Lee Tobin McClain read Gone With The Wind in the third grade and has been an incurable romantic ever since. The PW bestselling author of fifteen contemporary Christian romances, she enjoys crafting emotional, faith-infused love stories with happy endings. When she's not writing, she’s probably driving around a carload of snarky teen girls, playing with her rescue dog and cat, or teaching aspiring writers in Seton Hill University’s MFA program. She is probably not cleaning her house.
Lee Tobin McClain grew up as a happily-nerdy kid in Columbus, Ohio. Checking out stacks of library books, taking long walks with her sister and their dachshund, and devouring chocolate ice cream were her primary activities—that, and a lot of daydreaming. Lee was one of those bell-playing, choir-singing, youth-group kids at Maple Grove United Methodist church, but at that point, church was mostly social to her. She did notice that church people were nice to everyone, even nerds.
Lee never thought she could become an author—that was for exotic, important people, not everyday girls from the Midwest. So instead, she found a book-centered career as a graduate student in literature and then as an English professor. One year when the teaching job fell through, she tried her hand at romance fiction—and her writing habit was launched.
After getting a professor job at Seton Hill University, Lee helped to start the only graduate program in North America specializing in popular fiction—mysteries, YA novels, fantasy, and, of course, romance. Seton Hill’s MFA in writing popular fiction has grown into a lively, crazy, successful enterprise, and Lee still loves teaching in it.
In 2002, Lee and her then-husband travelled to China to adopt their daughter, Grace. Adoptive parenting has been a wonderful journey. Grace is now an active, athletic, super-social teenager who specializes in cross-country running, gymnastics, and rolling her eyes at her mom. Lee’s written several novels for teens that relate to adoption and foster parenting—you can learn more on her teen fiction web site. The high point of Lee’s YA writing career came when she was invited to be a guest speaker at her daughter’s middle school.
Life’s difficulties often bring us closer to God, and that’s been the case for Lee. Infertility, her mom’s battle with pancreatic cancer, and an unexpected divorce are just some of the life events she couldn’t have survived without leaning on the Lord.
Just like her characters, Lee has found her faith steadily deepening through the trials in life. She couldn’t get through her hectic days without bible reading and prayer, but she is far from a perfect Christian—in fact, that’s part of what her blog, Flawed. Christian. Woman., is all about.
In 2014, Lee was thrilled to get “the call” and learn that her first inspirational novel, Engaged to the Single Mom, would be published by Harlequin’s Love Inspired line of books. That same year, she began independently publishing the stories she'd been writing for years: the Sacred Bond series of Christian romances, and the Sacred Bond Guardians series of romantic suspense novels. In February 2016, she achieved a lifelong dream when her second novel for Harlequin, His Secret Child, hit the Publishers' Weekly bestseller list.
Nowadays, Lee spends her time writing love stories—for Love Inspired and independently—as well as teaching writing, carpooling sweaty teens around town, and taking adorable pictures of her nine-year-old rescue Maltese and her aptly-named cat, Trouble. She is active with the singles group at Charter Oak Church in Greensburg, Pennsylvania and has occasionally been seen on the back of a Harley.
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Representation (Agent): Karen Solem, Spencerhill Associates
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