Today's spotlighted author is Elsa Winckler, a South African romance author who writes in two languages - English and Afrikaans. She's here today to talk about her new novel from Escape Publishing, the Australian imprint from Harlequin.
1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life. To try and write a love story was a natural next step and so far nine of my stories have been published in Afrikaans. This will be my first English romance.
I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 38 years, 3 beautiful children and two grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty's Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!
I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.
2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
This is the 3rd book I’ve written after two Afrikaans ones.
3. What inspired this book?
The idea of meeting someone in an unexpected place – the rest of the story followed from there.
4. Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?
I have this very clear picture in my head of a very sexy, grumpy sci-fi author.
5. Have you any burning ambitions to write a story in a different genre?
Not burning, no. But the paranormal intrigues me. I have written an Afrikaans story about a horse whisperer and one about a ghost but would love to find out how far I can push the boundaries – the possibility of another reality close by has always fascinated me.
6. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
My husband and I set off to explore Kommetjie, the setting of the story. I’ve known about it but have never really been there.
7. Which of your characters would you most like to be?
I think there is a little bit of Margaret in me. After everything that has happened in my life, I’m still a romantic, I still believe that there is someone out there for everyone and that happy ever after should be possible for everyone
8. Do you have a writing routine? Do you write every day, and is there a time of day that works best for you in terms of being productive?
I work every week day from about 10:00 to lunch and then again from about 14:00 to 16:00 when I start cooking. Sometimes I can start earlier, sometimes I don’t get up before late afternoon. I’ve always been happy to write about 1 000 words a day, but this year I’m pushing myself to reach at least 3 000.
9. Are your family and real-life friends supportive? If so, in what ways? If not, do you have another support network for your writing?
My husband is my biggest fan and he reads what I’ve written every night and will tell me if he thinks the story doesn’t work. Our daughter and daughter-in-law read my books but our sons will nod and make noises, but I don’t think they’ve read a word
The ROSAs are brilliant, though – I don’t know what I would have done without them in my life.
10. Where do you write?
I have a nook in our bedroom that is all mine. And I’ve spoiled myself with all the latest technology to limit my frustration – I’m very impatient and get very irritated when things don’t connect or don’t work!
Elsa is always willing to chat with readers. You can find her on Twitter, on Facebook, and on her blog.
Margaret Parker is a hopeless romantic whose fantasies fuel her writing. For Graham Connelly, science fiction is the perfect genre to express his cynical world view. A chance meeting in a lift leaves them both interested and aroused — with no clue as to the other's identity.
Margaret has been looking for a face to match her new fictional hero — and Graham's is it. Graham has been looking for proof that innocence and optimism still exist — and he's found it in Margaret. But fantasy isn't reality, and both Margaret and Graham are used to controlling their fictional worlds. Can they step off the pages long enough to find their own happy-ever-after?
Love, in Writing is available from Amazon, Amazon UK, All Romance eBooks, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Booktopia and Kobo.