We had the pleasure of interviewing Elle Christens, author of the excellent The Fae Guard series!
If you have any questions, or would like to leave a comment, for Elle, please feel free to do so. We love author/reader interaction here!
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Now on to the interview…
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the Chicago area but I now live in New York City, and love it! I started writing my first novel when I was twelve, but after updating it every few years, I finally scrapped that one. Lol. However, I’d already singing with a professional children’s choir for 3 years and I chose to pursue the vocal avenue. I was a professional singer until about two years ago. I was losing steam with all of the ups and downs of auditioning and performing.
I picked up writing again to try and fill the void left from performing and it did help. I discovered this book world, one I had no clue existed, by accident. An ad for a read-a-long came across my FB feed and I signed up. From there, I eventually started a small blog (which I still have because it forces me to take time off from writing and read. Then one day, I went to a Facebook event and became friends with the author. Several months later, we were having a discussion about co-writing and she suggested we try it.
I flipped out! I couldn’t believe this author who I love and admired (and devoured all of her books) wanted to take a chance on me and write a book together. Ten days later, K. Webster and I sent Erased off to the editor. Publishing together taught me so much and it gave me the courage to write my first solo book, which is now the first of a completed six book series!
I also make the majority of my swag and do my, and several other authors, covers and teasers. It makes it difficult to remember I have other hobbies sometimes. But, I love it.
That’s the professional stuff, here’s the personal stuff 😉 lol. I’ve been married to the love of my life, my inspiration for every book boyfriend, for almost 15 years. We’ve moved around a ton, but New York is where we feel the most settled and at home. No kids yet, but we’re always hoping that will change.
I love all things Lucille Ball and have a curio in my house completely dedicated to her, with all of her Barbie Dolls! I am a DIE HARD Cubs fan. Almost obsessively so … ok, not almost. I love baseball in general though and it’s something my hubs and I bond over. We love to play games, to explore the city, and watch our favorite TV shows. We don’t have cable, we own the shows we love and watch them over and over.
OK, enough about me, I’m sure that’s more than you ever wanted to know.
How many books do you have out? Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently if you had to start over again?
I have six books alone, number seven releases June 15th, 2 books with K. Webster, and another 8 plus two box sets under the pen name Fiona Davenport, who is made up of myself and Rochelle Paige.
To be honest, I think I was very lucky. K. Webster had already published 8 or 9 books when we wrote Erased. I truly believe she elevated my level of writing when we worked together. I often hear people talk about how much they hate the first book they ever published. I don’t feel that way, whenever I read through parts of it for various things, I always get sucked into it and when I’m done, I just feel so proud. Also, I was able to learn about the process, experience editing, formatting, beta readers, etc. All with another person, so when I did it alone, it was less intimidating. Although, K. Webster still had to hold my hand through the publishing process of my own book. Lol.
I feel incredibly lucky with how I got started and I don’t think I would change it. That doesn’t mean I haven’t learned through trial and error since then, and no matter what, we’ll always wish we could go back and tweak things.
Other than famous authors and industry professionals, who inspires you to write?
My husband. Not only because he is so supportive and encouraging, but also because every hero I write blooms from a kernel I take from my hubs.
It happens to us all. Any tips on how to get through writer’s block?
A lot of times I’ll stop and read a book to clear my head. But, my real answer is to brainstorm with another author. I absolutely swear by this. Find one or two people (even better if they are also authors) you trust and have collaborative brainstorming sessions. It can be in the abstract or about a specific problem you’re facing. I have one critique partner who I send my books to chapter by chapter as I write it, and she does the same to me. It’s been incredibly helpful to have her right there in the story with me when I hit a block and need to talk it out.
If your block has to do with coming up with a plot in general, I recommend trolling the news sites, watching movies or TV, reading another book, walking down the street and being a total creeper, listening to other people’s conversations (this is very interesting when done in NYC…). There is inspiration everywhere, take something small and build on it.
What book/books are you reading right now? Who are your go to authors?
I use my blog as a tool to force me to make time to read, so right now I just finished a historical romance for review and I’m about to read a new Jennifer Probst book for review. I’ve also been listening to the This Man trilogy on audio book, after having read it at least three times. Lol.
How big of a role does social media play in marketing these days for you?
It’s vital. Absolutely vital. I don’t believe any indie authors would be successful without it. Without being on shelves in stores and a publisher promoting your work, social media is an indie author’s main and most beneficial tool.
