Sometimes I think I should write a book titled, JOBS I HAVE HAD, by Gail Ranstrom. My work experience has run the gamut from Seamstress (making waitress uniforms for a German Beer Garden), Inventory Clerk at the University of Montana (where I was attacked by a chimpanzee, stepped on dead lab rats in dark basements, and located missing satellite spy cameras in–oh, wait, that’s classified), Advertising Account Coordinator and PR Writer, to Commercial Property Manager in the Los Angeles area (troubleshooting incidents as wide ranging as the SWAT Team surrounding one of my buildings, naked men in the Ladies Rest Room, and rattlesnakes coiled in front of tenant’s doors). In between, I have written PR stories and Advertising copy, created Ad layout and design, and partnered with a good friend in an Antique business (don’t even get me started on my experiences at Antique Auctions).
I enjoy traveling frequently to see my children in Montana and Florida and to visit friends and a brother in London. As an unabashed Anglophile, I could easily spend months in the Cotswolds, an entire summer in Scotland, or a year in London. Sometimes that ‘other Eden’ feels more like home to me than my real home. Don’t get me wrong — I love the glitz, glamour, ethnic mix, and relaxed congeniality of Los Angeles. But it’s all just so new, and I fear I have a very old soul that communes more comfortably with very old places.
I write historical fiction for the same reasons. I can get lost in the past more completely than I can in the present or future. Combine that with a lifelong love of words and reading, the desire to entertain, and the fact that I’m too shy to do stand-up comedy, and what was left?
To aid me in writing the romance portion, I have been gifted with fabulous friendships with remarkable women, from family and bridge clubs to work mates and writer’s groups. They are all the models for my heroines; strong, intelligent, and beautiful, while still managing to be caring and vulnerable and very human. It is their strength of character and grace under fire that have been my inspiration. And every hero is my very own hero — Jerry, for so very many reasons.