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Susan Elia MacNeal is an American editor and author that writes historical fiction set during WWII. Born in Buffalo, New York, MacNeal got her English Degree from Wellesley College. She was initially tempted to take the scholarly route by pursuing academic writing as a college professor.
Order of Maggie Hope Series
|1||Mr. Churchill's Secretary||2012||Description / Buy|
|2||Princess Elizabeth's Spy||2012||Description / Buy|
|3||His Majesty's Hope||2013||Description / Buy|
|4||The Prime Minister's Secret Agent||2014||Description / Buy|
|5||Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante||2015||Description / Buy|
|6||The Queen's Accomplice||2016||Description / Buy|
|7||The Paris Spy||2017||Description / Buy|
|8||The Prisoner in the Castle||2018||Description / Buy|
|9||The King's Justice||2020||Description / Buy|
|10||The Hollywood Spy||2021||Description / Buy|
Order of Susan Elia MacNeal Standalone Novels
|1||Mother Daughter Traitor Spy||2022||Description / Buy|
Order of Susan Elia MacNeal Non-Fiction Books
|1||Wedding Zen: Calming Wisdom for the Bride (Short Story)||2004||Description / Buy|
|2||Infused: 100 Recipes for Infused Liqueurs and Cocktails||2006||Description / Buy|
But then she entered the publishing field and her priorities changed. MacNeal had the fortune of going to Vermont to work as an assistant to John Irving (Novelist). This was her first job. She eventually joined Random house.
The internship was very educational for MacNeal who had the opportunity to work under several legendary editors. She spent the next few years honing her skills as an editorial assistant. She also worked for Viking Penguin as an assistant editor.
And even though she did not have a background in dance, Dance Magazine saw fit to bring her aboard as a staff writer. Although she spent many years working in publishing, the transition from editor to writer was far from easy.
MacNeal accumulated a staggering number of rejections before she found an editor and willing publishers. Today, the author is known primarily for her work on the Maggie Hope series which combines Nancy Drew and World War II.
The heroine is a young woman that was unfortunate enough to find herself in London when the Second World War began. She responds to the challenge by joining a covert black ops organization.
Before she wrote ‘Mr. Churchhill’s Secretary’, Susan Elia MacNeal’s interest in WW2 was mild. Everything changed when her husband’s job took him to London and she followed. A friend of hers encouraged the author to visit the underground bunker that Churchill and his staff had occupied during the war.
The experience blew MacNeal’s mind, sparking an interest in the Second World War. While standing in the museum, MacNeal couldn’t stop thinking about the typists that had occupied the bunker with Churchill.
She knew that she couldn’t rest until she had explored the period and some of its overlooked heroes and heroines in one or more novels. While her visit to Churchill’s bunker is responsible for the author’s Maggie Hope series, she has imputed the skills she uses to write award-winning novels to her time in college.
While pursuing her English degree, she read a lot of novels that, she believes, enhanced her technical abilities. She is also grateful for her teachers and supervisors who taught her to persevere.
Even though her career as a full-time writer allows her to work from home, writing her manuscripts to completion isn’t easy. On most days, she writes from eight to noon before taking a break. She does some writing after lunch but she also spends a few hours answering emails and doing any additional chores associated with the business side of her career.
Susan Elia MacNeal Awards
MacNeal won the Barry Award for ‘Mr. Churchhill’s Secretary’. She has received Agatha and Dilys Award nominations.
Best Susan Elia MacNeal Books
The author writes novels because they enable her to express herself and to create interesting characters. Some of MacNeal’s best novels include:
Mr. Churchill’s Secretary: War is looming. Churchill has been sworn in and the public is looking to the Prime Minister to protect them from the death and destruction raging across Europe. Maggie wants to play her part. She wants to use her considerable skills to advance the cause of British Intelligence.
But she’s a woman and the men around Maggie are quick to dismiss her as just another typist. But she won’t be deterred. Her new position at No. 10 Downing Street has granted her a level of clearance she never expected. She will use it to unravel a growing web of lies and intrigue.
Princess Elizabeth’s Spy: Maggie hated the idea of going to Windsor Castle. After working as Churchill’s secretary, she had finally completed her spy training and she couldn’t wait to put her code-breaking skills to good use. But the powers that be had assigned her to Windsor Castle where she was expected to teach princess Elizabeth Math.
To Maggie’s surprise, life in Windsor Castle was far from dull. A killer was loose. It was up to Maggie to solve a shocking murder. This was the only way to save the Royal Family from a deadly conspiracy.
When Does The Next Susan Elia MacNeal book come out?
Susan Elia MacNeal doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Mother Daughter Traitor Spy and was released on September, 20th 2022.
1 thought on “Susan Elia MacNeal”
I recently started to read the Hope series and am hooked. It is easy reading and very informative about the events during WWII, the period of my early years. Mrs. MacNeal’s writing is very concise and to the point, and I enjoy how she has intertwined the characters lives and events. I can hardly wait to finished all the books and look forward to new Hope adventures.