Pierce professor nominated for national romance novel award

Quintessa Waud, Online/Social Media Manager

To students at Pierce College Puyallup she is known as professor Nikki Poppen-Eagan. But to fans of romance novels, she may be better known as Bronwyn Scott.

Poppen-Eagan, a communications professor, has penned more than 50 romance novels.

One of those novels is currently nominated for a RITA award, given by the Romance Writers of America. Poppen-Eagan’s book, Dancing with the Duke’s Heir is up for an award under the Best Novella category.

“It’s pretty big,” Poppen-Eagan said. “The RITA is like our Oscars night.”

This isn’t the first time Poppen-Eagan has submitted her work for consideration. One year she had submitted a book to the organization, but the stringent standards for the award can be difficult to meet. Her book had received 10’s, 9’s, and one 8.5 in the categories that the organization uses to rate potential nominees. The 8.5 score was too low, and she did not receive a nomination that year.

But for the 2018 awards, the story is different.

While grading papers during winter quarter finals week, Poppen-Eagan’s phone lit up displaying the caller-ID of a New York Times best-selling romance author.

“I was so engrossed in thinking about wrapping the quarter up here that it honestly didn’t even cross my mind that it was RITA day,” Poppen-Eagan said.

But once she heard the good news, she felt overwhelmed.

“Everything just slows down…It was just crazy,” Poppen-Eagan said.

The awards will be given out at the national convention in July.

The novella nominated is a part of the anthology “Scandal at the Christmas Ball” that Poppen-Eagan worked on with a fellow romance writer for publisher Harlequin Mills & Boon, named Marguerite Kaye.

Poppen-Eagan writes four historical romance novels a year for Harlequin Mills & Boon in addition to working full time at Pierce. In order to do so, she maintains a strict writing schedule.

“I don’t have weekends,” Poppen-Eagan said.

Writing over the weekend and then editing and revising her work throughout the week on her Kindle helps her make it all work.

When she does have a moment to catch her breath, Poppen-Eagan likes to travel, and often finds herself with new inspiration from her adventures.

During spring break, she and her daughters took a trip to the Florida Keys, where Poppen-Eagan was struck after seeing an old sea captain’s mansion.

“Captain Curry had nine daughters, and this guy was a millionaire. And I thought, ‘there’s a story!’” Poppen-Eagan said.

Once she returned home, she quickly called her editor and pitched a new idea for avant-garde American heiresses who go to England. She already has enough plans for writing this year, but the series she’ll be working on in 2020 is inspired by this idea.

Poppen-Eagan’s affinity for historical romance stems from her love of the fantasy of history.

Poppen-Eagan finds herself inspired by “the costumes, mannerisms, the way people lived, the way they aspired to live,” she said. “It’s fun to know the answer. When you have this really ‘out there’ heroine who thinks that she should have equal rights, you know that has a happier ending. Guess what, she wasn’t crazy. I know that her contemporaries thought she was crazy, but I know that has a happier ending.”

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

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Pierce professor nominated for national romance novel award

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