Rugged Heroes ~ Resilient Heroines ~ Heartwarming Romance
About Stacey Joy Netzel
I was born in Wisconsin and grew up in the Crivitz area. My love of reading stemmed from a number of things. Mom always encouraged reading and Dad encouraged work. It wasn't that Dad didn't like us reading (me, my two older sisters and younger brother), but he taught us not to be afraid of work.
Me, I'd rather be riding my horse, Kaleb, or reading.
Dad knew if I couldn't be found stacking wood, raking leaves, or peeling pine logs for the house we were building, then I was most likely hiding somewhere with a book. (Walter Farley's Black Stallion books will forever hold a special place in my heart.)
In school, my reading teachers, Mrs. Hutchinson (6th grade) and Mrs. Sherman (8th grade), encouraged me even more. All through high school I wrote stories, though the only one I ever finished was a hundred and eighty page romance about Corey Haim for creative writing class. I still think the only reason I received an A was because Mr. Murray didn't want to read the whole thing. (I've read it since then -- I wouldn't blame him.)
My best friend left me in the middle of our senior year for the opportunity of a lifetime as a foreign exchange student in Australia. When I found out my other best friend was returning to Montana for the whole summer, I knew I didn't want to be stuck in WI by myself.
I applied to work at a ranch resort in Colorado and was hired as a children's counselor. Seventeen, shy and alone on a train, I made my way to the mountains. It was love at first sight and I spent the next two summers making memories to last a lifetime at the Aspen Lodge Ranch Resort and Conference Center. I met people from all over the world, climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot mountain (Long's Peak) and learned to become a strong, independent individual.
After my first year of college, I still didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up so when I saw an advertisement for a travel agent school, I signed up. About the time I finished, my high school sweetheart returned from the Gulf War and was stationed in Fort Knox, KY. The former quietest member of my family (me) left on another adventure -- the best of my life.
I moved to KY, got married and we had our first son. We returned to WI to be close to family and have lived here ever since. I started writing again. Romance was a natural fit for me, since I could 'become' the heroine, do whatever I wanted, and ensure her a 'Happily ever after'. But this time I decided I wasn't going to just start the story; I was actually going to finish it! Over the next eight years, I worked on the book. I also worked as a travel agent, gave birth to a daughter and another son and dabbled as a Pampered Chef consultant and later an Arbonne International consultant. I still have my horse from high school (he's 23 years old now), though I don't ride much these days.
I was searching for something without even realizing it. It wasn't until I went to my first Wisconsin Romance Writers of America (WisRWA) meeting that I finally realized what I wanted to be when I grew up.
So began my most recent adventure -- along the road to becoming a published romance writer. I had support from all corners. My husband, who doesn't get too upset when the house is messy, family and friends who've told me they can't wait to say, "I knew her when...", and all the wonderful, giving members in RWA who are there for me any time of day or night (literally).
Okay, don't laugh now. I've prepared a practice speech for when I accept my first award:
Mom and Dad, thanks for everything. Mom, for always encouraging me and being the first to read my excruciatingly long 850 page first manuscript. Dad, for teaching me to work hard at whatever I do. And you may not like it that I argue with you all the time, but you have to admit I learned from the best. Besides, you've gotten your revenge in your grandchildren.
Aunt Barb and Uncle John Muckerheide, your passionate response to my first manuscript was much appreciated and will never be forgotten!
Mickey Spence (Cole) and Tracy Mangold (Townsend), thanks for deserting me senior summer. With you, I wouldn't have discovered the Rockies in quite the same life-changing way.
WisRWA Ladies and Gentlemen, and RWA, thank you for the teaching and support every step of the way.
Kowalczyk, a.k.a. Donna Marie Rogers, thanks first for being a
friend, and second for being a great critique partner! It's been a fun
ride so far.
Copyright 2005- Stacey Joy Netzel
All Rights Reserved