Q: Elise, what motivated you to become a writer?
Elise: It all began as a love of books and good stories. While other kids played, I was that kid sitting on the curb with a book. From there, it evolved into a knack for storytelling, which then developed into a talent for writing and expressing myself with words.
Q: How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become published?
Elise: I wrote my first piece of fiction when I was 12. I’ve been at it ever since. All through junior high and high school, I wrote poetry and short stories, eventually penning a few short novels as well. It was a constant presence in my life, as I was also a writer and editor for my school newspaper. Up until a few years ago, most of my writings (outside of the newspaper, of course) remained mostly private. While I’d always wanted to be published, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started researching the business and began trying to find an agent. I became worn down by the whole process, and for a year straight, was unsuccessful at finding an agent to represent me or publisher to sign me. I began publishing independently and now, over a year later I have near a dozen books published and have been picked up Bottom Drawer. They have been so good to me and I will always remember then as the first publisher to ever believe in me.
Q:Do you prefer to write in a particular genre, and why?
Elise: I love Romance because it is full of possibilities. Within the genre, there is room to move around and play with different themes while still staying within the parameters of romance. Historical romance is my first love, but I love Romance of all kinds!
Q:Is there a genre you haven't written but would like to give a try at some time?
Elise: I think Time Travel and Steampunk sound like so much fun. Maybe even both together? I have so many ideas, there’s no telling what I’ll put out next.
Q. Do you tend to plan/plot out your whole story before you start writing, or do you write more by the seat of your pants as you go?
Elise: I generally start off knowing who the characters are, the general idea of some kind of plot, and the major obstacle that the hero and heroine will face. From there, I allow the story to take shape on its own. I find that it’s more of an adventure that way and that the character growth and development is more genuine. When I’m surprised, I know the reader will be too, and you just can’t get that from an outline. At least, that’s how it is for me.
Q: Do you have a preference in the types of books you like to read? Have you found yourself reading genres you never thought you would?
Elise: I used to be a Historical Romance snob. For years it was all I would read. Once I discovered other genres within Romance, I began to expand my horizons and now I’ll try just about anything once. But Historicals are still my go-to picks. Though, I have found lately that I enjoy the YA genre more than I thought I would as well.
Q:Where do you find the inspiration for your novels and characters?
Elise: All of my characters have a bit of my personality, sort of like a signature. Anyone who knows me can read my books and spot the traits right off. I like the idea of letting readers get to know me through the characters. But I also like painting vivid pictures of different types of people. I make a real effort to write about people from all walks of life.
Q: What is a typical day like for you? Do you write every day? Do you have a set time you like to write? How long does it typically take for you to complete a book?
Elise: A typical day for me consists of trying to make it to the end of the day without losing my wits! While staying at home with my young children, it’s often hard to get any writing done. When there’s laundry to do, meals to cook, cleaning, etc. It can be hard to fall into any set routine. So, I write when I can. When my kids are being particularly good (or napping) or after everyone has gone to sleep are all good times for me. I find the time to get it done.
Q: Could you tell us a little about The Gift?
Elise: I love Valentine’s Day and I loved the idea of continuing Avery and Dom’s story. In The Secret Life of Avery O’Dea we get to see them ride off into the sunset after a whirlwind romance. I liked the idea of exploring what comes after the so-called ‘happily ever after’. Sure, marriage and life together is wonderful and good and sweet, but it also has its pitfalls and roadbumps. It’s all about how we choose to navigate those moments that strengthen us as people and as couples. This story was less about two people finding love and more about two people who we know already love each other, learning to live together harmoniously. I think a lot of people in committed relationships can relate to it.
Q:What projects are you currently working on? What can readers look forward to from you in the upcoming year?
Elise: This year I am looking to complete my Historical series by December, but I am also looking to expand my Contemporary Romance backlist with a few releases in that genre as well. Whatever the case, readers can always expect for me to deliver heartfelt stories about real people.
We'd like to thank Ursula from the Love Books - Book Reviews blog for hosting this interview as part of the Valentine's Day book tour.
We are proud to have published two books by author Elise Marion: The Secret Life of Avery O'Dea and The Gift.