“Dig a Little Deeper” Feature with Lenora Bell
HBL Note: I love it when publicists, authors, or literary agents contact me with a unique request or a little something different. Lenora Bell’s latest novel, For the Duke's Eyes Only, deals with archeology and finding treasures...so when I was asked to participate in this multi-blog "Dig a Little Deeper" series to promote Lenora's book, I was game. I was excited to be able to feature an author interview (one of my favorite series on this blog) as part of multi-blog event. And although romance isn't my favorite genre, I hear if you’re going to read romance, Lenora is an amazing place to start. So let's learn a little more about Lenora...
You are known for throwing in pop culture Easter eggs into your stories. What can readers look forward to in FOR THE DUKE’S EYES ONLY?
I have lots of fun working pop culture and literary Easter eggs into my books and from what I hear, readers love finding them. FOR THE DUKE’S EYES ONLY contains multiple nods to James Bond, Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Amelia Peabody, Eloisa James’s MY AMERICAN DUCHESS, and the list goes on!
You have two cats, Dorian and Percy. This is a double question: what inspired their names, and do they get in the way of writing (IE, keyboard sitting)?
Of course my cats have literary names. My husband and I were obsessed with the show Penny Dreadful (such a fantastic mash-up of gothic literary characters!) at the same time that we adopted two cat brothers from a rescue shelter in Switzerland. We named Dorian after Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Percy after English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. There are quite a few nods to Shelley in my first historical romance, HOW THE DUKE WAS WON.
Percy is a total ham and he always wants to supervise everything. He’ll jump up on my keyboard and meow at me if I’m not paying enough attention to him. He’s the one that likes to dress up and wear glasses. He literally doesn’t want to take the glasses off! Dorian plays it cool. We have to go to him.
Where is the weirdest/most unique place you’ve gotten writing done?
I travel a lot for work -- my first book for Avon was written in Bolivia, my second and third in Switzerland, my fourth and fifth in the U.S., and my sixth book was started in Paraguay and will be finished in New Zealand! I wrote one of the scenes from my first book, HOW THE DUKE WAS WON, sitting on top of the ruins at Machu Picchu, in Peru.
You won the Golden Heart award in 2014, but how long were you writing before you decided to make something out of it and attempt publication?
I read an article about Eloisa James in 2005 and I found her first book POTENT PLEASURES at the library – from that day forth I was hooked on historical romance! I decided to write my own book, but I hadn’t really grasped the finer points of plotting. My hero and heroine didn’t meet until page 60! I entered the Avon FanLit contest in 2006 and met Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Darcy Burke, Erica Ridley, and so many other talented writers. They pushed me to keep writing and I finally decided to enter the Golden Heart in 2014.
What’s next for you? Another book, another series, a cross-hemisphere move, perhaps?
All of the above! I’m moving to New Zealand in September, finishing the third book in my School for Dukes series, and hopefully there will be an exciting new historical romance series on the horizon!