First a few facts about our author:
Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal or suspense. Her books are always steamy, cool stories and hot love scenes.
Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.
Thank you for joining us at Scribbler’s today, Elodie!
Tell us Scribbler’s a bit about Candle Magic and what inspired this story?
I got the idea for this story very late at night as I shivered in a sudden downpour of rain on my way home from work. It was still summer at the time and although late, the sky was still quite light. That happens in Britain where I live and often dawn comes in at around 3.30 a.m. How do I know this? I’m often still up writing or playing around with graphics for book covers. I’m lucky because my day job is in shifts so often I can grab a few hours’ sleep and still get to work on time.
Here’s the blurb:
When Simi finds a pretty old candlestick among the discarded props in the company storeroom, she never imagines it will grant her dearest wish. There’s something mysterious about the carved candlestick, but Simi is drawn to it. She’s saved a red candle from a box she bought years ago in an antique shop, and intends to use the candlestick to hold the last candle and make her solitary Christmas lunch more festive. It’s Christmas Eve, there’s sleet in the wind, Simi slips, but Jason catches her. Who is Jason? Where has he suddenly appeared from in the night?
Simi looks into the eyes of this gorgeous man and sparks fly …
What drew you to erotic romance vs mainstream romance?
Well erotic romance is only called that because the love scenes are graphically described. I write erotic romance because as my story and characters develop and interact the love between them just has to be described (Smiles).
Is there a music playlist you’d recommend for reading Candle Magic?
No. I don’t write or read to music. I’m one of those people who if they are listening to music, somehow learn it. LOL I’d be writing out the lyrics before I knew it.
Do you control the action in your story or do the character’s let you know who they are and what they want to do as you write?
I always know the story before I write it and know my characters so well, but sometimes they do take over a little. I think that happens at the idea seed stage. An idea for a story will drop into my head from somewhere and the character that is speaking to my heart will tell me their story then.
If given the opportunity would Simi or Jason make any changes to the plot?
(Laughs) They wouldn’t change the plot, because it’s exactly how it should be for both the redemption of the lovely Jason and the fulfillment of love for the deserving Simi.
Is there a secondary character from Candle Magic that you feel deserves his or her own story?
I don’t think so.
As a writer do you feel the story line is as important as the sex scenes?
Oh, heavens yes, and in fact, my story is paramount, the sex scenes are love scenes that develop, and happen to be graphic because I want my characters to show how much they feel and love the other. The plot is all for me.
I notice in many of your stories, there is always an element of the paranormal, how important a factor it this to the storyline for you?
It’s not present in all my stories, but a few for sure.When it is it’s because the story just happened in my head like that. (laughs again) I just get stories dropping into my head. I wrote Candle Magic as a contemporary fantasy that would be uplifting and surprising and remind us that magic can happen for some. I wish for all of us.
I do have stories with no paranormal elements, Millie Reinvented, Jake Snow, Two of Them, The Summer Heat, Serendipity in the anthology Naughty Bedtime stories, The Last Time, Candy Hearts, The Flower Box, Love at First Sigh, The Only Way to Dance, in the anthology, Executive Assistant, Rescuing Cade, which will be a 2015 release from Evernight.
Wow, that’s a lot actually, now I think about it. Just thinking, I have thirteen stories with paranormal elements, so it’s about half-and-half. They are all love stories with HEA, though.
When you sit down to write, do you think of a character, a story line or a sentence before you write?
I don’t think … the story just starts. Wow, I’ve never thought about that, but I guess that’s part of the inspiration.
Do you ever base your characters on people you know?
I wrote Millie Reinvented after meeting a woman in my day job. A customer in the antiques shop who bought a little statue of lovers and told me she liked it so much because her husband never kissed her any more. Usually places or things will seed an idea for me.
The Black Lion was a place I passed that seemed to be some kind of historic building but what? Who knew? So I wrote a story for it. Swoop on Love was from a signpost. Night of the Horse, from real horses. Other than that that my characters are composite emotions that manifest into people.
