MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ELLE KLASS😍
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Elle Klass and I write a variety of genres including YA fiction, psychological thrillers, urban fantasy, zombies and mystery. All laden with suspense and action.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My latest release Prison of the Past is the final book in the Baby Girl series. I can’t really say how I came up with the idea. I think the idea found me and readers kept it going wanting to know more about Cleo’s adventures. It was really difficult concluding the series and I’ll admit I wrote other books while I should have been finishing Prison of the Past.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I think my interest in writing the genres I do is they’re also the genres I read and watch on TV. I love mystery, suspense and horror. Ghost movies are some of my favorites!
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Depends on the book. My Bloodseeker series takes place in St. Augustine and areas of Jacksonville. Even though my home area there’s a lot I didn’t know. The main idea for the series is that an archeologist from Flagler College and his team are digging up St. Augustine and finding all sorts of unique and crazy historical stuff buried beneath the city. I figured why not vampires? The first chapter of The Vampires Next Door tell how they got buried. If you visit note all the areas off limits for digging. Details of my research is found in the book.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Since I have so many series I’ll go back again to my latest release Prison of the Past. Cleo is the star. At twelve her mother vanishes. With no one to pay the bills such as electric and water or bring home groceries she hitches a ride on a train and starts her own life, scared and alone she soon meets other children in similar situations and they form a bond. There are seven books total and many adventures and people who support her and relationships and bonds she forms. Also a few enemies along the way. The final book wraps everything up and not without a few tears from me and readers.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
That’s a tough question. If I had to say City by the Bay has always been one of my favorites because she really starts to learn who she is and the friendships she makes are for life. In book seven all those characters are vital to the end of the series.
Was it always meant to become a series?
When I first wrote Baby Girl I had no idea what I planned on doing with it. At that time I hadn’t published anything yet. It was a story. When I decided to publish it I took the entire script and divided it into four, possibly five stories. It ended up seven.
What’s a typical working day like for you?
Well, I start with coffee, Starbucks, chocolate creamer or sweet cream. I sit at my computer for hours on end writing and coordinating my research. Before I know everybody else is coming home and my work day is over. Too many distractions. I’m a little ADD so I think better alone. My characters chatter constantly in my head so It’s not really quiet for me.
When and where do you write?
Usually at home, relaxing on a couch but I can write anywhere. I enjoy coffeehouses and when travelling I take my computer and write when the opportunity allows.
Do you set a daily writing goal?
Sometimes I do. For the day I may say 5,000 words. Over the summer I set my goal for 10,000 a day. Other times I set a weekly goal. It depends on life circumstances.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Always! I’m currently working on Retribution Zombie Girl 3 but my next published book will be Scarlett, the first book in the Evan’s Girls series. It’s a gothic horror and plenty spooky and suspenseful.
How important are character names to you in your books?
Very important. They like to name themselves but not always right away.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I format my own books and that is my least favorite. I hate the tedious stuff and think of everything else I should be doing instead of formatting. Somehow it always gets done.
What do you think of book trailers?
I have a few. I like them but can’t say I search YouTube for them. This is one of my favorites. https://youtu.be/pVBnqyMGAY4
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Writing the Ruthless Storm Trilogy. It’s wicked, Evan’s wicked, and even though I like freaky stuff he’s over the top even for me. My best of everything went into that series. I put my best into all my work but that series in my opinion came out better than all the rest.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Writing, meeting other author and readers, creating a story that gives readers hours of entertainment and sometimes touches their heart.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’ll still be writing and hopefully living on the beach, most likely retired from my other job.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes! I’ve always written. When I was little I made comics, including pictures. I could draw then. I wrote poetry during my dark teen years and started with novels in my twenties.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Just do it! If it’s something you want you are the only person to keep it from happening. Always be proud of your work and remember why you started writing.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad?
I read the reviews for my books but I never respond. I want to know what people think and if they take the time to rate and review I’m taking the time to read. I don’t respond though because I don’t like controversy and sometimes that’s what happens. Either people think you paid the person for a good one if you respond with “So happy you enjoyed the story” or they have a chip on their shoulder when giving a bad review.
