MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ELODIE COLT!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi! My name is Elodie Colt, and I’m from Austria. Yes, you guessed right—English is not my mother tongue, it’s German, but I write my books in English. A big challenge, but I’ve done well so far 🙂
I’m a hybrid author. While all of my books have a good amount of Steamy Romance in them, I like to write in different subgenres, like Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Dystopia, and Contemporary. There’s no insta-love in my books. I die for slow-burn. I like the two main characters to have a lot of conflicts before they see that life is better for them if they go through it together.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My newest published book is Hunt Me, Book#3 in the Contemporary Romance series The Heed Me Novellas. It’s about a sophisticated mobster—Daniel DeLuca—who pretends to deal with drugs while, in reality, he hands all the drug lords over to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. He finds out that someone was dealing on his territory without his permission and kidnaps this guy’s daughter to use her as leverage. She will turn his world upside down, of course 🙂
The main story takes place in Veracruz/Mexico—a city notorious for drug dealings. I’ve watched a documentary some time ago about all the drug victims and crimes. It touched me deeply, and this is how I came up with the story.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?
I’ve loved romance books ever since I bought my first Kindle. Back then, I was still a teenager and dove into every Paranormal Romance book I could find. Contemporary was never really my thing because most tend to drift off into Erotica. All my books include sex, too, but Erotica tends to focus too much on sex and not on the story. But it’s hard to invent new worlds for Paranormal all the time, so I decided to write Contemporary, too.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I did a lot of research in various newspaper articles, specifically about cartel lords and all that stuff. Sometimes, my research leads me to other information I haven’t thought about before. For example, when I was doing research about the Mexican city Veracruz, I stumbled over an article about tarantulas living there. This immediately gave me an idea to include a little scene with a spider 🙂
Can you tell me about your Series?
Hunt Me is Book#3 in the Heed Me Novellas. The series will have 5 books in total with the last 2 getting published in 2019. It’s about 5 girls living in one house in Florida, and each book tells the story about one girl. I won’t go into details now what the published books contain. You can get a free copy of Hire Me, Book#1, if you join my Contemporary Newsletter 🙂 newsletter.elodiecolt.com/CON
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Book 2 & 3, lol. I can’t decide between the two. My writing skills get better with each book. I love Book 3 because it has a fresh approach and contains story lines I haven’t read anywhere before. Book 2 is also a favorite of mine because I’ve included a lot of personal experiences.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I get inspiration from everywhere. For example, my boyfriend works in the construction business. This gave me ideas for Book1 in the series where the hero helps the heroine rebuilding her patio after it got destroyed by a storm. Book2 is about a very famous DJ. The heroine meets him at a summer festival taking place in Florida. We have a lot of festivals going on in Austria, and I visit at least one each year.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. As an author, you always have to think from a marketing perspective. Novellas can be harder to market than full-length novels. If you want them to be successful, one novella wouldn’t be enough.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I’ve just switched from a full-time job to a part-time job, so I have more time for writing. Typically, I use all my free time for writing stuff (much to my boyfriend’s annoyance). Doesn’t matter if it’s night or day. I don’t set myself writing goals because a) I have no issues with writer’s blocks and am a quick writer and b) I don’t want to force myself to write. Nothing good would come of it. If I need a break for a few days, I take one. There’s a lot of other work you can do instead.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I’m currently working on the 4th and last book in my Paranormal Romance series—The Jaylior Series. It’s called A Flare Of Love, and I’ve set myself a super-tight deadline because I’ve promised readers to finish it by the end of the year. They are already waiting for it, and I don’t want to disappoint them.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I usually don’t choose names by special meanings unless it’s important to the story line. I go through all the baby name sites I find on Google and pick those I like. What I try to do, though, is to choose names for one book that are not too similar because I don’t want readers to get confused if they don’t remember a name right away.
Where do your ideas come from?
As I said, I find inspiration everywhere. In movies. In books. In lyrics. Sometimes even in commercials. If you are an author, you tend to be an author “all the time”. Every chat I have with my friends becomes a “What did we talk about right now? Could I include anything of that in my books?” question 😀
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
That’s a funny question because, really, I’ve already experimented with too many different genres 😀 But no, I can’t imagine writing anything other than romance.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Well, as I’m not an English native, it’s definitely the vocab part. My vocabulary grew immensely over the last few years, but I have to accept that I will never be able to use super cool slangs or something like that, but that’s okay.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I had a trailer made for my debut novel In Blood We Trust which is a dystopian romance. I paid about 10$, and it looks pretty cheap, lol. The thing is, really good trailers are very, very expensive, and as long as I don’t make a living as an author, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
This would definitely be teaching myself Photoshop and creating all the teasers and graphics myself. Graphic design is also super expensive, and you can save a lot of money if you can do it yourself. Also, it’s super fun to do!
What’s the best thing about being an author?
