Amelia Autin has been scribbling stories and writing poetry for her own entertainment since she was a little girl. Ever practical on the surface despite her lifelong dream of being a professional fiction writer, Amelia obtained a degree in Accounting and her CPA. She then embarked on a successful career in business. But she continued to write…in secret.
She joined Romance Writers of America® (RWA) in 1991 and sold her first manuscript three years later to Silhouette Books (a division of Harlequin Books S.A. at that time)—the same week she won RWA’s Golden Heart® award for excellence in unpublished romance fiction, in the Long Contemporary Series category.
That manuscript, Gideon’s Promise, renamed Gideon’s Bride, was published as Silhouette Intimate Moments #666 in September 1995. Amelia was overjoyed when Gideon’s Bride received a 4.5 star rating from Romantic Times (RT), whose review began, “September Intimate Moments gets off to a great start with the powerhouse debut of talented new author Amelia Autin…,” and ended with, “…Ms. Autin’s story of tender passion entwined with the healing power of love is a first-class keeper!”
Two years later Silhouette published Amelia’s second romance, Reilly’s Return, as Silhouette Intimate Moments #820 in November 1997. RT’s Melinda Helfer gave Reilly’s Return a 4.5 star rating, stating in her review, “Reilly’s Return, the wonderful second book by one of Intimate Moments’ most impressive new talents, is worth every minute of the long wait for its publication…” Melinda Helfer also described the book as, “…a love story of rare emotional intensity.”
But the journey from the first book to the second had been fraught with something totally unexpected—fear of failure. Amelia was desperate not to be a “one book wonder” in the romance arena. Instead of feeling the joy she’d felt with the sale of her first manuscript, all she felt with the sale of the second was an overwhelming sense of relief she wasn’t a failure.
As Amelia wrote on the Harlequin blog, Sold! – So You Think You Can Write, “…Fear is not a good incentive to write, especially not something as creative and personal as romantic fiction. Fear kept me from writing romance for sixteen years, until the faucet was turned on again when I realized I still had stories to tell, and the stories just gushed out. Stories that had been floating around in my brain all those years away from writing fiction. Stories I just had to get down on paper…for me. Even if I never sold another manuscript, those stories needed to be written. And that’s why I started writing romantic fiction again.”
Now fearless—at least where her writing is concerned—Amelia still works full time at her “real” job with a well-known defense contractor, and writes part time. That wouldn’t be possible without the active encouragement and support of her husband, Vincent, a retired Ph.D. engineer. They currently reside in quiet Vail, Arizona, where they can see the stars at night and have a “million dollar view” of the Rincon Mountains from their backyard.
October 2014 marked Amelia’s second “debut,” this time under the Harlequin Romantic Suspense imprint. Cody Walker’s Woman picks up where Reilly’s Return left off, with the secondary character of Cody Walker from that novel taking center stage as the hero of the new one.
“I think readers get a kick out of seeing characters carried forward in subsequent books,” Amelia says. “I know I do. It’s part of that ‘happily ever after’ we yearn for—knowing the heroes and heroines from prior books manage to make it despite all the obstacles they face. And I just adore taking a secondary character from one book and moving him or her into the spotlight in the next book. It’s like playing matchmaker for good friends and helping them find true love—what a thrill!” Her Man on a Mission miniseries endeavors to do just that.
Cody Walker’s Woman also marked the debut of a new hyper-secret federal agency, a product of Amelia’s imagination she featured in several romantic suspense novels—McKinnon’s Royal Mission (April 2015), Alec’s Royal Assignment (August 2015), Liam’s Witness Protection (October 2015), Killer Countdown (August 2016), and Black Ops Warrior (December 2017). This agency is a hybrid, secretly created after 9/11 to do what neither the CIA nor the FBI managed to do alone before that day—the “suspenders” portion of a “belt and suspenders” defense. The agency reflects Amelia’s admittedly optimistic view that good will always win out over evil…if good is ever vigilant. And while she believes in the old maxim, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” she also believes there are a few absolutely incorruptible people in the world—her heroes and heroines among them.
Other books in her Man on a Mission miniseries include King’s Ransom (June 2015), A Father’s Desperate Rescue (April 2016), The Bodyguard’s Bride-To-Be (November 2016), and Rescued by the Billionaire CEO (coming in August 2017). She also participated in a multi-author continuity series, The Coltons of Texas, with her May 2016 release, Her Colton P.I.
What’s on the horizon for Amelia? “Another Man on a Mission book with Harlequin Romantic Suspense in December 2017. The title is Black Ops Warrior. This is Niall Jones’s story (the last of the Jones brothers), which takes place on a land-and-river-cruise tour of mainland China. As the title suggests, Niall is a black ops warrior, who made an impressive appearance as the hero’s brother in Killer Countdown. “Readers have asked for Niall’s story, and since I adored him as a hero, I was happy to oblige!”