Firstly, let me say it was a pleasure to meet you at Connecticut Romance Writers of America’s Fiction Fest on May 14, 2011. Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions I have put together, which I hope will help new writers like me, as well as those who are already established.
Coming from a family of poets and writers, can you tell us what inspires you?
Inspiration comes (in my case) from two places: first, from my own life, because the strong emotions in novels need to spring from the author’s own emotions, and second, from other people’s novels. I read all the time, and I think it’s the most valuable use of an author’s time.
Being a wife, mother, college professor and New York Times best-selling author, can you tell us how you balance it all?
I am a great list-maker. I get a lot of sleep. I don’t fuss about whether things are perfect all that much. My laundry never gets done…
Do you ever get writer’s block? And if so, how do you handle it?
No. I just don’t have time for that. If you accept that you will write really bad
fiction at times, then you just keep going. You can edit words on a page; you can’t edit a blank page. I once had to throw out 175 pages and start over. It’s painful—but at least I understood the right direction when I discarded those pages, whereas if I let myself have writer’s block, I wouldn’t even know what not to do.
Of all the characters you have created, who is your favorite?
It’s generally whichever character I wrote most recently. I am extremely fond of Linnet and Piers, from When Beauty Tamed the Beast.
With the innovations of today, such as I-Pad, Kindle and The Nook, in which direction do you see the publishing industry moving?
Toward electronic books, with no question. But I think regular books will survive, at least for my lifetime.
With the trends in publishing changing, what advice could you give new authors?
I still think an agent is a very good thing. Self-publishing is great—but what on earth will direct a reader to find your book, when there are 5,000 historical romances out there, selling for .99? I think it’s going to be very difficult to
clear the noise enough to find readers.
What is your favorite novel?
I don’t have just one. Favorite novels are littered throughout my life: my favorite novel at 15 (To Kill a Mockingbird) is still beloved. Right now, it’s probably the collection of short stories I’m reading by David Foster Wallace. Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels was one year’s favorite, as was Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s It Had To Be You.
Thank you so much, Eloisa, for taking the time to meet with me and for sharing your insights. If the readers would like more information about Ms. James and her best selling novels, please visit her website at http://www.eloisajames.com/.
Now for some more fun …. A contest! Eloisa has agreed to provide a personally autographed copy of her latest novel, When Beauty Tamed The Beast to our contest winner. How do you win? In order to win you must comment in the
“comment” box below and tell us why you want to win this book. Contest ends on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at Midnight EST. Void where prohibited by law. Good luck!