This week on Author on the Couch
(the story behind the storyteller)
I’m conducting a session with
Elise is giving away her books LINKED CIRCLES and BROKEN CIRCLES. At the end of the blog I’ll tell you how to be eligible to win!
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Elise: It’s so hard to pick one, as my life is a summation of so many profound experiences. One of the most profound was living in a small village in Mexico when I was five and six years old. My sister and I were the only blond people around. I learned what it felt like to be the unusual one, the odd one out, and that has definitely formed the way I approach the world in that I try to be very welcoming and accepting of everyone. But I have about a dozen more profound experiences that are equally impactful, some of a much more sensual and personal nature <grins>. I’ll tell you about those another time.
Me: What a neat experience. If everyone had the chance to be the “unusual one, the odd one out” there would probably be a lot more understanding of differences and a lot less hate in the world.
What personality trait of yours helps you most an author?
Elise: Curiosity, definitely. I’m a people-watcher and I’m always thinking to myself “Now, why did that person just do that?” I see people together and ponder their relationship. Friends? Lovers? Soulmates? I watch expressions and try to guess what they are feeling. I’m fascinated by body language. I might watch someone for thirty seconds and already have a narrative laid out for them in my head. Probably much more exciting and outrageous than their real life!
Me: People watching is the best! I do it too.
What personality trait of yours hinders you most an author?
Elise: Restraint. In my real life, I’m a careful, thoughtful person. I have to watch that I don’t put too much of that into my characters. I want them to be realistic, but they also have to be the kind of people who dive into adventure, confront danger instead of run, and fall in love in an instant. If I wrote about people who avoid danger at all costs and practically consider the pros and cons of any lover, no one would read my books!
Me: What was your high point as a writer?
Elise: The first time I slipped into what I call “the zone.” That’s when writing stops being a struggle, the story is unfolding in my head moment by moment, and it’s all I can do to type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. It’s almost like a high when that happens, and that first time was when I knew that if I worked hard and kept at it through the tough times, I might actually have a talent for this writing gig.
Me: Similar to the runner’s high, the writer’s high is just as potent. It’s almost addicting–as writers we want to feel that way every time we write. Or at least I do:).
What was your low point as a writer?
Elise: Rejection letters! Argh! I once received a rejection letter from a short story publication that basically said everything was wrong with my story except for the grammar and punctuation. I still have that letter in my files (along with all the other rejection letters). Oh, and the magazine is out of print. Ha!
Me: Speaking of rejection, how do you deal with rejection or bad reviews?
Elise: The best thing to do is just shrug and tell yourself that not every book is for every person. That’s very true and I can think of lots of books that got rave reviews and my friends loved it but it did nothing for me. So maybe this book of mine wasn’t this person’s cup of tea, that’s fine! I’ll keep on doing my best to write the story that works for me.
And now that I’ve said that, I also have to add that of course crappy reviews hurt, especially when they criticize me or my writing as being sub-par. You still have to shrug and just do the best job you can. And have a glass of wine and mutter spiteful things under your breath. That helps, too.
Me: The one indisputable rule of this industry: Everything is subjective. What one person loves another person hates. Just look at any best seller and you’ll see people raving about it and also people ranting about it.
Name a writing pet peeve of yours.
Elise: When I read a book where I can sense the author too much. I want to get lost in the story, so when an author starts playing with words, or uses analogies that are too convoluted, or tweaks the plot in a way where the reader can tell the author is just smirking and saying “this should win me an award,” that irks me. The characters should come alive for me. The author should stay hidden in the words until I get to the bio at the end. I do like knowing authors and having author friends and being a fangirl, but when I’m deep in the book, I should forget there even IS an author.
Me: Who is your book boyfriend?
Elise: Well, the books were written after the movies, but my favorite fictional boyfriend is Indiana Jones. Smart, adventurous, intellectual, and incredibly hunky. I love those men who are almost reluctantly romantic, because you can tell that when they are romantic, it’s because they really feel it and can’t help themselves. By the way, there are novelizations of the movies, for a YA audience, and they are very well done!
Me: Oh, Indiana Jones… I had such a crush on him growing up!
Tell me about your book LINKED CIRCLES. It’s Book One in the Circles Trilogy. Book Two, BROKEN CIRCLES, is coming out on July 29.
Nicole Simmons had a great life, a life most women would envy: a fantastic job at a non-profit foundation, a sexy considerate lover with no strings attached, fun friends and a bright future.
And then Nic met Jack LaTour.
With charm and an animal magnetism she can’t resist, Jack draws Nic into his highly erotic world. He seduces her, commands her, and presents her with his bracelet, his claim on her.
Nic slowly gives Jack her trust and Jack gradually deepens his emotional commitment to her. But as the eroticism around them blooms, Nic begins to realize just how decadent a life Jack has led. Is this a world she wants to enter? And can Jack keep her safe if she does?
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph from your newest release.
Elise: This is a paragraph from the next book in the Circles series, titled BROKEN CIRCLES, and is out on July 29. And yes, I know it is more than a paragraph. It’s special to me because it is the moment that Jack and Nic reconnect, when all the hurt and anger is revealed, but that intense attraction between them is, again, instant. And yet, Nic still has the strength to walk away.
“Hello, Nicole.” His voice was that honey that she remembered.
Her eyes roved over him. His tuxedo fit him perfectly, and he looked as debonair as James Bond. His green eyes flickered in the light, and his dark hair gleamed. He pulled on the cuff of his sleeve with one hand as he spoke.
“You look impressive, all tricked out. Money agrees with you.”
A rush of heat swept through her, from stomach up and over her face. She clenched her teeth, a retort of some kind barely held back.
She lifted her head and turned away from him, striding as much as her dress allowed down the hallway toward the ballroom.
Within five steps, Jack grabbed hold of one of her arms. She swung toward him, and he then had a grip on her other arm.
He pushed her back against the wall, his hands holding her wrists against her breasts. The impact took her breath away.
His teeth were clenched as tightly as hers. They both stood ramrod straight. His eyes caught hers in a fierce stare. Nic’s fingers cramped from the tight fists she forced them into. She jerked at her arms, trying to free herself, but Jack’s grip only tightened further.
She could almost see the angry sparks flashing between them.
He lifted her arms and looked at her wrists, his face solemn. Then he raised his head, his eyes glittering with some strong emotion. Anger? Fury, she thought. At her? At himself?
“Let me go,” she hissed and wrenched her arms away from him, breaking his hold. As soon as she was free, she walked quickly toward the ballroom.
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If you’d like to win LINKED CIRCLES and BROKEN CIRCLES just leave a comment for Elise or me.
Have you had any experiences similar to Elise’s?
How do you handle rejection?
What’s your high point as a writer? Low point?
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