It’s Pills and Boon for Sunderland University lecturer as she quits pharmacy for romance

Ray-Anne Lutener
Ray-Anne Lutener
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IT could be a storyline from one of her own books.

A strong, successful heroine risks it all by giving up a well-paid career to spread a little romance.

But for Dr Ray-Anne Lutener truth is indeed stranger than fiction after she quit her lecturing career to become a romantic novelist for Mills & Boon.

Having attended Sunderland University as a student during the 70s, Ray-Anne returned 10 years later to work as a pharmacy lecturer.

She then took a career break in favour of writing romantic fiction full-time.

Now, under the pen name Nina Harrington, Ray-Anne has become a successful writer for Harlequin Mills and Boon, having her books translated into 17 languages in 20 different countries around the world

Ray-Anne said: “Reading has been my passion since before junior school and the public library was my favourite place in the world. I devoured everything from Enid Blyton to science fiction, adventure and crime.”

“Writing my own fiction was a dream for many years.

“I had researched how difficult it was to get published unless you were truly excellent and unique so I spent several years learning about the craft of writing and studying hard before finally giving up my well-paid job and taking the risk of writing full time, even though I did not have a contract.”

Ray-Anne, who lives with her husband who she met while studying at Sunderland University, was drawn to writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon due to her love of the romance genre.

“Crime and romance are my favourite genres,” she said. “I love that feeling of escapism when you are engrossed in a novel and the characters and their dilemma keep you turning the pages late into the night.”

Ray-Anne is now working on her 10th Mills & Boon novel and, for a women who has worked as a volcano walker, an industrial scientist and a university lecturer, she seems to have found her calling as a fiction writer.

“I want to keep writing and to keep having fun and enjoying the work,” said Ray-Anne. “It is a wonderful feeling to see your book on the shelves and to receive translations of my work.”

* Dr Lutener will being giving talk at The University of Sunderland’s annual Hope Winch Dinner, hosted at The Stadium of Light, tomorrow.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho