WATCH OUT: Elise Logan Interview
SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m excited to bring you a great guest. Please welcome author Elise Logan.
Welcome to Watch Out, Elise, it is so great to have you here.
EL: Thank you so much for having me. I’m a fan of yours, so it’s a real pleasure to be here.
SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
EL: Oh, I’m never sure what people want to know. My husband and I live in Virginia with our daughter – she’s six and a real pistol. I’m a sixth generation Dallasite, which is unusual, and I have rabid opinions about what constitutes an appropriate chili recipe. I love to read and I hate vacuuming. Nothing too exciting. Well, unless you want to argue about the chili.
SC: Can you tell us a little about your current releases?
EL: Sure. My sometimes writing partner Emily Ryan-Davis and I released More than a Man recently. It’s unusual – the story is set in a futuristic society in which women can literally create the man of their dreams as a mate. Em and I wondered what would happen if somehow the instructions went a little wonky. In this case, you get Aya – a dreamy hunk of a man with a few…extras.
I also have Twice as High out with Liquid Silver. That’s the first story about the Tlin, an alien race with wings and some odd physiological quirks that make ménages preferable. I really enjoyed writing that one because Maddy – the heroine – doesn’t take any crud off either Julian or Kyle.
SC: I read in your bio that you once wrote poetry, lyrics and children stories. Do you think you will ever return to those?
EL: I periodically write some poetry. I was always pretty hit or miss, and I like following characters in a story better, so I can’t see doing poetry as a regular gig. Plus, with a six-year-old, all my poetry sounds like Dr. Seuss. As for the others, I don’t rule anything out, but I’m not really called to write that for now.
SC: One thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
EL: Besides the chilli thing? Probably that my day job is political science professor and terrorism research. That usually makes people gape.
SC: When you write do you need it to be quiet or do you have music on or TV playing?
EL: Music, definitely music. I have a bajillion playlists. I don’t do playlists for a specific story. Instead, my playlists are for scene types: fight scenes, love scenes, angst, ass-kicking, banter. I have a huge music collection. I can write without the music, but it goes a lot faster and more easily with the music.
SC: Do you find it difficult to try to stand out with your writing in an industry that is very competitive?
EL: I do. I think that in today’s world, the reader has so many choices it’s often hard to know what to pick. I know that I rely on a combination of recommendations from friends and Goodreads and sheer luck. I don’t tend to lean toward historicals, for example, but recently a friend recommended What I Did for a Duke by Julie Ann Long, and I loved it. Now I have another writer to read. I hope that my readers enjoy my writing enough to recommend it to their friends in the same way. But standing out? Not so easy.
SC: Your favourite part about being a writer?
EL: Um. The glamour? The fame? The legions of screaming fans? Oh, wait. I was channelling Adam Lambert for a moment. I don’t know that there is one thing I like best. The whole writing process is fun for me.
SC: Any interesting writing quirks you might have?
EL: We already hit the music thing, which is probably the quirkiest bit. I’m distressingly boring in my writing process.
SC: What influences the topics, and genre’s that you pick to write a story in?
EL: Honestly? I have no idea. I get these ideas, they just show up and start harassing me until I write them. Like the one I’m working on now? I have no idea where the idea for that came from. Originally I thought it might be sort of urban fantasy kind of thing, but it just wasn’t working in that genre. I altered the setting so it’s futuristic and BAM! the thing started going. I have zero idea why.
SC: Do you plot when you write or do you jest let the story go with the flow?
EL: I plot, at least to outline level. Often my world building is complicated enough that if I don’t plot, I paint myself into corners and have to backtrack. Plus, I’ll just wander off into the weeds and get lost in backstory. I do a lot better if I have at least rudimentary plot.
SC: How important to you are reviews?
EL: They’re important. It’s a way people are introduced to my work, and it’s basically like a friend saying “Hey! I read this book and thought it was great. You might, too.” It helps people make informed decisions in a market with a lot happening.
SC: Out of all the books you have written so far is there one you would consider as a favourite?
EL: I hate this question, because I love all of my stories. If I had to pick one, it would probably be Trusting Destiny. I love Eric and I had a blast writing that story. It has hints of paranormal and a big dose of history, but mostly I love Eric.
SC: Would you ever or have you ever based a character on yourself?
EL: Good heavens, no. I’d be bored writing it and everyone else would be bored reading it.