I guess the best thing is also the scariest thing which is writing down your wildest dreams and offering them to the public. At least in the romance genre it takes a lot to build the self-esteem needed to talk freely about your books.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still as a self-published author, preferably in a spacious office with a gorgeous view 🙂 And, if my dreams come true, one day hitting the USA Today Bestseller list.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes. I already wrote fan fiction when I was a kid. Some of them were fifty pages long. The problem was, I hated writing in school, because I had zero interest in the topics they forced upon us.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Read at least 100 books in the genre you want to focus on before starting anything. Sounds like a hard thing, I know, but you have to be a reader before you become a writer. Also, it will make everything a million times easier! You have to know the stories, the tropes, the authors, etc. Steven King once said that an author should never write more than they read, and he’s right.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I guess I’d do the same I’m doing now which is working in marketing. I’ve studied communication sciences and like everything with online stuff and commercials. This is great for being an author, too.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes, I read my reviews. I respond to them when I can (at least on Goodreads). The bad are always hard of course. I don’t have an issue with honest 1-stars and try to learn from them. But it’s sad that there are people who really go below the belt and use harsh language, sometimes complaining about things that are not true. I never do that when I review a book and always try to phrase it “nicely”. Lucky for me, I didn’t get a lot of these yet, but this is just a burden an author has to shoulder.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
I’m more of a pantser, not a plotter, but bigger series can’t be done without a detailed concept. I always have to force myself to do that but it makes the entire writing process a lot easier.
What are you working on now?
Aside from working on Book 4 of The Jaylior Series, I also record my own audiobooks. Crazy, I know, considering I’m not a native, but it’s a lot of fun and can save a lot of money. Unfortunately, it takes really long to produce one (about 4-6 months with all the other stuff going on right now), so I don’t know when I’ll publish the first one. Hopefully this year!
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
I’d really like to do that but considering Book 4 is the final book in the Jaylior Series, I fear I could spoiler too much. I’ll try to get it done as soon as possible, so my readers don’t have to wait too long!
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I didn’t choose to write in romance because it was never a choice. I live for romance. Balancing between paranormal and contemporary is hard because you have to serve two different audiences. There are a few “genre hoppers” but not many. But it doesn’t matter. I love everything I write!
Where did your love of books come from?
To be honest, I didn’t read at all before the first Kindle came out. I didn’t have the money to pay paperbacks. It wasn’t until I found out about eBooks that I became truly obsessed.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Yes. For Paranormal Romance it would be Stephanie Hudson and her epic Afterlife saga. Action, sex, drama, daemons, angels, love—everything in one gigantic series. Her books are insanely long which I love, and they’ve been with me for nearly a decade. She’s got 10 books published in the series right now, and I think another 10 might follow. I’m so excited!
For Contemporary Romance it would definitely be LJ Shen. Her Sinners Of Saint series is insane! This woman can write, omg. And I can’t believe how many reviews she gets in such a short time, and all of her books have an average of 5 stars! She’s my idol, and I’d wish nothing more than to meet her one day.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
That would be Dylan Dwight, the hero from my Jaylior Series. I love all that “I’m the best fighter”, “I hate her but I love her”, “I have a hard shell but a soft core” character traits, and Dylan has them all 🙂 My readers love him, so I guess I did something right.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Exhausting me, no. Energizing me—mentally, yes. It lets my mind free and makes me escape the real world. What is exhausting, though, is all the other stuff you have to do as an author because really, writing makes up only about 30%. The rest is marketing, newsletter, social media, graphics, taxes, etc. This is exhausting, but I also love that there are so many different things you have to do.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Do you mean it as in writing weaknesses? Well, as I already mentioned, that would be writing in English although I’m not a native. I can’t think in German anymore but only in English, so that’s not the issue, but sometimes I struggle with certain expressions. Lucky for me, I’ve built up an awesome author community that is super supportive!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Always both! On the one hand, you have to give readers what they expect. Following certain tropes, particularly in romance, is important. On the other hand, you have to give readers something that’s original. For example, Hit Me, Book2 in the Heed Me Novellas, is about a famous DJ. I’ve never read a romance book about a DJ, only rock star romances (or I missed them maybe). Also, I like to give my characters not just hobbies but let them live them. Another example: I’ve read a lot of books where the heroine loves to paint or draw, but I’ve never read a book that really dives into the skills of an artist. I included that in Hunt Me and did a lot of research on drawing techniques.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Wow, there would be a lot to name, but I’d like to mention Nicole Locker here. She was one of the first I met in the author community and supported me ever since. I’m part of her Romance Book blog community and we do a lot of promotions together. She’s also my proofreader and helps me out if I have spontaneous editing questions.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Mission Impossible 😀
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Seriously, you’ve given me so many awesome questions, I wouldn’t even have been able to come up with so many good ones myself! Thanks for that!
Where can your fans find you and follow?
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/elodiecolt
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorelodiecolt
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/elodiecolt
- Goodreads: http://bit.ly/ec_goodreads
- Amazon Author Central: http://bit.ly/elodiecolt
- Paranormal Romance Newsletter: http://newsletter.elodiecolt.com/PNR
- Contemporary Romance Newsletter: http://newsletter.elodiecolt.com/CON
- BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/elodie-colt
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️