Hello readers! It is that time again. Time to play while the Mistress is away checking out her other dungeons. I was able to procure some time with a very lovely and talented author. So please give a warm welcome to Ms. Elaine Raco Chase!
Hello Elaine! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me.
Hello, Danielle – first thanks so much for reading Lady, hope you enjoyed her.
Why don’t you start off by telling the readers a little about Lady Be Bad?
Lady was my first comedy-drama. I started the romantic-comedy trend in category romances in 1979 and was known as 'that funny author with three names.' I decided to blend some serious issues like divorce and traumatic injury together then add in the fun. At the time I wrote this contemporary, category romance – no one had done anything like that. I thought: let's shake things up.
Enter Marlayna O'Brian and Noah Drake. The reader can't miss the love these two have for each other. Then one day – their world was shattered. His by a traumatic accident and hers by not knowing what was happening or being given a choice. Six years pass and Noah re-enters Marlayna's new life in a most surprising way. She wants and needs answers to what happened and becomes determined to get them any way she has to. The story is told via fast-paced, funny flashbacks that allow the reader to see this couple, get involved with them and all march into the here and now.
Readers, don’t forget to read the entire interview as Elaine has graciously given us a teaser that will have you aching for more!
Marlayna is a woman who at first impression comes across as needy and dependent upon a man who she has not seen in 6 years. Did you intend readers to get this first impression of her?
I hope the readers see that she is NOT needy - just in need of answers. The need to know is a powerful force. Here is a woman who had a fantastic relationship with her husband; they were two people working side-by-side in life, very much in love and then – BOOM!
In a blink-of-an eye, she was served divorce papers, her home sold out from under her, a nasty attorney who said her husband refused to see her, doctors who told her nothing. Marlayna was young, twenty-one, confused. She had no one, no place to go, and no one allowed her a choice. She ran. And fell into a totally new life, new situations, new friends, new everything – but always in the back of her mind was the question – WHY? What had happened to her husband? Was their marriage, their love, their vows all a sham?
Now she finds herself invited to his engagement celebration – well that proved too great a shock and too great a challenge. Noah Drake had some explaining to do! (HEARING THAT PHRASE HAD ME CHANNELING RICKY RICARDO!)
Just hearing about Noah from Marlayna’s lips had me wanting to strangle him. Was he based on anyone you know?
I guess I did my job as a writer by making you react so violently! Until you hear Noah's reasoning, what he went through, and his goal was always to protect his wife.
Oddly enough, he was sort of based on my father. My father had a horrible accident when he was working at the GE plant in upstate NY…a crane fell on him and crushed his back and spine. This was in 1949 – he had just married my mom and she was pregnant with me. When he was told he'd never walk again, he decided to go it alone and divorce her. But she stood her ground and refused.
He then allowed himself to be used as a guinea pig. A group of doctor's in NYC experimented on him with a variety of spinal fusions, which was a new idea at the time. He spent 18 months in a full body cast, transported back and forth as baggage on the train. After almost three years, he did walk again.
The techniques developed on him were used many years later on JFK, when he had back surgery and by the same doctor. Over the years, the advancement in spinal fusion operations has proved miraculous.
I am relieved to hear that he recovered. That is an amazing story and one that I am glad you shared!
As we get further into the story and see all that Marlayna has accomplished, we come to realize that our first impression of her was completely wrong. When developing this story, did it veer off onto its own course or stay pretty much where you intended it to?
No the book stayed on course. I think the reader realizes Marlayna is an accomplished woman early on. Her weaknesses are not with herself, just the need to know what happened to her husband, why she was divorced, why her life was turned upside down.
The past can weigh heavily on people. I have never met a person who hasn't said: "if I could do it all over again, I'd ---". And this was Marlayna's issue. Could she have been stronger? Should she have stormed into the hospital and demanded answers? Should she have confronted Noah? Could have's and should have's weighed very heavily on her – but don't they weigh heavily on us all?
If Lady Be Bad were to be turned into a movie, who would you want to play the part of Marlayna? What about Noah?
