Interview with Elle Strauss!

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to Elle Strauss, a great writer who is also represented by my fabulous agent, Natalie Fischer. Visit her blog here and her Twitter here, to get more of the awesome.

RM: First, could you describe your works for us?

ES: You do mean the works I'd like to see published, right? :) With my/our agent right now is CLOCKWISE, a YA chick lit about a teen time traveler who accidently takes the cutest boy in the school back in time. I'm currently working on a companion book called CLOCKWISER.
I'm also hoping to get my YA Historical PLAYING WITH MATCHES, about a boy who grows up in Hitler Youth, in the hands of an editor one day.

I told you guys she was great, right? It deserves repeating. I’m in love with these stories.

RM: How did you start writing?

ES: That's a long story. I'm not one of those writers who grew up wanting to write. I kind of fell into it when my kids were young. I used to paint, but I didn't have a place to set my supplies up in our house without the kids getting into everything, so I switched my creative energies into something they couldn't wreck and started writing.

RM: Which of your characters is your favorite and why?

ES: I'm kind of liking the protagonist I'm writing right now in CLOCKWISER, but I think it's natural to be most in love with the work you're currently on. I like her because she is flawed and weak, but grows stronger and more honest with herself and who she is as the story unfolds.

I definitely agree on that natural love of a current work.

RM: On the same note, do you put bits of yourself into your novels? Do you share any habits with you characters, for instance?

ES: I suppose I do, but on a subconscious level. For instance, I'm flawed and weak but stronger and more self-aware (verses self-absorbed) than I used to be. I know what the journey from here to there can look like.

RM: Do you a lean towards character driven or plot driven stories (with both reading and writing)?

ES: I like a nice balance of both. I want the characters I read and write about to have a character arc-- evidence that they are growing and changing, but I also want there to be a story, which without plot you just have a bunch of scenes strung together.

RM: Do you outline, create playlists, or otherwise have any process you work through while writing your manuscripts?

ES: I do skimpy outlines, basically I know the beginning and the end and a bit of the middle. The rest I kind of figure out as I go. I don't do playlists, I actually am a fan of silence.

Oooh, silence. I don’t hear of that one often but it sounds like something I should try sometime. Less distraction!

RM: Do you have a favorite author or novel?

ES: I love Pride and Prejudice, but I couldn't even finish Northanger Abby. That's a book that should have stayed under the bed, in my opinion, so I wouldn't say Jane Austen is my favorite author. I read so many great authors, I can't really say that one stands ahead of the rest.

Almost didn’t ask the question, because of all the fab authors and books in the world. Picking one is nearly as hard as picking a favorite… is there anything harder?

RM: If possible, would you work with another person on co-writing a novel? What author would you like to work with?

ES: At one time I thought I'd like to try that, (but everyone I approached turned me down :) ). Now, I think I prefer writing solo with feedback from my/our great agent. Really, she's been so helpful at tweeking and retweeking my book. It's much better now than when I first sent it to her.

That’s the truth! I also love editing with Natalie. VT is a million times better because of her. Go Natalie!

RM: And, finally, if you could give one piece of advice to the readers here who are also writers, what would it be?

ES: I know it's getting kind of cliche but if you really want this bad enough, don't give up.

Thank you Elle!