New and Debut: Erin McLellan


Today in New and Debut I'm happy to welcome Erin McLellan, author of queer romance. Her debut novel Controlled Burn, mm NA romance, is coming out from Riptide on Aug 14. Read to learn more about what inspires her, who some of her favourite books and authors are and what you can expect from her in the future. 

Meet Erin

1.      Tell us about yourself and why did you decide to become a romance writer?

First, thank you so much, Ellie, for the opportunity to be on your blog!
A little bit about myself—I’m a 27-year-old former public librarian from Oklahoma who now lives in Alaska, which is quite the adventure. I’ve started hiking and, you know, generally going outside more since moving to Alaska.
I’ve always loved writing, so I got my undergraduate degree in English with a creative writing focus. But it wasn’t until I was in graduate school for library and information studies that I really discovered romance and fell in love. One of the many things I adore about public libraries is the celebration of genre fiction and its readers! My first librarian job out of grad school was in the Houston, Texas area, and I had an atrocious commute that I spent dreaming up romance novels. Eventually, I decided I should sit down and write one, and here we are!

2.      Can you share some of your favourite books and authors?

Yikes, I have too many!! Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables were so influential to me as a child and teenager that I couldn’t have a list without J.K. Rowling and L.M. Montgomery on it. I also love nonfiction and am crazy about Mindy Kaling’s humor writing and Sarah Vowell’s history books. As for romance – Suzanne Brockmann was my first romance experience and I’m still crazy about her books. I also really like Amy Jo Cousins, Santino Hassell, Vanessa North, Kristan Higgins, Anna Zabo, Avon Gale, and Megan Erickson.
I’ve recently read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, and loved it, and just picked up An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole and am excited to start it!

3. Who/what do you consider your writing influence/inspiration?

Setting is a huge inspiration to me. I have always felt really strong connections to certain places, like the Kansas Flint Hills, which is one of the settings in my debut. Often, I’ll be inspired by the particular emotions a place incites in me. But I find inspiration for characters everywhere: friends’ dating horror stories, music, nature, Instagram thirst traps.

4. What kind of stories can the readers expect from you (contemporary/historical/sci-fi, adult/NA/YA, etc)?

Sexy adult contemporary seems to be my sweet spot right now, and I’ve written a mix of adult and NA. But I’m certainly open to writing other romance subgenres. I love historical romance, paranormal, sci-fi romance, and sports romance, so maybe one day!

5. Please, introduce your latest/upcoming release.

My first novel is Controlled Burn, and it’s out August 14, 2017. It’s an m/m college romance about a man named Joel Smith, who is still dealing with the grief of losing his high school sweetheart in a texting while driving accident. He tries to outrun his grief by moving to Oklahoma for college, changing his name, and hiding his past from everyone. But then he meets Paulie McPherson, who absolutely tips Joel’s world upside down, and Joel must decide if he can risk opening himself up to love again. The story has angst, sexy times, and lots of dancing at a college bar.

I also have another m/m contemporary romance coming out this fall from Riptide Publishing called Life on Pause, which follows a dorky museum worker and a high school choir teacher as they fall in love. It has too many nights of Netflix, historical costumes, love of sci-fi, and choral music.

At eighteen, Joel Smith’s life fell to pieces. His boyfriend died in a car crash while reading a sext from him, the local newspaper outed them both in the aftermath, and his parents got a divorce. Joel did everything possible to outrun his past: he moved to Oklahoma for college, legally changed his name, and started over.

Since then, he hasn’t let anyone get close—not his classmates, not his roommate, and definitely not his hookups. The strategy has served him well for over three years. Why would he change it now?

But Joel doesn’t plan on the articles about his boyfriend’s death being used as a case study in one of his classes. And he doesn’t plan on Paulie McPherson, who is sweet and giving and fun. In Paulie, he finds a home for the first time in years.

But love isn’t simple, and lies have a tendency to get in the way. Joel must figure out if he’ll allow his grief to rule him, or if his connection with Paulie is worth letting all of his walls come tumbling down.
Pre-Order Link: Riptide

Author Bio and Links
Erin McLellan writes contemporary romance, often set in the Great Plains, with characters that are complex, goodhearted, and sometimes a little quirky. Originally from Oklahoma, Erin currently lives in Alaska with her husband.


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