Social networking for romance readers
Born in Preston, Lancashire in 1946 she began creating stories at the age of eight for her younger sister and credits a competition run by the Romantic Novelists Association, of helping her to garner her first publication deal.
After grammar school and secretarial college Penny's first job was as a typist in a High Street bank. She met her husband Steve Halsall at a jazz club. In a 2008 interview with the Lancashire Evening Post, she recalled how her husband supported her early writing efforts. "The turning point came when he bought me this small electric typewriter," she says. "It was 3 and 6 - a lot of money back in the Seventies. He could barely afford it but he knew I was keen."
Her first novel Duchess in Disguise was published in 1979 using the pen name Caroline Courtney under which she went on to write another 24 Regency romances. In the 1980s Penny wrote novels under the names Melissa Wright and Lydia Hitchcock and was signed by Mills and Boon in 1981 as Penny Jordan starting the beginning of a thirty year career as a bestselling and internationally popular author penning in total 188 romances for Mills and Boon.
In 2003 Penny's first historical novel as Annie Groves was published, adapting a story of her grandmother's. This heralded the start of a new career writing family sagas and many bestsellers. Her most recent Annie Groves novel, Home for Christmas, was published in September 2011.
Penny Jordan's books have sold over 85 million copies worldwide and she was presented last year with a lifetime achievement award from the Romantic Novelists Association. She was a much loved member of the romantic fiction community, always generous with her help and advice and will be missed by many in the industry as well as her legions of fans.
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