Today I got to interview Romance Author Elaine Raco Chase, so pull up a chair and enjoy.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In my teens – we were very poor so my source of vacations and fantasy life came from books. I loved the way authors would transport me out of Schenectady, NY and into places far far away. And I wanted to do that! Not sure if I could but I gave it a try writing advertising copy – you can certainly send people many places in under sixty seconds & have them buy!
How long does it take you to write a book?
Depends on the book – probably at least 6 months and that’s with a lot of research up front, laying out, character constructions, plot points, etc. Longer, if I'm working on a thriller and using forensics.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I'm a dialogue writer, it is difficult for me to write description, so I'm talking away while I write. And using many voices!
What do you think is the best way of publishing a book these days?
Coming from a long-time, very successful print published background in both fiction & non-fiction, I love 'indie!' I can write the story and not worry about word count, my characters can say what fits them and not have to worry if they say the 'wrong' word. In other words – freedom!
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I've gotten lots of ideas for romance characters from pairing horoscope descriptions – so much fun! Like many other writers, I use 'what if.' I also take newspaper stories and twist and turn them around.
When did you write your first book?
My first published novel, the original of Rules of the Game was written in 1978, bought by Dell for its Candlelight Line and landed on the shelves in 1980. I just updated, enhanced, added to it and it's quite an erotic romantic comedy in ebook. Received a lot of reviews from men as it highlights the Wounded Warrior Project. My only complaint about updating – when it was first written Adam was a Vietnam War Vet…now he served as a marine in Fallujah.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I teach creative writing – when I'm writing or not! I just finished up 2 years at Miami-Dade College but my students wouldn't let me go. So I'm teaching them on line. Free time? Hmmmm…days are filling up with grandkids' assorted plays, choir, etc.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I love the fact I can make characters say and do all the 'right' things at the right time. "Power to the delete key!"
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I've written: 12 romantic comedies, 1 woman's mainstream fiction, two mystery novels, and a non-fiction book: "How to write the amateur detective novel" which is part of Writer's Digest HowDunit Series and is actually in the FBI Forensic Library in Quantico. Favorite…I love them all!
Can you tell me and your readers something about your main characters?
All my heroines are: sassy, forthright, LOL funny, BBW, who aren't intimidated or submissive. They aren't desperate for a man – until the right one comes along. My 'heroes' – are usually tough alpha-males, who are stunned when a woman doesn't drop to their feet. Well, actually highly intrigued. Usually it's the men who are hit by love at first sight – okay, maybe lust! But that's actually a take-off on my dad, who claimed it was 'love at first sight' when he just watched my mom chasing her dog down the street! Honest! They were married, soul-mates, for 56 years!
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
When I was first print-published, my readers were so vocal – Dell didn't know what to do with them. When Video Vixen hit #1 on the bestsellers lists – people thought she was a real soap opera actress and Dell received for her: Vixen Perfume (gorgeous bottle and not a bad scent), Vixen lingerie (OMG someone sent her/me – the tiniest lace bikini's in scarlet and black – still have those ) and an entire prison cell-block in Florida sent a demand for a full-length autographed photo of her naked!
When my mystery series debuted (it was on the bestseller's list) Bantam forwarded me fan letters with complaints of a sort. It seems quite a few readers actually took vacations in Ft. Lauderdale, went looking for Roman & Nikki's house, but 'why didn't I say it was surrounded by a large metal locked fence.'
Ebooks –have garnered very nice reviews especially about the characters and the dialogue. Of course, there's always some critic who hates every word you wrote, like all authors I slide into my armored vest. But it does hurt, it's like someone insulting your child.
What do you think makes a good story?
Compelling characters with a problem.
What are your favorite book genres in writing and reading? Why?
I read what I write: romance and mystery-thrillers. Love writing romances because from the first I thought women were more funny and sassy than crying and unhappy; more 'normal sized' rather than those tiny, thin, boney women who looked like they'd break a leg in a stiletto. And I created sexy men who'd love them that way!
Who are you favorite authors to read?
So many names…but I love the 'classic' mystery novels, the hard-boiled detectives. Probably the thrill of my life was meeting and talking with Mickey Spillane at an MWA meeting in NYC. I had been reading his books since I was 12, under the covers with a flashlight! What can I tell you!
Thanks so much Christina for having me on your blog! And I hope your readers will give my romantic comedies a try or a listen! Six are on audiobooks!
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