And now for the silly… given the opportunity to be a lead character in any fairy tale, which fairy tale would you jump into? What would you change in the story to make the story yours?
That’s a really hard one. I tend to read the Brothers’ Gimm versions and I don’t particularly want to be in one of those… Disney wise, I think I’d go with Belle, all the way. First, she a huge reader and a singer… pretty fitting, wouldn’t you say? But also, she’s smart and strong, a really fantastic example of a heroine who can save the day. I might change it so I kicked Gaston in the junk several times and throat punched his little side-kick, but other than that, I don’t think I’d change anything.
Do you have anything specific that you’d like to say to your readers, or to new readers just finding you?
First a warning, my books are chalk full of sarcastic humor and sex. Lol.
Second, don’t judge a book by its genre 😉 I have a fantasy/PNR fae series, but it’s a funky twist, so a lot of people who don’t read the genre end up loving them.
Third, I love hearing from readers. LOVE IT! I don’t get a lot of opportunity to discuss books outside of our little book community, so I always appreciate the chance to talk books with fellow readers. You’ve got my links…use them! I’m lonely and waiting for you over here…
What’s in the works for you right now? When can we expect to see it released to the world?
I’m finishing up a standalone that will publish June 15th as a part of a multi-author release. They are all fantasy, although, mine lends itself more to the literal idea. It’s about twelve sisters who each find their love in their own fantasy. Then I have a novella releasing July 21st as part of Susan Stoker’s Kindle World launch. And other Fiona Davenport projects in the works.
We’d love to see an excerpt of you work. Do you have one you could share?
This is from Chasing Hayleigh, The Fae Guard #3
It’s girl’s night, and we are sitting around a poker table in a room that Fate has decorated to look like a twenties era speakeasy. The dark wood of the bar, pool tables, poker table, and floor, gleam in the dim lighting. The impressive collection of alcohol behind the bar often has quite a dent in it when the night is over. It’s usually a great night, the hangover the next morning however, not so much.
None of Laila’s sisters are here tonight, but Calista and Nissa sit at the table along with Shaylee, Laila, Fate, and Delicia, one of Laila’sstudents. We are so at ease with each other, despite our jobs: student and teacher, council members, etc. Calista and Nissa are on the Fae council and though I have the utmost respect for them, I still make every effort to kick their asses and take their money.
“For the love of multiple fucking orgasms! Would you guys stop ruining sex for me with all of this baby talk? I’m going to start breaking out in hives every time I see a bare dick, then the condom won’t be fucking necessary, will it?” Fate barks, her face twisted in irritation.
Nissa scrunches up her face, eyeing Fate, “Is your ass jealous of the amount of shit that just came out of your mouth?”
I grab my beer and start drinking to keep from laughing. Nissa is a quiet one, but when she decides to speak up, she is never ignored. Calista isn’t even trying to hold in her mirth and Shaylee is sniggering behind her hand. Laila is studying her cards like they have the answer to solving all of the problems in the universe, but the corners of her mouth are twitching as she attempts to keep from smiling.
This morning, Brannon mentioned that Fate and Kendrix had put an end to their regularly scheduled one-night stands. “Perhaps she’s got a case of pink balls,” I joke. Mostly joke. She’s clearly sexually frustrated.
Fate gives me a dirty look and stands then walks toward the bar. As she passes me, cards disappear from everyone’s hands, landing in a stack in front of me, then she grabs on to my nipple and twists, “Just deal the cards, Skittle Tits.”
“Ouch! What the fuck, Fate?!” I rub my abused breast, shaking my head and snickering at her insult (let’s admit it, it was a good one).
Laila looks pointedly at my well-endowed chest. “I think Brannon would beg to disagree with that assessment, Fate,” she scoffs. Laughter bursts from the table, some of us louder than others, depending on the state of our inebriation. I assume you’re referring to yourself and the fact that you’re completely smashed? Smashed is a bit harsh. If the shot glass fits… I shove the mental shot glass into my inner self’s mouth to get her to stop raining on my parade before I deal the cards.
“I need a change of scenery,” Fate announces suddenly. Pack your asses up, cock sockets. We are hitting the road this weekend.” She points at each of the knocked up girls, “No husbands; pussy cats only.”
How can people find you online? Do you have a newsletter link you can share, a Facebook author page or other links to social media?
People can find me on the following:
Thanks again to Elle for doing this interview with us!