Born in Tennessee, I was an Army brat, changing schools ten times in twelve years. I’ve lived in Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, Georgia, California, Germany, Scotland, and visited numerous other states and countries. A National Merit Scholar, I hold a B.A. and M.A. in English and taught at several levels but mainly high school English before I stopped to write full time.
Writing was always my dream. I grew up wanting to write and had always had a particular love of historical fiction. The first novel I completedwritten while we lived in Scotland when my daughter Michelle was a baby and my son Quinn was in grade one-- was set in England and Europe during the Napoleonic war and featured several Englishmen and women as the main characters. I received some good rejections on the book but was too new at writing to realize how close I had come and put it aside when I returned to the U.S.
Years later when I decided to get serious about writing for publication, I met an agent at a writing conference and told her I wanted to write historicals. She noted that market was soft and suggested I try a contemporary, instead. I very much wanted to publish, so I did and sold a Harlequin Temptation fairly soon and then a young adult contemporary immediately after. The Temptation did well, but the editor who bought it left, and the next editor and I were not a good fit. The young adult novels were successful, but I never lost my yearning to write historicals. Years later, I decided I had to stop thinking about it and take the plunge.
By this time Michelle, a fourth grader when I celebrated my first published novel, was now in college and trying her hand at writing, too. Well read and a fellow Anglophile, she also loved historical fiction, so I had her critique the manuscript for me. She had such good ideas that I soon suggested that she write a scene. She did, and it was so good and blended so well with my manuscript that we decided to write together. Thus Nicole (Michelle’s middle name) Byrd (my middle name) was born!
We both love English history, enjoy research, and love the Regency era. (I wrote my Master’s thesis on Jane Austin and have always loved this time period). It was a partnership we both enjoyed. We worked on several of the Nicole Byrd books together.
Recently Michelle has decided that she wants to develop her own voice and try some contemporary fiction on her owna healthy and normal stepand she also wants more time for her young family. Soas we had agreed at the beginningwhile she tries something new, I will continue the Nicole Byrd books, which I find a delight to write and research. She still critiques for me, as I do for her, so she’s not totally gone, and I discuss my ideas with her and get her feedback, which I always value. When she’s ready, there will be a link to Michelle’s website here so you can check out what Michelle is up to with her books!