I've always been intrigued by the emotions and power of love. "Happily Ever After" endings of songs and movies inspired the romantic in me. In 1994, I sat down, wrote a book, and sent it out. I faced a rude awakening at my very first book rejection.

Apparently, my story lacked an important element needed in romance books...dialogue! I had much to learn. That same year, I joined Romance Writers of America and a local chapter, Mid America Romance Authors in order to learn about writing romances and the ins and outs of the industry.

I took a few years off from solely writing romance books and entered the realm of nonfiction writing. In 2000, I published a ghostwritten autobiographical e-book based on the life of a speaker from a women's shelter. I'd continued writing romance stories during this time and incorporated new techniques and skills I had learned in my books.

In October 2006, I received my first romance book contract from Cerridwen Press (now Blush), an imprint of Ellora's Cave, and continue to sell sensual mainstream (paranormal and contemporary) romance books. Humor is fun to incorporate in my stories, although some of them contain a more serious tone. Under the pen name April Ash, I wrote some erotic romances.

I ghostwrote another nonfiction book; memoirs of a woman who lived in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. And, another nonfiction book is written at a 6th grade reading level. It's about a dog who struggled to survive and adjust to a new quality of life after being hit by a car.

I'm a member of Romance Writers of America, Published Authors Network, and The Authors Guild. I now write short stories for anthologies published by The Naughty Literati, Romance Books '4' Us, and looking into joining other anthology groups.

I live in Kansas, not far from Kansas City. Here I'm surrounded by family and friends who've been supportive of my writing and endeavor to publish. I hope you enjoy reading my books!
  Copyright © 2011 Marianne Stephens
  Images: Bigstock.com
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