Message From The Author

Author's Message



Economist, musician and novelist -- normally, these three careers don't have much to do with one another. But for the talented Bella Andre, each has led her to bigger and better achievements. This month, Pocket will release Take Me, her first book from a major publishing house.

Following in the footsteps of her professor father and older brother, Andre majored in economics at Stanford University. The New York native, born Nyree Rabushka, then made her mark in music (as simply Nyree) by releasing four folk-pop albums. But she still wanted more.

Having grown up around books ("I'm
a library geek at heart," she says), Andre decided to switch gears from songwriting to book writing. She first penned two music biz reference guides (as Nyree Belleville, her married name), then began writing standard romances and a chick lit (an entry in RT's first American Title contest). It was at a Romance Writers of America meeting that she learned about the booming erotic romance subgenre. "I didn't know books like that even existed," she admits. Once Andre set out to write her first erotic tale, the chapters poured out of her. She sent the manuscript to Ellora's Cave, which turned it into 2003's Authors in Ecstasy, and then wrote three additional books for the publisher.

That's also when the scribe took on her current moniker -- Bella from the "Belle" portion of her last name and Andre, her husband Paul's middle name. "I thought all writers had pseudonyms," she says.

Andre's critique partner Jamie Alden (who just signed with Kensington) encouraged her to find an agent after loving what she did with her next novel. She found one right away, struck a deal with Pocket.

Take Me, which will be followed in 2006
by Wine, Women and Seduction and 2007 by Constant Cravings, centers on full-figured Lily Ellis. "Instead of lusting after the guy, he begins lusting after her," says Andre. "[Usually], women start out plus-size, diet and then get the guy. As women, we know that's not true! In my book, there's no weight loss -- Lily has to see her beauty herself." While Andre is not plus-size, she understands weight struggles, having battled anorexia in college. "I got caught up with the perfectionism," relates the resident of Sonoma, Calif., who lives with her husband, their 1-year-old son, Hunter, and an Akita dog named Samuel.

Do Andre's parents ever wish she used her economics degree instead of risking it all in the fickle world of the arts? "My parents couldn't be more thrilled," she says. "My dad cried when I told him I sold two more books to Pocket." "Bright women write romances -- it's a viable career and one you should be proud of!" -- Cheryl A. Hoahing

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