Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Monday, February 14, 2011

Special Valentine's Day Edition of Five Questions With ...Eloisa James!

I am thrilled beyond words to be hosting bestselling romance author Eloisa James here today! She has graciously agreed to particpate in my new feature, Five Questions With ..., and without further ado ....

Here's Eloisa!

1. At what age did you know that you wanted to be a writer? 

Eloisa:  I can only say that I dreamed of being a writer shortly after I learned to shape words on a page.  One of my clearest early memories is writing a novel that I intended (and did) sell to my mother for 10 cents.  It began with my heroine, who was "incorrigible."  That was a new word for me, and I still remember carefully writing it down in loopy handwriting.

2.  At what point in your career did it finally sink in – “hey, I’m famous,” and did it make a difference in your writing?

Eloisa:  That is still sinking in... I grew up with a dad who won the American Book Award for Poetry, so I may have a skewed version of what makes a writer famous—and I'm not there yet!  One of my funniest memories was being at a conference with my husband a few years ago.  Alessandro is an academic, and sometimes we manage to overlap conferences, since academics and writing conferences generally head for the same places.  He came back to the hotel room and reported that a couple of women had pointed him out as "Mr. Eloisa."  It made me almost fall off the bed laughing—but at the same time, I remember thinking that people must be starting to know who I am.  I can't say it's changed my writing any, though.  The goal of any writer is to be read, to have an audience.  So I write the best that I can, hoping that each book will find an audience.

3.  Who are some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?

Eloisa:  I read a huge amount of romance.  For over three years, I've been writing a monthly romance column for the B&N Review page (it appears on the first Monday of every month for a week).  That means that publishers send me just about every romance published in America, which is a huge gift.  I find my inspiration and my favorite authors by reading all the time.   Some of my closest friends are also (imo) the best writers out there:  Christina Dodd, Teresa Medieros, Lisa Kleypas, Connie Brockway, Julia Quinn.  Connie, Julia and I wrote a "novel-in-three-parts" together—The Lady Most Likely—that spent a happy four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.  We wrote together because we thought it would be great fun, but also because we find each other's writing inspirational.

4.  What do you have coming up in the future?

Eloisa:  At the moment I'm deep into fairy tales, and absolutely loving them.  I've written my own versions of Cinderella (A Kiss at Midnight), as well as a novel called When Beauty Tamed the Beast, the title of which speaks for itself.  At the moment I'm just finishing a version of The Princess and the Pea, and I'm dreaming up The Ugly Duckling.  And...Julia, Connie and I have come up with another idea for a "novel-in-three-parts," so I'll be writing with friends again as well!

5. What advice would you have for anyone wanting to break into the writing biz today?

Eloisa:  The publishing business is really difficult at the moment.  Publishers are being torn between bankrupt booksellers (goodbye, Borders) and the electronic book trend.  No one knows exactly what is going to happen.  But I firmly believe that there will always, always be a market for a fabulous story—the kind that grips a reader and doesn't let her go, even if there are dishes to be washed, and sleep to be had, and perhaps even teens whining for attention.  That book will always sell.  So: apprentice yourself to the books that caught you, as a reader.  Figure out why you couldn't put them down and then apply that lesson to your own work-in-progress.  The worse thing a writer can do, in my opinion, is isolate herself in order to preserve her voice.  Your voice will take care of itself; you need to learn from the experts.  Second bit of advice:  join the RWA, or whatever professional writing association is linked to your genre.  There's nothing better than advice from the trenches, from published authors who are out there talking to readers, editors, publishers, and agents.

Thank you so much, Eloisa, for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions. My thanks also to Pam Jaffee of Harper Collins/Avon for coordinating this effort!  You are both the best!

No one tells a romantic story quite like Eloisa James, and her latest book, "When Beauty Tamed The Beast," is one of her best!  This story is a charming retelling of the classic fairy tale, "Beauty and The Beast," with a definite Eloisa twist! 

If you love fairy tales with a seductive hero and a fiesty heroine, then "When Beauty Tamed The Beast" will be a guaranteed delight!

Here's a little about the book:

Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she's betrothed to a Beast.
Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.
Linnet is not just any woman.
She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.
Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return.
If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?

Check out Eloisa's website at http://www.eloisajames.com/ for more information on her books and upcoming projects.

My thanks to Avon Books for the review copy of this book! I was not compensated for my opinion.

Be sure to check out the special Valentine's Day Books With Love Giveaway Hop, where I'll be giving away two copies of "When Beauty Tamed The Beast!"  Click on the button in the sidebar for more information on how to enter!

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Reading, Ya'll!


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Awesome interview!! I love Eloisa James' books! The Ugly Duckling is something I'm looking forward to!!

Andrea I said...

I enjoyed the interview. I'm going to check out the first two books.

Robin Hillyer Miles said...

Great interview and post!

Thea said...

Eloisa is a 'reader friendly' writer of the first order. I admire how willingly she shares her advice, wisdom and insider's view of the business. great interview

Lisa said...

love her- :)

Caro Carson said...

I love your five questions format. Eloisa is a wonderful writer--and speaker. I hadn't read anything by her until I heard her speak at an RWA luncheon. We were all bawling for various reasons by the end of the speech. I thought, "Hmm...bet she writes a good book." And now I know, she does!

MsHellion said...

Great questions and great answers. I enjoyed reading this blog. Eloisa IS a very reader friendly-writer friendly author. If her speech at RWA was anything like the one she did at Chicago conference in 2009(?), I can see why you'd be crying. Tearjerker city!

Cracking up that at an academic conference, Alessandro was referred to as Mr. Eloisa, esp since he's famous in his own right. *LOL* Is that more galling for a man than a woman? Or does it just vary person by person?

Melanie said...

Great interview...Love Eloisa's books!!