How do you deal with the bad?
Honestly I ignore it and move on. Some people are just mean and it’s pretty evident in their nasty review that they are a nasty angry person. I’m not sure people actually give those one’s credit. I don’t and may even respond to a nasty review for a story I enjoyed from another author.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Here’s a bit from Scarlett, to be released later this fall.
Evan’s Girls Series
Book 1 Scarlett
To be released fall 2017
Chapter 1 Pseudo
April 1961 5 years old
The sunny day carried a light April breeze as I jumped off the last step on the bus. No sign that the hot summer was approaching quickly. My blue apron skirt bounced with the spring in my step and my saddle shoes beat against the pavement as I ran towards my mommy waiting at the front door.
She leaned down, her skirt brushing the cement walkway and wrapped her arms around me. “Hi baby.”
“Hi mommy, look what I made today,” I said with pride as I lifted a large purple paper butterfly from my backpack.
“Oh, isn’t that beautiful,” she said with surprise in her voice. “Let’s hang that in your room, shall we?”
“Yes, yes,” I agreed and rushed toward my room. The white walls garnered many butterflies of every color and size. My twin bed had a lavender comforter covered with purple and white butterflies and lavender curtains hung across the windows. My room was a haven made of my favorite color – purple. I stood by the spot where I wanted mommy to hang my new butterfly.
She entered the room, her yellow skirt flounced at her knees with each step she took. Her dark hair tied up in a ponytail and her bright brown eyes smiled at me. “This is where you want it?”
She took a thumbtack and pinned the butterfly to the spot I pointed, “There you are. We’ll show daddy when he gets home,” her smile large and full of love.
“OK,” I said bouncing into the kitchen for my after school snack.
The sun lowered in the sky and daddy came home. As soon as I heard the door open I rushed toward him and he scooped me into his thick arms filled with tickling hair, “How was your day?” he asked, his hazel eyes beamed of joy and sparkled in the setting light of the sun. His blond hair slicked back against his oval head.
“Good, I want to show you what I made.”
“I must see it,” he said in mock surprise.
“Mommy hung it in my room.”
He hoisted me over his head and sat me square on his shoulders as we headed down the hallway. He entered the room.
“Do you see it daddy?” I asked.
“No,” he said spinning around and making me dizzy. “Is it here?” he asked, stopping and pointing to an old butterfly.
I giggled. This was our routine. “No, daddy.”
He spun again and asked then again before he settled on the new one.
“It’s just gorgeous, almost as pretty as you – my little butterfly,” he lowered me.
I smiled a partially toothless smile. “I love you daddy.”
“I love you. Hmm… where is my other love?” he said, asking about mommy.
“I think she’s finishing dinner.”
He widened his eyes, “Oh, let’s sneak up on her,” he said, tiptoeing down the hallway and placing a finger over his mouth.
I stifled a chuckle and followed on my tiptoes. We peeked around the corner and mommy gazed our way, “Oh, what do we have here,” she said, her eyes wide as if in surprise.
I giggled and daddy wrapped his arms around her, planting a kiss on her lips.
It was a Friday and Genevieve, our elderly neighbor came over about seven p.m. as always so my parents could enjoy date night. I couldn’t pronounce her name so I called her Gen. She wore her white hair in a bun and had kind blue eyes.
When the bell rang I rushed toward it and flung the door wide open. “Don’t you look pretty,” she said.
“Thank you,” I answered, spinning in my purple nightgown.
“Genevieve, come in,” voiced my daddy.
She stepped inside and took a seat with me at the kitchen table. I had the cards already out and waiting. I so enjoyed Friday nights and our card games which she usually let me win.
My parents kissed my head and walked out the door.
Gen’s blue eyes gazed into mine, “One day you will do something great. Very few people have eyes like yours and they give you a special umph that others don’t have.”
I smiled. Gen loved my eyes. One was green and the other amber. She and my parents agreed that I was something superior like a fairy. They insisted my eyes gave me special powers.
