Introducing . . .Barb DeLong!

It all started when I was twelve years old, this passion for romance. At least, writing about it. I combined my love of westerns, which were the big thing on TV at the tiBarbPhotome (Cheyenne – sigh!), with a pre-teen’s notion of romance, and pecked away on an old typewriter over summer break. I still have those yellowed pages with the two-tone black and red letters, where laughably, cut and paste literally meant cut and paste. I won my first writing contest that same year in Toronto’s I Love My Daddy Because contest. In twenty-five words or less I did just that in a quirky, humorous style and won a shiny new two-wheeler. I was on my way!

Then life intervened – hectic high school, college, marriage, kids, a move to California from Canada. Don’t get me wrong. I’d been writing the whole time, just not romantic fiction: articles for company and car club newsletters; dry as dust aerospace engineering documents and maintenance manuals; children’s books self-published for a family craft business; a family memoir anthology; some really bad poetry. Yeah, that sort of thing kept me busy until I read about a local adult education novel writing class led by Maralys Wills. I’d been reading romances by the armful for years, so why not go back to my roots and try my hand at writing them? My first visit to class changed my life. I met two would-be romance writers who introduced me to Romance Writers of America and the local Orange County Chapter.

Since then, I’ve been a finalist in several romance writing contests for unpublished writers. In 2015, I was thrilled to win OCC’s coveted first place Charlotte Award for my humorous paranormal Charm’d. My contemporary short story “The Guy With the Dragon Tattoo” appears in the anthology Romancing the Pages.

So what do I write about? I call it paranormal light-hearted. The dark, world- and soul-crushing paranormals I’ve read have awesome world building and fantastical characters, but I can’t write them. I’m not happy if I’m not writing humor, so my paranormals are infused with the loopy stuff. Animals of all kinds (horses and raccoons being faves) show up frequently. Can’t help myself. Even though I’m almost an arachnophobe, I seem to tuck a spider in a cozy story corner somewhere.  But who knows? One day I may dust off that old western romance and complete that hunky cowboy historical from my youth. Meantime, I’m happily working on a humorous paranormal romance series called Charmed by a Witch, filled with the magic of love, laughter and happily ever after.

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