MNtR: You've had experiences in a range of careers in addition to that of an author--salesperson, underwriter, day care provider, and more--do you have a favorite and least favorite job?
Elysa: I'd have to say my least favorite job was home day care. Wrangling a half-dozen pre-schooler kids is HARD work. Even though writing can be every bit as exhausting and sometimes as frustrating, being a writer is my absolutely favorite job.
MNTR: This Heart for Hire is the first of two books of yours set in 1870s west Texas. What inspired the choice of time and setting?
Elysa: I've always enjoyed westerns. Grew up watching John Wayne movies and TV shows like Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Big Valley, and The Ponderosa. But I think it was reading Larry McMurty's LONESOME DOVE and T.R. Fehrenbach's non-fiction book COMMANCHES The Destruction of a People that gave me the urge to write my own western. One with a Happily Ever After for the hero and heroine.
MNtR: How do you find writing historical pieces as compared to contemporary, paranormal stories?
Elysa: No matter which genre I choose to set my story in the process is the same - idea, characters, conflict and setting. While creating the first three is fairly similar no matter if I'm writing historical, contemporary or paranormal, research for the setting certainly differs. Though none of it is "easy" there's certainly more information and resources readily available for researching contemporaries. Historical accuracy is important to readers, so for my historicals I research the time period carefully and then attempt to recreate the feel of that time and place without sounding like a history book. For me paranormal, sci-fi and futuristic stories can be the most fun and the hardest work. There's a whole world to build, but as long as my world is plausible and the rules are consistent, no one can tell me my "research" is wrong.
MNtR: You've authored a number of romance titles over the years. Do you typically like to write one story at a time, or are there typically several stories being woven together at any given time?
Elysa: I typically have at least a dozen stories in the works, usually one or two that I'm actively working on and several others that I'm researching or letting simmer. I also tend to read several books at a time. There's one by my bed. One in the bathroom. A couple scattered around house. And of course at least a couple in the car. I do try and make sure they're different genres, so I don't get them confused.
MNtR: Can you tell us about the Futuristic, Fantasy, & Paranormal Chapter of Romance Writers of America? You helped found them; how did that come about?
Elysa: The FF&P Sub-genre Chapter of RWA came about when Jan Hunsicker, Barbara Cary and I were just starting out as writers. We'd helped Cathie Linz found the Windy City RWA Chapter in Illinois and wanted a chapter devoted the the "woo-woo" stuff as Cathie called it. Jan was president, Barbara vice-president and I was treasurer, a position I held for over four years. Being treasurer is easy when there's only a handful of members. I don't think we had a secretary in the beginning. It's hard to believe how large the chapter has grown in the last twenty years, from three to over four hundred. I wouldn't want to be treasurer now. Jan and Barb have moved on to other careers leaving me the only remaining founding member.
MNtR: Are there any particular genres or themes that you've not yet attempted but would love to try writing?
Elysa: There are lots of genres and themes I haven't tried yet and some I probably never will, but when the right story comes along who knows where my muse will lead me.
MNtR: Thank you so much for answering these questions!!!! ^__^
-------------------------It was a pleasure getting to pick Elysa's brain a bit on some of her writerly life. I hope you enjoyed it reading! But may I just say that I totally agree with Elysa about westerns. They're something some romantic about a cowboy and the related lifestyle. Especially cowboys with honor and purpose. ::sigh:: That's why I'm all about the main character of Elysa's book, This Heart for Hire. All the right elements for a swoon-worthy hero. Check out the book description:
Abandoned by his father and betrayed by his half-brother and fiancée on the eve of his wedding, JAKE GALLAGHER no longer believes in love. Though he longs to go home, his undercover work for the Texas Rangers keeps him in a lawless Texas border town. Even though it jeopardizes his mission he refuses to stand by and watch outlaws rape and murder a young woman. Getting shot and losing his memory wasn't part of his plan.
While fleeing from her stepfather's plans to steal their ranch, CHRISTINA GOODWIN witnesses her brother's murder and is left in the hands of a merciless band of outlaws. Raised in a strict convent, Christina has little knowledge of men or the world, its dangers and temptations.
Frightened and alone, she is forced to accept the help of the dark gunslinger who rescues her. Though drawn to Jake's potent masculinity, she hesitates to trust him, fearing her stepfather has sent him to bring her back. Unsure of Jake's motives for helping her, she struggles against him, determined to find a way to avenge her brother's death and regain control of her ranch from her stepfather.
Sounds good, don't it? ^_^ You can find the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. For more info on this and other books by Elysa Hendricks, visit her website, www.elysahendricks.com/.
This has been a stop on the Kiss and Tell Tour by Bewitching Book Tours. It's "Nine Days, Nine Authors"...with plenty of book features, author posts, giveaways, and more. Check out more information here.
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