Friday, October 14, 2011

The Awesome Elle Hill is here today! And Pay It Forward

Elle Hill is in the house today and will be answering some questions about herself and her new debut release, Hunted.

But first, today is also Pay It Forward over at Alex J. Cavanaugh's website. The rules are simple. List, describe, and link to three blogs that are awesome, ones you love, but may fly under the radar of other bloggers. My three are as follows:

Alyssa Fox She's witty and with her sensual/erotic six sentence Sundays and Eye Candy Mondays...well let's just say enough said. She's a talented writer of erotic pushing the boundaries.

Sarah Pearson She does this Musical Library picks on Fridays and what she picks are unbelievable beauties of music.

Calisa Rhose This one I may be a bit biased on, but if you visit her page and read her author interviews and other witty and funny posts, you'll fall in love with her blog too. She has such a great sense of humor and a great outlook on life. And yes, at times, I believe she flies way under others' radars.

Now, onto Elle Hill!!

Elle, it's great to have you here with me today! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an overeducated, underpaid thirty-seven-year-old who spends her days teaching college students and her night penning novels and poetry. In my spare time, I volunteer in my community, helping animals find homes and humans strive for social justice. I live with my sister and our cats in Southern California and find myself representing my profound ambivalence for the area in my L.A.-themed urban fantasies.

What is the most romantic thing your significant other or anyone has done for you?
My favorite “romance” story: When I first started dating the man who was destined to become my ex-husband, I patiently explained to his adorably nerdy self the point of little, meaningless gifts. He nodded seriously throughout the conversation. Next time he arrived at my house, and knowing my fondness for it, he shoved a block of cheese into my hand and blurted, “Here’s your gift.”

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
You mean there’s another way to write?

What are your pet peeves?
* The surest way to earn my ire is to relinquish a pet for any reason other than death, either the person’s or the pet’s.
* Something destined to make me cranky: Hearing anything that has to be preceded with, “Some of my best friends are…”
* I hate, I mean hate, being interrupted when I’m talking.
* Oh, academics, why do you give us all such bad names by substituting “the ways in which” for “how” or “ways”? Groan!
* Finally, why do fruit cups always come with cantaloupe? Does anyone really like cantaloupe?

Cats or dogs?
I have cats but love all animals: fur, feathers, fins, and scales. I even, strangely enough, find I have a deep love for those human animals as well.

White wine or red?
I so wish I could get in on the wine connoisseur thing. I want desperately to be one of those folks who swirls red wine in her glass and talks about “undertones” and “hints” and “tannins.” Perhaps because I grew up a poor child eating government cheese, though, I never got the chance to train my taste buds. My mouth tells me it much prefers soda and grapefruit juice to any kind of alcoholic beverage.

Coffee or tea?
Yes, please. The more caffeine, the better.

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
I like my ice cream like I like my romances: vanilla!

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
1. Fumbling for my keys
2. Fervent promises to my kitties to be home “soon”
3. A cell phone that almost certainly needs to be charged and will die the second I require it
4. My “slut red” lipstick

Laptop or desktop for writing?
Desktop, in part because if I wrote with a laptop in a chair, my cats would crowd around it like furry little heat-seeking missiles.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Where: At home surrounded by my loved ones (and silence, if I’m lucky).
When: During the wee hours when sane people are sleeping. I sometimes wonder if others’ dreaming brain waves fuel my creativity.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
1 and 2. The people who invented bungalows and air-conditioning
3. Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island, since she could make just about any food from coconuts

An actor you have a crush on?
I plead the Fifth, since I’m on the dating scene and this question might come back to bite me.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I don’t watch TV, mostly because the lack of human diversity tends to drive me up the wall. (A rocket scientist is really a 26-year-old, buxom blonde? Really?) As for movies, I don’t tend to watch many of those, either, but like any nerd, I loved the Harry Potter flicks.

What made you decide to be an author?
I didn’t choose; writing chose me. I started writing when I was a wee lass. Throughout my life, I never stopped writing; the writings themselves varied from stories to novels to opinion columns to research papers to dissertation to poetry and finally back to novels.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
It’s what I read. I love all sci-fi and fantasy but am especially in love with urban fantasy, both because it’s where one tends to find kick-ass women and because I don’t have to know anything about horses or the taste of mead.

Are you a panster or a plotter and why?
Doesn’t a punster make puns? I don’t think I do this too often. As for plots, I tend to make an outline (usually written on napkins at diners) and expand on it as I’m writing. (Also, I plot to take over the world and make it illegal for peeps not to spay and neuter their pets, but don’t tell anyone that.)

Is there a particular author who may have influenced you?
Many of the amazing and well-known urban fantasy writers: Charlaine Harris, Ilona Andrews, Kate Elliott, Lauri J Owen, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher. Although, honestly, if I read another rape scene or attempted rapes in one of these authors’ books, I’m gonna seriously start getting’ my crank on. Just sayin’.

What is your all time favorite book?
Mumble, mumble Little Women mumble, mumble.

What is your favorite sentence or quote in your new release?
“Show her a gun-wielding, brainwave-altering lunatic and she was in her element; shove her into a college classroom, and she had to resist the urge to shuffle awkwardly to the back row.”

How much trouble did your characters give you while writing your new release? Which one?
Simon might have given me a little bit of trouble, or maybe it was I who gave me trouble. I had a really difficult time reconciling Simon’s pacifism with his need to defend himself. Given my 15,000 word limit, I didn’t delve too deeply into his dilemma, but he (and I) definitely felt ambivalent.

