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Friday, September 27, 2013

Taking Tea with - Ella Quinn

At the Romance Writers of America Conference in 2012 I met the delightful Ella Quinn. We clicked immediately. Apart from both being writers of historical romance we were both ex Army lawyers (but more on that later). Ella is one of the most generous people I have come across on the interwebs and I was so thrilled for her when she finally "got the call".  I am delighted to have a chance to take tea with her today and have a good, old fashioned chat!

My dear Ms. Quinn, as an American living in a former British Colony, I expect you to be well acquainted with the taking of tea… do you have a particular favourite I can provide you with? 

Actually I live in a former Danish colony that England took custody of a few times, though I did live in England for a couple of years. (AS:  I never knew the Danes colonised the Carribean! You live and learn...)

I prefer a blend of Ceylon and Assam. (AS...I am sure I can rustle something up...just let me push the Earl Grey to the back of the cupboard)

Occasionally one runs into fellow writers whose lives and careers have followed a similar trajectory and you and I share the peculiar career choice of military lawyers. My career was as a reservist but yours was as a full time Army Officer in the JAG Corps. Can you tell me a little bit about your time in the military and, if you are not going to be shot, the most interesting case or period of your career?

My most interesting jobs were as a prosecutor where I got quite a bit of trial time. For some reason we went through a period where we had a slew of sex cases. I won every one of them so that was quite a coup as I was up against more experienced civilian attorneys. My other most interesting job was as the operational law advisor for an Army Special Forces battalion. I have degrees in international relations, so I actually got to use them.

(AS:  Operational law was my particular interest as well. I loved my job as a Brigade legal officer advising on the Geneva Conventions and Rules of Engagement...oh and I have visited the JAG school in Charlottesville, VA)

Of all my friends, you probably win the prize for the most exotic location…how do you come to be living on the Island of St. Thomas in the Carribbean?

My husband didn’t want to retire in Europe. We’d been living there for quite some time, but he didn’t want to be a expat. He never was able to explain why. Anyway, I had to find a place we both liked with a US flag. Neither of us had been in the Virgin Islands, but we had friends living here. So we visited and fell in love.

You are a writer of Regency Romances. What draws you to that period?

The Regency had always been my favorite period, I’ve read and re-read my Georgette Heyers I don’t know how many times, but, when it came to writing, it picked me. I knew I wanted to write something, but I kept hearing, write what you know, but that was boring to me. Then I heard, write what you read. A month or so later, I had an image of a lady in Regency dress striding angrily around a room, and I had to write it down.

What do you love most about a regency hero?

That they were encouraged to be skilled in bed. They also knew how to dress, dance, and had manners. I can’t tell you how tired I am of the “guy” culture.

Your  first two books are coming out in rapid succession, with THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE, released on September 19 and THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH coming out in November. The third book comes out in January. Are the books in a series? If so what is the common theme that unites them?

They are part of my series the Marriage Game which appears to have a total of seven books. All the men and some of the women are friends. They also don’t mind meddling in each other’s lives if necessary. 


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.

Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of American, 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. Find out more about  Ella and her books on her WEBSITE

Polite society has its rules for marriage. But for Ella Quinn’s eligible bachelors, their brides will show them that rules are for the weak of heart…

Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical Lady. As feisty as she is quick witted, no one can catch her, especially when she is driving her dashing phaeton with its perfectly matched horses. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within his blue-eyed gaze…

For Lord Marcus, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he’s returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince

her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control

We may all dream of retiring to a tropical island and Ella was able to fulfill the dream. 
Where would you like to retire to?


  1. I love to visit the beach. But family is the most important part of my life so I'd prefer to be able to retire near my kids, wherever that ends up being.

  2. Congrats on your release. How exciting your former job sounds! But I'm still jealous of your new home!

  3. Great interview. I love that the Regency period picked you and fascinated with your military history. I've tweeted & google+ ;)

  4. Karen, my son has moved 4 times in the past 5 years. It would be almost impossible to keep up. Thanks for coming by!

  5. Oh gosh, since we're dreaming, i'd like to retire in Alaska for the summers, and somewhere close to Ella during the winter.

    I'm so excited, Ella, for all your releases!!!

  6. Thanks so much, Lani. I tried going to Europe in the summers, but it was too cold. I don't think Alaska would work. Thanks for stopping by!!

  7. Hi ladies and great interview! I would love to stay right here if i were to retire. There isn't a place I would like to stay besides just at home but I would definitely travel around the world! I'll love to go to England, Australia, and New Zealand.

  8. ki pha, wow! I know very few people who can say that. It's wonderful!!

  9. Ella, you sure have a fascinating background. If you ever tire of Regency, which I doubt, you could write contemporary action/adventure. I'm sure you be great at that too.

  10. LOL, Lyn, that's exactly what I didn't want to write. I'm so glad the Regency found me!

  11. Great interview, ladies! And drag out the Earl Gray for me! I love a good cuppa Earl Gray!

    If I could bring my dogs (and 1 cat) with me I would love to retire in a little English village and life in a thatch-roofed cottage with a large library, numerous fire places, and a lovely English garden with a small folly where I could write on pleasant days.

    Not that I've given this a lot of thought. :)

  12. Fascinating post about a fascinating lady.

  13. I historical roma.nce novels. Great interview

  14. When I retire I'm going to travel. Ireland Scotland, Wales, Costa Rica and maybe Australia. I would like to go places you can look out can see nothing but going nature before People mess it up.

  15. Great interview, and congrats on your new release.

    I think I already live in the perfect place. The North Island of New Zealand is home, and despite traveling to many different places, I haven't discovered anywhere I'd prefer.

  16. Thank you to Ella for being my guest today and to all our visitors!
    I am writing this from Central Australia where I have spent the last week camping and bushwalking through some wonderful, wild, unspoiled country.
    Lovely as it is my choice for my retirement is the Victorian High Country...which is wild and beautiful in a totally different way. Whether we'll make it is yet to be seen!

  17. Louisa, I agree. English villages are just the place for a couple fo cats and a dog!

  18. Unfortunately, there aren't many of those places any more, A Neely.

  19. That sounds like a fantastic place to live, Shelley!! I'd like to visit some day. The farthest I've gotten is Guam.

  20. So great to learn more about Ella! Wonderful interview.

  21. Sorry to be popping in so late. Lovely review. Really enjoyed getting to know you better, Ella.

  22. Congrats on your book release, Ella. Best wishes for the success of The Seduction of Lady Phoebe.