Betina Krahn was born at a very young age in Huntington, West Virginia...
to Dors Maynard, a WWII GI Bill college student, and Regina Triplett
Maynard, an elementary teacher with a rather outlandish creative streak.
(She created the name "Betina," not knowing that the Europeans had
already done it a few centuries earlier.) The family included one
sister, Sharon, six years old... who quickly became mentor, tormentor,
defender and best friend.
Books were revered in the Maynard household, as were large sheets of paper and markers and pens... which, combined, left her with a strange, lifelong obsession with office supplies. She learned to read at age four,
entered her first art contest at age five, and began making up stories
at age six... resulting in a good bit of time spent in the "cloakroom"
in those primary years. By fifth grade she won a silver "N.O.O.B" pin
(Noble Order of Bookworms) (yes, really) for her achievements in reading;
in the sixth grade she began to write; and in the seventh grade she penned
several screenplays for popular TV shows.
After completing high school in Newark Ohio, she went on to acquire a B.S. in Education, majoring in Biological Sciences at Ohio University. She returned to Newark to teach science and do graduate work at Ohio State in the summers... which was where she met and married Donald Krahn, a physics graduate student and native of Wisconsin.
Shortly, the winds sweeping across the plains blew them west to Oklahoma... beginning what became known as her "Grit-in-the-Teeth Period." While husband Don taught at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, she completed the M. Ed. in Counseling she had begun at Ohio State. A year later, November 1974, she completed gestational work on her first child, Nathan. After second child Zebulun was born in November 1978, she stayed home for a time as a full-time mother. Putting her education to work, she volunteered for a citizen board formed to gain funding for mental health services for an eight-county area of western Oklahoma. When funding was secured, she went to work as an HR director and administrator for New Horizons Mental Health Center.
It was during the Grit-in-the-Teeth Period that friend Bonnie Bloom gave her a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss's historical romance, Shanna. Captivated by the lush combination of history and romance, she was soon plagued by plots and characters of her own and began pouring them out, longhand, onto yellow legal pads. (Not, as is sometimes rumored, by the light of the fireplace or writing with coal on the back of a shovel.)
It was husband Don who encouraged her to submit her first finished work for publication and her sister Sharon, a fellow writer, who supplied a list of addresses to submit the manuscript. Early in 1983, Zebra Books offered her a contract, and without hesitation she accepted.
The family got their first computer in February 1983, just in time for her to do her first set of revisions. In November, 1983 Rapture's Ransom was published. A second book came in 1985 and a third in 1987. By then she had moved into her "Frostbitten Fingers Period" in Minnesota.
With two sons to raise and educate, income became a lot more important. Husband Don encouraged her to write full time and her agent, Ruth Cohen, negotiated better contracts. She joined RWA and learned and worked and celebrated with writer friends from all over the country. In time, there came still better contracts with Avon Books and then Bantam... who put her on the New York Times Bestseller List in 1995.
Success, however, came paired with loss. Don died of cancer in 1995, six weeks after her book appeared on the NYT. Intent on providing a home and sense of family for her sons, she continued to write and somehow managed to maintain both sanity and sense of humor. Over the next several years she saw her sons through college and on to law school and graduate school, respectively. "A lawyer and a physicist in the family, and still nobody to fix a broken toilet," she moans. "Where did I go wrong?"
With both offspring launched she set her sights on warmer climes and joined father Dors and sister Sharon in Florida... where she achieved her lifelong dream of owning her very own swimming pool. She was so delighted, she didn't even mind the temporary dizziness that comes from blowing it up. (So much better than the beach, where those Greenpeace do-gooders kept trying to push her back into the water.)
In the sunshine she has always craved, she experienced a burst of creative energy that resulted in the best-selling trilogy based on the Convent of the Brides of Virtue: The Husband Test, The Wife Test, and The Marriage Test, and the high-Victorian romantic adventures: The Book of the Seven Delights and The Book of True Desires.
It was also in Florida that she met Rex and fell in love for a second time. Rex is supportive and insightful and spiritual and creative... loves cooking, movies, books, music and hot cars as much as she does. He is an avid reader and soulful intellect who challenges her to deepen and broaden her work.
Her life is expanding in all sorts of wonderful ways. Her eldest son has helped to enlarge the family by marrying the lovely and patient Kristine and producing three children, Nicholas, Michael, and Kate (Katherine). "Grammie" couldn't be prouder of the little ones and the airlines have gained a much-needed boost in ridership. Meanwhile her youngest son has married the lovely and talented Krista and they are well on the way to establishing their new life together.
She has a new agent, Gail Fortune of the Talbot-Fortune Agency, and is working on adventure romance, and tackling some long-incubated contemporary women's fiction. If that isn't enough, she's also working on some non-fiction ideas for a cherished project involving spiritual matters.
Her books have been translated into numerous languages and are a big hit in Russia and Italy these days. The knowledge that Russian women are depending on her to help them through those long Siberian nights sends her to the computer each morning with a sense of mission. For her, creating is not an option, it's a heartfelt duty...and her own personal contribution to global love and understanding and to international peace.
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