Jen: Please help me give a warm welcome to today’s guest, Elisabeth Grace. Elisabeth, will you share a short bio with us?
Elisabeth: I have a soft spot for romance novels with happily ever afters and a HOT spot for alpha males! I currently live outside Toronto, Canada with my hubby, two small children and cat spawned by the devil. Life is busy, but never to busy for a good story and to share my love of reading and writing with others. Things I can tell you that sum me up…I’m a sugar and carb addict, self-professed Gandy Girl, a disaster in the kitchen, a LOVER of all music, I enjoy reality TV and I’m an early riser! When I have a moment to breathe you can usually find me typing furiously on the keyboard to get my next story on paper, or curled up reading about someone else’s HEA. The first book in my New Adult Limelight series, Rumor Has It released December 3, 2013 and the second book, Picture Perfect, is set to release at the end of March 2014.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Elisabeth: My debut new adult novel is titled Rumor Has It (Limelight #1) and focuses on what happens when an average girl adverse to being in the limelight meets and falls in love with hip hop’s rising star. Ellie’s longing for her own independence and that’s a difficult thing to find under the glare of the media and when dating a guy that has the ability to give you everything.
The idea for the story came from two things on my mind at the time. We live in a celebrity culture where many people’s goal is to be famous at all costs. I’ve personally never wanted to be famous. I think there are more pitfalls to the fame game than advantages so I wanted to explore that.
The other thing that happened was that I had a friend get divorced and re-enter the dating scene. That’s when I realized how much things had changed in ten short years. People met online now, they got to know each other over text instead of phone conversations, etc. So throughout the series I wanted to explore our the celebrity culture we live in, as well as the effect that technology and social media has had on our relationships.
“That’s one of the reasons I like you so much. My fame actually works against me with you. I don’t have to worry about you selling a story to the tabloids, or calling in a tip about where we might be so a picture of us together will show up in the media. I know you aren’t going to leak any of the texts I send you.”
“But you can’t know that about me. How could you? We just met.”
He bent his head and kissed my forehead while squeezing me with his arms. “I know.”
With that declaration Mason Nash stole a sliver of my heart. I knew his trust wasn’t given easily.
I didn’t like how much I was growing to need him, how quickly. I didn’t want to feel attached to him. I wasn’t a novice at relationships but if I was honest I’d never really loved anyone. I always knew at the back of my mind that if things didn’t work out I could cut and run and life would continue as I knew it.
I couldn’t escape the feeling that when Mason left, my life wouldn’t go on as it had before. I’d be altered in some way. I hoped against all hope that the piece of my heart he took with him wouldn’t be too large.
We laid in silence for a long while. Our breathing became steadier and my eyes grew heavy as sleep took hold. I fell asleep on Mason’s chest listening to his rhythmic heartbeat, hoping that when he left he wouldn’t rip mine from my chest.
Elisabeth: I was an avid reader when I was young and writing seemed like a natural extension from there. I can remember two things very clearly from my youth…writing an article at nine for Reader’s Digest. Yes, apparently I had high aspirations as a child! I can also remember the teacher telling my parents that if she asked for a two page story to please tell me not to hand in a twenty page one. So, I suppose you could say I’ve been writing since I was very young. It wasn’t until after my children were born that I began to do it seriously and take classes and join organizations to work on my craft. I think at that point I realized that the years were quickly passing and if I wanted to do this I’d better get started.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Elisabeth: I’m in between these two actually: I plot my story and pants my scenes. I know what needs to happen when, where the turning points are, and all the beats have been figured out, but specifically how I’m going to get there is anyone’s guess until I start the first draft and see what happens.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Elisabeth: Two of my biggest challenges would be finding the time and plotting. With a full time job and two small children I’m pretty much relegated to writing after they go to bed for the night. There are many nights I’m falling asleep at the keyboard. I’ve always found plotting to be a challenge, but a necessary one. I need to know where I’m headed before I get there otherwise I may start rambling on and end up ditching 40,000 words (which has happened).
The easiest part for me is probably the dialogue. I see the scenes I’m writing as a movie so it’s almost like I’m not the one coming up with the ideas, but just transferring what those actors are doing in my head onto the page.
By far the most rewarding part is connecting with other readers and authors about all things books! I love connecting to other people with a love for reading like I have.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Elisabeth: When I first started writing and showing people my work for critique I was surprised that people found my writing voice witty. I’ve never thought of myself as a funny person so it was honestly a bit of a shock to me. But I’ve learned that my inner dialogue (which is what seems to get translated into my books) is more sarcastic and funny that what other people see on the outside.
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
Elisabeth: I’d say there have been two. Having my debut sit in the top 1000 for seven weeks and get all the way up to #139 in the overall Kindle store floored me. I was shocked to say the least. The other thing would be when people message me to say that they enjoyed the book and can’t wait for the next one. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life so I KNOW that feeling. To think that something I created may have done that for someone else is humbling. I had one lady e-mail me who has a disease that keeps her home-bound very often and when she told me that my book helped her to escape for a few hours and forget about her predicament I had tears in my eyes.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Elisabeth: Book #2 for the Limelight series, Picture Perfect, just went off to the developmental editor. I’m hoping to have that out by the end of March. In the meantime I’m going to start plotting out the third book for the series.