Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Rebecca lived in Knoxville and then, later, Chattanooga for the first few years of her life. After that, she and her family moved to Kansas, where she grew up, spending her summers in Alabama, visiting both sets of her grandparents. She says she's just a country girl with a dash of big city sprinkled in for spice. But having traveled extensively in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Caribbean, she moves easily between the publishing world of New York and her hometown.
Rebecca graduated cum laude with departmental honors from Wichita State University, earning a B.A. in journalism, minors in history and music (theory and composition), and an M.A. in communications [mass (broadcasting) and interpersonal (dyadic relationships)]. During the course of her education, she was fortunate enough to study at various times under, among several other distinguished instructors, three Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and one of the foremost authorities in the field of interpersonal communication. Twice a recipient of the Victor Murdock Scholarship, Rebecca taught interpersonal communication at the university level before becoming a published writer.
She was twenty-one when she started work on her first novel, No Gentle Love. She finished the book a year later and sold it to Warner Books some months after her twenty-third birthday, making her, at that time, the youngest romance author in America, a record that stood for ten years before finally being broken. To date, Rebecca has written over thirty consecutive bestselling titles, including novels and novellas on the following lists: New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Magazine & Bookseller, Ingram, B. Dalton, and Waldenbooks, among many others.
Her books have been translated into a number of foreign languages, including Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish; and they have been published in over sixty countries worldwide. Many have been selections of the Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild. Hardback editions of several titles have been published by Severn House, and large-print editions of some books are also available from Macmillan Library Reference and Thorndike Press. Rebecca currently has millions of books in print in the United States alone.
From Affaire de Coeur magazine, she has won: the Classic Award for Classic Romances, for Love, Cherish Me, 1990; the Golden Quill Award for Best of the '80s Historical Romances, for Love, Cherish Me, 1990; the Bronze Pen (Wholesalers' Choice) Award, 1989; the Silver Pen (Readers' Choice) Award, 1988, 1987, and 1986; and a Gold Certificate for The Outlaw Hearts, 1987.
From Romantic Times magazine, she has won: the Reviewer's Choice Nominee for Best Historical Romantic Mystery, for The Ninefold Key, 2004; the Reviewer's Choice Certificate of Excellence for Victorian Historical Romance, for The Jacaranda Tree, 1995; the KISS (Knight in Shining Silver) of the Month for Best Hero, for The Jacaranda Tree, 1995, and for Swan Road, 1994; the Career Achievement Award for Futuristic Romance, 1991, for Passion Moon Rising and Beyond the Starlit Frost; the Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Historical Gothic, for Across a Starlit Sea, 1989, and for Upon a Moon-Dark Moor, 1988; the Historical Romance Novelist of the Year Award, 1987; and the Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Western Romance, for The Outlaw Hearts, 1986. Rebecca has also been named one of Love's Leading Ladies and inducted into Romantic Times magazine's Hall of Fame.
One of the more unusual honors she has enjoyed as a result of her writing career was being named an Honorary Duchess of Paducah, 1983. She is also a founder and member of Novelists, Inc., a charter member of Romance Writers of America, and a member of Mensa (an organization for people whose IQs are in the upper two percent of the world's population).
She has been written about in such publications as Affaire de Coeur, Collier's Encyclopędia Year Book 1983, Contemporary Authors, Fiction Writers Monthly, Inside Books, Lovelines, Love's Leading Ladies, Mademoiselle, Magazine & Bookseller, MS, Newsweek, Rave Reviews, Romantic Times, and various volumes of Who's Who, as well as newspapers nationwide; and she was a contributor to the nonfiction works My First Real Romance, Read 'em and Eat, and Recipes of Romance.
Over the years, she has appeared on such television shows as Good Morning, America and Geraldo, and as a celebrity judge for the Miss USA 1990 Pageant. She was a subject of a commentary by Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes (a portion of her reply was read on air by Harry Reasoner) and of a documentary film on the romance genre, Where the Heart Roams.
Rebecca lives in the Midwest with her second husband, Englishman John Cox. The two share their home with her college-age son, Shane, who was born, appropriately enough, on St. Valentine's Day --- and believe it or not, he was delivered by Dr. Dehart, too!
Her hobbies and sports interests include astrology, backgammon, bridge, chess, computer and video games, fencing, horseback riding, karate, Middle-Eastern dance, playing the guitar and singing, reading, and target shooting. She also enjoys researching ancient history (especially that of the Celts and Picts), as well as studying cosmogony, mythology, philosophy, and theology. Her own personal philosophy has always been that when the student is ready, the teacher appears, and she applies this bit of wisdom to all aspects of her life. She collects porcelain figures, movie posters, and Highlander and Star Trek memorabilia.
A Pisces with a Leo moon (cusped with Cancer) and Scorpio rising, Rebecca celebrates her birthday on March 4th. Her birthstone is an aquamarine, and her favorite color is lilac.
Her all-time favorite movies are Camelot and All That Jazz; and her all-time favorite novels are Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy (composed of The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment) and Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum.
The most memorable lines Rebecca feels she herself has ever written are:
"...the whole of a man is determined not by the sum of his parts,
but by the sum of his choices."
---Passion Moon Rising
"...we must all of us --- always --- be seekers of knowledge, speakers of truth, with the will and the courage to stand up and do ever what is right."
---Beyond the Starlit Frost
To read Rebecca's ramblings about her books, activities, experiences, and thoughts on life, writers, readers, popular fiction, the publishing industry, and anything else that takes her fancy, be sure to check out her blog!
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