Elysa is doing an ebook giveaway to everyone that visits!
Here's the interview:
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I can't really put my finger on when I realized I wanted to be a writer, but I do know when I decided to try and become a published author. Christmas Eve 1989. (Yes, I began my writing career when I was only two years old.) Hubby had been teasing me about all the books I read, telling me I should write my own. Due to a series of circumstances when I found myself home alone for the Christmas holiday I sat down and started what I thought would be a short contemporary romance. The book turned out to be about a winged telepathic alien who stows away aboard a passing space ship.
But long before I attempted to write a novel with an eye toward publication I was a storyteller. I think during my growing up years I spent more time in my imagination than in the real world.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Each book is different. That first probably never-to-be published book took me three months to write. Of course, after that I spent the next three years learning how to write, re-write, edit and revise. During those three year I wrote several more books, one of which I sold in 1999. Some stories dwell in my mind for years before I finally sit down to write them and even then seem to take forever to come to completion. Others seem to spring out nearly fully formed, just needing me to transcribe them. And since I often work on several different books at the same time I haven't been able to calculate how long each one takes to write. If I had to guess, I'd say it takes me about six to nine months to actually write a 70-90,000 word book.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Schedule? What's that? My life is generally a chaotic mess. I prefer to write first thing in the morning when my mind and muse are fresh and energized, but I'm often lured away from the hard work of writing to play on Facebook and the Internet. Then by the time I'm done with that and I'm ready to write my muse has gotten fed up with me and retired to sulk in the attic. I really need to become more focused.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmmm. I'm not sure I have a "writing quirk." Does eating Nerds and SweeTTarts count?
How do books get published?
It used to be there were only two paths to publication - you submitted to an agent or editor and sold your book to a publishing house, or you hired a vanity press company to print your book.
Today with the advent of the Internet and epublishing things are quite different. It's an exciting time to be a writer. There are more opportunities than ever for a writer to get their books in the hands of readers. There's still the traditional route - submit to an agent who submits to the publisher who then (if you're lucky and your book fits their guidelines) publishes your book. In addition vanity presses still abound, where you pay a fee or fees to have your book edited, cover art done and printed. There are small press print publishers and ebook publishers. And now we writers have the option to self-publish, where we control everything.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Stephen King tells people he digs up his ideas in the backyard, but he writes horror, so I guess that's appropriate for his genre. I write romance, so I prefer to pick my ideas off the idea tree growing in my backyard.
Seriously, ideas are everywhere I look - TV shows, news, magazines, friends, family, strangers, music, and movies all provide fertile ground for ideas to grow in my mind. A snatch of conversation between two strangers in a restaurant. A line from a song. A newspaper or magazine article.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Like I said I was two years old when I wrote my first book. Other than that I refuse to answer on the grounds it might tend to indicate my true age.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to read. I garden. I make beaded jewelry. I watch movies and TV with my movie junkie Hubby.
What does your family think of your writing?
Well, Hubby is super proud and supportive of his author wife. My mom and dad are as well. My two grown sons are proud, but refuse to read anything their mom has written that has sex in it. They don't want to know what their mom knows about S-E-X. I think they're convinced that they were both immaculate conceptions.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
It took me a while to realize that each of my characters - hero, heroine, villain, etc. - reveals a small piece of me, my hopes, fears, dreams, and regrets.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I've written twelve books. Eleven are available right now and number twelve DARK STAR DAWNING is due to be released in October 2012.
I can't really pick a favorite book any more than I can say which of my sons is my favorite child. But I do have a soft spot for my fantasy THE SWORD AND THE PEN. Probably because the hero of the book is a slightly neurotic author whose fictional character comes to life. It's sort of Xena - The Warrior Princess meets Stranger Than Fiction.
THE SWORD AND THE PEN - Blurb:
If your fantasy became reality, what would you do?
It was time. After penning ten popular sword-and-sorcery novels, Brandon Alexander Davis was ready to move on. Ready to stop hiding in his fictional world. Ready to start living a real life. There was just one problem: as he plotted the noble death of Serilda D'Lar, his fictional creation, complete with mile-long sword, skimpy leather outfit and badass attitude, appeared in his study.
Was she nothing more than a crazy fan, or had Brandon finally cracked?
This warrior woman whom he knew so well, so strong yet vulnerable, was both fantasy and reality. She was an invitation to rediscover all he once knew--that life is an incredible, magical journey and, for love, any man can be a hero.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
There are really only two things a writer can do to become a better writer. The first is read - a lot, especially the type of books you want to write. The second is to write and keep writing. Reading other people's books helps you figure out what you like, what works, what doesn't work and why. And of course like with any other craft practice make perfect - so, write, write some more, edit, revise, re-write and keep writing.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I've received a few very nice fan letters from readers telling me how much they've enjoyed my books, but I'm not all that well known - yet - so fan mail is sparse. I do love hearing from readers and other authors. They can usually find me hanging out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elysa-Hendricks-Author/137316289643103
Or through my web site:
Do you like to create books for adults?
I love telling stories. Right now I'm enjoying writing books for adults, but I do have an idea for a series of children's books. There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want.
What do you think makes a good story?
For me a good story is one that after I finish reading it the characters continue to live on in my heart and mind.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Since I have yet to "grow up" I'm still not sure what I want to be when I do, but for now I'm thrilled to be an author.
As a Thank You to everyone who has stopped by I'd like to offer a FREE e-copy of my sweet small town romance COUNTERFEIT LOVE.
To get your copy go to: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/83527
Use Coupon Code: MM24E
Elysa Hendricks is 5'6" tall. She has curly hair and brown eyes. She's an author, a wife, a mother and a daughter. Everything else is subject to change without notice.