This week we bring you an interesting interview with author Elise K. Ackers in the lead up to the release of Unforgettable with Escape Publishing.
Hi Elise, welcome to Beauty and Lace and thanks for talking to us.
Thanks for having me, I’m very happy to be a guest.
What is the first story you remember writing?
My dad used to tell the most fascinating bedtime stories about our dog and cat. One night he put me in charge of the story and I sent them to the moon. The following night I sent them to a water slide park (which the cat loved, I’m sure). I’ve been telling stories ever since. The first that I can remember putting on paper was a story about a shipwreck and a treasure hunt. It was full of plot twists and evil characters, but even when I was ten I wanted a happy ever after. The two best friends found the treasure and were promptly rescued.
Can you tell us a little about your January Escape title Unforgettable?
Unforgettable is about second chances. Emma and Connor were once in love, but something drove them apart, seemingly irrevocably. The book begins with Connor waking up in hospital; he’s hurting all over, surrounded by unfamiliar people, and missing memories from the last few years of his life. It’s Emma who offers to lead him back to himself – she knows the most about him and she’s willing to bury her heartache to help.
As the book progresses, Connor’s instincts begin to take over. He’s drawn to her and he doesn’t want to listen when she tells him they aren’t right for each other.
Set on a fascinating construction site in Melbourne, the two Alpha personalities are fighting for their careers, trying to trust again, and trying not to squander a second chance to get things right.
I believe you were also recently published with Destiny’s Romance, can you tell us a little about your path to publication and being published by two publishers within weeks?
I got my break from writing contests. Small Town Storm was well received: it won a few, placed in others, and suddenly I had myself a little writing resume. I believe this made me stand out when I pitched to two commissioning editors from Penguin at the Romance Writers of Australia conference two years ago.
They requested a partial, then a full, then declined. Cue devastation.
One of the editors asked if she could pass my manuscript on to someone else in Penguin, and I agreed without really thinking anything would come of it.
But then I got The Call. Penguin was starting a digital-first imprint called Destiny Romance, and they wanted my book.
It was very early days for the imprint – I was the first author they signed. But as the months have rolled by, Destiny has really come into its own. I recently released a second title with them, The Man Plan, and I have another scheduled to come out in April 2013.
I pitched to Escape Publishing at last year’s conference. Unforgettable was previously self-published and I really wanted to do something with it – I thought it was a title worth sharing. Quite excitingly, Escape agreed!
Being published by two publishers has been an eye-opener. I’m having the time of my life but I’m working really hard to make sure I have the right priorities at the right time. I’m very grateful to both, and I’m lucky enough to be on this journey with two wonderful groups of authors and editors.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere. I’m very susceptible to music; there are a few scenes in my books which only exist because of a certain lyric or song. I can also be inspired by a single word, by a facial expression, by a what-if scenario. There are new ideas everywhere, just waiting to be recognised and explored. My phone is full of hurriedly dictated ideas and I always have to check the back of receipts before I throw them out!
Have you got a favourite writing spot?
I gave my study a makeover recently and now it’s my favourite place to write. I was inspired by the twinkle lights on the ceiling of the ‘swamp room’ in Bar Ampere, a venue in Melbourne. I was also enchanted by the multi-coloured bunting cropping up everywhere, so now I have both on my ceiling!
Combine that with a gorgeously thick rug, a recliner, a desk and a wall of books, I’m content to stay in there for hours.
What are you working on next?
I’m writing the third installment in a contemporary romance novella series. The first comes out with Destiny Romance in April 2013 and it’s called Ask Me To Stay. The others come out a few months after. I’m very excited about these books – there’s a lot of focus on family, and each book centers around one of the three lead male characters.
How do you like to spend your down-time?
Writing. I have a full-time job and I commute, I’m close to my family and see them often, and I spend a lot of time with my partner and friends. There’s a lot of time demands, so down-time for me is definitely writing, or curling up on the couch with my partner and gasping and commenting my way through our favourite television programs.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa, I’ve really enjoyed her Iron Fey series, and Nowhere Else by Fiona McCallum.
Can you tell us a little about your favourite book of 2012?
I enjoyed Nora Roberts’ The Last Boyfriend, which is the second in her Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy. When I began reading it, I’d already fallen for the three brothers and the women and children in their life, so it was like a reunion, of sorts. I’m a sucker for a series because I get to be with the characters for longer. It was a sweet book, with strong characters and a great inn renovation subplot.
What does being a woman mean to you?
It means expectations – meeting them and exceeding them. Being able to cry over a good book or a WorkSafe advertisement (the one with the kid waiting in the driveway for his dad just wrecks me). It means strength, femininity, empathy and tenderness.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Elise and good luck with all of your upcoming releases.