Looking for the formal bio? Head over to the media kit for awards, credits, and all manner of impressive info. Here’s the big stuff in a nutshell: I’ve written more than fifty books for many different publishers, have won the Romance Writers of America’s coveted RITA Award once and been nominated for that honor a whopping ten times (!), and have had multiple titles reach the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. But that’s not why you’re here, right? I know when I search an author’s web site, it’s usually because I’ve read a book I liked and wondered about the person behind it…and the formal bio doesn’t tell me much.
First of all, call me Rocki. (Please not Roxie. Please.) Everyone does. Evidently, when my mother brought me home from the hospital I was too scrawny and small to pull off “Roxanne” (she’d read Cyrano de Bergerac while pregnant or I would have been Judy) so they called me Rocki.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, the youngest of five, and fell in love with words and stories the summer I read Gone With The Wind. That year, for my twelfth birthday, my parents gave me a typewriter (with italic font – it was the coolest thing) and from that day on, I’ve had my fingers on a keyboard, pounding out love stories for fun. My AP English teacher taught me the two most important lessons an aspiring author ever needs: 1) verbs are the key to life and 2) a writer should get a real job. After attending UCLA and graduating with a degree in communications, I tried acting and television broadcasting. Oh, they aren’t real jobs? I learned that the hard way. I changed my last name from Zink to St. Claire because a news producer told me Roxanne Zink had too many harsh consonants for a TV reporter. (Seriously!) I got some fun acting gigs, too, and even met Tom Hanks when I did a guest appearance on Bosom Buddies. I liked on-camera work, but wasn’t too crazy about starvation, so I moved to Boston and got that “real” job. In fact, I placed my foot on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder and didn’t look down until I’d climbed all the way up to the level of Senior Vice President at the world’s largest public relations firm. On the way up, I met the man of my dreams in an elevator. Two years later – in the same elevator! – he asked me to marry him and I wisely said yes. And changed my name once again, this time to something unpronounceable and Italian, so I decided to hang on to St. Claire.
I stayed in PR, moved to Miami, had a sweet baby boy, lost my home in a hurricane, built another one a few hours north and had my darling baby girl. All along, I kept writing my “stories” for fun. One night, I read a particularly fabulous romance novel that changed my life for good. That moment, I decided I wanted to make someone else feel as whole and happy as that author made me feel. (Everyone asks! It was Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.) With two small children and one big “real” job, writing my first novel wasn’t easy, but I did finish a manuscript that managed to get the attention of a literary agent. She sold my second manuscript to Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books and Tropical Getaway was released in 2003. Since then, I’ve written over fifty more titles, in multiple genres, and long ago replaced the corporate ladder with the rollercoaster of publishing as a full-time novelist. Finally, writing is my real job.
After 23 years on the “Space Coast” of Florida, my husband and I recently relocated a few hours north after our far-too-big nest emptied as kids took off for college and real life. We traded the water for the woods, and love life in northeastern Florida. When I’m not writing (which is rare), I take my two dogs (Ginger and Pepper) for long walks, volunteer with my church, practice yoga several times a week, frequently travel for business and fun, and hang out with my writer friends. And, yes, my English teacher was right. Verbs are the key to life. My favorites are...love, believe, and breathe.