Good Afternoon Elli and thank you for taking the time to take this interview and tell us a little about yourself and your new release Conquering Kiera.
Q. What made you decide to write a book Elli?
A. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and finally got busy with it once I discovered erotic spanking romance books was an actual thing. I love to read them and just sat down and started writing one day. I was instantly hooked and if I could get away with it, that is all I would ever do.
Q. How long have you been writing?
A. I’ve been writing and editing ‘things’ for over thirty years, but books only the last two years. I dove right into erotic spanking romance and haven’t tried any other because this is so much fun!
Q. How long did it take you to write this book?
A. About six months off and on, mostly off. My life is pulled in many directions and I can’t yet put writing at the top of my list. (sigh, someday..)
Q. What do you use to write your books?
A. Just me and my Mac.
Q. What problems did you encounter?
A. Time is my worst enemy, trying to find the time to sit and write between a full-time job, a part-time job and school is near impossible.
Q. How do you think you’ve evolved as a writer since you’ve started?
A. I have grown and continue to grow as a writer every day. I am always researching, reading and learning all I can about how to be a better writer. But the best part for me is watching myself actually become a writer. I amaze myself and I don’t mean that in a snobbish way. I look at my writing and say, “Wow, where the hell did that come from? Where was that hiding in my head all these years?” The characters and settings just pour out of my head and I’m not exactly sure where they come from. But that’s the fun part, watching the story develop as I go along.
Q. Is there anything you wished you’d known when you started writing?
A. Pretty much everything! I just started writing and didn’t have much of a plan or end game. In fact, I was surprised when my first books were accepted and didn’t have a clue about how to market them, or what the next steps were. I actually just posted an article on my blog about how new writers feel like they’re stranded on a deserted island, all alone. (At least that’s how I feel). I put together a questionnaire for more experienced authors to offer tips and advice to us newbies about how to promote and sell books without spending a small fortune on ads. Writing is the easy part, promoting and selling is the tough part.
Q. Do you structure your plots or just go with the flow?
A. Totally go with the flow. When I sit down to write a book I have no idea where it’s going, it just develops and I have no control over it.
Q. Do you work on a set amount of words per day or does it change?
A. I’m not that organized! I write when I can sneak some time for it, I try to plan at least once a week to write a few pages. I do binge writing when my husband goes out of town, eat popcorn for dinner and just write until I’m bleary-eyed.
Q. Do you do a lot of research when writing a book?
A. Nope! I make shit up. People, places, everything.
Q. How would you describe your writing process?
A. A brain dump that flows from my imagination, through my fingers onto the screen. No thinking involved, actually just the opposite of thinking. I clear my mind of other clutter and dive into my dirty persona, it’s like my evil twin, except she’s a whole lot of fun. I’m like a different person when I’m writing and that is a great escape.
Q. What time of the day do you find is best to write?
A. After work in the evenings and weekends, but always at night. I try to bribe myself into doing my homework first and rewarding myself with writing time after I’m done. I hate that I have to be so stingy with my writing time, but there are only so many hours in a day and I am determined to graduate and I have to keep the day job for now.
Q. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A. The outdoors. Something else I rarely get to indulge in. My stories always originate outside or are themed around ranches, beaches, lakes, or in the woods. My ideal life would be sitting with my laptop at my beach house, ranch or out in the woods next to a lake writing to my heart’s content.
Q. What draws you to this genre?
A. It turns me on and I like to be able to turn complete strangers on with my words. I grew up with five sisters and they all read vanilla romance books, as did my Mom. Often I got their hand-me-downs and my tastes have matured over the years. I used to call them trashy novels, but they were mild compared to what I read and write now! I’ve always been a fan of spanking since I was young and this satisfies a deeply seated kink gene in me, I guess.
Q. Have you ever tried to write other genres?
A. Nope, I don’t even want to try because it would be so boring for me.
Q. Which author/book would compare yours too?
A. I don’t know, I haven’t read enough of them to know.
Q. Can you relate to any of your own stories?
A. Yes, in a sort of round-about way. I like to be spanked and I’m pretty independent and head-strong like my characters. I wish I lived on a ranch, or in a beach house like my characters but I live a plain life that is spiced up with spanking and experimentation with my husband.
Q. How many books have you written?
A. Five complete, all accepted for publication. I have five others in progress and ideas for several more stewing in my head.
Q. Have you ever written in collaboration with another author?
A. No, I don’t know any other authors.
Q. Who designed your front cover?
A. My publisher, Stormy Night Publications
Q. Who was the first person you showed your novel too?
A. My husband is the only one that I show my work to.
Q. Have you ever dedicated a book to someone?
A. No, but if I did it would be my husband because he encourages and supports me.
Q. How do you market your books?
A. I use Twitter and a blog so far. I have been avoiding Facebook because I don’t have time and it’s addicting. For this release, I am trying some small, inexpensive ways to promote like Fiverr. I need lots of help in this area!
Q. How do you deal with bad reviews?
A. Try not to let it bother me, everyone is entitled to their opinions and you can’t please everyone.
Q. Do you use an agent?
A. No, I don’t know anything about that actually. I guess if I became highly popular and had the money to spend I would look into it.
Q. How much time do you devote to marketing your books?
A. A few hours a week. Like I said, I need help in this area!
Q. Do you do all your own proofreading and editing?
A. Yes, until the publisher gets it.
Q. How and where are you publishing this book?
A. Stormy Night Publications is taking care of everything and have been wonderful to work with. They helped with suggestions for improvements, editing, cover design, etc., and will send out the release notes and other promotions to their audience. It will be on Amazon and all the other sites globally.
Q. What are you reading at the moment? Which book do you have by your bed?
A. Hero to Obey, it’s actually 22 naughty stories in one set.
Q. Where are your favourite places to read?
A. In bed!
Q. When you read do you prefer a book or a Kindle/tablet?
A. A tablet these days, I’m a geek at heart.
Q. Thank you, Elli, do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
A. Try to reach out to other authors and don’t live on a deserted island, (like me).
Q. What’s can we expect from you next?
A. I have five other books started and a few ideas for more books, some are series. One that I’ve started is an erotic sci-fi, spanking romance which is a blast to write. You really have no limitations in that genre so I can’t wait to see where that one takes me. I hope to be able to retire and write full time while I finish up my degree. Then travel, write, take pictures and enjoy life.