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Talking with Lenora Bell at #RWA16

Lenora Bell was remarkably sunny for a woman who’d flown across the world–she lives in Switzerland–to attend RWA, arrived, and found her luggage had been lost en route. Especially given that, after RWA, she was headed to a small town in Alaska–she grew up there–for a family wedding. Her suitcase–lost most likely in the London airport–was full of Swiss chocolate and other spoilable treats she’d plan to give out at RWA and share with her family at the wedding and, of course, all her clothes. Trust me when I tell you Lenora is the type of fashion maven who can walk into the nearest Nordstrom and come out looking like a total boss. The day we met, she was wearing a funky dress I wished were mine and to die for shoes she’d just purchased that suited her perfectly. The woman is a survivor.
Lenora grew up in Alaska and, after living several different lives, now calls Geneva home. She works full-time AND writes historical romance. Her first book, How the Duke Was Won, was a Golden Heart winner in 2014 and was published by Avon in Spring of this year. That book is one of three Avon will publish. The second, If I Only Had a Duke, comes out at the end of August.

How old were you when you wrote your first romance? Plot?

Does the romance fanfic novella I wrote when I was twelve about Jonathan Harker falling for one of the side character vampire seductresses at Dracula’s castle instead of the virtuous Mina Murray count?

Tell me two truths and a lie.

The first mass market romance novel I ever read was Eloisa James’ Potent Pleasures.

I met Tessa Dare for the first time at #RWA16.

One of my very favorite romance novels is Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm.

What would your most recent hero never do in bed?

James, the unconventional Duke of Harland from How the Duke Was Won, never stops finding new and seductive ways to use the chocolate he creates to add spice and sweetness to bedroom adventures.

If you could make up the perfect name for a fictional President, what would it be?

I think my piano teacher mom would make a great, creative and down-to-earth president. So I nominate Mama Bell.

What’s the last TV show you binge watched?

My husband and I binge watched AMC’s Penny Dreadful recently. He loves horror and I love costume dramas so it was perfect for us—a clever mashup of classic horror tropes in a dark and lush Victorian setting with brilliant acting and a poetic script. We were so sad when they cancelled the show after three seasons.

Which do you prefer: Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre?

Don’t make me choose, Dabney! Seriously, I love them both equally. I’m a big Bronte sisters fan. I even chose my pen name “Bell” because Charlotte Bronte first published Jane Eyre under the male pen name Currer Bell.

If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?

I’m going to go with Amy Adams. Even though she looks a lot more like Tessa Dare. Come to think of it, I’d watch the heck out of a movie about Tessa Dare’s life starring Amy Adams as the mild-mannered librarian/romance novelist with the magic pen.

What’s the last book you read and loved?

I just finished an ARC of Sarah MacLean’s A Scot in the Dark. I predict that this book is going to take readers by storm. It’s big, bold, powerful and incredibly romantic. I’m still swooning over the huge, rugged, and very Scottish Duke of Warnick.

What’s next from you?

If I Only Had a Duke, the second in my debut series for Avon Books will be on sale August 30th. Loosely inspired by The Wizard of Oz, it features characters from the first book in the series, although it can be read as a standalone.




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Sonya Heaney
Sonya Heaney
07/30/2016 6:06 am

If I had a pound for every time Heathrow lost my luggage…

I always pack spare clothes in my carry-on bag these days, but with the liquid restrictions it doesn’t make it easy for a contact lens-wearer!

I just started watching Penny Dreadful on the plane a few weeks ago. I love the Victorian setting. The horror parts, not so much.

07/29/2016 9:47 am

Bummer about the luggage being lost at Heathrow (I assume). Hope you have it back now and enjoy the wedding in Alaska!