Jessica R. Mayo was born on February 7, 1936 in Staffordshire, England, and has remained within the county all of her life. It was never her ambition to become a writer, although she always loved reading, even to the extent of reading comics out loud to her twin brother when she was eight years old. In fact her only writing experience was in letters to various pen pals around the world. She unfortunately lost touch with them now and often wonders whether any of them have ever discovered that her chatty letters were the forerunner to her writing career.
She left school to become a secretary, taking a break to have her two children, Adrian and Tina. Once they were at school she started back to work and planned to further her career by becoming a bi-lingual secretary. Unfortunately she couldn't speak any languages other than her native English, so she began evening classes. It was at this time that she got the idea for a romantic short story - to this day she doesn't know where the idea came from or why, but she thanks her lucky stars because it kick-started her career. Margaret, and her mother before her, had always read Mills & Boon romances, and to actually be writing one excited her beyond measure.
'My life began at forty' is another one of her favourite sayings - because that is when her first book was published - two and a half years after she first set pen to paper (that first book was written long before she felt confident enough to send it off).Having those books accepted was the happiest and most exciting day of her life. She waltzed her husband around the room and their two children thought they'd gone mad, until they were told the good news.
Her first two submitted novels were accepted simultaneously, and now she has over sixty-five to her credit. When she looks at them lined up on her bookshelf she wonders how she has managed to write all those millions of words. She is a hopeless romantic who loves writing. She falls in love with every one of her heroes and likes to boast about how many 'love affairs' she's had.
Margaret gets so immersed in her writing that one day - before she made writing her full-time career and did most of her writing at the office (!!) - her daughter phoned to ask whether she could come and meet her out of work. Margaret told her not to be silly because it was foggy. Her daughter said 'But it's sunny here.' And when Margaret looked out of the window the sun was shining. Her hero and heroine were lost out in a sea of fog!
Before she became a successful author Margaret was extremely shy and found it difficult to talk to strangers. For research purposes she forced herself to speak to people from all walks of life and now says her shyness has gone forever - to a certain degree. She is still happier pouring her thoughts out on paper.