Name: Elise Covert

Age: drifting somewhere in my 40s, I forget exactly where

Where are you from: small town of Paso Robles, California on the central coast.

A little about your self : ie your education Family life etc

Descended from Scottish pioneers to California, my family has been in California since before it was a state. Old ranching family, cowboys and the whole bit. I moved to Seattle when I was in my 20s and love it here, but still go back to California often. I’ve been told that my personality is very “Californian.” I have a college degree in international relations and another year of study in public relations. Happily married to a very Northwest-type guy: hiker, rock-climber, kayaker, lawyer.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My kitchen has been torn out of my home. I’m remodeling because it was truly trying to kill me: sharp cabinet corners hitting my head, cracked cabinet doors that pinched my fingers, a microwave that I’m sure was sending out radiation at unsafe levels. I was scared to go in there after dark.

But you want to know about my writing, right? I’m still going strong, writing the next two Renegade books and then turning back to finish the third book of the Circles trilogy. I’m so excited to begin my next writing project after all that!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was quite young. I find it is the best way to express myself and I always received positive feedback on my efforts from my mom and my teachers. Whether I was writing stories, journaling, or writing for school assignments, I find that the words flow when I use my fingers instead of my mouth.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably in high school, as a teenager. I was writing a lot of angst-ridden, lovelorn poetry and taking it all very seriously. I was a writer!

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

An earthquake. Really. I experienced a large earthquake in California, and it gave me the idea for my first novel. Which remains unpublished at this time, but I might dig it out and rework it.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I suppose I do. My stories tend to drift from humor to passion and back.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The first book I published, “Linked Circles,” was because of a bracelet that features in the story, but also because of the complicated links that can tie two people together as they forge a relationship.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. That learning about someone else almost always teaches you something about yourself. And that there can be strength and dignity in being submissive to someone else.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

I think all of it is realistic. The first book I wrote, the unpublished one, has a supernatural theme, but everything I’ve published has been realistic.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

They are inspired by real life experiences but aren’t based exactly on experiences I’ve had. That’s where my imagination comes in!

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

I’ve always been a fan of dark, moody, gothic love stories: “Jane Eyre” and “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” are two classics I loved. I started reading more erotic romances quite a few years ago and was inspired by the authors who aren’t afraid to write about things we usually just keep in our heads. Or our bedrooms.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am one of those people who read several things at the same time. I’m halfway through Ruth Ware’s “In A Dark Dark Wood” which is very good. Also reading the second book in Karen Robards “Charlotte Stone” series and the first book in Anna Zaires “Capture Me” series. Karen and Anna are romance authors I especially like.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Anna Zaires has only been publishing for a few years I believe. Very talented, I like her erotic romance books, but they are edgy.  I also enjoyed Sierra Simone’s Markham Hall series and her novel “Priest.”

Fiona: What are your current projects?

Finishing the Circles trilogy, finishing the Renegade series, and rebuilding my kitchen. I’m also thinking about getting a dog. My dog passed away a few months ago and I miss him terribly. I think he helped me be a better writer. I know he kept my feet warm while I sat at my desk.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My best friend Melissa. She’s been my best friend since we were eighteen and met in college. She is such a great support and has such a good business sense. My friend Shannon is a fantastic cheerleader. If I had the budget, I’d hire her in a second for her marketing talents. Oops, that’s two entities!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do. I treat it as a business enterprise. I create art (when I’m at my best!) but it needs to be planned, marketed, sold, and accounted for like a business.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I had to think about this for a bit. I really don’t think I would, except to give Evi a bigger role. That girl deserves her own book! Now there’s an idea for a spin-off series.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Through reading. I grew up in a reading household, where books, magazines, and newspapers were everywhere. I used to read the encyclopedia just because those volumes were so interesting. Reading and daydreaming led me to writing.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I won’t share an exact snippet, but the fourth Renegades book starts off  with Ren in prison and Meredith preparing to visit him. She isn’t at all happy to have a con for a boyfriend. Fortunately it’s a short prison term and they will go through lots of romping adventures as they reconnect.

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I have to be disciplined and not just wait for the muse to strike. Sometimes my muse is very subtle. I write for so many hours per day, even if I’m struggling.

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Stephen King is one of my favorite authors because of his familiar-style of storytelling. He tells a story that is meant to be heard around a campfire. I also like Tana French and her spooky, Irish-gothic style. And I’ve enjoyed Karen Robards books for years.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I actually don’t, as they are set in familiar places, but I talk myself into “necessary” travel for conferences or research, as I love to visit new places so much. I also love sleeping in hotel beds. I think I might have a fetish for hotel beds.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs did the Circles covers. The Renegade covers were done by Cover Me – Book Covers. Both of them were a pleasure to work with!

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting bogged down in the middle. I think this is a pretty common thing for writers. I know what happens at the beginning and at the end, but I can sometimes get lost and muck about in the soggy swamp of the middle for a while.

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned a bit about motorcycles for the Ren books, and about outlaw motorcycle clubs. I researched condos in Seattle for Jack’s home in the Circles books, loved looking at all those photos of beautiful condos!

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

I doubt I have anything to add that everyone doesn’t already hear constantly: write every day, set goals, and take yourself seriously. You’re a writer, dammit!

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! It is an honor just to know you picked up my book and spent some of your valuable time reading it. Oh, and could you write a review? Please?

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Not really. It was probably a Raggedy Ann book. My grandmother had many of them, with the beautiful color plates. I have them now in a place of honor.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I laugh a lot. I also cry a lot. People make me laugh, whether it is friends or just hearing about someone’s exploits. The news makes me cry, especially if it is about dogs.

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

I would meet and chat with just about anyone. One person? Maybe Emily Dickinson. I’d like to listen to her talk, I think.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

“At last! A guaranteed good night’s sleep!” I have a terrible time sleeping through the night.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I’m terribly boring, I think. I like books. I like good movies or TV shows. I like to go walking and visiting with friends. I wish I could add something like hang-gliding here.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I like true crime shows, well-scripted TV (True Detectives, Outlander, Secrets & Lies), and scary movies.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Authentic Mexican food/all shades of blue/blues rock. Wearing a pretty blue dress while eating tacos al pastor and watching Aynsley Lister perform – that would be a dream experience.

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

A business executive. With a big desk and a glorious view of the Seattle skyline from my window. I’d wear designer clothes and heels and just drink Smart Water. I’d tap my pencil on the top of my desk. I think I just created a character there. I have no idea what business I’d actually be executing, I just like the idea.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?  or come visit with me on Facebook at Elise Covert – Writer!

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