Like so many authors, I loved reading and writing from a young age. A storyteller at heart, I'd line up my menagerie of pet dogs, cats and chickens and regale them with stories about the magical fairies and pixies in my garden. My imagination is and has always been an inspiration. For me, they inextricably link us to our power and purpose in life.
There also dwelt within me a desire to fly. Not in a plane like normal people but to actually sprout celestial wings like an angel and soar. My connection with the freedom of flight compelled me to test myself, but rather than jumping off tall buildings in a single bound, I leaped, spun and pranced. Eyes ever upwards and arms stretched towards heaven, I hoped one day I'd launch myself to the stars. Thus, the dancer was born. To dance set my blithe spirit free and was the closest thing to flying I could do without assistance from anyone or anything else while remaining within the constraints of gravity.
So off to dance classes I merrily skipped - ballet, tap, jazz, modern and contemporary - I loved them all. Glued for hours watching Hollywood musicals, I adored Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, who became my heroes. Handsome, debonair, graceful men oozing with style and charisma, they epitomised success. Even today, one of my heroes in Dancing Queen, Nick Stavros possesses all these qualities, bringing me full circle in how fiction is often based in fact.
My successful career in the live entertainment business followed as a dancer, choreographer and director. My three-decade-long love affair with the stage spurred me forward yet in the back of my mind, my desire to write continued to inspire. Avidly reading the works of Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Jackie Collins and many others urged me to put-pen-to-paper but as John Lennon sang, 'life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.'
After many years on the wicked stage, my thirst for a deeper understanding of life propelled me into spirituality - again the angel wings flapped. I spent four years on an intensive journey within, emerging as a stress & life skill therapist and teacher in healing practices such as reiki, re-birthing and meditation. It was during my search for self-actualization, I discovered the divine feminine - the intuitive, unconditionally loving and universally intelligent aspect of my being. It is she who weaves the underlying magic in my erotic romances. In Dancing Queen, the divine feminine, through a series of cryptic clues guides my sassy heroine, Michele Johnston to make certain decisions and trust her life will work out perfectly. With a staunch refusal to play the pouty princess and surrender to a man's bidding, Michele trusts her instincts, empowering herself to fulfil her fantasies and find love on her terms, albeit with one, almighty twist at the end. I'm sure those years of acting in mystery theatre plays, reading murder mysteries and solving whodunits contributed to the appeal of writing love stories with a difference, with a twist. Nothing like a few red herrings to keep the pace lively!
As time ticked away, I combined all the aspects of my varied career by becoming a guest celebrity with the pseudonym of the Goddess of Love on Australian national radio and television offering advice on sex, relationships and love. That sex and spirituality were so often considered mutually exclusive confounded me and with a good dose of humour and, of course the divine feminine, I broached the subject with joie de vivre, hoping to overturn taboos.
Had I ever considered writing erotic romances? No, but looking back on my life, it seems an obvious progression. Like a delicious cake, my life has been full of unique ingredients - an onstage career as a dancer, a spiritual awakening with unusual stakes (more of this to come in my teaching memoir), working as a stress and life skills therapist, and my innate desire to fly high above the ordinary. Amazing experiences all integral to my now being an author, with erotic stories of love, life and hope yearning to be told.
And, if like Michele Johnston from Dancing Queen, you are looking for entertainment, escape and erotic adventures with emotional punch, then put on your dancing shoes and join her as she searches for love and finds the unexpected.