Monday, July 20, 2015

Romance Author, Elodie Parkes Talks About Writing

Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal, fantasy, or suspense. Her books are always steamy. 

Her tag is, Cool stories: Hot love scenes.

She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.

Elodie is joining us all the way from Canterbury. Her two dogs are eyeing me and licking their lips. Ah-ha! They know I keep doggie treats handy.

Thank you so much, Elodie for joining us today. Let’s get started. You’ve got ten seconds to describe your writing style. Ready… set… go!
Romantic. Thoughtful. Emotional. Addictive. Erotic.

I love your books Rescuing Cade and A Fairy Tale Romance. I enjoy the twists in your storylines. Do you have any authors who have influenced you or do you have a favorite authors you enjoy?
I’ve purposely not allowed writers and books to influence me. For instance, I love William Gibson books. He can do no wrong in my eyes, but would never attempt to be influenced by his work. I write completely different works. My stories are love stories with twists of paranormal, or suspense, or mystery that are woven into what could happen in real life. I could never approach writing like another author, my story and my characters drive me. I guess that other writers whose books I read lots don’t write erotic romance. I’ve read all Christine Feehan’s Dark series, but when I write paranormal, I don’t feel I’m influenced by her work. I read Henning Mankell and there’s no way I could be influenced to write as he does, because his Swedish environment influences him even though he now lives in Africa. Same with Ruth Rendell, I’ve read nearly all her work. Its good stuff but I’ve felt no influence.
I’ve dot pointed what strikes me about the above author’s work.
  • Ruth Rendell, insight into the dark side of human behavior
  • Henning Mankell, the atmosphere he creates, often wide open, empty spaces, bleakness
  • William Gibson, intelligence, insight into society and the manipulation from powerful people, description, and scene setting.
  • Christine Feehan, the creation of some of the most loveable male characters around, those Carpathians are to die for.
Real life influences me. I get my story ideas as I’m moving through life, from meeting people, seeing buildings, scenery, sign posts, all kinds of things will make a story idea drop into my mind. Then the characters start to talk. I guess that’s a little obtuse, but that’s how it happens for me. One of my vampire romance stories came from driving past a building that had an old Inn sign in the front garden, but the building was clearly not an Inn. There was an air of mystery about the place, though and a story dropped into my head very quickly. I used the name on that sign for the title. Then a paddock full of lovely horses inspired one of my shifter stories. Stories just arrive in my head and have the characters already formed in some magical way. I always fall in love with my characters and miss them like crazy when I have to let them go .

It’s fascinating how story ideas pop up then follow you around. When did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was seventeen, but I quit early on writing fiction because I needed to write academic stuff. After life got in the way for a number of years, I suddenly found my mind was crowded with fiction story ideas again and I went back to writing them.

You are living proof what one can’t escape the writing muse! When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t really. That’s funny huh? I write but I think the definition of a writer has changed along with the radical changes in the publishing world.

When you think about it, writing is an art form. Writing, painting, creating music – whatever your title, you create something wonderful for others to enjoy. What is your writing process?
I don’t have a process per se. I write when I have time. It’s always there nagging me to get back to, but I have to fit it around my day job or starve. I suppose I stay up late writing because I feel peaceful then, but there are no habits attached.

Size counts… on average how loooooonnnnnggg do you like your (um, how do we put it delicately) manuscripts to be; (in words silly, not inches) and how steamy?
I write erotic romance. The love scenes are graphic. My stories must have happy endings and I enjoy that, giving happy endings to characters. I feel as if there are so few in real life. My stories are just told, the length varies from 15 K to 45 K whatever tells the story.

I usually drink tea or wine when I write. I also keep a jar of dark chocolate M&M’s handy. What snacks do you enjoy while you write?
None. I might drink a cup of tea or a glass of water, but I have lots of allergies and have to be careful what I eat.

Food allergies suck. But you stay healthy in the long run!

It’s time to get to the nitty-gritty in reference to writing:
 Are you most productive in the morning, afternoon or are you a night owl?
I am a night owl in all facets of life.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Both at different times and mixed together sometimes.

Which is more important: plot or characters?
For me they’re equally important. They drive each other.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Not so far. I never have enough hours in the day so there are loads of manuscripts on my desktop in various stages all clamoring to be finished.

Do you write thing at a time or more than one? How do you balance them?
I often write more than one thing at a time, but in general one will take over and I’ll finish it then go on to the next as the other sleeps before I go back for the first creative edit before it goes to the editor and then is submitted.

What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
Oh hell, marketing, promoting. It’s so time consuming, such a stressful experience and so hard to know what to do for the best. I’d like to reach readers more, and in a more intimate way, but time forbids that for me.

What is your best marketing tip?
I have nothing for you. Try anything and everything to reach your audience.

What advice would you give other writers?
If you love writing, keep at it even in the face of the saturated market, the capricious industry, the negativity and competition, because when a reader tells you they loved your story it makes up for all those things.

WHEW! That was awesome! Thank you so much for joining us today. Girl, you gotta tell me where you got those adorable boots!

She has also released titles as an individual indie author.

Check out her new release from Evernight
An erotic romance, with Dom/sub and spanking elements—a contemporary, magical love story.

1 comment:

Elodie Parkes said...

Hi Mary,
Thank you for inviting me to talk about writing with you today. I had a great time :-)