I was born in the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon is a bringer of good fortune and a holder of authority. Those born in Dragon Years are to be honored and respected.
Wait a minute. Back up. Honored and respected? My children might argue that, but I am also Italian. And Italian mothers demand respect.
Now back to reality. I was born in New York to Italian parents who didn't learn English until later in life.
I grew up with "old world" values. A housewife at a time when two-family incomes were not necessary, my mother was always reading books or magazines and was the driving force behind my love of the English language. I started reading before I was five.
When I was eighteen, I lived in Italy for several months with my uncle, an Italian Air Force General, and his family. Every day, I was surrounded by the true Italian culture and exposed to the beauty and romance of Italy's historical past, which later became a focus for many of my books.
I discovered my ability for storytelling in high school, but I didn't pursue writing until years later, well after my three daughters were born. In the early eighties, while working for my local newspaper, I was encouraged to put my ideas on paper. I learned just how difficult writing a full length novel was. The first romance I wrote broke all the rules.
On a lark, I attended a romance writer's conference in San Diego. From then on, I knew writing romances is what I wanted to do.
For the next ten years, I wrote stories while tutoring English, Italian, Spanish and German at a local college. It wasn't until the mid-nineties that I buckled down and became serious about getting published.
I am currently a member of the San Diego Chapter of the Romance Writer's of America, RWA National, and PAN (Published Authors Network), along with many other online writing chapters.
My house is always full of laughter, especially when my grandchildren visit. I live in Southern California with my husband (my very own knight in shining armor) and three Rat Terriers. Although my husband is Czech, we are both active in the Order Sons of Italy in America. They have made him an honorary Italian.
I love to hear from my readers. You can email me here: info(AT)jcortipetska(DOT)com