Day ONE with Ellie Marvel…

To kick this party off, here is Ellie Marvel with the…


Not-So-Secret Secrets of One Romance Writer


One might not be a number that typically comes to mind when you’re thinking of romance, unless it’s one of your favorite genres (I hope!). Romances involve a minimum of two individuals. Romance readers are likely to have more than one keeper (books that merit rereading). While many readers restrict themselves to reading one book at a TIME, they tend to read more than one book a year. The first romance I remember reading was Violet Winspear’s “The Sheik’s Captive”, which, at the age of 12, I thought was one of the hottest things ever written (they kissed! And he tried to touch her boobies!)


In fact, romance readers are the most voracious of all readers, which is why the romance genre has the highest sales of all fiction genres. Thousands of romances are published each year, which means readers have thousands of books and authors, plus backlists, to choose from. There are a passel of romance subgenres, including erotic romance, which Red Sage specializes in. Readers range from folks with minimal formal education to folks with PhDs, singles and marrieds, black and white, gay and straight, rich and poor, old and young.  Even female and male.


However, in the end the protagonists in a romance generally become one hot, loving unit. Many romances involve first experiences with true love, first experiences with marriages, sometimes first experiences with sex. This isn’t to denigrate romances where the protagonists have been in love, and in bed, before, because romance isn’t about one type of person any more than it has one type of reader.  But firsts are a popular premise in romance, as the protagonists’ journey introduces them to the various joys and complications of romantic relationships, all the while life throws in its own kinks.


Another popular premise in romance is the one person who will complete you (soul mates), the one person you don’t want to live without, the one ring to rule…  No, wait, that’s Lord of the Rings.  Which is not a romance by the modern genre definition. Of course, with the growth of erotic and speculative romance, it’s not always one person who completes you, but the finish line is still one unique family unit.


Now that I’ve talked about romance readers and the genre in general, I thought I’d talk a little about romance writers.  Romance writers don’t fit the stereotypes any more than romance readers do.  Though some romance writers do own a boa (usually just one), these boas are often destroyed by the pets or children of said romance writers and rarely, if ever, worn while writing.  I got mine from my romance-reading aunt as a wedding gift and it lived on top of the dresser mirror for years before Meankitty, our cat, figured out how to get her claws on it.


Romance writers are not rich, for the most part, because one of the hard truths about any fiction writing career is that it’s not particularly lucrative.  In fact, fiction writing is one darned difficult profession to pound away at while keeping your chin up in these tough economic times.


Romance writers tend to be female, but there is definitely more than one male romance novelist out there, happily typing away.  Romance writers, like readers, are no more likely to be single and bitter about it than they are to be married and full of joy, single and full of joy, or married and unhappy.  Romance authors don’t write one book over and over with different character names, and romance isn’t the one genre where it’s easiest to be professionally published.


My own publishing journey started in high school when I wrote one novel for my gifted program project. Then I went to college, got one useless degree in English, which I compounded with one more useless Masters degree in poetry.  I won one big poetry contest (but got published more than once in journals and magazines), until I changed my focus to genre romance in the late 90’s.  This focus was rudely interrupted by one pregnancy that involved a lot of puking (definitely more than one time) and a hell of a lot more than one rejection from agents and editors. My one child required constant monitoring because she was one little hellion, and I felt like I couldn’t get one single break. This went on for years. I was on the verge of going on a writing sabbatical until such a time as my hellion was in school when a good friend convinced me to try one new thing.


That thing was writing erotic romance.  My first, yep, first effort got published with a small press called Amber Quill.  My second effort, which was my first submission to Red Sage, is now published in Secrets 17. My first Red Sage Presents ebook, Megan’s Choice, was released on January one, 2009, and is their first foray into interactive fiction (like those choose your path stories from the 80’s).  It is one entertaining story, if I do say so myself. At least, I was highly entertained while writing it.


