The Romance Reader Interviews

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New Faces 227
Ella Quinn
by Cathy Sova

Welcome to our New Faces column, where you can meet debut romance authors and discover their books. This time we are visiting with Ella Quinn, whose first book is THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE from Kensington. Letís meet her.

Ella, welcome to TRR! Tell us about yourself.

I'm from everywhere. I was born in Grosse Point, MI, but I lived in four countries and attended thirteen schools before I was in eighth grade, and we weren't military. I played in a rock band, was in the Army twice and have two post graduate degrees.

Are you coming to romance writing from another job? Do you still have a day job?

Yes, I practiced law for twenty years, and continued to practice for the first year I was writing.

What led you to write romance?

I'd been reading historical romance, particularly Regencies, for over forty years before I began writing it. I wasn't widely read though. I'd lived overseas for so long, I'd never heard of other authors like Julia Quinn or Eloisa James.

Tell us about your road to publication.

My road was actually pretty short. I began writing in April of 2011 and eight months later got my agent, eight months after that a three book contract. That said, I wrote the first book in a vacuum. I found one on-line group, but it was hard to get critiqued, and the whole process was going too slowly for me. The good thing was I discovered how to query. Naturally, I was promptly rejected, so when I discovered RWA (Romance Writers of America) I was able to join the PRO group right away. I'd already started my second book, and that was the one I queried to my agent. I firmly believe in taking the shotgun approach to querying. I sent The Temptation of Lady Serena to 40 agents. I received 2 requests for fulls, several requests for partials, several rejections, and many I just didn't hear from at all.

What kind of research was involved for your first book?

I researched everything from hair and clothes, to politics and philosophies of the time. The culture was extremely interesting. Women were being encouraged to demand more. Love matches rather than arranged marriages were becoming more common, and there was a growing middle-class. It was also a time of great excess. I can go on forever, but I'll stop here.

Tell us about your debut book.

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe is about a couple who met when they were both very young. Phoebe was a sheltered fifteen-year-old and Marcus was a licentious twenty. Phoebe had started to fall in love with him, but when he drunkenly accosted her, she felt betrayed, and then doubted her own ability to fall in love with someone who would treat her well. Marcus was sent to the West Indies and straightened his life out. He comes back to England when his older brother is dying, and is determined to marry Phoebe.

Who are some of your influences as a writer?

The two authors who have influenced me the most are Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Dunnett.

What does your family think of having a published romance author in their midst?

They are thrilled. It took my husband a while to get onboard, but he is now. My mother-in-law is one of my beta readers. My son buys my books, but won't read them because he can't cope with the idea of Mom writing love scenes.

Tell us about plans for future books.

The third book in my Marriage Game series is The Temptation of Lady Serena. It releases on January 2, 2014. It's been a whirlwind having the first three book release back to back to back. After Serena, the schedule slows down a bit. Desiring Lady Caro doesn't release until April, and the fifth book next summer. Right now I'm writing a novella for Christmas of 2014.

How can readers get in touch with you?

I love hearing from readers and I'm everywhere.

Pinterest, where I post pictures having to do with my books as well as other things:

Ella, thanks for joining us, and best of luck with the Marriage Game series! Readers, we have a review of The Seduction of Lady Phoebe here at TRR.

December 7, 2013

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