ELLE CASEY: WRONG NUMBER, RIGHT GUY WAS INSPIRED BY AUTO-CORRECT-SCREW-UPS
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Elle Casey started last year The Bourbon Street Boys series. The first novel Wrong Number, Right Guy became a big hit with average 4.4 Amazon stars from 600 reviews. The second part, Wrong Place, Right Time, is coming in March.
Our next guest is living in Southern France with her family. She is writing in different genres as Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi. It’s a great pleasure to Welcome at Land of Books Elle Casey.
– Elle, what is your book Wrong Number, Right Guy about?
– It’s about a girl who receives a text message on her phone that she assumes is from her sister in crisis, but when she goes to the rescue, she finds that it wasn’t from her sister and she’s in a bunch of trouble, showing up in the wrong place at a bad time. She’s rescued by Ozzie, the head of a private security firm, and then she’s eventually offered a job to work with his team. At first it seems like she’s really not suited to the job, but it turns out she fits right in with the team.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I was approached by Montlake Romance who wanted me to write a series for their imprint, and so I just came up with the series idea via their prompt and presented it to them. They loved the idea. I wanted to base it in New Orleans since it’s such a fascinating place. And I had just read a bunch of texts online that were auto-correct screw-ups that were making me laugh, and I thought it would be fun to have a book that started out via one of these kinds of screw-ups, so I made one up and used it as my first chapter.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– Remembering all the characters, what they were doing and their backgrounds, and making sure their voices sounded authentic to them.
– Tell us something more about your main characters May and Ozzie? Are they close to someone from your real life?
– Although I do sometimes base characters on people I’ve met, May and Ozzie are not those kinds of characters; they’re complete fabrications. I don’t know anyone like them in my real life. May is a photographer who’s bored with her wedding photography business. Ozzie is the head of a private security firm that sometimes works with the police. She and Ozzie are an odd couple. She’s silly and very preppy; he’s serious and very by-the-book, street smart. But their chemistry is there right from the start, which I think is a surprise for both of them.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– I wrote it in about 3 weeks and the editing process took another month or 6 weeks (I did my parts in 24 hours and the editor took a couple weeks per each round of editing). The publisher had calendared a lot more time for it to be completed, but I tend to work fast.
– Do you remember the initial moment when you decide to start plotting your famous War of the Fae series?
– I actually didn’t plot it, per se. I just sat down, put Jayne in a classroom, and started writing whatever was happening. It wasn’t difficult to imagine it, because some of the things she did in that classroom and with Tony are things I did when I was her age in high school with a friend of mine (who is named Tony, actually). Jayne and Tony are based on real people, very close to me. I was a confused and sad teenager, and I think I wrote the adventure I always dreamed I could have at her age.
– Who are you?
– I’m a 46-year-old former lawyer, former veteran of the USAF, former stockbroker, former restaurant owner, former CEO, former teacher, turned writer. I have 1 husband (second one’s a charm), 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 horses (I’m angling for a third, though). I also enjoy camping, but I do it with my tiny caravan so I can sleep on a real bed. I love to ride my horse, and I take lessons several times a week. I dream of riding across France on horseback someday, and I’m sure I’ll eventually do it. I’ve been married for 12 years to the nicest, most considerate and patient man in the entire world. I kissed a lot of frogs before I found my prince, but he was worth the wait. Being a mom is probably my greatest accomplishment.
– What are your writing habits?
– I prefer to write in the morning and finish by lunch. I always start by re-reading what I wrote the day before and edit as I go. My perfect day is only 3,000 words a day, but I tend to procrastinate and have to write more than that. I have written as many as 23,000 words in a day, but I don’t like doing that much. It’s hard on my wrists. I set up word count goals for each day that I’ll write. I don’t stop until I reach that required number of words. (At least, I try not to.) I am a HUGE procrastinator, so having this system and a calendar with a strict publishing deadline is the only way I can get anything done. I am a harsh taskmaster, but I remind myself daily that it’s my readers who pay my bills, so I have to do whatever it takes to make them happy. I’m not perfect; I miss deadlines or get sick and can’t write until I’m feeling better, but when that happens, I try really, really hard to work double time and make up for it.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your books?
– Yes, very. I’ve hit pretty much every bestseller list and I support my family with my work. I have readers writing to me every day with very kind things to say about my books, so it just doesn’t get any better than that!
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– Having short promotional sales where I lower the price for a few days and tell everyone online about it, mostly via Facebook.
– When we will see your next novel and would you unveil something more about it?
– Drifters’ Alliance, Book 3 (genre: science fiction, space opera) is the next release at the end of the month (Actually, the interview was taken in November), and it’s going to be a lot of fun! There’s going to be many surprises and lots of action, too. You’ll see the main character, Cass Kennedy, kicking some serious butt as she goes head to head with the Omega Systems Group (OSG). I’ve also agreed to write two more books for the Bourbon Street Boys series with Montlake Romance. Those will be out in 2016. Also, the last two War of the Fae books will come out at the end of this year.
– How you manage to be so productive writer with average one published book per month?
– I’m very disciplined, I type fast, I see the stories as movies in my head and take dictation from the characters and scenes, and I have a very fertile imagination. I think that’s the secret formula.
– Is it easy to change styles between different genres?
– Not easy, but fun, yes! I write in every single genre that interests me as a reader, so right now that includes romance, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, action/adventure, thriller, suspense … I might even try mystery one of these days (I’ve been binging on Castle re-runs). I get bored easily, so I have to change things up to keep life interesting.
– Why you decide to settle your family in Southern France?
– I’m American, but I live in southern France. I took French as my foreign language in high school and so did my husband, and we’d traveled there and loved it, so we wanted to come back on a longer and more permanent basis. We love the language, the culture, and the attitudes about life and work and the importance of family and enjoying free time. We moved here in 2010 for a one-year adventure and never left. I own a small winery that produces kickass red wine (syrah and grenache grapes), and I like to travel both to the US and here in Europe.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be?
– Since I’m often asked what piece of advice I would give to aspiring authors, I’ll include that as my question. My answer: Write. Don’t just dream about writing, or talk about wanting to write, or read about writing, or do practice exercises designed to help you learn how to write. Just write. And then keep doing that. You can’t have a career as a writer if you can’t finish writing a book. Then, once you’ve done that, edit over and over until it’s the best you can do. Then ask for feedback from trusted, gentle sources. If you have problems with your writing, read a book or two on writing and edit again. You’ll never be a good writer if you don’t WRITE. Also, if you don’t read a lot, you should probably read at least 50 books in your preferred genre before you even start to write in it, because you have to know what readers of that genre will be looking for. Reader expectations must always be met and exceeded whenever possible.
Take a look at her books:
Wrong Number, Right Guy: The Bourbon Street Boys, Book 1
Wrong Place, Right Time (The Bourbon Street Boys Book 2)
Monkey Business: A Paranormal Short Story
Drifters’ Alliance, Book 3
Shine Not Burn
MacKenzie Fire: A Sequel to Shine Not Burn
Time Slipping (War of the Fae Book 8)