After an hour of cards Gen tucked me into bed, “Goodnight Scarlett,” she whispered, planting a gentle kiss on my cheek.
I woke up hours later to a large commotion in the house and the sound of Gen crying. Scared and worried, thinking Gen was hurt I jumped out of bed and scurried down the hallway, halting at the end of it. A police officer dressed in uniform sat beside Gen on the couch. She was OK but where were my parents?
My heart thumped against my ribcage. Another officer walked into the house, his eyes rested on me.
“How are you?” asked the officer. His mustache moved up and down with the motions of his mouth. He steadily walked towards me as I backed down the hallway.
“I need you to come with me,” He said, getting closer with his hand out. I gazed into his dark eyes. There was no sparkle inside them. My heart beat faster when he took another step. Remembering the games I played with daddy I side-stepped him. His hand grabbed for mine when I slid underneath his legs, ran as fast as my two my small feet carried me and jumped onto Gen’s lap. Wrapping my arms around her neck I clung for my life.
I don’t know what scared me so much but an ominous sensation entered my gut and I knew my life was about to change for the worst. I should have woken up to mommy and daddy giggling not Gen’s sobs and two unknown people in my house. They wore badges but to me they were strangers.
“Shhh… Scarlett,” Gen soothed as I scrambled to plaster myself against her.
“She has to come with us,” said the officer in a deep voice.
“She’s a little girl and confused. I will go with her,” Gen said, her arms wrapped around my trembling body.
“Suit yourself,” the deep voiced officer huffed.
“Where’s mommy and daddy,” I whispered in Gen’s ear.
“Oh Scarlett. You sweet baby. Your mommy and daddy…,” she choked back a sob, “they aren’t coming home.”
I traced the flowered pattern on the couch with my finger as her words sunk in. “Why not?” I asked, my brows furrowed.
“They’ve gone to heaven,” Gen responded in a gentle voice as she caressed the back of my head.
I didn’t really understand, “Without me?”
Gen took a deep breath, “Yes but it wasn’t their choice. Their time on Earth has passed but you still have a job to do.” She lifted the hair above my ear and whispered, “Remember, one day you will do something magnificent.”
I leaned back, still planted on her lap and looked into her blue eyes, “Because my eyes give me special powers.”
“Yes,” she chuckled, “because of your eyes.”
Hand in hand with Gen I walked out of my home, never to return, and climbed into the back of the police car.
If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
Many readers have asked me this. They balance each other. I write a psychological thriller or something scary for adults and the next book I write YA. My scary books have minds of their own making them extra freaky. The YA are suspenseful but nowhere are morbid so they naturally balance.
Where did your love of books come from?
I’ve always been a reader since I was a little girl. I can’t imagine a world without books!
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I adore the Sookie Stackhouse novels and the old V.C. Andrews stories before she passed. Some of my current favorites are Marcha Fox. She has a great sci-fi series. Ambrose Ibsen is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. He writes more gothic horror. Genevieve Jack’s Knight Games. Loved the first one and have to buy the rest. Had a blast with Deadlocked 1 by A.R. Wise. I’ll have to continue that series as well.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Evan O’Conner in many ways, mostly because he’s maniacally creepy.
Where can readers go to discover more about you and your books?
My website is http://elleklass.weebly.com
Boobub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elle-klass
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Elle-Klass/e/B00F2Y48C0/
My mailing list (I give extras to them at times simply because I can) http://elleklass.weebly.com/contact-mailing-list.html
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Energize but after long hours of writing exhausting is a good word.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Coffee and my creepy, creative brain.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Both. A new series is generally original unless it’s a spin-off series such as Evan’s Girls. The readers requested that and I can’t wait to release book 1 Scarlett! Readers are always telling me what they think and I take it to heart. They’re reading, buying and sharing my books so what they have to say is very important.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have tons of author friends and gain more daily. We support each other and assist with beta reading, book covers, teasers, book signings or really anything to help one another out.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Beware! I’d probably have to add a disclaimer: Read at your own risk.
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤
Thank you so much for having me!