Despite living in Australia and having little fear that every animal down there could potentially kill you... being writer still lends itself to fear.
Lets hear how Elle answered and fights through the fear of being writer.
1. What inspired you to write your debut novel?
At the heart of every good romance, is a strong conflict. I love the romance genre, but at that time, I'd read a string of books where the main conflict between the couple could have easily been solved with a simple yes or no question. I wanted to come up with something huge. I wanted to give my couple an obstacle so big they'd have to rip their hearts open before they could be built back up. I like to think i succeeded!
2. Why did you choose the path of Self-Publishing?
I tossed up the idea of going traditional for a few months. I even wrote that dreaded query letter. Pretty glad i don't have to do that again, just sayin'! But in the end, I like control. I wanted to have a say in my cover, and to be the one to decide how it's marketed. I have three young children so being able to set my own deadlines, and work around them was a huge factor in the decision. I'm super excited about it.
3. Do you have any advice for other writers looking to pursue Self-Publishing?
Get yourself on over to www.kboards.com and check out their writers cafe. Every question you could possibly have about self publishing (and a whole lot you wouldn't have thought of) has already been answered right there.
4. What inspired you to become an author & has it always been your dream?
I love to read. I always have. I was the kid that loved silent reading time in class, and spent every Saturday laying on her bed, reading a book cover to cover. I don't think i always wanted to be an author though. It wasn't until John Marsden (the Australian author that wrote the Tomorrow when the War Began series, which is totally amazing if you haven't read it) came to our school and talked to us about writing. I think i was about fourteen, but after that i started writing stories whenever i had a pen and paper nearby (ie-mostly during math class).
5. Where’s your favorite space to write?
I write on a laptop that i drag around the house and to my kid's swimming practices, but I do most of my writing sitting on the lounge. Not very ergonomic, i know!
6. What are your top 5 must haves for a writing space?
Quiet. Can quiet be all five? Haha. That's how important it is for me. I can't work with music playing or the tv on. I've been known to play white noise app's through headphones if there's a lot of people here when I'm trying to write. Chocolate and a bottle of water (or wine) doesn't hurt either!
7. How many hours a day do you write?
If I'm writing a draft i try to aim for 2000 words a day, which normally takes me about 1.5hours, as long as my outline is solid. I spend a lot more than when I'm editing though. I spend anywhere from 2-8hours a day doing book related tasks.
8. In terms of Outlining are you Plotter, a Pantser or a Plantser?
Definite Plotter. I pantsed two full length novels before I wrote Only the Positive, my debut novel I'm publishing in September. Those first two books will never see the light of day, because frankly, they're a hot mess that no amount of editing will ever be able to fix. They also took me years to write. I wrote an outline for Only the Positive, and the story pretty much wrote itself in less than three months. It was so much easier than pantsing. I'll never pants anything ever again!
9. Because I have a pretty Type-A personality, I’m always curious about other peoples scheduling methods. Do you use a schedule to plan out your life / writing & if so, do you use paper or electronic planning?
I didn't, until recently! I got a Plot your Work Author Planner (https://www.plotyourwork.com/) for Christmas and I am so in love with it. I have my whole writing year planned out, with quarterly, monthly and weekly goals and I am loving feeling so organised.
10. What is your favorite part about the writing process?
Outlining. Coming up with the twists of the story, and learning who my characters are, but not having to worry about all the details is super fun. Writing the first draft is a close second, though.
11. What is your least favorite part about the writing process?
Editing. Gah. I hate editing. But it's a necessary evil.
12. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It depends on how long it is. I like to give myself three months to write a full length, 80,000word novel. It takes me double that to edit it though. I'm hoping to improve my editing speed this year.
13. What’s your biggest internal obstacle in getting your writing done?
Some days my brain tells me it's too hard. And that I have no idea what I'm supposed to write, despite having an outline. I've learnt to ignore it though, and just start. Nine times out of ten, after a paragraph or two the words flow and all is good in the world. The other one time i just eat my body-weight in chocolate.
14. What’s your biggest external obstacle in getting your writing done?
My tiny humans. I love being their mummy, even though they're somewhat time consuming!
15. Do you believe in writer’s block?
If so, how do you overcome it? Not really. I was listening to an episode of The Best Seller Experiment podcast the other day, and author Shannon Mayer said something along the lines of "Your muse is your bitch, not the other way around." And that's pretty much exactly how i feel. I often have to make myself sit down and just write, even though I don't really want to. A strong outline really helps, but getting in the habit of writing every day has helped me a lot too. Writing after a few days off is definitely harder than if I've been writing consistently. But i always push through!
16. Does writing energize you or exhaust you?
I wish it energized me, but my brain is generally fried by the time I'm done.
17. Best piece of advice for other writers?
Find yourself a critique partner. I have two and they have completely changed my writing life. We critique each others outlines, chapters or full length novels. We talk about plot bunnies on a near daily basis, and they're always around to be my cheerleader or to offer advice when i have no idea what I'm doing. And over time, they've become my friends. They're invaluable and have made every aspect of my writing so much stronger.
18. What is your favorite quote about writing?
I watched a Kim Chance video the other day where she said to always write for 'the one', not for everyone. And gosh, i love that so much. I'm also pretty partial to the 'Someday you're going to be someone's favourite author' quote that floats around social media from time to time.
19. Which authors are your biggest inspirations?
Jennifer L Armentrout and JR Ward. I’d also love to write dark romance the way Tillie Cole does one day!
20. What are you currently working on now?
I just got Only the Positive back from my Beta readers, so I'm working on another round of edits there. I'm also editing a novella i wrote that follows a side character. And I'm plotting the next full length book in the series. Busy, busy!
21. What is your Favourite Season (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)? Does the season impact your writing life / creativity?
Summer. I'm Aussie. I need sunshine and warmth or I just shrivel up into a little ball of unproductive-ness.
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