When I was still in high school, I wasn't allowed to bring
romance novels into the house, much less read them," Cathy
Yardley remembers with a smile. "My family was pretty
strict, and very focused on scholastics. The only romances I
got to read were Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontë. So when I
went away to college, and my best friend had a closet full
of them, I binged." That small rebellion turned into a
writing career with the publication of her first novel, "The
Cinderella Solution", published by Harlequin Duets.
Cathy Yardley's writing career has been "a complete
surprise." After graduating from University of California,
Berkeley with a double major in Mass Communications and Art
History, she had originally planned on trying to be a
publicist for other romance authors. She joined the Los
Angeles Chapter of the Romance Writers of America in 1995.
When she won first place in the Romantic Suspense category
of their annual writing contest, she "took my writing more
seriously." The result was her first sale.
"I'd written a term paper at Berkeley about the feminist
themes in romance fiction," she remembers. "Now I get to
put those ideas into practice. I love writing about strong
heroines and heroes, and about the realities and rewards of
falling in love." She explores these themes in her latest
book, "The Driven Snowe", a November 2001 release from
Harlequin's super-sexy new line, Blaze.
Currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area, the
20-something writer is working as a budget analyst at a
major healthcare organization and working on a women's
fiction project for the new Red Dress Ink imprint. Titled
"L.A. Woman", it will be released next summer.