Thursday, August 18, 2016

Author Interview with Elle Casey

I was very blessed to be able to able to interview one of my favorite authors Elle Casey! She is one of the most influential, and incredible authors in my life! I had to have my first interview be with Elle!

Me: Hi Elle! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me! My first question is what made you decide to become an author?

Elle: I've been writing for about four and a half years now. I saw some articles online about publishing books for Kindle, and I thought if other people could do it, maybe I could do it to. People have told me all my life I should write a book, and I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying, so why not? The risk of spending a month or two writing a novel that someone might never read seemed worth the possible reward of finding a reader who might like my work.  I've been a bookworm my whole life, and I have a huge amount of admiration for authors who can create a world for me to get lost in. To think I could be one of those people was very exciting for me.

Me: Where do you get your inspirations for new books and series?

Elle: Life. My past. My future. Things I see on the street or daydream or nightdream about. Sometimes weird stories on are fodder for good books too.

Me: What book or book series has most influenced your writing?

All the books I read as a kid were very influential in that they showed me the importance of creating worlds a reader can get lost in and characters they can love, hate, or laugh along with. As an adult, I've read hundreds of books, maybe into the thousands, but one series that really captivated me was the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. It had been a long, long time since I'd gotten so caught up in a group of characters and a story like that. I think it woke up the teenager me and let her hang around for a while, which is great for a woman of my age. :) So I guess you could say she influenced me in that I always wanted to write books that got people excited and she gave me something to think about as I started my writing adventure. I'd say that Stephen King also influenced me quite a bit. The humor in his books and the amazing characters always get me. Not to say that I try to copy him or anything, but I think his style really resonates with me and I find it natural to write in the same vein. 

Me: What is your favorite book or book series?

Elle: That's impossible for me to answer properly, unfortunately. Part of the problem is I'm always reading a new book or series and loving it for its own plot, characters, etc. Another problem is that I often forget books after I read them. There are very few I've cared to re-read. And sometimes a book I loved when I was younger, I'll re-read it and wonder why I liked it so much. Whether I will love a book is entirely dependent on where I am in my life when I read it. I can say that I loved and remembered elements of the Sookie Stackhouse series, the Harry Potter series, the Mercy Thompson series, the Twilight series, many books by authors Stephen King, Madeleine L'Engle, Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis writing together, Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, Janet Evanovich, Samantha Young, and many others. The list is too long to include everyone here. I always feel bad making a list like this because I invariably leave off a bunch of amazing authors who deserve to be on it.

Me: What is your favorite genre you write in?

Elle: It depends on the day. I recently wrote a science fiction space opera after writing a string of romances and the change was nice. I write in every single genre that interests me as a reader, so right now that includes romance, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, action/adventure, thriller, and suspense. I get bored easily, so I have to change things up to keep life interesting. When you write as many books as I do in a year, you have to make sure the brain stays fresh. I do that by switching genres. I really have to go to another place in my head to write for a totally different audience, but one thing that stays consistent no matter which genre I write in is humor. My readers say you will always laugh out loud reading one of my books, even the ones with sad or serious parts in them.

Me: If you were to write a book or series in a genre you have never written in before, what would it be?

Elle: I will try mystery/thriller one of these days (I've been known to binge on Castle re-runs). I also just read The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl and those were very fun to think about as an author.

Me: Who is your favorite character you have written about?
Elle: Probably Tim the pixie in the War of the Fae series. He's a blast. Whenever I'm writing his dialogue or have him in a scene, my spirits are soaring. It's impossible not to love that little guy.

Me: When writing a series do your characters seem to hijack your story, or are you always in control of the story?

I'm never in control of my stories. Never ever. I just take dictation of what I see and hear them doing/saying in my head. My stories go wherever the characters take them. I don't use outlines to write; I'm what's called a Pantser. . .I write by the seat of my pants.

Me: What has been your favorite series to write so far?

Elle: They all take a piece of me to put together and they all pull from my life or my history in one way or another. My favorite might be Apocalypsis because I dreamed of a post-apocalyptic world often as a teen, wondering what I'd do to survive. I also love War of the Fae a lot because the characters are so crazy and I adore supernatural stuff. There will always be a part of me that believes vampires, witches, elves, and fairies exist here with us. No one will ever be able to convince me they don't.