During this week, we encourage you to make comments on our blog entries here.  At the end of the week there will be a drawing where one lucky visitor is going to get to pick any one Red Sage title and have it sent to them for free.  This can be a Red Sage Secrets anthology or a Red Sage Presents ebook.  You can certainly pick one of the following titles, since these are written by the authors who are participating in the Week of Secrets with Jennifer:



Secrets 17, including Ellie Marvel
Secrets 21, including Kate St. James

Secrets 22, including Ellie Marvel

Secrets 24, including Natasha Moore

Secrets 25, including Natasha Moore

Secrets 26, including Kate St. James and Juliet Burns



Dark Angel, Natasha Moore

Megan’s Choice, Ellie Marvel

Quinn’s Curse, Natasha Moore

Scarlett and the Sheriff, Carly Carson

Secrets 17, including Ellie Marvel


Thanks, and we all look forward to reading your comments!


Jody W. w/a Ellie Marvel *


Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to win the giveaway.   Details can be found in yesterday’s post.


41 Responses to Day ONE with Ellie Marvel…

  1. Carly Carson says:

    One great post Ellie. Thanks for the great kickoff.


  2. sara hurt says:

    I am so excited about this week ladies. I want every single one of these books to grace a spot on my book shelf. I cant wait to read all the posts from you this week. Have a great time and I will be right here lurking around 🙂

  3. Juliet Burns says:

    Count me in as ONE more lurker, reading everyONE’s posts this week. *wink*

  4. Stefanie D. says:

    What a great post on day ONE of this great party!
    Let me be the FIRST to congratulate you on your FIRST Red Sage Presents ebook.

    This is ONE fun topic!:D

  5. Jody W. says:

    Thanks everyone! I hope the ONE person who ends up winning at the end of this week really enjoys her prize 🙂

  6. sara hurt says:

    Well shoot I would be the ONE person not to put the word ONE in her post. I am ONE slow person this morning. I hope you all have ONE great week.

  7. Cheryl McInnis says:

    Red Sage is ONE great publisher, and the Secrets anthologies are ONE of those books I always love to go back and re-read. I’ve discovered more than ONE great author by reading them. Ellie, Megan’s Choice sounds like ONE cool read!

  8. Hi everyone! I want to point out that I also have a story in Secrets Volume 21 (that’s Twenty-ONE). I’ll email Jennifer and get it added to the list.

    Ellie, I had a lot of fONE, oops, I mean FUN reading your post. Lots of great points!

  9. Foxhawke says:

    My first erotic read was from ONE of the first Secrets anthologies… I’ve loved everyONE that I’ve read.

    Now that I’m writing, I’m excited to see the posts this week for glimpses into how other writers deal with writing and life…

    Looking forward to it!

    April Morelock

  10. Jennifer Y says:

    What fun comments! I hope everyONE has a great time this week. The authors have come up with some very interesting posts.

  11. Helen says:

    A fun post and I am sure everyONE is going to enjoy reading it.

    Have Fun

  12. Ellie,
    Enjoyed your “one”derful post this morning. Looking forward to the whole week with you all, “one” day at a time.
    In the midst of Vol. 26,

  13. Jennifer Y says:

    It’s your hostess again and I have a question for Jody/Ellie…can you tell readers a bit more about Megan’s Choice? The whole concept fascinates me as I was was big fan of those “Choose your own adventure” stories. Was it difficult to write a story that used that format?

  14. Being only ONE of Ellie’s many writer pals, I wanted to pop in and say Hi. Great post.

  15. Jane says:

    It’s going to be tough for the winner to choose just One book from that list.

  16. Jennifer, thanks for adding volume Twenty-ONE!

  17. Teresa W says:

    It’s going to be a fun week, I’ve read a couple of the Secrets books and enjoyed them!

  18. Blanche says:

    Hi everyONE!! 🙂

    Very nice post…..I’ve had fun reading the thread and everyONE’s responses!!

  19. Susan says:

    Jennifer, that was ONE great post! I love the Secrets anthologies, just like everyONE else.

