Although Lisa Jackson has written dozens of historical and contemporary romances, among her most popular works are her novels of romantic suspense, and her name is now virtually synonymous with that genre. Jackson, whose real first name is Susan, was born in Molalla, Oregon. She majored in English at Oregon State University but dropped out to get married and have children. She was working as a daycare provider when her younger sister, Nancy Bush, approached her in 1981 with an idea. Bush had just read an article in TIME magazine about the burgeoning field of romance writing and had discovered that many of the authors were young mothers like themselves. It might be possible, she explained, to earn extra money by writing between diaper changes and trips to the playground. The two decided to collaborate on a book, but after completing it, they found it difficult to gain the attention of publishers. Still, they persevered, working both together and separately. Jackson, who wrote under the name Susan Lynn Crose early in her career, sold her first series romance in 1983 and soon began publishing regularly. (Bush also went on to become a popular author, and the two still occasionally collaborate.) In 1999, wanting to explore darker, more suspenseful themes, Jackson published UNSPOKEN, which introduced her to a new audience and an unprecedented level of popularity. Her romantic-suspense books now frequently land on the bestseller list and have been translated into numerous languages. Jackson is often asked how she manages to so vividly describe the criminal mind. "It's just a matter of imagination," she has said. "I'm obviously not a murderer."