Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Author Interview - Elle J Rossi

As regular readers of this blog know, I adore Elle J Rossi. Not only is she a talented author, designer, and singer but she's an all-around fantastic person and I'm very proud to call her my friend.

Elle has written several books including Broken Flight, the Brennan Coven series and the ongoing Josie Hawke Chronicles. In fact, Indigo Dawn, the third story in the Josie Hawke Chronicles and the first full length novel in the series will be released in e-book and print on March 25th! Look for the review of Indigo Dawn here on Friday and a cover reveal next week.

Q1. You write this kick ass - literally! - character who can and does take on anything thrown at her but there is also a softer and slightly vulnerable side to Josie that makes rare appearances. How do you balance those two sides of the character when you are writing?

Elle: I know this is going to make me sound crazy, but I honestly have nothing to do with it. Josie is one of those characters that basically writes herself. I often speak about her as if she's real. When I'm writing, I find myself holding conversations with her. Perhaps I'm borderline schizophrenic. If so, I'm okay with it. I love when characters come alive for me. Part of me wants to be more like her. She's as fierce as they come in most aspects of her life. But part of her is still that little girl who was severely bullied as a child for being a half-breed. Had her parents coddled and fought her battles for her, I think Josie wouldn't be anything like who she is. They didn't, though. They taught her to be proud and to stand up to anyone and everyone. This is why she fights so hard for those she holds close to her heart.

Q2. You come from a very talented family and have a background in music and performance. I've heard you say that you turned to writing for an artistic outlet for yourself after having kids. Why writing instead of starting a band or doing something else in music?

Elle: I see you want me to spill blood here. For you, I will! That, Melly Mel, is a question I ask myself quite often. The answer is one I've battled with for some time. To be completely honest, I thought I had to give up music in order to be a good wife, a good mother. In my heart I know I was wrong. Music was/is such a huge part of my life. Singing soothes my soul in ways I can't even explain. I very much regret giving it up like I did. I think when you truly want something, need it even, you have to find a way to fit it into your life.

Q3. Between a day job, a husband and kids, and the digital art design that you do with EJR Digital Art, how do you find time to write? Do you just never sleep?

Elle: NEVER!!!!!!! Haha! I love to sleep. If I could get 10 hours a night, I'd be a happy gypsy. I know my husband and children have sacrificed a lot of "me" time so I can do all this. My ultimate goal is to be a full time write and cover artist. I've got to put in a lot of hours to make this happen, and they get that. I've been working on so many covers lately (an awesome thing!), my writing time has suffered. So, I set my alarm for 5 am and write for an hour before the house stirs. Whatever it takes, right?

Q4. When you write, do you start with the character or do you start with the plot? Is there a time or place that makes it easier for you to write?

Elle: Many times I'll start with a character or a group of characters. For instance, I really want to write about a coven of hillbilly witches. But plot wise all I have is a lot of moonshine drinkin' and drunk drivin' on broomsticks. Yeah, I know. Ca-Razy! Then, I have another idea that is total plot and I don't know anything at all about a cast of characters. Somehow I don't think my hillbilly witches will fit in this case. 

I'll write any time I can squeeze it in. I'm most productive in the midst of chaos. If it's too quiet, I sit there and look around a lot.

Q5. Do you have a favorite fan story?

Elle: Best fan story EVER! Adam Levine sent me a letter telling me how much he loved Josie and asked if I would sign his book. Um, hellz yeah! My heart was all aflutter for days. When I got to the signing, Adam ANDJared Leto were both dressed as vampires and asked if they could be my Keller. Stop laughing. That could totally happen. Maybe. Eventually. For sure!

Q6. How about a "hater" story?

Elle: You mean other than the turned up noses when I tell some folks that I write paranormal romance? They don't faze me. I know they read Twilight late at night while peeps were sleeping. I know they secretly wish a vampire would seduce them out of their scivvies. I know everyone has a bit of the twisty dark inside them. They're just afraid of what others will think of them. I'm not ashamed. I'm a paranormal junkie. Appreciate, yo!

A huge thank you to Elle for stopping over and answering the interview questions. Look for Indigo Dawn from Moon Rose Publishing on March 25th and check out the two novellas in the Josie Hawke Chronicles, Alabaster Nights and Crimson Beat, both available as standalone e-books.