SC: What do you think sets your stories apart from other authors?
EL: I think it’s a combination of my commitment to research and the way I write sex scenes. I’m told that the former makes for a feeling that the world and characters are fully developed and the latter…well, I think that speaks for itself.
SC: Any regrets as an author?
EL: No, not really. I think every new author makes mistakes, but that helps you grow and learn. If I hadn’t made those mistakes, I wouldn’t be writing the way I am now.
SC: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
EL: I’ve got a lot of stories going right now. There’s the futuristic I mentioned earlier, which is really only in the beginning stages, there’s one I’m calling Rio for now which is set at Carnival in Rio, there’s a contemporary bondage story, and the next story of the Tlin. Oh, and the mystery-were project that I SWEAR I’ll actually finish someday. In any case, with so many going, it’s hard to pick one to share. So, simply by dint of order of mention, I’ll share a bit from Rio. This is from early in the story, Ella and Jordão have just met at a swank Carnival bash.
At the edge of the floor, he swung her out of the dance hold and clamped her to his side, his arm firm across her back, his body hard alongside hers. Without a word, he walked her into the hall, out of the music.
“What is your name?” His accent was thick, his voice dark with desire.
“Ella.” He drew the syllables out, making it sound liquid and sensual in a way no one ever had. “I’m Jordão.”
Oh, his name was like music, foreign and familiar at the same time. The Portuguese sounds rolled off her tongue. “Zhor-dow.”
He caught her chin in his hand. The warrior planes of his face were harsh in the overhead lights. “Do you want this?”
Her pulse leaped. Here it was. But she didn’t want to waste her chance on crappy sex. She wanted to be damned sure she was going to enjoy it.
His eyes narrowed in a ridiculously latin expression of arrogance and irritation. Damn he was sexy.
She shrugged. “I want a preview.”
His brows snapped together. “Preview?”
She smiled at his puzzled tone. “Yes, a preview. Before I commit to going anywhere with you, I want to be sure I’m going to have a good time.”
“Ah. Come with me.”
It wasn’t like she had much choice with his arm wrapped around her waist. And it wasn’t like she didn’t want to go with him. It was, however, interesting. He’d closed down all that heat and passion awfully fast. It made a girl wonder where it went.
He wove through the crowd back into the room and headed for a table with three older, very polished couples. One of the men saw them approaching and broke into a wide smile. The silver at his temples and rigid posture gave him a distinguished air. He said something to the handsome woman at his side.
The lady greeted Jordão with open arms and a spate of Portuguese Ella had no chance of following.
Why in the world had he dragged her over here?
“Ella, allow me to introduce my uncle, Javier Viera and my aunt Izabella. Uncle Javier is Minister of Finance. Very proper.”
Jordão’s uncle chuckled. “Perhaps. It is lovely to meet you, Ella.” He offered a hand.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both,” Ella responded. Instead of shaking her hand, Javier brushed his lips across it. The gesture was charming rather than cliché. American men just couldn’t pull that off. Still, she was confused.
“Ella wonders if perhaps I am a crazy man. I hope you will tell her she is safe with me.”
Aaah. His English wasn’t as good as she thought. He believed she wanted assurance she would be safe. Ella smothered a laugh. It did reassure her, actually, that he would do something this gallant. But she didn’t need the reassurance. Well, she did, but not about this.
SC: What is the best advice you ever got with regards to writing?
EL: I got several pieces of good advice from Eden Bradley. The best was to get a good critique partner. Having a crit partner that not only does an outstanding job critiquing your work, but also meshes with you in terms of style and pace is invaluable.
SC: What is one pet peeve you have when it comes to publishing?
EL: Traditional publishing tends to be pretty risk-averse. As both a reader and a writer, I’d really like to see publishers take chances on more fringe stories. There are a few small presses that are willing to take risks, but they tend to have limited market.
SC: Any advice for new writers out there?
EL: Find a community that works for you. A lot of new writers try to go it alone, and that makes it more stressful than it needs to be. Take advantage of the communities of writers who are willing to share knowledge with you. It will save you heartache and time. Do your homework on publications and if you elect to self-pub, get professional editors. It costs a bit, but it’s worth the investment.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
EL: You can find me on my site, ScorchedSheets, on Goodreads, Twitter or Facebook. I’m a big fan of technology, so I love messing about online.
Links: ScorchedSheets: http://www.scorchedsheets.com/