Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling author of historical romance novels with Avon Books. Her writing has won numerous awards including the 2014 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Award for Historical Romance and the 2016 RT Book Reviews Best First Historical Romance award. Her third book was a finalist in the 2018 RWA RITA contest for published authors in the Historical Short category.
A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing, Lenora has lived and worked on five continents. She currently lives in New Zealand with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves hearing from readers! Sign up for her mailing list to hear about new books, sales, and giveaways!
Ten Things About Lenora
- She’s a third generation Alaskan and most of her family still live there. She’s lived on five continents and speaks various levels of Spanish, French, and some Mandarin Chinese and Thai.
- Lenora is known for weaving pop culture Easter eggs into her books. Her first book, How the Duke was Won, was pitched as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets The Bachelor,” and her second book, If I Only Had a Duke, was “The Wizard of Oz meets Arrow.” Her fourth book, What a Difference a Duke Makes, was an homage to Mary Poppins and Jane Eyre (and several astute readers picked up on a few Anne of Green Gables references as well :-).
- Every romance novelist must have a great love story, right? Lenora met her husband when she hired him as her contractor to remodel her 1880’s house in Portland, Oregon.
- She was inspired to start writing historical romance after reading an article by historical romance author Eloisa James.
- She collects vintage clothing, purses, and costume jewelry and if she wasn’t a writer she’d probably own a vintage clothing store. One of her most treasured possessions is a muslin and lace day dress passed down from her great-grandmother Lenora.
- Lenora’s books are a family affair – her brother Carl helps do her historical research and her sister Amelia is one of her beta readers and critique partners.
- Her mother is a concert pianist and choir director so Lenora grew up singing and performing in musicals.
- Lenora is a voracious fantasy and sci fi reader and would love to write a YA fantasy some day.
- Her fourth book was featured in Entertainment Weekly magazine and received an “A” grade.
- Lenora believes that everyone deserves love and happiness — and that the world needs more of both. That’s why she writes romance!
Lenora’s Publication Adventure
While teaching English in China in 2006, Lenora entered the Avon FanLit online writing contest. She didn’t final in the contest but she definitely won anyway because she met Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Erica Ridley, Darcy Burke and many other talented, passionate romance writers who became friends and critique partners.
Lenora taught English around the world and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University but the writing friends she met during Avon FanLit often nudged her to finish a romance novel. It was because of their support and inspiration that she finally worked up the courage to enter the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Award Contest in 2014. To her utter shock, she finaled!
Representation from a fantastic agent quickly followed, and then Lenora’s wildest dream came true. Her Golden Heart novel sold to Avon Romance in a three book deal! Now she’s on her second series with Avon.
All she can say is that it’s never too late to open your heart to inspiration. Surround yourself with support and love. Solder words into sentences. Fuse those sentences into pages. Put one foot in front of the other.
And keep dreaming!