Author Interviews

Author Interview with Carrie Elks

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming a lovely and talented Brit girl (like me) as my spotlight author. 

Welcome Carrie Elks!

1)Where are you from?

I was born near Bristol, England. I’ve lived all over the UK, including Liverpool, Nottingham and Essex. I’ve also lived abroad--most notably in Geneva, Switzerland, and Washington DC, USA. I’m a bit of a nomad, really.

2)Tell us your latest news?

I’m about 3/4 through a new full-length novel that I’m dying to publish. I love the characters and the premise of the story. The hero and heroine meet in a very interesting way and have a huge hurdle to get over. I can’t wait to finish it and polish it up.

3)When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote a lot as a child. I’d read a book and continue writing about the characters when it finished. My favourites were the Sweet Valley High series(!) and The Lord of the Rings. I’m an eclectic reader.

4)When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure if I do yet!

5)What inspired you to write your first book?

I’m a huge lover of dark stories. I really enjoyed reading Captive in the Dark, and Consequences, and initially started off to write something along those lines. However, the characters wouldn’t have it, and the story took a different track, which I was just as happy with. I like when stories surprise me as I write them.

6)How do you conceive your plot ideas?

It’s a cliché, but I’m always thinking “what if …” “What if a girl was hiding away in a bar in West Virginia and a stranger walked in …” “What if a girl fell in love with an older guy and he disappeared completely …” The stories tend to grow naturally around these little hooks.

7)What books have influenced your life most?

As a child I loved fantasy stories. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were my favourites. As an adult, I read avidly and enjoy such a wide range of books. Some of my favourite authors in the romance genre include Ruthie Knox and Cara McKenna. Their writing is impeccable.

8)If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I have to choose Evelyn Baldwin, the author of Vacant. She edited Halfway Hidden and taught me so much about character development and writing. I owe her a lot.

9)What book are you reading now?

The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski. It’s the follow-up to the Edge of Never, which I read last Christmas. I’m enjoying it very much.

10)Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?

Amber L. Johnson is going to be huge. Her book Where We Fell was absolutely beautiful. There’s also this cute chick called B.L. Wilde …

11)What are your current projects?

I’m juggling way too many stories, as always. As I said before, I’m finishing off the first draft of a manuscript. I’m also in the first stages of editing another. I am also plotting the second part of my Hidden Series.

12)Do you see writing as a career?

Not yet. I write a lot--probably around 10,000 to 15,000 per week, but still see it as a hobby.

13)If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I’m not sure that I would. I learned a lot from that book. I had a great editor who really whipped me into shape. She had me questioning everything, and I wouldn’t give up that learning process for the world.

14)Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

It comes from my love of reading. Which I inherited from my mother. She taught me to read at the age of three, and I haven’t looked back since.

15)Who designed the covers?

The hugely talented Mayhem Cover Creations. I want to write all the books just to get her to make another one.

16)What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The editing. It’s always the editing. It makes writing look easy in comparison.

17)Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. Some things will work, others won’t, but it is always a learning process.

18)Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. I wouldn’t be writing without you.

19)What advice would you give to someone who "runs out of creativity" when writing?

I hate that feeling. I think it comes to us all at one point or another. I keep writing through it, no matter how rubbish my stuff looks. I know I can go back to edit later. The important thing is to get the words on the page and the story told.

20)Did you ever think you'd ever become an author?

I didn’t think, but I definitely dreamed!

Don't forget to check out Carrie's latest book!!

When fear mixes with desire, who can you trust? 

Rachel Stone is stuck, contemplating that very question. Spending her time as a bartender in an isolated West Virginia town, she hides behind dark hair and an assumed name. She exists from day to day, trying not to let her past overwhelm her. 

When a tall stranger walks into the bar at closing time, her attempts at hiding turn to dust. Muscled and intense, he is attractive enough for Rachel to ignore her instincts and listen to her baser desires. As a storm brews in the skies of West Virginia, confusion builds in Rachel’s mind. What begins as flirtation explodes into a darker, more primal passion, leading her to question everything she thought she knew. 

While snow blankets the outside world, they are forced to remain inside, confronting their demons and the sizzling attraction between them. Submitting to their urges is easy; learning who to trust is anything but. 

This 30,000 word novella contains references to past abuse and rough, consensual sex. 
Buy Links:-

Author Blurb
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and loves to write sexy stories with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK.

Nowadays, she spends her days sorting out people’s problems at work and her evenings glued to a computer keyboard. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters.

Her favorite authors include L.H. Cosway, Samantha Young, Cara McKenna and C.J. Roberts.

When she isn't reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.


Interview with the fabulous, Jo Matthews.

So, Jo, tell us your latest news?

I have so much going on right now that I don’t know where to start. I guess my biggest news is that I made my debut into the published world with Unexpected Journey—a novella that was part of the Illicit Affairs anthology released September 13th.

