It was after I read my first romance novel when I was seventeen that I decided on two things: I was going to be a writer and I was going to marry a Harlequin Mills and Boon hero.
For years I had planned to be a nurse but after fainting in the operating theatre whilst I was on work experience I had to do a quick change to teacher training instead. Much less blood, or so I thought!
And the hero I hear you ask?
He came along when I was least expecting it and swept me off my feet in two dates. I’d known him for years as he was a friend of my older brother’s but always thought him a bit dull. It’s the strong silent types you have to watch out for!!!!
We have two sons who did a very good job of turning me off the idea of ever teaching again even though I have a Masters Degree in Education. Instead, I decided I would finally do what I’d been promising to do for years – write a novel. As soon as my fingertips hit those computer keys I felt as if I had finally found my niche, and even though I subsequently received a couple of rejections I wasn’t discouraged but soldiered on. The next year I came second in The Emma Darcy Award in Australia, and after another three rejections sold my first Presents novel in February 2003, and became the first Australian author in ten years to be contracted to Harlequin Mills & Boon Presents. I now write for HMB Medicals as well as the Presents line so that work experience all those years ago didn’t exactly go to waste.
I am a nationally ranked top ten master’s swimmer but I didn’t learn to swim until I was an adult. I almost drowned at the age of six at my first swimming lesson so overcoming that fear was a huge turning point in my life. I’ve since applied that same principle to anything I am feeling hesitant about, my credo is: “don’t say I can’t – say I can try.
As well as swimming I enjoy long walks and of course reading. I’ve recently retired from long distance running as I wore my poor feet out! I love biographies, the classics and philosophy and anything with a happy ending. Since I can’t walk or swim with a book in my hand I usually have a book in my head which makes my time in front of the computer so much more efficient as it all comes flowing out as if I’d just been speaking with the characters.
I am passionate about the rights and needs of children and animals, and hope by writing happy fulfilling stories I can do my bit to change the world even from my small corner in beautiful Tasmania.
My favourite quote: “Books, the children of the brain.” Jonathan Swift "A Tale of A Tub" (1704)
You can contact Melanie Milburne at email address - firstname.lastname@example.org