Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Interview with romance author Elsa Winckler

Romance author Elsa Winckler joins me today to chat a little bit about her newest contemporary, Where the River Bends.

During her virtual book tour, Elsa will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a luck randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Welcome, Elsa. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my Honours studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 43 years, 3 interesting and wonderful children and 3 beautiful grandsons, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty's Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exciting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Kalinda Evans works for the Anglo-Boer war foundation in Canada. She's sent to South Africa to make sure everyone who lost their lives in the war will be remembered. On her drive to the guest farm in Kimberley, South Africa, Kalinda picks up a female hitchhiker and is startled when just moments later, the woman vanishes. Kalinda would be convinced she was dreaming…except there’s still a white lace handkerchief on the passenger seat.

Extreme sports enthusiast and computer game designer Zack Carter is always after the next big challenge. He’s far too busy for romance and adheres to a three-date rule, until he meets his parents’ latest guest. When she relays the story of her mysterious experience, Zack’s family shares the local ghost story. Kalinda and Zack work together to solve the puzzle of the ghost and how it all ties in with the war and the work Kalinda is doing.

As their attraction grows, Zack realizes he no longer feels the need to prove anything to himself. He only needs to prove to Kalinda that he’s more than a good time.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write something about the Anglo Boer War, a war that changed the history in South Africa in many ways. Not a historical novel, but I wanted to incorporate something about the war. While researching the Battle of Paardeberg, I discovered that a regiment of Canadian soldiers were also sent to South Africa and that they were accompanied by eleven nurses. This triggered the idea for Suzie, the ghost in the story. It was also during this time that our beautiful daughter arrived on our doorstep with only her handbag and laptop – she’d finally found the courage to walk away from an abusive marriage. Writing Where the river bends was a way for me to work through this heart ache.

Excerpt from Where the River Bends:
Relieved, Kalinda nodded. Her insides were still shivering from the shock. She wanted to get to the little museum as quickly as possible and start on her assignment. She didn't want to stay one minute longer than necessary. At the moment Toronto sounded much more normal.

She glanced up. Zach was staring at her. Again there was the strange shift inside of her. How did the song put it? Easy on the eye, hard on the heart. Yep, that was Zach Carter. She didn't have to guess whether he was a flirt – the damn dimple seemed to appear just too readily. Dimples? Seriously?

"A last comment about Suzie," Luke said.

Kalinda swallowed a groan. Enough of the ghost stories, already.

"Apparently she only appears to people who are getting married soon."

"Well, that cannot be true, because getting married is definitely not on my agenda," Kalinda said firmly.

Madeline giggled. "Well, my dear. It was also the last thing on my mind. And then I met Zacharias."

Kalinda smiled vaguely, but didn't react to Madeline's words. She focused on her plate, fervently hoping all talk of ghosts and weddings was finished.

"I still don't understand how you ended up on your hands and knees on the road," Zach interrupted her thoughts.

Kalinda frowned, trying to remember exactly what had happened. "I fell, I think."

"But why?" Zach insisted. "You were driving …"

"I got out of the car to look for her. She was walking towards me when I heard the car behind me. When I turned around, the car was nearly on top of me. And then—" She inhaled sharply. "She pushed me out of harm's way," she finished softly.

"Otherwise our car could have hit you." Madeline had also turned pale.

For a few minutes it was quiet around the table. Then Zacharias cleared his throat.

What exciting story are you working on next?
A series of three stories will be published by Tule Publishing next year, I’m happy to say. At the moment I working on an Afrikaans story but I’m hoping to start with something new in the new year.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I love holding a book in my hand and know inside the pages is a story that I wrote down. I think after that very first book, it finally dawned on me that I’ve written a book, it’s okay to call myself a writer.

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?
Yes, I’m fortunate enough to write full-time. I retired in 2010, our three kids moved out more or less at the same time and I now have the time to write down the stories that I’ve been thinking about for as long as I can remember.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Before I start with a story, I find pictures of the hero and heroine and I put them up where I can see them the while time while I’m writing

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to write.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I would love to hear from the readers!


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Elsa Winckler said...

Thanks for sharing the news, Lisa - I appreciate your time! Love your blog :)

Cheryl Hart said...

I'd love to read this story. :) I enjoyed the interview!

Elsa Winckler said...

Lovely to hear, Cheryl - I hope you enjoy the book! Thanks so much for stopping by :)

Victoria Alexander said...

Really great post!

Elsa Winckler said...

Thanks, Victoria - so please you've stopped by!