Where do you get your ideas from?
While I’m driving in really bad L.A. traffic, ideas tend to pop out of the ether and into my grumpy brain. It helps distract me from the pain.

How did you choose your title?
It’s a pun. (Ha! Maybe I am a punster!) Gray is a Hunter, and Simon is hunted by the Leeches. It seemed like the perfect title.

How do you cure writer’s block?
Push through it. If it needs to be done, inspiration doesn’t matter a bit. For me, anyway, inspiration tends to come after the writing starts. Also, when I’m writing, I force myself to stop for the night at the height of a dramatic scene. This way, I’m dying to get back to it.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?
Have a backup job and a steady income. You know how everyone tells you to follow your dreams? Go ahead and do that, but never expect your dreams will pay the bills. Romantic movies and songs aside, my friend, dreams are for your spare time.

What sacred advice have you been given by another writer?
“Shut up and do it already!” from my beloved sister and fellow writer, Lauri J Owen.

Where can your readers stalk you?
I have a sexy blog where I spew forth my political opinions (and yes, I have lots of them): I also have a website, built and maintained through the grace of my beloved sister: I’m also on Facebook as “Elle Hill Author.” Oh, and I finally bit the bullet and started tweeting; I’m ElleHillAuthor. Or, if you’re in the L.A., send me a Facebook message, and we’ll do coffee (but not wine).

Tell us about your new release:
It’s my very first published work, and I’m so excited! It’s a 15,000-word novella that, like my subsequent novels, grapples – albeit briefly -- with the question of whether/when violence is or can be ethical. Also, it includes a seriously powerful woman and a cute scientist; she keeps him alive and he, in turn, teaches her how to cuddle. What’s not to love?

Indeed!! It was so wonderful having you here today, Elle.

You can purchase Hunted here. And check out all the new releases at Soul Mate Publishing.

Coming November: The Swan Cove Murders Coming December: Secrets of Jenkins Bridge Launch Party October 12th for Soul Mate Publishing. Check out this Sunday's coming blog to sign up!!


  1. Hi, nice interview. I especially liked your answer about writing in your pajamas and had to read it to my husband. Just to let him know that it's not just me!

    Thanks for that!

    Congrats on Hunted. I'm looking forward to the read.


  2. I already follow Sarah, but not the others.

  3. Thanks so much for taking part in our little fest, Donna! And I wasn't following your blog until just now, so the blogfest is doing it's job.

    Nice to meet you!

  4. Cheryl: I love that comment too.

    L. Diane Wolfe: Gotta check the others out. They are great girls!

    Matthew: So great to meet you. Thanks for following and commenting :)

  5. Hi! Count me in as a new "Pay It Forward" follower! And GREAT interview! :-)

  6. Hey Shannon. It's so great to meet you :) Thanks for commenting.

  7. Hi Elle!I love the tip about stopping in the middle of a scene. I'm going to try that next. And I totally share your pet peeve about people giving up pets. However, my family has been the recipient of many Dalmatians that others have given up. And each time, IMHO, they were better off with us! Best of luck on your release, Soul Mate Sister!

  8. Elle sounds like the kind of person you want to know!

    Thank you so much for mentioning me, Donna, that's so kind. Looking forward to checking the others out :-)

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  10. Casey, as the proud servant of several furry rescue cats, I completely agree that they're better off with peeps like us. Thanks for saving those beautiful Dalmatians! I plan to paw through your website ISO pictures of them! ;)

    Cheryl, Sarah, and Shannon, thanks so much for the kind words.

    "Soul Mate Sister," Casey? Really?! How fabulously cool is that? High five! ;)

    I can't wait to read through the PIF blogs. Well, I can and must, since I have Friday night things (sadly, not romantic) to do. But I'll be back.

    Thanks again, all!

    ~Elle Hill

  11. Great interview, glad I blog hopped your way and will check out your picks of today.

  12. Great interview! Congrats, I can't wait to read Hunted :)

  13. Hey, I loved Little Women! No need to mumble. :)

  14. Hi Elle and Donna!

    Jammies really are the only way to write, aren't they Elle. Your book sounds fun! I like your term punster!

    Donna, thanks for the pay it forward! YOU ARE AWESOME! *I'm teary from your sweet words!* I have to say my author blogs (not just interviews) are kind of my way of paying it forward. These talented authors have books that deserve notice.
    Anyone can find my guest blogger instructions in the 'blogger' page of my site if they are interested in visiting me on the ranch (Pen of the Dreamer) some time to promote their books or just blog to blog a topic they like.

  15. I don't know if Alyssa's blog is quite my cup of tea, but the other two looked pretty fine.

    Sounds like Elle's in my neck of the woods. I'll have to check out her work.

    Tossing It Out

  16. Hi, I am visiting from PIF and it was quite a treat to read your interview with Elle. It is nice to meet you. I am off to visit the blogs you have recommended.

  17. Magníficas aportaciones me ha parecido muy interesante Empty White Pages con sus historias musicales.

  18. What a wonderful interview, Ms. Hill. I bought your book.

    BTW, I found a wine that you just might like. ;-p

  19. Enormous thanks for the kind and supportive words, Pat, Mandi, Arlee, and Melissa. <3

    Lydia, thanks for the Alcott love! :)

    Calisa, amusing how I misunderstood the question about "panster" and kinda went from there. I appreciate your generosity in ignoring my fumble. ;-p

    Ms. Owen, might the wine be a moscato? I have found those to be less heinous than your average rotten-grape beverage. However, if given the choice, I'll always go with Diet Dr. Pepper. ;)


  20. Hi Elle- sometimes the fumbles are the spice in life. :)