Welcome, today we are talking with Elyzabeth M. VeLey! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about Elyzabeth M. VeLey that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
Sure thing! I’m an adult ESL teacher and besides my two dogs, I also have a cat. We have a love- hate relationship. That is, I love her, and she hates me. Well, she loves me upon occasion, but the moments are rare.
More stuff? I’m an introvert, which means I’m wonderfully awkward at social interactions. 😀 And even though I’m a romance writer, I’m a disaster at flirting.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I think I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was around eight years old. I remember we used to have book fairs at school and we had to create our own books -cover included- and I loved the whole process of creating a story. My mom still keeps those first tales.
How long have you been writing?
Forever? I’ve been creating stories since I learned how to write, but I’ve been a published writer since 2009, when my first short story, The Sweetest Christmas Candy, got accepted by an online website and I got paid for it. Yay! After that, my first novella, Teaching Alisse, was published in 2011. Unfortunately, the book is no longer available as the publisher closed down.
It’s incredible how time flies when you’re having fun!
What have you found most challenging about it?
The Marketing aspect. Writing is “easy”, but getting readers to notice your book is incredibly difficult. There are so many wonderful stories out there, why would they pick mine?
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional or exhausted when you write those hot scenes? Have you received any awards for your writing?
Writing is my creative outlet. Depending on the scene I’m writing, I can end up emotionally exhausted, but at the same time, I also get an emotional high. It’s almost like a sugar rush and I want to go around sharing what I’m writing with anyone who lends an ear. I have to contain myself. LOL
My story, Max’s Desire, won Best 2018 Fantasy book in my publisher’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Other years I’d been runner up for best BDSM, Dark Romance and best Naughty Fairy Tale.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?
I mainly write on the bus during my commute, and I mainly write as the story comes to me. I do try to force myself to get a few words out, even if they’re worthless, but sometimes if I’m too tired, it’s impossible.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
The dream is to make writing a full time job. Unfortunately, it’s more of a hobby at the moment.
What inspires you?
Music, traveling, nature. Separately and all together. Taking walks with my dogs also helps get the creative juices running.
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life.
What is your favorite:
Animal – Dog
Food – Spaghetti and meatballs
Movie – Eek, this one is difficult. I’m going to go with: Gone with the Wind.
TV show – Don’t have one. I hardly watch TV and when I do I watch cartoons. Favorite cartoon at this moment though is Star Against the Forces of Evil. :p
Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio
Singer – Ville Valo or Chris Harms
What are your pet peeves?
I hate books or movies in which the heroine wears glasses, then gets a makeover and magically doesn’t need them or, the fact that she wears glasses is forgotten half way through the book/movie. I wear glasses and I can assure you, without them, I’m blind!
Also, people who are continuously late. It’s one thing to be late five minutes, but when you’re late fifteen to twenty minutes every other time, it’s just disrespectful.
Who is your hero?
My mom. She practically raised my sister and I on her own, struggling with finances, health issues and a depression she wasn’t even aware of having.
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
Only one? Well, I’d really like to go to one of the Disney theme parks during Christmas. It must be magical.
What would readers find surprising about you?
Perhaps that even though I love Disney and still watch cartoons and animated films, my favorite music genre is Goth metal, and I love the beauty of darkness in humanity.
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
Tolkien. Lord of the Rings is one of my all-time favorite books and I’d love to hear all about his creative process.
Any bad habits?
Is eating chocolate a bad habit? How about drinking coffee? I don’t have it black, only with milk and a little sugar.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
Oh dear. Funniest thing that’s ever happened to me? That depends on your sense of humor, but I suppose, something funny that happened to me recently, was that during one of my classes, I can’t remember how it came about, but one of my student’s brought up Fifty Shades of Grey and I ended up having to explain what the BDSM acronym stood for.
Now that our readers know who Elyzabeth M. VaLey is let’s get down to the business of your book, Open (Love, Lust and Darkness).
How long did it take you from beginning to end before your novel was completely finished, and how did you decide on the topic and title?
Open came to me when I was working on another BDSM story for an anthology titled Passion, Pleasure, Pain, for Doris O’Connor, an author friend who had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. That was back in January. As soon as I finished Entwined I set to work on Open and I finished and submitted in March. It’s a rare thing, but for once, the title and premise of the book came to me before anything else.
Please tell us a little bit about, Open.
Open tells the story of two people, Marcus and Gabi, who once shared a common past and meet again in the present time. Marcus has always wanted Gabi, but in the past he couldn’t have her. She’s been through hell and back, and opening up to any man for more than a few hours is not something she’s willing to do. However, Marcus can be very compelling…
Here is the blurb if you’d like a bit more information:
One day she’d be his.
Almost a decade ago, Marcus Grimes worked as a bodyguard to a man who didn’t deserve the woman he’d had. When she finally left, Marcus vowed to eventually find her and make her his.
The time is now.
Marcus runs into Gabi at a BDSM club, indulging in a different partner every week but never really exploring beyond the mere superficial. She doesn’t remember him, and he convinces her to give him a chance.
All she has to do is open.
After leaving an abusive relationship, Gabi moved cities and reinvented herself. Now, she’s confident and capable of playing with any Dom she sees fit without compromising herself or her emotions.
Until she meets Marcus Grimes.
There is something familiar about him, which should have stopped her, but instead spurs her on, and before she realizes it, Marcus is not only opening her body to his exploration, he’s also delving into her heart.
However, when their mutual past comes to light and everything she’s fought for during the last eight years is jeopardized, will she close herself off again or will she give love an opportunity?
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
Other than finding the time to sit and write, the biggest challenge was not making the story too dark. When you write dark romance there’s a boundary you mustn’t cross, and I had to be careful not to make the hero overstep it. I think I succeeded and Marcus comes out as the kind of guy you want to have in your life.
What kind of research did you have to do?
I had to do some research on drug mafias as well as on the FBI. Also, the different types of spider gags. Oh, and how to start your own gym.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
Marcus and Gabi complement each other. She wants to keep everything on the surface, a quick shag and that’s it, but he wants more and he’s going to get it.
Any other works in progress?
I’m currently working on book 2 of Lust, Love and Darkness, and I just signed the contract for Killian’s Hope, book 4 of the Alpha Protector paranormal-fantasy romance series.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t give up! Just because you can’t make writing your main source of income doesn’t mean your stories shouldn’t be out there.
Thank you for having me today! It’s been fun! Also, I love hearing from readers, so feel free to follow me on any social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest).