Sunday, November 7, 2010

Author Interview: Elysabeth Williams, Romance Author

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Elysabeth Williams, Romance author of Devil in a Red Kilt. Read below for Elysabeth’s insights on writing and publishing! If you have any comments or questions for her, leave your info in the comments and she’ll stop by later.

Before we get started with the interview, here’s a bit about Devil in a Red Kilt: Their Happily Ever After Deserved a Second Chance ... For more than twenty years, Evan and Evie MacDonald were the couple "meant to be." Their marriage now in tatters, they throw one final family Halloween party to honor Evie's recently deceased mother. But, as Evan's hand hovers over divorce papers, the ancient Celtic secrets Evie's mother always spoke of spring to life. Transported in flames to thirteenth-century Scotland, Evie and Evan land on opposite sides of the feud raging between Clans MacDonald and McLeod. Dubbed the Red Devil, Evan's skills as a leader and warrior bring him into the enemy camp-and back to Evie. Now, faced with an ancient evil they never imagined, the two must rekindle the "forever and ever" kind of love they once felt, and bargain for a bit of Fae magic to flip the hourglass right side up again-before time runs out.

Hi Elysabeth! Thanks so much for talking with me today. First, I’d like to talk a bit about your debut novel, Devil in a Red Kilt. What was your inspiration for this novel?

Thanks for having me! I’m glad to be here! I thought of this story in bits – I’m a die-hard pantser, in which I don’t outline. I may write down things to write down later, but as for outlines, they make me feel locked in. Devil was done totally off the cuff and pulled from many places. Movies, other books I’ve read, and even World of Warcraft. (Yes, I’m a total geek.) It honestly just “happened” this way.

Evan and Evie are very heartfelt characters. They felt like people I knew and I was rooting for them all along. Authors often pull character traits from real life. How many of their attributes were inspired by yourself or someone you know?

I’d say the mother of this story was similar to my own mother. She was very outspoken and told outlandish stories that people would sometimes look at her weird for. Nothing to do with fairies, but still way-out-there stories about her past. Evie and Evan were just two people doing their daily thing. I think that’s taken from most people nowadays. Too busy to and too stressed out to cope.

I loved your setting in the book – both the present day and historical aspects. What inspired your settings?

I grew up and still live in the South. I’m always in love with the way things are in the fall here. The colors are always so rich and everybody seems to move at a slower pace down here. Scotland is kind of the same to me. I’ve only visited for a short time, but it always seemed to move at a slower pace than the rest of the world. Add the great history in both places and it really does make for a great story base.

The historical aspects of the novel felt very well researched, down to the tiny details. Has this time period always interested you? Was the research fun? Challenging?

The research was fun! I love researching how people lived, what they wore and ate, and how they interacted with each other. It was very educational. The time period has always fascinated me and of course it was the best time to find Highlanders kicking around in their kilts.:)

What was your favorite part of writing Devil in a Red Kilt?

Writing “THE END.” Honestly. It was a great ride but to be able to finish the project after a year was just so satisfying.

Most challenging?

Getting just enough dialect without annoying readers. I wanted to have the flavor of the speech, but not be overwhelming. I hope I got it right.

Devil in a Red Kilt is such a fun story – full of twists and turns, suspense and love. What type of reader are you? What are your favorite books/authors?

I love witty banter, wild accusations and a little fantasy. I love out of place history and pure historical romances. My favorite authors are hard to pin down because I love so many! There are so many wonderfully talented authors.

Since there are probably some aspiring authors that will read this, can you tell us a bit about your road to publication? When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t think I ever officially decided to be a writer. I just wrote. Then one day I owned the title. I’m a writer. I write.

Tell us about your journey to getting published.

As per the last question. I believe that’s one of the very first steps to publication. Owning it. Then I started to do my homework on what I wanted to do. Where I wanted to see myself in 6 months, a year, etc. Then I just sat on it and wrote. Re-wrote, queried, cried, drank coffee, twittered, facebooked, and waited. And waited. And waited.

What is the best part of the publishing process?

What’s commonly known as, “The Call,” most definitely. The offer of a contract is just so much validation in one tiny email or package. “Yes your story doesn’t suck monkey butt, we’d like to see it on paper or in ebook.”

The worst?

The Waiting. Everything moves at a snail’s pace and you have to build patience or else you’ll go crazy. I would rather get a quick rejection just to know that someone looked at it than wait forever. The longest time I waited for a response was 18 months – for Devil in a Red Kilt, actually! I received the rejection three weeks after it hit shelves. Woops.

Can you give us a hint of what you’re working on now? What can we expect to read from you next?

I’m working on another Victorian Steampunk Romance that will tie in with The Electrifying Exploits of the English Three, which releases with Lyrical Press in January of 2011! It’s not necessarily a sequel, but in the same ‘world’ so to speak. I can’t wait to share more!

Thanks Elysabeth! Looking forward to reading more from you in the future!