Sunday, June 16, 2013

Regency series plain sailing for Ella

Hello Ella, welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us a little about your writing adventure.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think this is an important question. During the first draft of the first book I wrote, I considered myself a writer. I see so many people who describe themselves as “aspiring writers.” You either are a writer or you’re not. If you’re making up stories and writing them down, you’re a writer.

I do know that it sometimes takes a bit of encouragement for people to claim being a writer. Diana Love told a funny story about being at a writers’ conference early in her career. Person after person asked her if she was an author, and she kept saying, 'no, those other people are'. Then a tall, good-looking guy asked, and she replied. “Yes, I am.”

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.

Author bio:

Ella’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.

Book #2, THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH on pre-order now. Releases ~ November 7th,  2013
“Let yourself be seduced by this sexy mix of spies, smugglers, and happily ever afters.” —Sally MacKenzie

     Since she was a young girl, Anna Marsh has dreamed of Sebastian, Baron Rutherford asking for her hand in marriage. But that was in another life when her brother Harry was alive, before she vowed to secretly continue the work he valiantly died for. Now as Sebastian finally courts Anna, she must thwart his advances. Were he to discover her secret, he would never deem her a suitable wife…
     Sebastian has always known Anna would become his wife someday. He expects few obstacles, but when she dissuades him at every turn he soon realizes there is much more to this intriguing woman. Somehow he must prove to her that they are meant to be together. But first he must unravel the seductive mystery that is Miss Anna Marsh…

“We’ll be in Kent,” Rutherford said to Marcus as they shared brandy in his study after dinner. “No balls or other parties. No other gentlemen.” Thank God for that.
Marcus raised a skeptical brow. “Miss Marsh has been ignoring you pretty studiously today. Do you really think she’s that stupid?”
“That is part of the problem. She’s too damned smart for her own good. Trust me. Once I have her to myself, she’ll change her mind.”
“She’s never struck me as being a particularly malleable sort of female. You know her best, of course.”
Rutherford frowned. “You may be right. She always was an obstinate child, but I thought she’d become less stubborn. At least she appears that way. There must be something I can offer her.”
Marcus’s lips tilted up. “Love?”
“How can you,” Rutherford demanded, “utter that word out loud and not shiver?”
Marcus shook his head. “Blame it on my falling in love with Phoebe when I was twenty. Neither the emotion nor the word has ever scared me.”
“Yes, well, you must be the only gentleman of my acquaintance who can say that.”
“Probably.” Marcus agreed. “Do you love Anna?”
“Of course I do. She’s been like a sister to me.” Except recently his thoughts had not been at all brotherly.
“How do you plan to approach her?” Marcus asked.
“I’ve not quite made out my plan of battle yet.” Rutherford took out his pocket watch and rubbed it. “I intend to use this weekend to think about it. Until then, I will stay as close to her as possible. I don’t want anyone else to decide to use the break between the Seasons to catch her interest.” Rutherford was beginning to wish for a return to arranged marriages. Surely their fathers would have betrothed them. In fact, they should have done it when she was born.
“When do you plan to tell her you’re already in love with her?”
“I have told her. At least, I must have at some point over the years,” Rutherford replied.
“Don’t expect to succeed. Ladies need to hear it, often.” Marcus grinned. “Remind me to tell you I told you so.”
Rutherford glared at his friend. For God’s sake, he’d brought down an entire branch of Napoleon’s spy apparatus. How hard could it be to discover the key to one recalcitrant female, who might not be so comfortable and easily led after all? Perhaps he really didn’t need a calm life. He raised himself to his full height of over six feet two inches. “I have no intention of failing. I am descended from Norman warlords, I’ll have you know.”
“Aren’t we all,” Marcus replied dryly. “Just who do you think she’s descended from? Think about it. I must get back to the rest of my guests.”
After Marcus left, Rutherford stared into the fire, thinking about Anna’s dark curls and creamy skin. God how he wanted to bury his face in her hair, then slowly kiss his way down her neck to her breasts, tasting as he went. He shook himself. Anna had definitely changed.
He left the library and found the billiards room in time to join a game.
“Rutherford, your turn,” his friend Huntley said. “What are you in such a brown study about?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all.” Rutherford had the uncomfortable feeling he was going to pay for being so sure of himself with Anna.
He missed his shot.

Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington. Her debut novel THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE, will release in September 2013

Website: (Up soon)

Thanks for visiting, Ella. Wishing you many sales..



  1. Thank you for having me, Jean. It's been fun!

  2. The more I read the more I look forward to Rutherford receiving his "comeuppance!" You would think he would listen to Marcus. Great interview, ladies, and another wonderful excerpt!

    1. Louisa, thank you! It's been really hard finding excerpts that don't have any spoilers.

  3. tweeted, Ella. Good interview.

    1. Karen, thank you. One of my new goals is to help authors on their publishing journeys.

  4. Great interview, ladies. And Ella, I love your definition of a writer. If you're making up stories and writing them down, you're a writer. Loved the story of your journey to publication. Best of luck with your upcoming releases.

    1. Thanks, Callie. I hope it helps someone else not give up and forge ahead.

  5. Wonderful interview-i learned so much more about your writing journey Ella! Tweeted

    1. Thank you for coming by, Nancy. I really appreciate your support!

  6. Congratulations on your Kensington sale, Ella. I love reading Regencies, and look forward to reading yours. I happen to know you're a wealth of knowledge of that era, and it shows up in the excerpts I've read.



  8. Ella and Jean, wonderful interview.

    Loved hearing more about you and your book, Ella.

  9. What an inspirational story!

  10. Finally! I came by earlier and you weren't up yet. So glad you finally got up. Lovely interview.

  11. Wonderful interview.
    Great excerpt! I can't wait to read this series!