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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Interview of Author Elysa Hendricks

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Elysa Hendricks.

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Elysa Hendricks is 5'6" tall. She has curly hair and brown eyes. She's a writer, a wife, a mother and a daughter. Everything else is subject to change without notice.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The beginning is always the most fun and the easiest. At the beginning I'm free to try new things, I can experiment, attempt things that once the story gets going might no longer fit. Of course, I usually end up either cutting most of the beginning or totally rewriting it, so in the end I pay for the freedom.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Around 2/3rds to 3/4rds of the way into the book I hit a wall. Even if I've written an outline/synopsis and know how the story needs to end, for me the ending is always the toughest part of a book to write. Is the black moment dark enough? Did I pull all the story elements together in an understandable way? Will the reader find the ending emotionally satisfying? By the time I've written, rewritten, polished and edited 60-70,000 words I'm so close to the story and characters I can no longer tell. This is where my critique partners and beta readers rescue me from abandoning my story.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: In my latest release THE SWORD AND THE PEN my favorite character has to be the hero Brandon Alexander Davis. At first glance he doesn't fit the hero mold. He's a writer, a bit neurotic, a hermit and totally out of step with the world. Only when his fantasy creation lands in his living room does he come to life himself.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: Oh, wow, that's like asking whether I think I'm pretty or not. Growing up I was taught not to brag, not to talk about myself or be prideful of my accomplishments, so I'm the last person to ask. I do think I tell entertaining stories filled with likeable characters and imaginative plots. But who am I to judge? The person that counts is the reader. What do they think?

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: Stranded on a remote island with a handsome man, who needs a computer? And if you have to ask that question you haven't read many romances. In fact, I think I'd have to hide the computer so the handsome man couldn't call for help or play some stupid computer game.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
I love hearing from readers and other authors. They can find me at my web site:
ImaJinn Books:
If your fantasy becomes your reality, what do you do?

It was time. After penning ten popular sword-and-sorcery novels, Brandon Alexander Davis was ready to move on. Ready to stop hiding in his fictional world. Ready to start living a real life. There was just one problem: as he plotted the noble death of Serilda D'Lar, his fictional creation, complete with mile-long sword, skimpy leather outfit and badass attitude, appeared in his study.

Was she nothing more than a crazy fan, or had Brandon finally cracked?

This warrior woman whom he knew so well, so strong yet vulnerable, was both fantasy and reality. She was an invitation to rediscover all he once knew--that life is an incredible, magical journey and, for love, any man can be a hero.


At first Brandon thought the shriek was an electronic whine that came from his computer. Panic threatened. When was the last time he'd backed up his files? It had been during that bad electrical storm three months ago when he'd almost lost everything, the same time his writing troubles began. Fortunately the freak power surge from a lightning strike only fried his monitor; his CPU hadn't been harmed. He should have learned from the experience, but writer's block had driven him past rational thought. The idea of losing what little work he'd managed to accomplish these last few weeks made him choke in fear. He scrambled to hit Save.

"Hell, no! Roark doesn't deserve a chance to defend himself. And even if he did, I'm not stupid enough to give him the opportunity to skewer me. That's something Donoval the Honorable would do."

At the sound of the familiar yet condemning voice behind him, Brandon whirled. He slipped off his chair and landed hard on his tailbone. Pain shot up his spine and blurred his vision.

"What? How did you get in here? And who the hell are you?" He stared up at the woman and gulped. The sword in her hand pointed straight at his heart.

"You know damned well who I am."

The woman didn't sound happy-- and didn't look sane. She loomed over him. Her attire, a short, tight leather skirt, a leather bra, and knee-high boots left a lot of skin exposed to his view. The smell of leather, fresh air and warm woman teased his nostrils.

"What are you?" She poked him in the arm with the tip of her sword.

"Ow!" He scooted back, nearly under his desk.

"Warrior? Priest? Sorcerer?" She crouched down to rest on her heels, and stared at him. The position put her full breasts nearly in his face. "Definitely not a warrior." She pinched his arm. "You have muscle, but not enough to wield a sword in battle. No courage, either. Priest? Unlikely. They don't fear the sword. Only their god makes them cower. Wizard? Perhaps, but not one of any power, or else I'd be at your feet. So…you're the wizard's assistant most likely." As if satisfied with her conclusion, she rose to her feet.

"Get up. I'll not harm you. I wish to speak to your master. He and I have business to discuss."

Brandon eyed the woman warily. Though her speech and clothing were odd, she sounded and looked extremely familiar. Why? Was she a crazy fan he'd somehow communicated with before?

To be honest, she bore a striking resemblance to Serilda, if shorter. She was five feet seven or eight inches, rather than six feet, and she was less buxom and had softer features than the character he'd ultimately developed. Actually, this woman was more like how he'd envisioned Serilda originally, when he'd introduced her in Donoval's second book: an extremely feminine woman forced to survive in a harsh world by denying her nature. Hillary had convinced him that in her own books Serilda needed to be stronger and have more sex appeal, hence the height and the bigger chest. The change hadn't sat well with him, but the public-- men and women-- loved her, and the books had hit all the bestseller lists. As a result, he had a thriving series, a pending movie deal and cash in his once empty bank account. Success was hard to argue with.

