It’s a closely guarded secret among authors that … sometimes … we fall more in love with our characters than we should—particularly those of the opposite sex. In Elizabeth Maxwell’s debut novel, Happily Ever After, her protagonist actually bumps into one of her erotic fiction creations at Target! I was hooked as soon as I read the premise, and I’m thrilled to welcome Elizabeth here today.
After the interview, leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Happily Ever After!
Happily Ever After has a very intriguing premise—one to which many authors (yes, I’ve absolutely fallen in love/lust with a few of my male leads) can relate. Can you tell us a bit about the story?
I watched the movie Enchanted and loved how they mashed together fairy tales and reality in such an entertaining way. I wondered what would happen if I tried a more adult take, using the same concept (and minus the songs). It happened to be right around the time Fifty Shades of Grey took over the world so making Sadie an erotica author suddenly seemed a no brainer. The rest flowed from there – with the usual bumps in the road of course!
What do think people will love most about this book? What do you love about it?
Most readers I’ve heard from like that Sadie is in her mid-forties and kind of a mess. She’s not a typical romantic heroine. Her life looks nothing like the books she writes. She was created with the hope readers would see something in her and say ‘yup, I’ve done that.’
In the spirit of Desperately Ever After, I must ask: If you had to choose, which fairy tale character (doesn’t have to be a princess and doesn’t have to be Disney), would you be and why?
This is a tough one! I grew up reading the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which are incredibly dark and violent so I think I’ll avoid those all together and pick Merida from Disney’s Brave. She reminds my of my very feisty and red headed daughter.
Thousands of people dream about going from polished manuscript to agented writer to debut author with a Touchtone (Simon & Schuster) seal on their book. Can you tell us a little about the process that worked for you, and what you’ve learned along the way?
A long time ago, for a brief period (about twenty minutes), I considered pursuing a Ph. D in Psychology. A friend who was in the program gave me some sage advice: This is hard – you have to want it more than anything else in the world. This advice definitely applies to writing and publishing in the traditional market. Embark on this journey because you have a story you feel compelled to tell, not because you want to see your novel on the shelves of your local bookstore. Focus on getting the story down. Then you can worry about the rest of it.
Even with a large publishing house like Simon & Schuster, it’s often hard to get your titles out there. How do you make sure your work reaches its target audience?
The marketplace is brutal right now. Very segmented. People have so many options for selecting entertainment it helps to be clear in your own mind what genre your work fits in with best. Once you’ve got this squared away, you can seek out the audience that reads within that genre. You definitely should be prepared to go the extra mile – when a reader or fan wants a bit of your time, the answer is always yes.
A writer’s life is certainly not an easy one—from rejections to dwindling sales, to tough reviews, and so on. How did you get through the bad days?
During the run up to the publication of my first novel, my editor and the entire sales/PR team quit the publishing house. I was shocked until I discovered this isn’t uncommon (at least not for me!). If you’re going down this road, you have to steel yourself for the bumps you cannot steer around. On days when I think I just might quit, I’ll look at all the lovely emails and notes readers send me and tell myself to stop whining and get on with it.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writers?
Ass in the chair. No question. You cannot publish something you haven’t written.
What can fans expect from you next?
For some reason I got it into my head that I wanted to write a romantic comedy for the screen. Maybe too many viewings of Pretty Woman? I don’t know but I’m trying to exorcise that demon at the moment so we’ll see how it goes!
In addition to her website, elizabethmaxwellauthor.com, be sure to keep up with Elizabeth on Twitter (@maxwellwrites) and Facebook. She also responds to email: ElizabethMaxwell2013 (at) gmail (dot) com. Her book is available at both Amazon.com (US) and Amazon.co.uk (UK).
ENTER TO WIN!
Comment below to win a print copy of Happily Ever After. The giveaway (worldwide) will remain open until 11:59 p.m. (PST) Tuesday, May 27, at which point TWO winners will be chosen at random.
Best of luck to you all!
FEED YOUR BEACH BAG!
Also at Amazon, Desperately Ever After is available in both print and e-book formats. Centered around a group of friends who just happen to live in castles … it’s Desperate Housewives meets the Brothers Grimm, perfect for “Once Upon a Time withdrawal” (says Chick Lit Central) and a great beach read!
Click here for Amazon US or here for Amazon UK
Next Wednesday, May 28, dynamic duo Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke will discuss their 25-year friendship and reveal how a college vow (to one day write a book) turned into one massive dream come true.
Don’t miss it 😉
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14 responses to “Elizabeth Maxwell puts a new spin on “Happily Ever After” — plus a giveaway!”
Sadie sounds like a character I’d enjoy reading about&getting to know.
Great interview! I’m really looking forward to reading Happily Ever After, it sounds like a brilliant read!
Merida would be my choice as well. Sounds like a very nice book.
I love that choice! Brave is a fantastic movie. Though I may also be biased regarding the red hair…
Really liked her responses to your questions, very honest and personal. Book sounds like a good read!
Uoh! This books sounds really interesting. I would love to read it!
Wonderful interview! Would love to win the book!!
I also enjoyed how Enchanted meshed fairy tale with reality–and a mature protagonist? Love that my demographic is in there. Can’t wait to read your book.
Thank you for the chance.
Great interview! 🙂
Looking forward to read 🙂
Thanks for the amazing opportunity! 🙂
Awesome book! I normally don’t read the first chapter of the next book (at the very end) but I’m glad I did!! It makes me want to read the sequel even more!
A book that I am dying to put on my to read shelf! Ha ass in the chair !! (:
Thank you for this giveaway
Simply put, I’d very much like to read your book! I would love to immerse myself in someone else’s “Happily Ever After” as these books always give me hope for the future 🙂