Interview With Eli Easton
If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”? Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?
Yeah, that’s something I’ve learned writing romance. I think especially these days, a writer has to be so cautious about making a character unsympathetic, whether they say or do something assholeish, check out another guy, say something non PC, or whatever. It’s often bemoaned by other authors I know that you can’t make a character “real” or the audience complains. And I think that’s true. On the other hand, to me the thing I love about romance is that it’s a fairy tale that gives me hope and good feels. I’m not a fan of reading about a millionaire asshole or a cheater myself. In sum: you need to give a character a few faults to feel “real”, but you have to be very careful what those are. There’re a lot of no nos in romance.
What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?
I’m a very quiet person myself, but I admire people who can be the life of the party, always joking and witty. I can write that for a character on paper, but that’s far from who I am IRL. 😊
Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work? Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it? Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?
I’ve had ideas I’ve shelved because I had other commitments or just didn’t quite have the whole thing settled in my head. A few examples. I wanted to write about a younger gay man who cooks for an older, widowed farmer, and they fall in love over these dinners. That eventually became “A Second Harvest”. And I also had on my idea list to write a “injured hands, bros help each other get off” fic at some point. That eventually became “Five Dares”. I do have some thriller novels partially completed on my hard drive, but not sure they will ever get done.
Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story? Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?
I do often put my real life issues and worries into stories. Not necessarily to work out a solution, but just because that’s what’s on my mind. For example, I’ve thought about opening a farm sanctuary and my character, Eddie, is doing that in “Tender Mercies”. And I put on the poor guy my own worries about whether I could actually succeed at something like that. Usually my characters are luckier than I am at working out their problems. Ha. IRL we aren’t guaranteed a happy ending. So there’s something cathartic about that.
What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?
Hmm. There’s a massage at a sex therapy clinic in “The Trouble with Tony” which is pretty out there and hot. It’s got a medical kink angle. 😊 And in “Merry Christmas Mr. Miggles”, there’s a sex-in-a-library scene which was in my head before I started the book.
Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it? Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.
I’m not sure I’ve ever written anything drunk. I’m not a big drinker. I have one glass of wine and I’m snoring on the couch. So drinking and writing do not mix for me.
If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?
I’d go for a snowy mountain cabin with fireplace and amazing views. Give me that any day over a beach setting. There’s something about inclement weather that makes it cozy to stay in and write. If it’s too nice outside, I’m distracted.
With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? To wide our knowledge? Why do you write?
Well, first, to pay the bills. Lol. But I love the escapism of romance, both for myself and for my readers. Our politics are so heavy right now, and all the natural disasters, and people who want to take away other people’s rights. There’s so much hate an intolerance out there. So yeah, I hope my work gives readers a sense of hope and a way out of that reality for a while. But also, I’m proud to promote values that I care about in my work like diversity, inclusivism, basic kindness, and unconditional love.
What’s next for you as a writer?
In 2018 I plan to do only three Eli Easton romance books (I had 5 out this year) and I want to write a thriller under my other name, Jane Jensen. The romance books will include a Christmas book, another Mad Creek book, and then the 3rd is up in the air still.
Thank you so much for inviting me to the blog!
Length: 50,000 words approx.
Journalism student Gabe Martin gets his first professional assignment—to write about a Christmas charity dinner that benefits a children’s home. It sounds like a total snooze-fest until Gabe learns that the event’s Santa is a mystery man. He shows up in costume and no one has a clue who he is. Uncovering Santa’s identity sounds like the perfect angle to turn a fluff piece into serious journalism.
Mack “The Mountain” McDonall, at 6’10”, is University of Wisconsin-Madison’s enormous star wrestler. When Gabe first claps eyes on him at a wrestling match, it’s lust at first sight. Gabe’s friend, Jordan, sets up the pair on a date. But when Gabe chatters on about his plans for outing Santa, Mack goes cold, and their first meeting becomes an epic fail.
As Gabe researches the children’s home, he learns that Mack has secrets a guy famous for being a brute wouldn’t want the world to know. Can Gabe find his holiday spirit, write a killer article, win the heart of a surly giant, and give everyone a very merry Christmas?
November 22 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
November 24 – Diverse Reader
November 27 – The Novel Approach
November 29 – Alpha Book Club
Eli Easton has been at various times and under different names a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a long-distance walker. She began writing m/m romance in 2013 and has published 27 books since then. She hopes to write many more.
As an avid reader of such, she is tickled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, two bulldogs, several cows, and a cat. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.
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