  20. Edie says:

    Great post, Jody! It’s fun reading about about all your firsts. Well, not all of them.

  21. Great post. ONE that makes you laugh and think. Aren’t we lucky we have romance stories?? And having erotic romance stories goes ONE better 🙂

    Great send off to a fun week 🙂

  22. Nicole North says:

    Super-entertaining post, Ellie!! 🙂 I look forward to lurking and reading all the Secrets author posts this week!

  23. kim h says:

    love hot . congrats on your book. love the cover.

  24. Jody W. says:

    Jennifer — Megan’s Choice is the story of a spaceship pilot named Megan Malone who has to decide if her next assignment is going to be a much-needed vacation…or a diplomatic mission headed by her ex-boyfriend. I didn’t find it hard to write the first draft of the novella, but editing it was tricky as I combed through all the threads to make sure they were consistent!

  25. Julie says:

    Megan’s Choice sound like a ONE-of-a-kind adventure story 🙂 Maybe come Saturday, I’ll get to tell my friends I ONE it! (Oops, I meant to say I WON it )

    Great post! I’ll be back to read them all this week! I love, love, love the Secrets anthologies! They’re ONE great way to discover new favorite authors.


  26. Jody W. says:

    Everytime you guys come up with another way to pun the number ONE, I laugh out loud! Should be interesting to see what we can do with the other numbers, eh?

  27. Jennifer Y says:

    I was thinking the same thing, Jody. 😆

  28. Lisa W. says:

    Congratulations on the release. Looking forward to all this week’s posts.

  29. ThatBrunette says:

    Your line “he tried to touch her boobies” made me laugh out loud! Very un-romance-author of you! 🙂 I thought all romance writers had feather-trimmed robes and wore feather-trimmed mules? Just breaking all the myths, aren’t you?

  30. deepsouthtales says:

    Ohh what a great post!!!


  31. Amy S. says:

    Great post!

  32. Terri W. says:

    What a great post!

    I have a couple of Secret books in my collection (I really enjoy reading them).

    I would love to add more!

  33. Jody W. says:

    ThatBrunette, right now I’m wearing a pair of velour lounge pants that are older than either of my kids and a T-shirt that’s two sizes too big. It doesn’t match the pants. But it’s clean!

    The pants, not so much.

    I own house slippers but there are no feathers on them. My robe came from Goodwill and has a dragon embroidered on the back. I think it goes with a man’s pajama set.

  34. Julie Robinson says:

    Hi Ellie/Mean Kitty slave!

    I absolutely love the Secrets volumes since first being introduced to them in the fall of 2007. I have a collection with #1, 8 – 10, and 12 – 16. Like you, I have degrees in English and romance novels, or heaven forbid—erotic romance novels—were something to be scoffed at in the literary department! I’m out of the closet now, not doing much with my 2 degrees, except making sure my 17-year old gets off to a good start next year in college.

    I look forward to reading the posts in the coming week.


  35. Greta says:

    What a cool & unique post. I wish I had thought of this idea.

  36. Fedora says:

    A very fun post, Ellie/Jody! Thanks for sharing, and congrats on your personal and professional successes! I have to say, it’s always a good sign when you’re entertained as you’re writing–usually an indication we readers are going to be enjoying your work, too!

  37. Natasha A. says:

    That was fun! I love the secrets volumes. I started acquiring them when I was a Doubleday Book member. I had completely forgotten about them until now! 😀 I may have to go back at a) reread them and b) find the rest of them!

  38. What a fun post and comments! Ellie, you’ve ONE great sense of humor. I like your writing style and I think your dragon robe sounds cool.

  39. Beth R says:

    Can’t wait to read the stories in Secrets

  40. Zaribeni says:

    Nice post! Keep it real.I have looked over your blog a few times and I love it.

  41. Tina b says:

    I would love to win so count me in. since i am a huge redsage secret fan girl

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