Hello Ella, welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us a little about your writing adventure.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I’ve written seven. Four of them, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, The Secret Life of Miss Ann Mash, and Lady Caro’s Accidental Marriage are complete and sold. They comprise the first four books of my series, The Marriage Game. I’m editing the fifth book now.
Two are from a detour I took during Nanowrimo, and will be the first two books of my second series.
I have to say I love them all. Lady Phoebe may edge out the others just the tiniest bit, but only because she was the first.
You’ve recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point.
Although the story is long, it’s actually it’s been pretty fast. Just over two years ago, I started out doing what most authors do. I wrote a book, then wondered how to sell it.
In May I joined a general writers’ forum, and discovered that I actually needed to revise my book. What you mean it’s not perfect now? Aren’t editors supposed to fix anything that’s wrong? Apparently not. Oh, and there was something called POVs I was supposed to get a handle on, and don’t forget craft. It took me a couple of months to actually figure out what POV was, but I digress.
The Brenda Novak Auction was in full swing, and I won a critique with an agent. She ended up telling me I needed to work on my craft (there was that pesky word again), but she thought I’d be published. Well, I can tell you that was all I needed to start sending Lady Phoebe out on queries. Imagine my surprise when I received rejections. They, however, did not deter me. By then I’d heard a lot about rejections and figured it was part of the process. In June I’d I heard about RWA, and immediately signed up, found a couple of special interest chapters and joined them as well. I also took the rejections and parlayed them into PRO status.
I have to say that had it not been for that I would not have found a couple of wonderful critique groups that ended up helping me get my MS to the point where they were ready for submissions.
During all of this, I was writing Lady Serena and entered several of contests. In fact, if you count up the number of contests offered between July and September, that would be the number. Judges either loved my submission or hated it. There was loads of advice, some useful, most not. One published author, I wish I knew who it was, made a comment that made up for all the negative remarks.
By September of that year I was editing Lady Serena and writing Anna Marsh. In October I attended the RWA New Jersey regional conference, met some wonderful authors, and pitched Lady Phoebe. I was thrilled to get requests for partials. In November for Nanowrimo I wrote Lady Grace’s Rendezvous (one of my detours), and in December started querying Lady Serena. That was when I started receiving requests for fulls. On February 1st I signed with my agent.
She handed me over to her lovely assistant, Claire Cavanaugh, who taught me how to edit and polish my books. In December I received the offer from Kensington.
When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
I love to read, travel, and being in the water. I paddle board at least once a week. I help out with the local races on the race committee and when Rolex is down here for their international regatta. I greatly envy a friend who has taken off and is sailing the world. I just want my own sailboat, but I would like to hang out in the Med on it for a summer.
If you could time travel back, or forward, for one day, where would it be and why?
I’d love to visit the Regency era and gather up as much knowledge as I could, especially about some of the things we debate about.
If you could have any super hero power, what would it be?
Every since I first saw the TV show, Bewitched, I’ve wanted to be able to wiggle my nose and get things done or be somewhere.