Can we have an excerpt from Candle magic?
At around ten, the party guests started to thin out. Simi cleared away some empty dishes and bottles. She was bent over the table when someone came up behind her and grabbed her around the waist. Surprised, Simi gasped and squirmed around to find it was Carl.
His beery breath hit her full in the face. “Hi, Simi. Christmas kiss?”
Simi wanted a Christmas kiss, but not from Carl. “Where’s Angie, your girlfriend?” She eased out of Carl’s grasp.
He let her go. His eyes filled with sadness and he shrugged his shoulders. “We broke up. Sorry, Simi, didn’t mean to be obnoxious. You looked so inviting bent over the table. Nice dress, lovely stockings. Where’s your man of the moment?”
Simi felt sorry for Carl. “Sorry to hear about the split. I thought you two were a done deal.” She didn’t remind Carl there hadn’t been a man of the moment for the three years she’d been at the firm.
A huge sigh escaped him before he answered. His voice dripped sorrow. “I thought so, too. I love her. She said I was a flake and so untidy it was driving her mad. She stormed off on Monday and won’t answer my calls.”
Simi didn’t know what to say as his eyes filled with tears. He was untidy, but he wasn’t a flake at work. She gazed at him sympathetically, her own eyes spiking with tears in response.
He blinked. “I’ll help you clear up a little.”
What influences you the most when it comes to naming your characters?
Their personality, and sometimes what they are, for instance if they are paranormal type characters, not always, though. My vampire in A Little Mysterious needed to have a lovely exotic name-Dhruv. My ancient vampire in The Black Lion, Sascha, needed a soft, romantic name since he is, but his enemy who is not as ancient is called Fonteyn.
My contemporary young men in The Summer Heat, Nate and Evan, just guys names but attractive names like them. Starr Forrester the enigmatic Ash in The Winter Girl, needed to be influenced by magic and so he has a more exotic name. I do need to name my characters before I start writing. If I know their stories and their names are not quite right, I will wait until they tell me their names.
What is the writing process like for you? If you were to describe the process in one word, what would it be?
What do you enjoy most about writing?
My characters and setting becoming so real to me.
What do you enjoy the least?
Marketing and promoting. It is time consuming and soul destroying, but how will readers know there are stories out there without it ?
Do you have a critique partner/belong to a critique group?
I used to belong to a group but it became weird and now I just have editors for advice and then editing.
What writer has most influence your work?
No one. The environment, things, people, places influence me.
What are you currently reading?
Henning Mankell, ‘The Troubled Man’
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you have ever heard?
Oh dear this is difficult. There are so many ‘gurus’ out there and you can be buffeted about by it, do this, do that. That’s kind of the worst.
I think the best was, if you love writing keep going, write your heart out.
Would it be a fair assessment to make that a book’s success weighs heavily on the amount of marketing effort put behind it?
Unfortunately, I’ve come to think that is true. It’s a sad fact, too, that many authors simply don’t have the network or finances to participate fully in marketing. I don’t.
What books or other projects are coming up for you?
I have a fantasy romance just releasing almost alongside ‘Candle Magic’ (Siren) from Evernight, ‘A Fairy Tale Romance’
When delectable Thorn Valmont buys an old palace to renovate on the Mediterranean coast, he never dreams it will cost him his freedom.
Thorn is part of an aristocratic family. He’s a prince and must find his princess to solve a puzzle he inherits from the ancient owners of the Mediterranean palace.
Will he find her in time to stop his loneliness destroying him completely?
It’s a contemporary fantasy romance. Dec 15 release.
Rescuing Cade is set to release from Evernight in February 2015.
I’m working on three stories. One is scheduled for a March release. The other two are WIP’s that I want to finish if time permits.
Thank you for inviting me today, Roberta. I’ve had a lovely time answering your questions. They’ve made me think.
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