JLR: Thank you for taking the time to speak to my readers, Elsie! With advancements in technology, self-publishing novels has gotten a million times easier and more affordable. What are your thoughts on the trend?
EL: None of my books have been self-published. My first two books were published by a small publisher (Wings e-Press) & CONFESSIONS was published by an Aussie publisher (Dare Empire). I was so happy with Dare, that I negotiated with them to pick up my first two books when my contract expires next spring for a re-release of both.
Self publishing is a really interesting/enticing trend. Better royalties (much better...typically 70% vs. 30 w/ a small publisher) sounds good to me. However, I really like having an editor/cover artist/isbn taken care of. Plus, I have found that a good small publisher can help your books get into some places that would be off limits to self published material. Not to say that I'd never self publish...just not yet.
JLR: So much of book promotion today is done through blog tours. Tell us about your blog touring experience.
EL: This is my first official blog tour. I'm really glad I chose to spend my marketing budget on it! Before my tour even kicked off, I was contacted by the Editor-in-Chief of PTO Today Magazine asking if I would give them a copy of the book to be read/reviewed in their national magazine! They found me doing a general internet search on the PTA. It lead them to Chick-Lit plus...then me/my book. Money well spent, for sure.
JLR: There is so much advice given by authors about the writing process. What type of writing routine do you have? Are you a planner or a figure-it-out-as-you-go type writer? Any tips you want to share?
EL: I'm gonna let you in on a secret: the correct writing formula is...whatever works for you. Writers are like snowflakes. No two are the same. I write as much as I can. When I tire of the story I’m working on, I blog. It keeps my wit sharp & it's fun. I plan and I wing it. There is a method to my madness, barely.
JLR: How have you been able to balance your writing with your day job and your family responsibilities? What sacrifices have you had to make?
EL: I wrote my first two books while working full time. It took up most of my weekends, but really, nobody missed me (sniff). I had finished & submitted CONFESSIONS while working full time as well. Come to think of it, I have yet to finish a novel while being a stay at home writer. Uh-oh. I better get to work before somebody notices...
JLR: I’ve always felt that to be a good writer you must first be a good reader. What types of books do you read and how have they influenced your writing?
EL: I love to read―I always have. When I was about eight or nine I was stealing books from my mom, so I was ingesting books like , “IT” & “Amityville Horror”, you know, the classics. Now I read whatever grabs my attention. My influences come from far & wide. It might be something as simple as one word, or a sentence. If it sticks in my craw―I tuck it away for later.
JLR: They say good reading habits are developed at an early age. Have you always been a reader? Can you pin-point a particular book or author who solidified your love of reading?
EL: I remember crying when I read THE OUTSIDERS, by S.E. Hinton. I loved the LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE series (I thought a roasted pig tail at Christmas sounded delicious. I was a weird child) and as I said before, anything off limits I had to have. Picture a fifth grader reading the V.C. Andrews FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC series. Yep, that was me.
JLR: Ha! I was in grade school when I read the V.C. Andrews books too. Obviously, my mother wasn't paying attention. :) In the past year or two, e-publishing has soared in popularity. What made you decide to publish in e-book format? Do you worry that you won’t achieve as much success as you might in traditional print?
EL: My book is available in both e-book & print format. But, let it be known, that I am a firm believer that print books are fast becoming dinosaurs. I know that there are people that really 'love the feel of holding a book'. To them I say, get a KINDLE...you will fall in love all over again.
JLR: I completely agree! Never thought I'd give up my paper books, but What are three things that your fans would be surprised to find out about you?
EL: I'm funny, sexy, and gosh darn it―people like me.
JLR: Are you involved in any other projects aside from your novel writing?
EL: I spent about five years fostering German Shepherd's for a local dog rescue. I also have a passion for working with children who fall on the autism spectrum. I hope I live to see the day we cure it. I'm a sucker for a cause―any cause―so I donate frequently.
JLR: Where can readers go to purchase Confessions of a PTA Mafia Mom?
1 Place For Romance
Coffee Time Romance
(I'm hosting a Goodreads giveaway that runs through October 1st. Come on & friend me…and don't forget to enter to win a copy!)