Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Guest Author ELLA QUINN Is Here!

It's a great pleasure and thrill to host my first guest author interview with the lovely and talented Ella Quinn! Her newest book, The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, is available for pre-order now from Kensington Books and will officially release on November 7, 2013. It is Book 2 in The Marriage Game series.

Ella will be giving away a copy of her new book to a lucky commenter. Please enjoy the beautiful cover, excerpt, and our interview!

“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…

What an intriguing premise! Ella, what is your writing day like?

After exercising (I learned the hard way I cannot skip that part), I do Twitter, Facebook and visit blogs. Then I write or edit. If one of my critique partners has chapters posted, I will work on those as well.
I need to start an exercise routine, too! Sitting at a desk all day takes a toll on my back. Tell us - was there something interesting or strange that you had to research for you book?

Quite frankly, I find all research interesting. The Secret Life of Miss Anna March takes place in 1814, when Napoleon was exiled in Alba, but not too long before he makes a comeback. I had to research the political climate of the time, the types of things being smuggled, who would have been working behind the scenes in preparation for Napoleon’s escape, and the geography of the area where I placed my story. I’d lived in England and had visited Kent several times, which helped, but it’s been a while and I needed a refresher.
I love researching a new book. Sometimes you find ideas for new stories amid all that history. Do your characters have any bit of yourself in them or are they unrelated to you?

Their desire to help their country might reflect something of me. I served in the Army during the 1970’s.
Authors are always discussing how much or how little they plot their books before writing. Are you a plotter or do you like to write as the ideas come to you?
I am not a plotter, unless you want to include plotting the next scene or the story arch in my head. I find it works better if I just type.

I write the same way. I think most writers do what is most fun for them. Speaking of fun, who is more fun for you to write: heroes or heroines?

My heroes. Most of the time, I bond with them much faster than I do with my heroines. I once went a full five chapters without my heroine’s point of view for the first few drafts.
If you could time-travel, where would you go and what would you do?

I’d visit the Regency, but I’d make sure I was a wealthy widow. That way I couldn’t shock anyone.
I'm sure you'd raise a few eyebrows at Almack's! Speaking of time travel, what is your favorite historical era?

LOL, need you ask? The Regency period.
That era is so popular, I think, because it was the dawning of so many new ideas and happenings around the world. What is your least favorite era?
Victorian. Though with the second series, I know I’ll get there at some point.

Sounds interesting! We need more Victorian-set romances. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

If you want to be published, treat writing as a job. Join a critique group, professional organizations, learn to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to critiques and contests, build your marketing platform, and be true to your voice.
Good advice, especially about it being a job. It's one of those professions that has more "on the job" training than most. What are you currently working on, and what are your future projects?

I’m working on the 5th book of my first series, The Marriage Game. It takes place in St. Thomas, where I live. For the 6th and 7th books I’ll be back in England. There is a second series, A Season for Love, which has some of the same characters as The Marriage Game. I’ve written the first two books, but have not edited them yet.
You are very busy, which is great news for your readers. You've inspired me to finish my projects. You must relax sometime! What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I walk, paddle-board, and read.
Thanks you, Ella, for chatting with us today! We wish you continued success with your new book and the books to come.
Ella Quinn has lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a loveable great dane. Ella loves when friends connect with her. Please visit her at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.
Ella Quinn



Friday, June 7, 2013

Celebrating my New Book! Available in all formats and paperback!

It's been a while since I had a new book out, and I'm thrilled to say that IN THE ARMS OF AN EARL is now available in paperback and all e-book formats from The Wild Rose Press. If you'd like to buy an autographed copy from me, please email me at annasmallbooks@yahoo.com for special information.

I was inspired to write this story after seeing a photo of Talulah Riley, the actress who played Mary Bennett in the Kiera Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice. In the movie, Mary is plain and obscure, and a bit of a know-it-all. I always liked her! But then I saw the photo of the actress, all made-up and styled and glamorous, and thought, this is how Mary Bennett would look if she were loved by a wonderful man! So that's how I came up with the character for Jane Brooke.

I'm thinking of sending a copy of the book to this lovely actress so she knows that her portrayal of a character inspired a book!

Frederick was found in a similar way, that is, inspired by a real person. I've discussed before about seeing "Wounded Warriors" coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and how it touches me. Young, strong men missing limbs but still living their lives as much as they ever did. Being the daughter, sister, and wife of veterans, soldiers are dear to my heart. I was also tired of reading "perfect heroes" in other romances. If they are "scarred" it's always something superficial or something that can heal itself. I wondered what it would be like to have a romance hero be one-handed. How would the heroine feel about it? More than that, how is he coming to terms with the loss of a limb?

I've seen more books coming out now with non-traditional characters in the lead. Overly plump heroines. Heroes missing a limb. Authors are breaking the boundaries of the svelte-yet-curvy beauty falling for the tall, dark and handsome hero.

And readers are loving it.