THE STORY OF MY LIFE,
if you really want to know…
I always wanted to write, ever since I was a child growing up in Holland. I was a dreamer, reading books and making up my own stories. I had notebooks full of stories which I illustrated with crayon drawings. My brothers burned the notebooks in the attic one day, fortunately not burning down the house. They don’t remember this now, but I do!
I also always wanted to travel. Holland is very flat and I wanted to see mountains and coconut palms and tropical beaches and deserts. I wanted to meet interesting people and learn about different cultures and see how people lived their daily lives. And then I wanted to write adventurous stories set in these exotic places
I got lucky and fell in love with a globetrotting American. I met him in Amsterdam, he asked me to marry him in Rome, and we tied the knot in a ten-minute ceremony in Kenya, East Africa, where he was a Peace Corps Volunteer. Some wedding that was! Not the stuff of romantic dreams, but really good for a laugh.
After Kenya we lived in the States for a while, then four years in Ghana, West Africa where not only our first daughter was born, but my first Mills & Boon romance as well. It took me a year to write, which is three months longer than it takes to have a baby. It was set in Ghana, and I called it SWEET NOT ALWAYS, a slogan found on a big colorfully decorated truck that transported people, goods, and live chickens.
I continued writing romances and loved the creativity of it, although it was, and is, never easy. Later we also lived in Indonesia, Ramallah (Palestine), then another three years in Ghana, six years in Armenia followed by sojourns in Moldova and the US. We now life in France. Along the way we acquired a couple more kids, so now we have three, all grown.
I’ve written over thirty books now, many set in exotic locations such as Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, Java, Kenya and Ghana, as well as Holland and the US. Writing as Mona van Wieren, I received a RITA for a Silhouette Romance entitled RHAPSODY IN BLOOM.
I love the challenge of living in a foreign country where the food is different, the people interesting and life gives me endless inspiration for my writing. So, I’ll just keep going for a while.