Thursday, October 10, 2013

Interview with paranormal romance author Elle Hill

Today I have an interview with contemporary paranormal romance author Elle Hill, focused on her new novel Hunted Dreams.

Elle will be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So to be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and enter there, too.

Elle began writing novel-length romances in junior high. She continued scribbling wild tales on her wide-ruled notepads till those pesky college and career things got in the way. Finally, after earning her Ph.D. in Sociology, Elle gave herself permission to get a life. Now, she spends just about all her waking hours doing one or more of the following: teaching, writing, volunteering, and tending to the whims of her kitty masters.

Welcome, Elle. Please tell us about your current release.
Hunted Dreams was released in April 2013. It’s a modern, paranormal romantic take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Here’s a pared-down blurb:

Her history, her whereabouts, her name: She knows nothing. Nothing but her current reality: a constant stream of surrealistic scenarios in which she fights endless monsters.

She is dreaming. So says the handsome man who uses his psychic ability to flicker in and out of her dreamscape. With Reed’s help, she slowly learns more about who she is, what trauma in her past keeps her locked inside her mind, and how she might devise her escape. 

What inspired you to write this book?
All of my novels and stories involve people who are trapped inside a room or situation. I honestly think it’s because I have, while not agoraphobia per se, a disinclination to step outside my house. I feel out of control outside the borders of my home, and I find it amusing that I also stuff my fictional characters into small, controllable environments. Finally, I asked myself what I would do with a character who wasn’t physically trapped but actually locked inside her head. The premise really appealed to me.

“The Leeches got their nickname from the way they eat.” Reed’s voice was even.
“They drink blood?” she breathed.
He shook his head. “A little less literal. The Broschi are empathic. They can feel and even evoke other people’s feelings, negative ones like fear, pain, horror.”
“Sun and stars,” she breathed. She got it.
She got it.
“They’re eating me,” she said, and laughed, but not humorously. “These superhuman, psychic Leech people are keeping me trapped in nightmares, eating my feelings.” Her chest felt heavy. She pressed her left hand against it and felt its gentle rise and fall.
None of this is real. All this drama, all this fear, all the pain and anger and malice. None of it exists except in the form of juicy brainwaves that these beings sip like mint juleps. No wonder she couldn’t die, couldn’t escape, couldn’t ever wake up.
Reed’s face was flushed, his nostrils wide. Her handsome hero. For a minute, she hated him, hated that he got to wake up, hated this situation, hated everything boxing her in this narrow world.
Katana glared at him for a moment. “I’m trapped in here,” she grated.
His face relaxed into compassion. Hers hardened.
“I know,” he said.
She stared at him for a moment longer. Finally, with a sigh, she leaned her head against the glass. “Who are you, Reed?”
“I’m a Leech, too, Katana.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I just finished writing The Tithe, a novel about seventy “unworkable” people who are sacrificed by their towns in order to win favor from their god. It sounds dire, and in part it is, but it’s also a story in which the main character, raised her entire life in the equivalent of a convent, finally learns the meaning of friendship, love, and sacrifice. As I say in the back blurb, “How funny that she had to die to find reasons to live.”

I’m in the process of revising it right now.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I can’t remember not considering myself a writer. My sister taught me to read and write at the age of three, and I’ve been penning stories ever since. By the time I was thirteen, I was writing full-length novels (albeit very, very bad ones). I stopped writing creatively during my twenties; working and learning full-time left me without time to sleep, let alone do something fun. I picked it up again in my thirties, and, well, here I am!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I almost wrote “I wish I got to write full-time,” but I don’t know that I do. I’m a college instructor, and I adore my job. In addition to writing, I’m too much of a performer not to love standing in front of a roomful of students, trying to instill a lifelong love of learning.

Making time for writing is incredibly hard. My last novel, The Tithe, took a year to write because of my hectic schedule. I’d like to think it will get better and I’ll be able to balance my passions a little better, but I’m probably kidding myself. Since teaching pays much better than writing, I guess I’ll keep putting it first.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I often stop writing for the day during a scene’s climax. It helps me bypass the threat of writer’s block; it’s easy to keep writing when you’re dying to go back to the excitement.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Believe it or not, I couldn’t decide between a writer and a teacher. Guess I didn’t have to!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Be a superhero and adopt your next furry friend from a shelter or a rescue.

Ways to connect:


Elle Hill said...

Thanks, Lisa, for letting me share my thoughts today. And thanks to everyone who reads my interview. :)

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Rita said...

I enjoyed the interview, thank you.


Lesleigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elle Hill said...

Many thanks, Rita, and glad you enjoyed it. Best of luck in the giveaway. :)

MomJane said...

I really enjoyed your comments. I love knowing more about the people who write the books.

Shannon R said...

I love the storylines, it sounds like you create some really unique premises

Shannon R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eva Millien said...

Thanks for sharing the great excerpt and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

Elle Hill said...

Sorry for the mass thanks, but I'm writing this in a busy airport terminal on my smart phone. :) Thanks to Eva, Shannon, and Jane for the super kind words. If you grab a copy of _Hunted Dreams_, I'd love to know what you think. Good luck with the giveaway!

Megan R said...

When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher/writer too!

Natasha said...

Great interview!
Thanks for the chance to win!
Sounds like a great read!!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

Chelsea B. said...

Wonderful interview! Ah, I wish I could adopt an animal! I love cats-- alas, my allergies do not. Ten minutes in the same room with the saucy fiends and I'm a hacking mess! My sister just adopted a kitten, though:-)


Elle Hill said...

Glad to know I'm in good company, Megan. :) Good luck with the giveaway!

Elle Hill said...

Thanks muchly, Natasha. :)

Elle Hill said...

I know the feeling, Chelsea. I'm also quite allergic to furry animals. I take allergy meds to be able to breathe.

Good luck winning the gc! :)

Leslie Soule said...

I love the premise that the main character is trapped inside her own head. It is at once unique and also relate-able.

falcondraco at Hotmail dot com

Tammy D said...

Thank you for the great giveaway
(Tammy Dalley)

ksceviour said...

I liked the interview..thanks,and thanks for the giveaway!
(Karla Sceviour)