Wow – that's a great question. Hmmm…I love the two actors who play in "Castle" they make such a great pair and really would work nicely as Marlayna and Noah - Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic plus Susan Sullivan as Sylvia and Jon Cryer as Paul. What do you think?
I had no idea who Nathan or Stana was so I had to look them up. I am not good with names but you seemed to have picked winners there! Although I think I personally had my heart set on Brenda Frasier for Nathan. Sean Hayes (from Will & Grace) is who I pictured as Paul. You have most definitely hit the nail on the head with Susan Sullivan as Sylvia.
Paul and Sylvia are some characters! Do they have a reoccurring role in another work or are you planning on having them show up somewhere else? Have you thought about either one of them getting their own story?
I know, I love Paul and Sylvia…they are the perfect couple and staunch friends. I love creating strong secondary characters, but never actually thought of giving them their own story. Hmmmm…brain is now ticking away!
You mention a tour that the reader can take by going to www.singercastle.com. Did you know about the pink castle on Dark Island when you started brainstorming this book?
Yes I did…the castle wasn't open to visitors back when I wrote Lady Be Bad…found some brochures and an article in a travel column on it. Love the tour anyone can take online today…wouldn't it be a fabulous place for a wedding!
I know Lady Be Bad was originally published back in 1986 through Silhouette. How does it feel to enter the electronic generation with your work?
I've been very fortunate as a writer; all 14 of my romances have been in print in some form since they were originally written – starting in 1979! All my romances were re-printed in Large Print Library editions a few years ago.
EBooks are new; I just bought a Kindle…so putting the books into that format has been fun. Entire new generations of romance readers will be introduced to my characters and novels, as well as fans that have moved from print to eBooks.
Speaking of electronic generation, do you have a book trailer? If not, have you considered getting one produced for any of your works?
No…no trailer's as yet. Am just working on a web page!
With the electronic era hitting hard and fast, is there anything you do not like about eBooks? For me personally they just do not smell the same. If you are a total bookworm like me (and I think you are), you go around smelling the pages. Sigh…I can almost smell them now. That is my one and only pet peeve about eBooks.
I totally agree with you. I've been an avid reader since I was a toddler…no honest, my mother said at 2 years old I would sit for hours looking through the Montgomery Ward catalogue…hmmmm…maybe I should say shopper??? Reading transported me from Schenectady, NY to fabulous places around the world and back in time. Love books, always will. The eBook reader certainly does lighten the load, however!
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Favorite authors include some of my best friends: Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky, new eBook authors: Joan Reeves and Cynthia Wicklund. Since I write mystery novels as well, I read them all plus the oldies.
A Smashwords Edition License Note states in your novel that you revamped parts of this story before launching it as an eBook through Smashwords. Can you tell me how that felt to open one of your babies up and operate on it?
Updating was fabulous! When the book was originally written there was no cell phones/computers/fax machines/copiers/etc. While I never wrote to a formula, we were restricted to euphemisms when writing love scenes. Not any more – this book is provocative and explicit and so much fun! I was able to enhance scenes, add in more dialogue and description – all that made the characters even stronger.
What are some of the genres you have written? Any genre you want to write but have not attempted yet? Any that you would not touch with a ten foot pole?
Besides contemporary romance, I've written a sexy mystery series which I hope to update and put into eBooks. A non-fiction book: How to Write the Amateur Detective Novel which was nominated for the Agatha Christie Award. (WHAT AN HONOR THAT MUST HAVE BEEN TO EVEN BE NOMINATED!)
Have attempted Science Fiction short stories but never sold any. I wouldn't write horror – it makes me laugh rather than shriek. I am currently writing a sexy thriller, A RARE MEDIUM WELL DONE that features Atlanta lawyer, Dani Rossi, her assistant Tucker, and Mac Stewart, who is a private security specialist.
Dani has a little secret, she was in a bad auto accident that left her dead…for quite a while – when she came back, she could see and talk to the dead – notably Tucker's grandmother and her assorted friends on an astral plane.
