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Author spotlight: Stella Quinn

24 December 2019

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting Stella Quinn. She will be attending ARR2020 in Brisbane.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

I drafted my first manuscript when I was pregnant with #4, so I would have been 33.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

Georgette Heyer, of course! Surely me and a million others. I’m an immigrant, and can remember going to visit my grandparents in England, and finding Beauvallet on a bookshelf, and spending happy hours lying on the floral carpet, in a slant of sunlight, having the best time. I was 11.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

Yes, I also write historical fiction (a boys’ war adventure). I’m planning a women’s fiction ‘life-lit’ story—think Bridget Jones souped up on hormone replacement therapy. The rough skeleton is in my notebook, so some way to go …

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

Oh boy! Stowaway, the second in my Island Escape romance series, features Sabrina, a sad-eyed surgeon who’s run away from her problems. Maybe … Lily James? And Ben, the out-of-work billionaire who finds her stowed away on his yacht in the middle of the Caribbean, maybe Ryan Kwanten (famous (in my mind at least) for playing Jason Stackhouse in True Blood).

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

Finding conflicts that matter.

What is your favourite place to write?

A coffee shop, preferably outside, in a slant of sunlight, with enough people around to feel like a community, but not so many that I feel guilty for hogging a table for an hour.

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

Yes! I wrote a bad guy in a romantic suspense novella, Catching Snow, based on a man who harassed me and my daughter in a road rage incident. There was a street corner with a signpost near to ‘the incident’, and I named my bad guy Elliot Tate after Elliot Street and Tate Street.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. So, so, so great. The characters are the most important part of a book to me. Plot, premise, tropes etc, I don’t care about so much when I’m reading. (Different story when I’m writing, lol!). Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes wonderful characters, and this book is a cracker.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Christmas on Hope Street is an anthology project of small town, sweet, Christmas novellas written by me and three of my author pals. We had been talking about doing a joint project for some time, and finally managed to pull it off! We’re all super proud of it. It looks gorgeous, and the stories are like hugs in print.

What else will you be working on in 2020?

I’m working on my Cathedral Springs series of small town romances set in a mountain and lake community in upstate New York. The first two are written, and I’m drafting up scenes now for the third. (And trying to find some of that pesky meaningful conflict, see my answer to question 5!)

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.


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