Growing up in Joliet, Illinois, Samantha James had many childhood aspirations--being a writer was never one of them. When she was ten, she was certain she was destined to be an astronomer. That soon changed (happened a lot during those pre-teen years!) when she decided archaeology was in her future. Detective work was her next goal, thanks to the Trixie Belden mysteries she was reading, and before long, nursing beckoned (courtesy of the Cherry Ames series). In college, she set her sights on teaching history, then briefly entertained the notion of becoming a flight attendant, only to discover she did not like to fly.
Having been raised in a family of avid readers, she was rarely without a book in hand. Her tastes were rather eclectic. She got hooked on the Doc Savage series and Edgar Rice Burroughs after her older brother finished them, in her teen years, moved on to Agatha Christie, Daphne DuMaurier, and Phyllis A. Whitney.
In the meantime, the right guy came along. They met on a semi-blind date at an office Christmas party. She was told he wanted to go out with her, and he was told she wanted to go out with him. Six months later, the U.S. Army shipped him off to Germany--and she wrote faithfully at least three times a week--she often jokes this was the start of her writing career!
Marriage followed, as well as three daughters. Samantha left the detective work to her husband and turned her attention to raising their girls. When her youngest was six months old, two things happened: 1) she read Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain and scrambled to find every historical romance she could lay her hands on; 2) her older brother revealed he was writing and submitting his short stories to big-name magazines. As he put it, "I've been rejected by the best of 'em."
The seed was planted. Rejection was a dreaded word, but Samantha figured, "Well, if he can take it, so can I."
That summer, she wrote not one book, but three--longhand, in a notebook, during naptime. Bedtime. Any time she could. The burning desire to write was a long time in coming--she was nearing thirty by then--but she discovered that once she set pen to paper, she couldn't stop.
Those three manuscripts did get the dreaded rejection letter (they're still languishing somewhere in her attic), but she finally hit pay dirt with her fourth. Samantha's brother promptly proposed collaborating on a fantasy together--alas, still unwritten... Nowadays, she's firmly convinced she's the queen of rejected titles for her books. She's only managed to retain two original titles thus far, but writing is indeed a dream come true...
To date, her books have been published in numerous foreign countries (her daughters' number one choice for show-and-tell were always the foreign editions of Mom's books). Known for her heartfelt, emotionally charged "three-hanky reads", her books have been nominated for numerous awards, and have consistently hit the bestseller lists.
Maybe someday she'll do that fantasy-romance collaboration with her brother. For now, she's having a great time spinning dramatic, passionate tales of old...