorite books. 

Then there is No Will But His, the story of Kathryn Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife whom he nicknamed his “rose without a thorn.”  I got in an argument with my editor at Berkley over Kathryn, oh, seven years ago.  Most books about her treat her as a clueless dunce and a nympho.  I thought she couldn’t possibly be that – though she was painfully young – and have become Henry’s Queen.  All his other wives were unusually smart. 

Well, we had the argument and I thought nothing would come of it.  And then two years ago I got a phone call and was asked if I would like to write the story of her life.  The book was released… three days ago, and the excerpts are available here. 

Which brings us to the next book.  I’ve written a furniture refinishing mystery series, under the pen name Elise Hyatt.  The first book in the series, Dipped, Stripped and Dead came out in October, and the next one comes out in a couple of weeks.  This second one is called A French Polished Murder.  And the excerpts are here:

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