Me: What was the most critical thing someone wrote in a review, and how did impact your writing?

Elle: Well, the most critical thing someone's ever said is that I'm dead stupid and should never even think of writing another book for the rest of my life, but that kind of garbage isn't helpful and really isn't about me so much as it's about an angry, mentally unbalanced person with free access to the Internet. As silly as those kinds of reviews are, and even though I can rationally tell myself that it's just a person blowing off steam, it still makes it difficult for me to work after reading one. What I'll do nowadays is read all the negative reviews on a certain day, prepare myself as best I can for the anger and vitriol, and then take a couple days off to cry and hate myself before I get over it and go back to work. lol. (not kidding, but lol anyway) I do, however, get helpful writing tips from reader reviews, those that are actually discussing the book and not me as an author: things like a romance happening too fast, not enough description of a character to get a good picture, cliffhangers (I ignore any complaints about those, haha), etc. If enough people tell me something they didn't like about a book, character, or series, I am definitely thinking about it as I write the next book, assuming I agree with it. Sometimes I think a reader just didn't get what I was trying to do with a certain character or scene, so I just let it go. But if I think their gripe is legit, I work to be better next time.

Me: What was the best advice anyone ever gave you about writing?

Elle: Ignore the haters. Even the most amazing authors in the history of writing have haters, and I shouldn't expect to be different or allow them to define who I am as an author. It was my readers who gave me that advice.

Me: Do you have anything else you would like to add?

Elle: I'm often asked to give advice to to aspiring authors. Here are my 2 cents: Write. Don't just dream about writing, or talk about wanting to write, or read about writing, or do practice exercises designed to help you learn how to write. Just write. And then keep doing that. You can't have a career as a writer if you can't finish writing a book. Then, once you've done that, edit over and over until it's the best you can do. Then ask for feedback from trusted, gentle sources. If you have problems with your writing, read a book or two on writing and edit again. You'll never be a good writer if you don't WRITE. Also, if you don't read a lot, you should probably read at least 50 books in your preferred genre before you even start to write in it, because you have to know what readers of that genre will be looking for. Reader expectations must be met always and exceeded whenever possible. If you're not a big reader, I don't think it's possible to be a big writer.

Elle's Biography - Click here to visit her website!

Hi. I’m Elle Casey, a full-time hybrid author (hybrid, meaning I publish some of my books myself and some with a traditional publisher – Montlake Romance). I published my first novel WRECKED on January 1, 2012 and have published on average a book every six weeks since. I quit my jobs as a lawyer and teacher early in 2013 to focus full time on my writing, and I couldn’t be happier. I love my work and even more so, my readers!

Please be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can stay current with what’s going on in my world. Here are a few videos I’ve done answering reader and fellow-author questions; some of them are long, so grab a snack! Elle Casey’s Youtube channel. I’ve also started collecting my online Q&As in one place, so click HERE to read those.

Okay, more about me…  I’ve been reading since I was 4 and have read probably over a couple thousand books in my lifetime. I love, love, love books!! I can’t tell you how many things I’ve not gotten done and chores I’ve ignored because I was too busy reading, and how many nights I’ve stayed up until the sun began to rise, finishing up a good book. I don’t have much time for reading these days, what with all the writing I’ve been doing, but my favorite genres are fantasy, paranormal, sci fi, dystopian, and romance of all types. I used to adore thriller and horror novels; when I was younger, Stephen King was my guy. I just love his writing style and the way he makes characters come alive on the page.

In 2010, I threw all caution to the wind, checked out of corporate life, and moved the family to France where I now live with my husband, three children, three dogs, and four horses —  surrounded by trees, hills, chateaux, and wonderful, warm people I am proud to call friends.  I’ve also renovated an old barn and purchased a vineyard — 2014 marked our first harvest. My life is simply crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So that’s me in a nutshell. Thanks for coming to my website.  Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter  to find get an email when my next book is released. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and check out my Pinterest boards of bookish and random fun stuff. And please, if you like my books, tell your friends and family.  Without you sharing my work, I would be nowhere in this writing business.

Big hugs,

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