Name: Elizabeth SaFleur
Age: In the South where I’m from, we never tell. But for you I will! 😉 52
Where are you from: Many places – New York, Washington, DC, Central Virginia. I consider Virginia my home.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
Well, education was very important to my family, especially reading and writing. My father was Dean of a community college, and specialized in the humanities. He read to me and my sisters every night during our childhood. I give him all the credit for my love of books. Today, I’m still obsessed with the fictional world. I can’t believe I married a man who doesn’t read, but that just means I have to read twice as many to “even it out.” When I’m not reading, I dance in a semi-pro (emphasis on ‘semi’) burlesque and aerial arts troupe, visit local wineries and play with my furry child.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The third book in my series, The Elite Doms of Washington, will debut in late this spring. Every moment I’m not working (yes, I still have a day job) is spent working on PERFECT. I joke that I want it to be as perfect as the title. The other bit of news is I’ve updated my Web site (www.ElizabethSaFleur.com) with a new look and brand. It’s exciting to me!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I started with poetry in kindergarten. My first novel was “The Mystery of the Bunny” when I was in first grade. It wasn’t a big seller (surprise!). I sold two copies, one to my mother and the other to my father. LOL
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still struggle with this. But I’m slowly coming to terms that what I “do” for a living is public relations. What I “am” is a writer. So, I guess, now?
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
LOVELY is my first published novel. It was many years in the making. The story first came to me in 1996. But I didn’t get around to working on it until 2012-ish. In 1996 I was sitting in a café in Washington Harbor when I swore I saw a woman lashed to a sailboat mast out on the Potomac River. I asked myself, “does she like that?” Jonathan Brond, the hero in LOVELY, answered immediately with another question: “Would you like to find out?” The story unfolded from there.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Let’s just say I’m not afraid of drama. I’ve been told I have a strong voice. That’s probably because my imagination runs wild and I’m unafraid of emotion.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Honestly, LOVELY was a working title. Jonathan called Christiana, the heroine, “lovely.” My critique partners and beta readers loved that title, so it stuck.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. Our general society places many boundaries on us, especially women. An overarching theme in my books is “becoming more of yourself.” I’d like readers to feel, when reading my books, they have tacit permission to fantasize, and perhaps even explore things they are attracted to in their own lives (safely, of course). I hope my books inspire people to explore themselves a little deeper.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
This is a hard question to answer. But let’s say, everything in my book is possible. It doesn’t mean it’s probable all the time. But I try very hard to mix reality and fantasy in such a way that people get the right idea about BDSM, Washington DC, and how people behave with one another.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A mixture of both.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Joey W. Hill’s books made me a braver writer. She writes emotional, deep POV stories that really “take you there.” I aspire to do more of that with each book I write. My critique partners also have greatly influenced me, ensuring I work on things I need to work on and don’t trash something good. Here’s a secret about writing: at some point you can’t even see punctuation marks. You can get so deep into your story you can’t see what’s good and what’s not. My critique partners help me with this tremendously. Then, there’s my editor, T, who is sort of putting me through a Ph.D. program in writing. God bless her.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading two series – Kristen Ashley’s Chaos series and Cherise Sinclair’s Shadowlands series. I go through one of those books every two-three days. You could say I’m obsessed.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Kris Michaels, Kings of Guardian books, a paramilitary erotic romance series. These books have blown me away. Talk about realistic, hot and surprising. You will NOT be able to predict what happens in these books. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m writing a chapter in a serial (10 authors, 10 chapters to make up one book), some bonus scenes related to PERFECT (instead of author interviews, I like to write stand-along scenes to introduce you to new characters), and of course the book, PERFECT. I’m also working on the fourth book, as yet untitled, and the final book in the series (number seven, which is Alexander Rockingham’s story). You could say I’m jumping around a bit.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
T –my editor, critique partner, and person who talks me off the writing ledge time and again. Oh, and my mother. She loves my books. She talks to people on airplanes about me. It’s hysterical to think this 70-something woman talking to a complete strange about the BDSM erotic romance her daughter wrote. So far she’s been good at keeping my pseudonym intact.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Oh, please, please, please, yes. But that pretty much makes me like every writer out there. We all want to be full-time writers.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change anything in UNTOUCHABLE, the second book. I would change some things in LOVELY, but only a few minor things. In the end, it’s dangerous to think like that. You can make yourself cra-cra. So I just try to move on to the next book!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Again, I’d say my parents. They encouraged me to write at every turn. Of course, they also encouraged me to get a “real job.” Hence, me not pursuing a fulltime writing career sooner.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s a blurb for PERFECT:
After her husband’s sudden death, Isabella Santos fled D.C. and its bruising memories. Estate matters force her to return and into the arms of Mark, her late husband’s brother, the man who has loved her from afar for ten years, the man she’s secretly drawn to call Master. As their forbidden love blooms, they forge a perfect domestic discipline life that provides a feeling of oneness and completion, until threats from her dead husband’s past rip at their new-found love.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I never seem to have enough time. I’m an “all in” writers. I need several hours to completely immerse myself in my story. Many writers can sit in their car in the parking lot at a soccer game and tap out a scene in 15 minutes. That’s not me. I have to have quiet, concentrated time. Other than that, making sure I’m not “over the top” with the emotional life of my characters is sometimes a struggle. Like I said, I’m not afraid of drama.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I mentioned Joey W. Hill – an absolute favorite. Her characters are real people to me. If a man walked in and announced he was Ben O’Callahan, I’d believe him. I’d faint. But after I recovered, I’d still believe him. Other authors that “take me there” are Kristen Ashley, Charlotte Stein, Cherise Sinclair…oh, wow, so many!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’m in Washington DC. a lot. Like, a lot. That’s the most important setting for my books. But I’ve travelled to NYC, the Caribbean and other places for “research.” What can I say? Life is good for a writer. 😉 I also make sure I got to 2-3 conferences a year to meet readers and other writers.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
We found some terrific designers on a site called 99 designs. We got lucky.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Having enough time. I lament about this to my cps all the time. If I wrote full-time, I could put out 4 books a year. But the mortgage must be paid.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes! I learned just how long it takes to write. I will never pick up a book again and think, oh, this took nothing. No, every single book takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I have immense respect for other writers now.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I wish I had something original. But the truth is, the best advice is to just keep going. Oh, and don’t spend too much time on social media. Talk about taking time away from writing!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, readers, for spending a little of your precious time with my characters. I BIG PUFFY HEART you more than words can say. XO
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Funny animal YouTube videos make me laugh. People who are their own worst enemy in love make me cry (whether that be in real life or in books).
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I’d really like to meet Gabriel García Márque. That man made love with words.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Here lies a writer, friend and honest woman. If you are reading this, find someone you love and dance! There’s no time to waste with anything else. Okay, not too eloquent, but it pretty much sums up my life. LOL
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Dance. I cannot imagine a single day without moving to music.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
StrikeBack, Poirot, Downton Abbey, really good science fiction and fantasy.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music :
Favorite food: Potatoes. Seriously, you can’t mess up a potato. Favorite color: green. Favorite music: hard rock
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I had any visual talent at all, I’d like to have been a fine art painter.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? www.ElizabethSaFleur.com. You can find my blog, my giveaway page and bonus materials here!
Other love links:
Facebook Fan Page (hot men pix!): https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethSaFleur
Google+ profile: google.com/+ElizabethSaFleur
YouTube (book trailers!): http://tinyurl.com/ElizabethBookTrailers