31 May 2015

Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Susana Ellis on BEAUX, BALLROOMS AND BATTLES

This week, we're pleased to welcome author SUSANA ELLIS with her latest release, BEAUX, BALLROOMS AND BATTLES: A CELEBRATION OF WATERLOO, a collection of co-authored works about the Napoleonic Era. One lucky visitor will get a free copy of Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments of today's author interview for a chance to win. Winner(s) are contacted privately by email. Here's the blurb.

For Readers who enjoy a bit of history with their Romance… 

A historic confrontation 

Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles is a celebration of the bicentenary of the showdown between Wellington’s “Infamous Army” and Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Wellington’s Allied Army consisted of a hastily organized mélange of inexperienced men from several countries who didn’t even speak the same language. 

A backdrop of war 

While life in Regency England continued much as it had been, the war with Napoleon was a constant source of preoccupation as young men who eagerly set off to become heroes in battle sometimes returned with life-changing injuries or worse, didn’t return at all. 

Nine stories of love tested by the trials of war 

A collection of sweet Regency stories of courage, hope, and the miracle of love surviving in uncertain times, brought to you by nine distinguished historical romance authors.

**Q&A with Susana Ellis**

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I liked school, so in elementary school I thought being a teacher might be fun. In high school, I found a book about freelance writing and read it several times and thought it would be wonderful to get paid for writing stories. When it came right down to it, though, I had to be able to pay the bills, so I became a teacher after all and put my writing dreams on hold for awhile. So when I left teaching and needed something to do for the rest of my life, writing seemed the way to go.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

As a Spanish/French teacher, I spent four summers studying in Spain, one summer in France and one in Mexico. I lived with one family in Santiago de Compostela for three summers in a row, and have hired the artistic daughter of the family to do the artwork for the cover of my story, Lost and Found Lady, when it is released separately. Living in another country is an experience that inevitably changes your world perspective. I wish everyone could have such an opportunity.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Catalina, my heroine, briefly considers becoming a nun to escape the tedious fate of most Spanish women she knew—marriage to a domineering man and a life of drudgery. She compares herself to the 17th century nun, Sor Juana de la Cruz of Mexico, who eschewed marriage to become a nun and have the freedom to study and write. Considered one of the most intelligent people in the country, she wrote in favor of women’s rights to education at a time when such views were considered sacrilege.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so, who?

I’m a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series, to the point where I bid $600 in an auction to have lunch with her in Phoenix in 2013. I envy her ability to create characters that inspire the sort of devotion her Jamie and Claire have done. I feared that the television series would never be able to measure up to the books, but from what I can tell from the first half of the season, Ron Moore has outdone himself. And, in case you didn’t know, the second half of the season—in the U.S. at least—starts in two days!

Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first?

When I first started, I envisioned a long hard road to publication, so I didn’t submit anything the first year. Then some of my writer friends told me that submitting and getting rejections was an important part of the process, so I submitted my Regency short story, Treasuring Theresa, to the Cotillion line at Ellora’s Cave. Expecting months of wait time, I was surprised to get an offer for it in four days! The first thing I did was email my Spanish teacher friend Ellen, who called me during her lunchtime at school. I also emailed my friend Selene Grace Silver, who was the one who challenged me to write a short story in the first place. I was over the moon!

About the Author

Susana has always had stories in her head waiting to come out, especially when she learned to read and her imagination began to soar. Voracious reading led to a passion for writing, and her fascination with romance and people of the past landed her firmly in the field of historical romance.

A teacher in her former life, Susana lives in Toledo, Ohio in the summer and central Florida in the winter. She is a member of the Central Florida Romance Writers and the Beau Monde chapters of RWA and Maumee Valley Romance Inc.

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