You have a teaser of a sentence in your bio when talking about your husband. He claims he was “intrigued at first sight…maybe with a bit of lust thrown in.” Care to elaborate as to how you guys first met?
Sure – we met at WRGB-TV in Schenectady, NY. I was hired to program the first computerized TV station in the country. He was an engineer. I was the only woman on the engineering floor and the only non-union person. The guys were all a tough sell on computerization and having a woman up there as well – they lost one of their bathrooms to me! We both worked odd hours, kept running into each other – with me pushing the engineers to co-operate with my programming. He co-operated the best! And we started dating – five months later, he proposed.
We are total opposites: he's classic music & Beatles; I'm Elvis and classic rock. He's science fiction; I'm mysteries. He's serious; I'm funny. We've gotten along great and will celebrate 42 years in October, with two kids, four grandchildren and a lot of laughter. (CONGRATS ON THE LAUGHING AND LOVING FOR THE LAST 42 YEARS!)
You definitely know how to set the mood when it comes to throwing out your excerpts. I loved how you included them after Lady Be Bad. They really make the reader want to go out and grab those novels! You mention they will be coming out in eBook format soon. Any idea when those will be available?
Thanks so much. Currently available in eBooks are: SPECIAL DELIVERY, DESIGNING WOMAN, VIDEO VIXEN, CALCULATED RISK, DOUBLE OCCUPANCY and of course LADY BE BAD. Readers will find excerpts on all the books in each eBook. Am almost finished updating DARE THE DEVIL.
All the books have been updated, with expanded scenes, as well as nearly sixty pages of new material in each book. All are funny, highly sensual contemporary romances that were previously published and #1 on a variety of bestsellers lists. They are available for Nook, Kindle, and on Smashwords in a variety of eBook reader formats as well as ITunes download!
Do you have any websites you would like to share? Such as your website or social network sites such as Facebook, etc.
Twitter, Facebook, Amazon author page, Smashwords author page
A couple of goofy questions coming up here, just for you! Is there anything quirky about you that you have not told anyone else?
Yes, I'm banned from bowling in all 50 states…there was an incident I was put on a list…let's just leave it at that! (READERS, SEE WHAT I MEANT ABOUT HER TEASERS?)
If you were to be described as a flavor of coffee, what flavor would that be and why?
Coffee is my favorite drink!! I had the perfect iced coffee yesterday – Seattle's Best Mocha Caramel at Burger King (sorry for the plug but) It was so me! The flavor is sweet but not too sweet. Rich and deep with a bit of a punch.
Thank you so much! I had fun reading, reviewing, and getting to know you as well as your zany and interesting characters.
Thank you Danielle – it's been wonderful.
READERS! DON’T GO ANYWHERE. HERE IS THAT DELIGHTFUL EXCERPT I PROMISED YOU!
"Seduce me?" His resonant laughter echoed off the tiled bathroom walls. "I'm flattered, Mimi, but you couldn't have done it." His dark head gave a knowing shake. "You just aren't the seductive type. You're too…too…" Noah searched for the proper word, "…wholesome. That's it. Wholesome and too mature to play adolescent games."
"Seduction is not an adolescent's game, Noah," she said dryly. "A knowledgeable woman can turn seduction into an art."
He wagged a finger at her. "Ahh...see, there's the catch, that word knowledgeable." Noah favored her with a sympathetic smile. "Face it, honey, you never were any good at using your feminine wiles. I in fact, during the three months we dated before we got married and even after we were married, I was always the aggressor. You were properly shy and sweetly embarrassed."
"Proper and sweet?" Marlayna twisted the loofa between two hands. With each repetition of the phrase, her pride and femininity were dealt a lethal punch.
Noah cleared his throat. "Why do I get the impression you'd rather be wringing my neck than that sponge?"
She threw it up in the air, caught it and smiled at him. "Because it's true."
Well readers. I hope you had fun! Time to go. I can hear the Mistress’ beautiful boots stomping up the stairs. Sounds like she didn’t have any luck finding new toys. Until next time, read some luscious books and drink lots of coffee!