Thursday, July 11, 2013

Guest Writer Elodie Parks

Hi Lynn, Thank you for inviting me to the blog.

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

Finding time to write, and unfortunately that’s getting worse. Marketing takes up so much time now that I find it depressing.

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I started writing when I was seventeen. 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 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.

People and emotions inspire me to write. The complexity of life spurs me to write. I see emotions in people around me all the time, and often they remain unspoken. I think we don’t share ourselves enough, and are encouraged to hide our true selves. 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.

I find the world harsh. There’s not enough love in it. Lots of people never find love. I write contemporary love stories with happy endings to spread a little lightness around. I always have graphic love scenes in the close to real life stories, because I like to show the reader how the characters feel about each other deep down. The way they make love always shows their hopes and feelings.

I hope that my books do give the reader a lift and a sense of love.

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why? 

I guess right now it has to be The Winter Girl. I really enjoyed writing it. The characters became so real to me and the twist in the story is such fun, along with the love scenes. Yes, I’m in love with Starr Forrester.

How do you decide on character names?

Names are weird for me. The characters names have to be right, and then they become real and start appearing. It’s a mix of them telling me and me picking.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

I’m editing my next book for Hot Ink Press. It’s contracted but I like to do a super clean edit. Titled The Old Star, it’s a slightly darker erotic romance than The Winter Girl.

Here’s an excerpt.

Cathy shook her head clearing her thoughts. She felt sure she’d seen paper at these windows when she was standing in the back garden looking up.
Suddenly she realized someone was there at the far end. It was a man in jeans and a T-shirt and he was painting the window frame. Cathy froze. She wasn’t supposed to come up here, but surely she ought to be informed if anyone was in the building. When she moved in, her client information would need the strictest privacy and security.
The man turned around and Cathy’s heart flipped. He was quite simply the most attractive man she had ever seen. He walked halfway down the room and stopped.
“Who are you?” His voice was low, husky, and as attractive as he was.
Cathy’s mouth was dry from fear and her instant reaction to this man.
“I’ve just rented the place. I’m sorry I know this floor is off limits, but the front door was open and I thought…” She improvised what was a lie in reality.
The man approached her and her words trailed away as she took in the sight of him.
He was tall and muscular. His T-shirt wasn’t tight but showed his body to be hard, and Cathy had the most astonishing urge to go to him, and run her hands up underneath it to feel his skin. His hair was dark and untidy in a way that was endearing to her. His eyes were a shade of dark blue she hadn’t seen before. He couldn’t be called handsome because that just wouldn’t do him justice. He was strikingly attractive. The shape of his face, jaw, nose, all added up to make a sight Cathy registered as dreamy. He was a hunk, gorgeous, sexy, and desirable.
He stood at arm’s length with the paintbrush in his hand. Cathy gazed at him and he smiled. It was a lovely smile and disarmed Cathy even further. She began to back away. The man shook his head.
“It’s okay. You haven’t done anything wrong. I’m surprised to see you, but this is good. I didn’t know the place had been rented out.” His eyes held a curious expression. Cathy instinctively knew something about what he said wasn’t quite true, but he wasn’t angry, and he smiled again.
Cathy smiled back.
“Cathy Faraday and you are?” ‘He’s probably some tradesman the owner has employed and neglected to tell Alfred about.’
“Owen Sheringham.” He gave her a look that said this was all he was telling her. The look had authority, and Cathy suddenly thought he could be the owner of the building.
She nodded and backed away a little. Glancing behind her, she gestured to the door she had entered and noticed that there were three doors. They were at intervals in the same wall and Cathy stared at them.
Owen followed her gaze and waited.
Cathy became aware of his waiting. It was tangible. She gestured again at the door she felt sure she had entered by because it was at the end of the room near the big back windows.
“I’ll get going and let you go back to work. I only dropped by, and need to go back to my office.” She heard her voice waver, and it was all she could do to keep herself from turning and running. She reached the door and yanked it open, not realizing it had closed behind her.
Owen called out. “Come and see me tomorrow?”
Cathy only glimpsed his face as she fled through the door. He looked vulnerable and sad.
She let go of the carved bone handle and saw that she had closed the door. For two minutes she stood there shaking, and searching the wall for any evidence of the doors that were on the other side of it. The landing wasn’t long enough to have the three doors lead out to it. ‘Perhaps they’re decoration.’
Cathy shook herself and quietly went down the stairs. Apart from finding Owen Sheringham devastatingly attractive, to the point where she felt sadness that he wasn’t hers, there was something spooky about what had just happened.

What's your writing routine?

I don’t have one. I just run at one of my laptops when I have time to write and write, sometimes all night….

Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's?

From my own work, the whole lot are (laughs) and the ones I am currently writing.

Talk to us about your domestic life; a favorite recipe, craft, your pets, children, house, or favorite set of socks.

Well I can’t cook, not a thing and I don’t have the time. I eat cold food, not raw meat …but veg and fruit and I sometimes buy pre-cooked chicken. I kinda live off sandwiches, salad and fruit. There’s no one around to want anything from me so that’s okay.

I have two dogs, Celt and Chaucer. They are big, but gentle, and almost timid. They hang out with me and only run off when we go to a beach where dogs are allowed. Then they roll about in the sea edge.

Sometimes they come to work with me…if I have to travel somewhere, or I’m on my own in the stock area, restoring.

Find Elodie online:!elodie-parkes/cio5

Find Elodie’s books:
Barnes & Noble

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