Interview with Elle Chardou
1. Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I have written professionally for almost two years (April of 2013 will be my two year anniversary date). I first started in contemporary romance, switched to paranormal romance and have now returned to the genres of both romantic suspense and contemporary romance.
I never planned it but somehow, I became a romance writer and I love what I do. I love creating complex characters, great plots and I love watching a whole world unfold before my eyes.
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
I am often writing more than I’m not but when I don’t write, I enjoy working out at the gym, playing on Facebook and Twitter, reading, shopping and traveling. I am a huge travel buff but unfortunately, I haven’t gone on vacation this year.
3. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing when I was thirteen but I didn’t finish my first novel until I was twenty-two. Since then, I have begun and finished many novels, novellas and novelettes.
4. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’d like to think I didn’t choose my genre but rather my genre chose me. I absolutely love a happy ending, exploring the different facets of all kinds of relationships, not just those which are conventional. I love the breadth of human emotion and the ability we have, as a species, to endure so much and yet we can continue to thrive. It is that strength of the human heart which makes me appreciate romance that much more.
5. Is there any particular book or author that influenced you as a child?
I was a huge fan of several authors during my childhood, including VC Andrews, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and the queen of romance herself, Jackie Collins. Her Santangelo series shaped my teenage years and Chances was one of the first books other than Rock Star, Flowers in the Attic, Heaven, The Bad Place and The Stand I can truly call modern day classics.
6. What was your favourite chapter(part) to write and why?
I like the middle of the book. That is when characters are fleshed out and the meat of the story has to hold up. It is so important never to lose the audience and so many authors’ lose the readers by playing too fast and loose with the middle. This is the part of the book where you should take the most care. It will decide whether or not a reader decides to invest more time in the book (and perhaps you as an author) or cut you loose.
In these times when readers now have more choice than ever, I think it is very important to produce the best novel you can and for God’s sake, don’t just “dial” it in. If there is a part of the book you think is too weak, rework it and continue to rework it until it is as strong as the rest of the book.
7. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t think of this as a business where you will be a star over night or even make a living overnight. It took me almost eighteen months before I received my first decent check. Try to earn your fans one person at a time. We are social creatures by nature and if a certain book or series is good, each fan you earn won’t keep it to themselves, and you will, in turn, earn more fans.
Never take your fans for granted. They pay your salary! And never, ever, EVER respond to reviews, no matter how defamatory. You look petty and small. Reviews are for readers, not to stroke the author’s ego. Treat them that way.
8.Is there an author you would really like to meet? Why?
Stephen King. I love his books, his “don’t give a damn” attitude and how he’s tried his hand at so many genres including romance, horror, thrillers, post-apocalyptic, and everything in between. His creativity and the depth of his talent are boundless. The man is amazing and pretty much has single-handedly made me want to move to New England and have a vacation home in Maine.
BLURB: A Murder Mystery… Aurélie Segler-DeMarche is a smart, independent woman who works as a journalist for a top rated news network, engaged to a wealthy blue-blood and living a life most women would dream of when she learns her sister, catalogue and runway model Trésor DeMarche, has died under mysterious circumstances. The police are quick to rule the death a suicide but she knows there is more to the story than meets the eye. Wrapped in a Love Affair… Trésor’s lover, Rory Krieger, is dangerous for all the right reasons: he’s wealthy, successful, drop-dead gorgeous and owns some of the most exclusive BDSM clubs in the country. Aurélie is shocked to find out her sister was part of this sub-culture but she soon realizes in order to solve a mystery, she will to have to infiltrate a closed community where reality is an altered state of mind. Of Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism… Aurélie quickly finds out not only is she no match for the multifaceted and intelligent Rory, his life with Trésor was a lot more complicated than imagined. An indecent proposal leads to more than a night of passion, and raises more questions than answers. What happens when there is no where to go but deeper before the truth is revealed?
BIO: Elle Chardou is the alter-ego of Danielle Blanchard. As Ms. Chardou, she has written Darkness Rising, The Dawn of Darkness, Darkness Awakened, The Cloak of Darkness and The Theft of Darkness in The Supernaturals, a paranormal erotic romance series. She has also written Lara & the City of Angels in the Superstar Marriages series and Love Voodoo: Book I from the DeGeneration series. She is currently working on Cling to Darkness in The Supernaturals series, Killing Desire in The Ties That Bind Trilogy, and Troubled Hart: A Novella in the The Hart Family Saga. Elle Chardou is a world traveler and author of several different series. Ms. Chardou is the author of The Ties That Bind Trilogy, The Hart Family Saga, The Vamp Saga, The Supernaturals, Beginnings: Book I (The Plague) series. She is currently working on Killing Desire, Atonement, Jenna & the City of Light, and several novellas for her paranormal series. Ms. Chardou has lived abroad in Stockholm (Sweden), Manchester (England), Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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