Jay Blakeney was born on Juny 20, 1929. Her great-grandfather was a well-known writer on moral theology, so perhaps she inherited her writing gene from him. She was "talking stories" to herself long before she could read. When she was still at school, she sold her first short stories to a woman's magazine and she feels she was destined to write. Decided to became a writer, she started writing for newspapers and magazines.
At 21, Jay was a newspaper reporter with a career plan, but the man she was wildly in love with announced that he was off to the other side of the world. He thought they should either marry or say goodbye. She always believed that true love could last a lifetime, and she felt that wonderful men were much harder to find than good jobs, so she put her career on hold. What a wise decision it was! She felt that new young women seem less inclined to risk everything for love than her generation.
Together they traveled the world. If she hadn't spent part of her bridal year living on the edge of a jungle in Malaysia, she might never have become a romance writer. That isolated house, and the perils of the state of emergency that existed in the country at that time, gave her a background and plot ideally suited to a genre she had never read until she came across some romances in the library of a country club they sometimes visited. She can write about love with the even stronger conviction that comes from experience.
When they returned to Europe, Jay resumed her career as a journalist, writing her first romance in her spare time. She sold her first novel as Anne Weale to Mills and Boon in 1955 at the age of 24. At 30, with seven books published, she "retired" to have a baby and become a full-time writer. She raised a delightful son, David, who is as adventurous as his father. Her husband and son have even climbed in the Andes and the Himalayas, giving her lots of ideas for stories. When she retired from reporting, her fiction income -- a combination of amounts earned as a Mills & Boon author and writing for magazines such as Woman's Illustrated, which serialized the work of authors -- exceed 1,000 pounds a year.
She was a founding member of the The Romantic Novelists' Association. In 2002 she published her last novel, in total, she wrote 88 novels. She also wrote under the pseudonym Andrea Blake. She loved setting her novels in exotic parts of the world, but specially in The Caribbean and in her beloved Spain. Since 1989, Jay spent most of the winter months in a very small "pueblo" in the backwoods of Spain. During years, she visited some villages, and from each she have borrowed some feature - a fountain, a street, a plaza, a picturesque old house - to create some places like Valdecarrasca, that is wholly imaginary and yet typical of the part of rural Spain she knew best. She loved walking, reading, sketching, sewing (curtains and slipcovers) and doing needlepoint, gardening, entertaining friends, visiting art galleries and museums, writing letters, surfing the Net, traveling in search of exciting locations for future books, eating delicious food and drinking good wine, cataloguing her books.
She wrote a regular website review column for The Bookseller from 1998 to 2004, before starting her own blog Bookworm on the Net. At the time of her death, on October 24, 2007, she was working on her autobiography "88 Heroes... 1 Mr. Right".