Monday, May 30, 2011

Guest Author Day with Elle Laudan/Contest Announcement

Welcome Author Elle Laudan today at Dawn's Reading Nook Blog. Today one lucky commenter will win a e-copy of She Rides from Elle. :) Leave your email address in with your comment in order to contact you if you win.

Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?

I grew up in a very strict household where television, music and books were strictly monitored. Around 10 yrs old I began writing short stories. It became my escape, where I could be anyone, go anywhere and do all those things I only dreamed of.
I went back to school in my twenties to earn my highschool diploma. (I was having way too much fun the 1st time around)
My English teacher Jim, is the first person to tell me I had a gift for the written word. Looking back, I see that he is the one to plant the first seed. The rest…is history in the making J

What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?

One of the key elements to a great story would be creating characters the reader can identify with at some level. Also, to give cause for my readers to experience some kind of emotion, through laughter, anger, or tears.

Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?

For me, it all starts with the setting. Once I have a place in mind, my characters evolve. Their ethnic background usually determines their names and appearance. My characters take shape throughout the book. Rarely do I know everything about them before my story begins.

My favorite character?
Shane from my Iron Horse Rider Trilogy. It was fun, and challenging writing a book from a man’s POV.

The most challenging?
Missy from my first Elle Laudan title, She Rides. It is my first erotic tale, so to have a character so explicit sexually was challenging.

Have you ever found that you didn’t like your Hero or your Heroine? If so, what did you do to change that?

I hate the villain, Ben from In Your Eyes. He gets my blood boiling like no other, but it works for the story. So he was left alone and has since angered more than one reader lol Isn’t that what bad guys should do?

Can you tell me a bit about your most recent/upcoming release?

My 2nd Elle Laudan title, Mystified is slated for release on June 11th at Passion In Print. It is an erotic suspense, with a twist… time travel. In this story I feature the band, Colt Harley as my hero, Tokoda’s band. Also, $1 from each book sold will be donated to Mark’s Run for A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

What do you do to unwind and relax?  

I read. After all I was an avid reader long before I published my first book. Since my journey as an author began, my reading time is less and less. I now reward myself, at the end of each book, the down time to read one or two books.

Is there a genre you haven’t done that you would like to explore in the future?

Horror. I’ve always wanted to write a good psychological thriller. Once my nest is empty I will give it a try. I think, in order to write a great horror, one must set the tone and approach from a dark place. I’d rather do so with no witnesses.  *wink 

Tell us about your favorite restaurant. 

The Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It slowly rotates while you’re seated next to a window at one of the Great Wonders of the World.

Do you listen to music when writing? Do you feel like some stories write themselves a soundtrack with specific music? If so, what book and what kind of music influenced it?

I write my best in a quiet house. I might play some of my favorites while editing, but as a rule, silence is what it takes.

Does your significant other read your stuff?

At the moment, my significant other is an 8 lb diva dog named, Chachi. She doesn’t read much.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I started out as a total Pantser. Now I am a bit of both. I will write a brief outline, only because I must finish within a certain length of time. More often than not, my story will conclude very differently than first intended.

What is your favorite meal?

All of them LOL
I’ve always loved a good roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes and corn. Those little dinner rolls with butter on the side. Yummy….now I’m hungry.

What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
As I said earlier I have just begun my journey on the erotic side of things. Yes, I find it very difficult. It’s hard to let your inhibitions go. Especially, after keeping such tight reign of them for so many years.

What do you have coming up next for you? Care to share any details with us?

At this moment I’ve been invited to write a short erotic story. I must adhere to specific guidelines in relation to the setting, and it must happen over a 24 hour period of time. I had a hell of a time getting it started, but just the past couple of days I’ve started writing in earnest.

I have yet to begin edits on an Adelle Laudan title, Heart of Steele, and a Middle Grade Mystery. Both titles are contracted with MuseItUp.

Who are some of your favorite authors, and if we were to visit your home, what books would we find on your bookshelf, end table, floor or e-reader?

On my bookshelf, in my bedroom, you will find an interesting mixture. Danielle Steel, Mauve Binchy,  Jean M Aule, John Saul, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks…
I have yet to make the transition to an e-reader. I’ve been watching them evolve quite a bit over a short period of time. I guess I’m waiting for all the kinks to be worked out.

If you could be any character of any book or movie, who would you be?

Cher, from the movie, Mask. I’d so love to be on the back of a younger Sammy Elliot’s motorcycle.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Elle Laudan Blog: Rated R:

Mystified by Elle Laudan
Coming June 11th to Passion In Print
Legends come to life on Spirit Island, tossing a pair of rekindled lovers back in time. Tokoda comes face to face with the barbaric Sioux tribe, while Tara suffers a case of mistaken identity in the village of her Ojibwa ancestors. Tokoda vows to find Nara and bring her home safely. That is, if there is even a way for them to get back home at all.

Balanced upright in the canoe, Nara gave the shoreline a cursory glance before pulling her deerskin shift over her head.  She closed her eyes, celebrating the freedom this secluded spot on Spirit Island gave her.
In the beginning, the Creator made Spirit Island, in order to have a place to call home. He took the cleanest air, and the freshest water, along with, all the plants, medicine and food he’d ever need. Even today, many came to the sacred Island to speak to the Great Spirit.
The hopes and dreams of her ancestors carried in the breeze that prickled her bare skin. A sense of well-being filled her heart and there was no doubt, the Great Spirit still made Mnido-Maniss his home.
Nara dove into the cool water, reveling in the sensation against her body as she came up for air. She stretched out on her back, and stared up at the twinkling stars. What story did they tell as they danced to the rhythm of their own music?
The rattle of shaking branches caused her breath to hitch and she slipped under the blanket of water to hide her nakedness. Someone crouched in the bushes, the whites of his or hers eyes illuminated by the moonlight. Nara swam to the side of the canoe and struggled to slow her breathing as quietly as possible. Cautiously, she peeked over the canoe’s rim and searched the shoreline.
I saw someone, I know I did. Where did they go? Has someone been watching me all along?
The mere thought of a stranger seeing her naked repulsed her. Movement caught her attention and she froze.
Between her and the shore, the water swirled. Nara’s jaw dropped as a ghostly apparition rose up from the mist. Without knowing how, she knew it to be the Underwater Princess of stories told so many times around the campfire.
The beautiful native princess turned her head to face the bushes, her blue black hair settled in layers around her shoulders. With a flick of her wrist, a gust of wind came out of nowhere, whipping the prickly rose bushes into a frenzy.
Suddenly, a man’s pain-filled cry resounded across the river and a figure shot up from behind the bushes and tore off into the darkness of the forest. As quickly as the wind rose up, it calmed. The princess smiled satisfactorily in her direction before fading into the night, leaving behind fireflies of which flew upwards until one couldn’t tell them from the stars.
Nara reached in the canoe for her deerskin shift and pulled it down over her damp hair. Without a sound, she slipped back on board and gazed out on the calm, glass-like water. Since the day her father taught her to guide a canoe, this had been her special place. Never before did the Underwater Princess appear.
Many times it felt as if someone else shared this space with her, but she always thought it to be the Great Spirit. Perhaps it was, or perhaps more than one spirit shared this special place with her. Nara shivered and dipped her paddle in the water. The birch bark canoe her father built sliced through the water effortlessly.


Lori said...

Great interview, hope I have a chance to read your book

kyreadinggirl said...

I would love to read your book! I learned a lot from your interview!

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