On March 20, 2024

Vermont author writes rocking romance

Cover illustration by Simon Heath Reid
Elsie and the Lynx was written and published by Dora Campbell.


To many rock fans, the British bands of the 1970s set the genre’s standards. For Rutland author Dora Campbell, the decade and its musicians inspired a romance novel, which is now available at Phoenix Books in Rutland, according to a March 11 press release.

“Elsie and the Lynx” takes place in Manchester, England in 1973. Elsie, an American graduate student, meets Alec, a well-known guitarist, during what was supposed to be a quiet night out with a friend. At first, Elsie rebuffs Alec’s advances, assuming his intentions are dishonorable. But Alec’s charm wears her down, they go out, and she gets to know the man behind the riffs.

Trouble ensues when Alec’s band goes on tour, and rumors of his womanizing reach Elsie. She must decide whether she can confront Alec about the rumors—and whether loving a rock star is worth the heartache.

Campbell admits that her own love of ’70s rock sparked her story. “During the pandemic, I spent time listening to my favorite bands,” she said. “Idly, I looked at photos of them online, not just the stage or publicity shots, but photos with their families. I became fascinated with their wives, many of whom were pretty, but ordinary British girls. I wondered about how they met their rock star spouses and how they coped with their infidelity or, at least, the threat of it. They had to have known these guys were surrounded by groupies and smitten fans. Just being on the road for weeks and months at a time offered lots of opportunity for cheating.” 

But anyone looking for raunchiness in “Elsie and the Lynx” will be disappointed. “This is not Pam and Tommy Lee,” said Campbell with a laugh. “It’s what’s known as a behind-closed-doors romance: there is sensuality, but there are no sex scenes.”

In fact, according to Campbell, “Elsie and the Lynx” is not a typical romance novel. “The tone is light and wry, the characters are quirky, and I don’t tie everything up with a neat bow,” she explained. “My website refers to imperfect, but perfectly satisfying happily-ever-afters, and I think that encapsulates ‘Elsie and the Lynx’.”

Dora Campbell write romance in a Vermont farmhouse with a squeaky tortie cat. Visit her at doracampbell.ink or follow her on Facebook.

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