When and why did you begin writing?

I got on a reading kick back in 2009 after I discovered the Twilight novels. I read anything and everything out there with vampires, immortals, witches, ghosts. I didn’t care what it was. If it was supernatural, I probably read it. I think I read all four Twilight novels at least 15 times, and after exhausting my reading material, I went searching online for new stuff. I discovered fanfiction that way, and met my first online friend when I started reading and reviewing her stories. After talking to her for months, she convinced me to try my own hand at writing. It was a snowball effect after that. One of my readers introduced me to Bee Wilde, and we started writing a fanfiction story together after I betaed for her for several stories. Because of YOM, I met NJ Cole and the rest is history! :)

When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
Wait? I’m a writer? Dammit, why didn’t anyone tell me?

How do you conceive your plot ideas? 

Plot is always something I need to talk out before I put anything down. Sometimes I just let the characters take me where they want to go, but other times, when I have a plot that I want to stick to, I really have to talk thru them to make sure there aren’t any holes.

Do you have a specific writing style? 
I can write in a lot of ways, but I prefer writing in first person more than anything. It gives the reader more of a look into the character’s mind.

What books have influenced your life most? 

Well, like I said before, the Twilight Series is what got me writing and led me to finding so many incredible people. I would have to say that’s what influenced me the most.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 
There are two women that I really look up to and admire. B.L. Wilde and NJ Cole. I’ve worked with both of these ladies so closely in the past and I know that without them, I wouldn’t have had the confidence I needed to take the next step. They truly are my mentors and friends, and I love them both dearly!

(Awwww. xoxoxoxo - Bee) 

What are your current projects? 

There really are too many to list, but only a few involve my writing. I’m working with B.L. Wilde on finishing up our online story, We Own the Night. We, along with NJ Cole, are also considering writing something together in the near future, so we’re discussing possibilities for that. Nothing is solid yet, but the talks have begun. :)

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. 

For this, I would have to say my online family—those people I’ve met over the last few years via the internet, but have never had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face. They have encouraged me and supported me, given me the confidence I needed to keep doing what I love, and never let me believe for one second that I couldn’t do it. I owe these ladies and a few gentlemen everything because of it.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

When I first stated at the encouragement of my first online writer friend, I was just dabbling. I really didn’t think I had what it took to write anything spectacular. It wasn’t until I started betaing for B.L. Wilde that it changed. When we talked about writing a story together, I jumped at the chance and my world as an online author exploded. You Own Me was huge, and We Own the Night is getting there. It was simply amazing, and showed me that maybe I did and do have what it takes.

(Now I'm getting emotional- Bee)

Who designed the covers? 
The cover for Illicit Affairs? That was actually me. I had NJ and Bec giving me input, as well as a few other ladies, but I designed it right on this very computer. I’ve dabbled a bit on covers since and am excited about a few more that are being debuted in the near future. The first, Roadside Service, by B.L. Wilde was just revealed recently, which was a huge ego boost for me. :)

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 

Don’t give up. Even when things are tough and you begin to doubt yourself, remember what it took to get where you are. There are people who love and support you, so don’t ever let them go!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

Thank you for giving me a chance. I may not be the next Stephenie Meyer or E.L. James, but I’m passionate about the written word and plan to continue doing what I love for as long as I can.

If you could work with any author who would it be? 

Well, I love writing online with B.L. Wilde, so my next endeavor will be writing an actual book with her, I think. It’s something we’ve talked about for a while now, and I plan to do everything I can to make that dream come to fruition.

(This is GOING to happen one day - Bee. )

What advice would you give to someone who "runs out of creativity" when writing? 
Don’t force it—the readers will be able to tell. If you’re hit a roadblock, read a different story or try writing something else. When you think you’re ready to try again, do. :)

Bee’s 20 random quick questions.

1. Pepsi or Coke? Dr. Pepper

2. Love or Lust? Love

3. Hot or Cold? Cold. You can always put more clothes on...but you can only take so much off.

4. Sweet or Savory? Depends on my mood

5. Rock or Country? Country

6. Night or Day? Night

7. Chocolate or Candy? Chocolate

8. Sun or Rain? Rain

9. Hope or Faith? Faith

10. Book or Kindle? Book

11. Edward or Jacob? Edward (I’m sorry, I just can’t get over seeing Jacob as Shark Boy. He was a scrawny little thing!)

12. iPhone or iPad? iPhone, though I own both.

13. Sea or Sand? Sea

14. Friends or Family? Family (because true friends are like family, too)

15. Angels or Fairies? Fairies

16. Bambi or Dumbo? Dumbo

17. Books or Clothes? Books

18. Shoes or Sandals? Sandals

19. Kiss or Hug? Hug

20. Robert Downey or Chris Hemsworth? Chris

Thanks for stopping by, Jo.