Mia-Zackery-Mia-LenaMia Zachary [awa Mia Lena] – When Mia was about 10 years old, her mother let her read a “grown-up” book. It was a Harlequin Romance about a small-town veterinarian and the family practitioner. That story was pretty tame by today’s standards – the hero and heroine didn’t even kiss until the last page – but it opened up a whole new world to a romantic little girl who loved to write.

Over the years, Mia penned really bad poetry, even worse song lyrics, adolescent short stories and overly descriptive class papers. Then one day a scene for a medieval romance emerged fully detailed in her head and she rushed to get it on paper. That scene eventually turned into eight chapters and a synopsis, but she kept getting bogged down in historical research and set the story aside.

One of her contemporary romance manuscripts won the Harlequin Books 2000 Summer Blaze Contest for bold, brash love scenes, placing second in the published category. On July 10, 2002, after four years and nine rewrites, Red Shoes & a Diary finally sold to the Harlequin Blaze line. In addition to being a fiction author, she’s also a creativity coach and a paralegal hoping to quit the law firm to write full-time.