**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with Author, ELODIE PARKES
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a fulltime writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share.
I live in the United Kingdom and I work in an antiques shop as well as writing. I have two dogs that keep me fit with their need for walks. I’m a softie for animals and actually weep at cruelty. I guess I’m a romantic at heart. I’m always looking for the good in people and situations, although I’m not one of those perpetually chirpy people who don’t let others feel sad or angry. I really love the natural world, plants, animals, and trees. I especially love trees. I was so happy to have the chance to write an urban fantasy short for an anthology that was released this March when I found the brief was about the Autumn equinox. It inspired me and I had a gorgeous hero in that story who is really the Green Man. What else? I love music. I find myself humming or singing and people say ‘you’re happy today’ but it’s just a natural thing for me. (Smiles) I can sing louder at home because there’s only the dogs to hear me.
I get upset at war, poverty, and generally wish the human world was a better place and matched the beauty of our natural world. There’s so many lovely places in the world and so many people never get to see them and be inspired by them. I love the countryside and the coast. I like to visit the historical places around the UK. I do love reading, music, and movies too.
I’m a bit of a tech freak, and that’s probably my only indulgence. If I didn’t have good computers and cell phone, I don’t know how I would get my work done.
1. How did you get started writing?
I started real writing when I was seventeen, before that I used to tell stories to my school friends, who loved them. I never did anything like submitting to publishers etc. until I was about twenty-five and then queried to no avail. My books had “too much sex in them” (smiles), which I found weird as a rejection reason, because I was reading Christine Feehan at the time and well…….. she has some gorgeous, paranormal sizzlers out there. I started writing again seriously a couple of years ago because I had so many stories in my head. I did have a few poems and stories published in teen magazines.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I write romance, contemporary, and erotic with a twist of mystery, suspense, or the paranormal, now and then. I like to make the story unusual in some way, by a quirk in the tale. My books are always steamy. I write this genre because it’s a way to give a happy ending to love stories, to any story. It’s a reaction to what I see as harshness and loneliness in the world. People and their situations inspire me, meeting people and watching them battle with the love or lack of it in their lives. Lots of my characters have some foundation from real people who have passed through my life. They are composites of those glimpses of people and my imagination.
3. What is your favorite part of writing?
The way my characters just take on a life of their own. Often they are so real, when I re-read the work for edit I can’t think where they came from. It’s like, well who wrote this? (Smiles) I always fall in love with my characters and miss them all so much when the book is published.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Without doubt, marketing, it’s so time consuming and I’d maybe go so far as to say soul destroying.
5. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
They drop into my head. A place will set off a story. A signpost, a glimpse of someone’s life, something that catches my eye, and hey presto a story unfolds.
The first of my recent books, early 2012, Millie Reinvented, was inspired by seeing the sadness of a young woman whose husband no longer kissed her. She told me that as she was buying a little statue of lovers in the shop where I work. It got me thinking about all the broken hearts and unrequited love that goes on. Love is very hard to find. I talked with an indie documentary film maker at the time because she was making a ‘doco’ about women who just never got asked out, and women who were dumped by their guys. She had interviewed them and their stories were so interesting.
The Horoscope Writer’ was inspired by signs along a country road when I was out driving one day in another county. It was a workshop to let sign. The main characters just started to flow into my head and by the time I had driven home, which was a three hour journey through the countryside, I had the book and characters completely ready.
6. What is it that makes your writing different from all the others in your genre?
That’s a hard question. I don’t know. I think I write more gentle stories, ones that are more in tune with real life and yet sprinkled with all the things we might long for. For instance something to lift our everyday life, a new life path, an intense love affair, a happy ever after perhaps. Many of the stories in my genre are now tinged with BDSM, mine are not. Mine are about people who are lonely, needy, and their love stories are hot, explicit, but have a gentle deep love about them.
7. Are you an avid reader? When you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre?
I read heaps and always have. I read reference texts besides fiction, leap about in genres. I can’t begin to count how many books I’ve read since I discovered the escape reading gave me at about eight years old. So when I joined Goodreads, and it was ‘list the books you’ve read,’ I thought the hell with that it will take weeks!
8. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
It’s ‘The Old Star’.
This love story has paranormal threads, a little mystery and magic, it’s erotic and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I loved writing it.
The idea came to me when I was working. Sometimes in my job I have to travel to places where an antique has been offered for sale to the place I work. I had to go look at a chaise lounge that was in a semi derelict house. The place was going to be demolished and so I was to buy the item, get it loaded in the truck and bring it back to the store. The guy selling it was just lovely. He and another hunk loaded the chaise lounge into the pick-up for me. I’m small and slim so I generally get the help, but this guy was extra helpful and yummy. He inspired my book cover. The house was spooky and the chaise lounge, although needing reupholstering, was great. On the way back to work the story of ‘The Old Star’ dropped into my head. The title had been with me for a few weeks after I saw an old building with that name plaque hanging off the ruins, next to a burned out barn.
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BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about ELODIE and her novel, THE OLD STAR, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench!! Happy Reading!
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Elodie is giving away $25 or £25 Amazon gift card and ebooks, via the rafflecopter!! Here’s the code: <a id=”rc-dd9e5325″ href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dd9e5325/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src=”//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js“></script> Thanks, Elodie, for sharing your stories with us!