As you know, I snagged a spot at the Second City Signing in Birmingham, UK in July 2015. I decided it would be great to get to know all the other confirmed authors who will be appearing at the event with me.
I hope everyone will share these posts around and comment on them, wishing each author well. Maybe even some of you will come along to the event to meet us all in person.
Up this week is…. Carrie Elks
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.
And now for the interview…
First the ‘business bit’…
- Tell me about yourself… the usual, age, name, (penname if different – if it is different, explain your choice behind it), location.
My name is Carrie Elks. I’m on the wrong side of 21, 30 and um…yeah. My name is a pen name, but it’s based on my real name. My reason for using it? My real name is boring and forgettable! I live in Essex, about forty minutes from London.
- What genre do you predominantly write in? What drew you to that genre?
I write contemporary romance which occasionally strays into womens’ fiction. I write because I heart love, but I also enjoy an emotional, angsty twist. I write the kind of books I would want to read.
- How many books to you have on sale right now?
- When do you plan to have your next release available? Tell me about it.
My next book should be available early 2015. It’s a companion novel to my contemporary romance, Coming Down. Called Breaking Through, it tells the story of two minor characters in the first book, and is about the ups and downs of their relationship following the birth of their baby. She’s caught up in mother love, he’s touring with his band. It gets…messy, and I love it!
- When did you start writing? Was it for fun at first, or did you want to write for publication from day one?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, but more recently I started writing and putting it on the internet, loving the feedback and development I got from that. After getting some exposure, I was approached by an agent. The rest, as they say, is history!
- When you decided to write that 1st book, what motivated you to keep going?
Reader feedback. I’m not sure I’d ever have finished my first story without it. Nowadays I can complete a book without it, but initially I really needed that help to keep going.
- Are you a planner or a pantser or a mix of both?
I prefer to plot, but recently I’ve been trying to work on my character development and have found pantsing has helped me do that. For my next book, I hope to do a bit of both!
- Who is the favourite character you have ever written? Why?
I love the protagonist of my current work-in-progress, and I love her husband just as much. They’re funny, down to earth, and the kind of people I’d like to be friends with. If only they were real!
- Where do you draw inspiration from?
I people-watch. Constantly. And I’m forever thinking ‘what if’. Those two things combined give me more inspiration than I know what to do with.
- What do you find hardest, naming characters or thinking of an overall title?
Honestly? I hate them both. My characters often go through three or four name changes during the first draft, and I’ve been known to change the book title almost as often. Next time maybe I’ll run a competition or something—I’m pretty sure my readers are going to be better at names than I am!
Now for the ‘fun bit’…
- Would you rather have hands for feet or feet for hands?
Hands for feet. I could write two books at the same time!
- If you could have written any book, what would it be and why?
There are so many books I think this about, but my inner fan girl says the Harry Potter series. I loved them, my kids loved them, hell even my husband loved them and he hardly reads anything. Plus I was born in the same town as J.K. Rowling and it would be great if just one percent of that magic rubbed off on me.
- If you had a superpower for the day, what would it be and what would you do with it?
I’d do all the housework and chores with the click of my fingers. More time for writing, more time for reading and more time for sitting drinking tea. Total win.
- If you could start on your writing journey from the beginning, would you do anything differently?
I’d start publishing earlier, maybe in 2011 when it was a little bit easier to get some exposure.
- If someone gave you an elephant to hide, where would you hide it?
Under my skirt of course!
- When writing, do you need total silence or background noise?
I can do either—I’m pretty good at zoning out when I need to, and music inspires my writing.
- You’re having a dinner party, and can invite 5 authors (alive or dead), who do you invite and why?
Jane Austen, George Orwell, J.K. Rowling, Daphne Du Maurier and Virginia Woolf. I suspect poor George would feel outnumbered, and perhaps would be a little bit stutter and embarrassed. But he’d write a great story about it afterwards.
- If you listen to music, do you have a specific CD or playlist, or do you live life on the edge and shuffle everything?
I love the surprise of the shuffle. It’s living life on the edge 😉
- If you could have the experience of reading a book for the first time, which would it be and why?
The first Harry Potter. It opened up years of joy for me. Waiting at midnight to buy the next book, hiding away for the weekend while I gobbled it up. It wasn’t just book-reading, I was living the story.
- Who do you fangirl over? (Doesn’t have to be an author)
Pretty much anybody famous. I’ve only met a couple and get completely tongue tied. It’s embarrassing.
What are your top tips for aspiring writers/authors?
Write every day, get as much feedback as you can, and make friends with other authors. When you’re isolated in your house writing, it’s great to have a supportive community online.
Can you tell us (and maybe tease us) about your latest WIP or next release?
My next release is about a hot, gorgeous tattooed Brit singer who’s married to the love of his life. Then they have a baby, and his band starts to take off, making life hard for them all. It’s about fighting for what you love, and becoming the person you want to be. With hot, steamy loving!
Give us all your social media links so we can all stalk you (legally and pay you money to do so)
What are you hoping to gain from attending the signing in Birmingham?
I want to meet new people—readers and writers alike—and make sure we all have a fabulous time. It’s going to be great fun, and I want in on the action J
Thanks for taking part and I wish you lots of luck and oodles of cash at the event. See you there!
Thank you, it’s been great to be here. Lots of love to you for featuring us authors!