Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably ever since.
While becoming a novelist was her ultimate fantasy, it never occurred to her that writing was an achievable goal until she acquired a computer for other purposes. When the realization hit that a computer was the ultimate writing tool, she charged merrily into her first book with an ignorance that illustrates the adage that fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Fortune sometimes favors the foolish and her first book sold quickly, thereby changing her life forever, in most ways for the better. (“But why didn’t anyone tell me that writing would change the way one reads?”) Like a lemming over a cliff, she gave up her freelance graphic design business to become a full-time writer as soon as possible.
Since 1987, Ms. Putney has published twenty-nine books and counting. Her stories are noted for psychological depth and unusual subject matter such as alcoholism, death and dying, and domestic abuse. She has made all of the national bestseller lists including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. Five of her books have been named among the year’s top five romances by The Library Journal. The Spiral Path and Stolen Magic were chosen as one of Top Ten romances of their years by Booklist, published by the American Library Association.
A nine-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won RITAs for Dancing on the Wind and The Rake and the Reformer and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. She has been awarded two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards, four NJRW Golden Leaf awards, plus the NJRW career achievement award for historical romance. Though most of her books have been historical, she has also published three contemporary romances.
Ms. Putney says that not least among the blessings of a full-time writing career is that one almost never has to wear pantyhose.
Mary Jo also writes as: