BIO: Author Cara Elliott is a graduate of Yale University and now works in New York at a lifestyle sports magazine when she’s not penning historical romances. Her job allows her to travel, her favorite spot being London, where she enjoys used book stores and antique markets. Other titles include: To Surrender To A Rogue and To Tempt A Rake-- both coming later this year for this Circle of Sin series.
Thanks for being here, Cara. It’s a pleasure.
It’s an honor to be asked!
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
When I’m not glued to my keyboard, I really enjoy being outdoors—walking, biking running, golfing (my game is not exactly up to par, but I find walking a lovely course is a great, relaxing way to think about plotting and my characters!) I’ve also been teaching a class at Yale this spring on historical romance, which has really been fun. In addition, I serve on a library committee and several other boards, and so with family responsibilities, it sometimes feels there are a lot of balls to juggle. But I love all the challenges!
#2- You work at a lifestyle sports magazine when not writing romances. How very different! Is it hard to adjust and settle into writing fiction or do you find yourself with whiplash?
Actually I find it works really well for me. My work at the magazine focuses on creating the visual layout (I have a master’s degree in graphic design), as well as some lifestyle writing on food and travel, so I’m exercising different “muscles” from those I use for fiction. But I find that helps me to come back to my stories with fresh energy. Sometimes it does take a little while to get back into the mood of Regency England after a harried day at the office, but for the most part, I feel that the two different disciplines keep me excited about both.
#3- As you know, I reviewed your title TO SIN WITH A SCOUNDREL for Bookpleasures and loved it. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
First of all, thanks so much for your lovely review! I’m so glad you enjoyed “Scoundrel.” Negative reviews are part of a writer’s life, and we’re always advised not to take it personally. Lisa Kleypas gave some wonderful advice at RWA a few years ago when she said we have to think of ourselves as armadillos, which are tough little critters with really thick hides. She pointed out that nothing seems to flatten them, not even running them over with a car! So her suggestion was that whenever we read something negative, we should say to ourselves, “I am an armadillo, I am an armadillo!” That helps—but I also keep a big stash of chocolate in my desk drawer!
#4- You are a relatively new author on the scene. What was the query, agent, editing, and publishing process like for you?
Well, actually, I’m not all that new—I’ve written for some years as Andrea Pickens. As for the process, I was incredibly lucky in becoming a published author. I had a contemporary thriller that I had written (it’s still in a desk drawer for good reason) and a friend arranged for me to talk to an agent. After pitching the idea to him, I happened to mention that I also had a Regency romance. Well, at that, his face lit up and he said he knew the head of the Signet Regency line and would show it to her. Three days later I got the call that I had sold my first book!
#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
Oh, I’ve always been a voracious reader and I love a wide range of genres, from romance (of course) to mystery to non-fiction history. Growing up, my nose was always buried in a book. I loved the sly wit of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, the romantic suspense of Mary Stewart and Daphne Du Maurier, the swashbuckling adventure of Alexander Dumas and Patrick O’Brien . . . I could go on and on, but the list would get WAY too long.
These days, I love the books of my blog-mates at Word Wenches (Jo Beverley, Nicola Cornick, Anne Gracie, Susan King, Mary Jo Putney and Pat Rice) And some of my other favorites are Lauren Willig, Loretta Chase, Eloisa James, Elizabeth Peters, Dorothy Sayers, Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee . . . as I said, the list could go on and on. I’ve got a longer list of my favorites posted on my website, along with the supplemental reading list from our Yale course, which your readers might enjoy downloading.
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
The second book of my “Circle of Sin” trilogy, “To Surrender to A Rogue,” is coming out in June, and the third, To Tempt A Rake, will hit the shelves in February of 2011. I really loved writing this series, and hope readers enjoy it too! To learn more about the books, and to read excerpts, just pop over to www.caraelliott.com. And be sure to sign up for my mailing list for the chance to win free books!
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
It was such a pleasure to visit with you. Thanks for all the great things you do to promote romance!