J. R. Ward
The phrase "heartless lawyer" is as much a part of the English lexicon as "two-faced politician". Attorneys are not known for their soft side and finding one who wants to leave the field to write contemporary women's literature seems highly unlikely.
But I guess you could say, my heart's never been in the law.
I was eight years old when I wrote my first story, ten when I finished my first book and thirteen when I fell in love with stories about people falling in love. I can remember the first romance novel I ever read and am able to picture exactly where I sat while turning the pages. It was in a walled garden surrounded by blooming pastel roses on a perfect summer day. I have to say the bucolic scene was a poetic compliment to the genre but it was totally unnecessary. I was hooked and have been ever since.
What fascinates me about love stories is the drama that surrounds people when they lose their hearts to someone else. I've never seen a romance in real life that ran smoothly in the beginning because with great love comes great vulnerability. The question always in my mind is, when two people get rattled like that, how do the pieces come back together? How are they united in spite of the forces, internal and external, which threaten to tear them apart?
I could continue to ply my hours in lawyerly pursuits but I'd rather reach out to people who likewise have a passion for romance. The pastel roses were a great backdrop on that summer day long ago but I didn't need them. What I needed was an author who could spin a tale out of the ether and let me live a little in the divine drama of two people falling in love.
So maybe I am a heartless lawyer. When I'm in my black suit and up to my elbows in corporate work, my heart's not in it. Give me a key board and a ream of blank paper, though, and I'll show you a woman of passion!
J.R. Ward currently lives in The South with her husband. A graduate of Smith College, she majored in Art History and History and then realized she needed to support herself. After graduating from law school, she began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. She's now adjusting to the writer's lifestyle—and loves going to work in her slippers!
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