Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Author Interview and Giveaway - Elle Hill

It is with great pleasure that I welcome paranormal romance writer Elle Hill to my blog, author of two urban fantasy books - the novella Hunted and the full length novel Hunted Past, both part of the Hunted series.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

First, huge thanks for inviting me. I admit I’m a fan. (oh, you're welcome and thanks! *blushes*)

Secondly, if you don’t mind me quoting from another interview: “I’m an overeducated, underpaid thirty-seven-year-old who spends her days teaching college students and her night penning novels and poetry. In my spare time, I volunteer in my community, helping animals find homes and humans strive for social justice. I live with my sister and our cats in Southern California and find myself representing my profound ambivalence for the area in my L.A.-themed urban fantasies.”

Tell us about Hunted.

It’s my very first published work, and I’m so excited! It’s a 15,000-word novella that, like my subsequent novels, grapples – albeit briefly -- with the question of whether/when violence is or can be ethical. Also, it includes a seriously kick-ass woman and a hot scientist; she keeps him alive and he, in turn, teaches her how to cuddle. What’s not to love?

Hunted Past is part of the Hunted Series (btw I’ve read this book and it’s fabulous!). Do you have an idea of how many books you plan to have in the series?

Thanks for the kind words! They mean a lot to me, particularly coming from an author I respect. Here’s the chronology of the Hunted Series: 1. Hunted (my novella just released through Soul Mate Publishing), 2. Hunted Past (to be released October 28 through The Wild Rose Press), and 3. Hunted Dreams (just finished and sent to the publisher, so don’t expect it for a year or so).

The possibilities for future books are endless! My best friend – who, not coincidentally, is my biggest fan – made me promise to write a love story for a recurring major-minor character in the series, so I foresee at least one more! That said, I’ve already mapped out my next book, and although it’s still urban fantasy, it departs from the alternate Los Angeles reality of the Hunted Series.

What inspires/inspired you to write?

A never-ending supply of coffee never hurts. Just sayin’.

A little less logistically, I guess I have to say I’m motivated by the need to create universes in which the world moves to the rhythm of my logic. You may have noticed – or, at least, I believe – the real world tends to be obscenely and beautifully chaotic, crazy, amoral, bereft of inherent meaning. Boundaries, categories, meaning: these are all constructs we humans place on our environment in order to try to carve out an understanding and feel a little more in control of our lives and our environments. Real life is much bigger than us and our human need to create meaning from bundles of color, sound, and texture. Given all this, I like to create worlds that breathe with me, that have meaning in ways that make complete, holistic sense to me. Reality may not conform to my personal needs and understandings, but by god, my fictional worlds will!

Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?

What an awesome question! Definitely personality. All my book ideas start out as character sketches. I probably shouldn’t say this, but to me, my books are character-driven scenes with plot thrown in to help flesh them out as people. Their names come very last and, at least at first, are pretty incidental.

Any tips for aspiring authors?

Don’t wait for the muse. She’s awfully busy. I do a couple of things to get my creative juices flowing: begin and end scenes in the middle in order to make me eager to come back to them, and warm up with stream-of-consciousness writing. I really think we all need to devise strategies to move us beyond the little voices that tell us our wording sucks, this character wouldn’t use that phrasing, no one would ever do that, etc. It’s a first draft; let’s cut ourselves some slack.

If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?

I hate to be boring, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am where I am and others are where they are because of every single event that happened in history, whether good, evil, painful, or ecstatic.

Questions for fun:

What super-power would you choose?

Transportation! I hate driving with a passion. Also, airplane travel is a nightmare for me: my fat booty doesn’t like those teensy airplane seats, and especially here in the U.S., airplane security is a ridiculous, farcical mess.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

1. An end to verbal, physical, financial, and ideological violence.
2. Engender in every human a respect for nature, animals, and our environment.
3. Being paid enough to continue teaching part-time and writing part-time.
I can’t resist this last one...
4. A minion to do all my annoying work. (I promise not to be financially violent to her or him!)

Coffee or tea?

Bring ‘em on! Cream, a little fake sugar, and we got ourselves a party!

What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!)

I have to be honest to myself and true to my childhood: Little Women. Versions of this book are still my favorite movies.

Favourite genre and why?

Urban fantasy, of course! All fantasy is amazing, since it brushes along the borders of real and unreal, self and other, genetic and cultural. Urban fantasy is especially awesome because it’s where one finds the fiercest female protagonists and the most compelling visions of current and future possibilities. Plus, with contemporary urban fantasy, I don’t have to know how to use phrases like, “Surely you jest, good sir! Good morrow to you!”

Favourite colour?

If it’s fiery, I love it. Give me the reds, oranges, and yellows.

Upcoming news and plans for the future?

I’m crazy excited about the October 28 release of Hunted Past, my first published, full-length novel. Also, be on the lookout for Hunted Dreams, since it’s by far my best work yet -- not that the other books don’t rock, of course!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!

My most loving and enormous thanks for chatting with me. Thanks for all you do.

Hunted is available here.
You can find Elle Hill at her website here, her blog site here and her Facebook page here. You can also follow her on Twitter as @ElleHillAuthor

But now for the bonus! I have a free PDF copy of Hunted to give away to one lucky person. Just leave a comment and a way to contact you, be it email, twitter id or blog. Open internationally until midnight BST (British Summer Time) on the 1st November. :)

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