Despite the trampy clothing and hard scowl, she was attractive. Short reddish blonde curls framed an elfin face. Dark lashes fringed large, cat-like green eyes. Sun-kissed skin covered high cheekbones, and her lips, though currently set in a hard line, were full and red.

"I said get up!" She grabbed his arm and hauled him to his feet.

He was surprised that, when he stood, he topped her by a good six inches and probably outweighed her by sixty pounds. That size difference gave him a bit of confidence, but the nasty-looking sword she held with such self-assurance negated it. One could never trust the actions of a crazy person.

"Who are you?" She looked him up and down then seemed to dismiss him.

He pulled himself to his full height and stared down at her. "Brandon Alexander Davis. This is my home."

Unimpressed, she laughed. "Brandon? What kind of name is that? Bran is what I eat to ease my bowels."

Heat crept up Brandon's neck. Being compared to a laxative made him angry, which helped push fear away. "Who the hell are you? And what are you doing here in that ridiculous costume?"

"Who I am and" -- she paused, and two spots of color stained her cheeks-- "what I wear is a matter I will discuss with your master. Where is he? Has he run to hide from me? It will do him no good. I'm determined to find him and solve this."

"I don't have a master. I live here alone." Damn! Why had he told her that? He eased back from the lunatic toward the phone. Could he hit speed dial for 911 before she skewered him? Then what? Even if he succeeded, it would take the police a good fifteen to twenty minutes to reach his isolated home. Could he wrest the sword away from her before then?

His size would be an advantage, but even standing at ease, the woman radiated strength and skill. The odds seemed against him. To win he'd have to hit her-- hard-- and he doubted he could bring himself to do so. The lessons of chivalry his grandmother had taught were too deeply ingrained. In that way, he and Donoval were of one mind. No matter how greatly provoked, men didn't hit women.

Although, the thought of wrestling with this woman was appealing.

"No master? Do not lie to me." The lunatic's fingers flexed around the hilt of her sword.

"Why would I lie?" he snapped. "It's obvious your beef is with someone else. If I knew who and where he was, why would I protect him?"

"Because you're a coward. A powerful sorcerer inspires fear if not loyalty in his minions. But you should fear me more than him," she warned.

"There is no him! I'm the only one here. And I'm not a coward." Being called one triggered something inside him. Having phobias about crowds, insects and small furry animals didn't make him a coward. Not really.

She gave him a thoughtful look. "Is it possible? Are you the one?"

"The one what?"

She ignored his question and studied him. Her intense perusal made him squirm.

"Why didn't I see the resemblance?" she murmured.

"What resemblance?" He didn't like the turn of this conversation. Come to think of it, he hadn't liked the original direction, either.

"To Donoval. You are him-- in form at least." A bit of fear crossed her features, though anger quickly erased it. "I'm loath to believe it, but you are the wizard. Did you construct me so you could play God in my world? Does it give you pleasure to toy with me?"

"What the hell are you talking about? Play God? I'm just a writer trying to make a living. I write stories for people to read and enjoy. It's just entertainment."


Deborah Macgillivray said...

I SOOOO cannot wait to read those one!!

Tina Donahue said...

Love your cover - the Sword & the Pen sounds fascinating! :)

Elysa said...

Thanks Deborah! This is one of my favorite books. Sort of a blend of Xena The Warrior Princess meets Stranger Than Fiction with a touch of Twilight Zone. :-)

Elysa said...

Thanks Deborah! This is one of my favorite books. Sort of a blend of Xena The Warrior Princess meets Stranger Than Fiction with a touch of Twilight Zone. :-)

Elysa said...

Joleene Naylor has done all my covers.

Ann Herrick said...

Wow, sounds like a great story! And what an amazing cover too!

Linda Andrews said...

I'll brag about you anytime Elysa. I love your books and this one is definitely a keeper. What inspired it?

Elysa said...


Thanks for your kind words. :-) There's a Twilight Zone episode with Keenan Wynn called A World Of His Own, about a playwright who can bring his fictional characters to life. It partly inspired THE SWORD AND THE PEN.

If your fantasy became your reality, what would you do?

jean hart stewart said...

Love originality and this certainly has it....great excerpt.

Lucy Francis said...

Elysa, I loved the excerpt! What a fun concept!

Elysa said...

I love reading books about writers, so I decided to write one. :-)

Barbara Monajem said...

Elysa, you are my writing sister! I have exactly the same experience with beginnings and endings! ;)

Linda Andrews said...

If my fantasy became reality, I'd run very fast and very far away. Especially since I'm working on a horror novel at the moment.

MiaMarlowe said...

Swords and sorcery--what's not to love?

Elysa said...

Linda, since I only write romance, not horror, I guess I could handle having my fantasies come to life. I'm not sure my hubby could though. :-)

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