Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A New Chance at Romance

Stories of reunited lovers or a second chance at love have always been among my favorite romantic tales to read so I am always looking for new offerings. This week's guest in My Writing Corner has just such a story to offer and it immediately captured my interest when I read the blurb. My guest today is new author Elsie Davis who has a wonderful story of how she got published. 

Elsie, how did you get started on your writing career?
I’ve been an avid romance reader since the age of twelve. In my mid to late twenties, I started to notice a certain level of frustration when I was reading if the story didn’t go the way I thought it should. Putting pen to paper, I started to write thinking it would be easy. I graduated to the Commodore printer and Ink Jet printer. (Dating myself big time) Turns out, writing an entire story, at least one worth reading, seemed impossible. My big dreams faded away into the reality of diapers, school, homework, sports, cleaning, dinners. You get the picture.

Twenty or so years later, I started writing again. This time courtesy of Microsoft Word and a modern computer. Two or three stories spilled out of me, but I knew they still weren’t good enough to let anyone read, much less send out into the big, scary world of publication.

Tell us about your journey to publication. Have you always wanted to write fiction?
The official start as I see it, came in 2014, when I had written a romantic suspense, Only Trust Your Heart, and I was starting to gather confidence. A retired English teacher read it for me (the first person to ever read anything I wrote) and she loved the story. My mechanics needed work, but the overall structure was in place. I started taking classes and rewriting the story. I signed up for the 2015 RWA conference in NYC and met a roommate online through the RWA loop. In March, she mentioned the Daphne du Maurier writing contest for romantic suspense. I’d never heard of it, or the Kiss of Death writing chapter for that matter. I had one week to polish the manuscript and make the decision to send. It was one of those “I’m going to be sick” moments when I hit send. When I got the call in May 2015 to tell me I’d finaled, I couldn’t stop crying. It was my first official validation I was moving closer to my goal. While at the RWA conference in July, I attended the Kiss of Death Chocolate Ball and it was then I found out Only Trust Your Heart placed second in the category romantic suspense division.

It gave me the confidence I needed to decide to pursue my dreams full-time once again, and with my husband’s support, I quit my job in September of 2016 and applied myself to writing and learning the craft of writing. By this time, I had ten stories, only three of which had seen the light of an editor’s day. A few of these I am rewriting, and others will stay locked away forever. They are considered part of the learning curve and beyond repair.

In November 2016, I pitched Back in the Rancher’s Arms at the Savvy Author Pitchtacular event and from a 3-line pitch got a request from Heidi Shoham with Entangled Publishing. This turned into a revise and resubmit, and then into a contract in May 2017.  

My debut novel, Back in the Rancher’s Arms is a second-chance sweet romance but following close on its heels will be Only Trust My Heart, as it recently went under contract with The Wild Rose Press.

Please tell us about your latest book.
First and latest. LOL. My debut novel, Back in the Rancher’s Arms came out for release on April 9th.  It’s a sweet, second chance romance set in rural Texas. This is a standalone book and the first of my Trinity River novels.

How do you come up with characters?
Someone or something trips a “that would make a great story” moment. I start thinking about the possible directions the story can take and zero in on what I like best. It’s like I create just enough about the character, like their background, their job, and their issues. Then I do a full character assessment to know what makes him tick, how he would react, what drives him, what would set him off. I use Angela Ackerman’s books on positive and negative traits and on emotion to get a clear picture of the characters.

Tell us about your hero and why you wanted to write him?
I’ve always loved cowboys. Must be the way they wear their jeans. LOL. Or their hat and boots. Or drive a beat up pick-up truck. Dylan has all those characteristics and then some. Just when he thought he would be leaving home to pursue his dreams, he was saddled with a lot of responsibility on the ranch, including raising his little brother. Character shines through the best when faced with adversity and Dylan is no exception.

What do you like best about your heroine?
Kayla is independent, feisty and has a heart of gold. She’s been dealt a lot of pain but rose above it to make a success of her life. I can identify with her.

What is your next project?
Book two of my Trinity River novels, currently titled Small Town, Big Secret. As many people have guessed, it will feature Becky, Kayla’s ex-best friend recently reunited. Becky needs legal advice and the District Attorney Elect in Houston is just the man to help her.

I’m also working a heartwarming story called Rescue My Heart. This story came to mind after an actual 911 call that took place here at my home. It involved a golden retriever chasing a squirrel, a steep cliff that drops down into a quarry, and a happily-ever-after rescue. 

Let's get a blurb about Back in the Rancher's Arms

Dylan Hunter has always loved the girl next door. Part of loving her meant making sure she left their small town to study to become a veterinarian. He just never expected it to take this long for her to come home. His hands are full raising his younger brother and bringing his ranch through the drought, but one look at Kayla and his feelings are back full force.

Kayla Anderson’s not prepared to see the guy who broke her heart in high school again, but she can’t get out of returning home to be maid of honor at her cousin’s wedding. She’s determined to have fun and celebrate the special day, despite the fact Dylan is her family’s closest neighbor and the best man, and get the heck out of Dodge.

But Dylan already lost the woman he loved once. This time, he’s determined to win her back...

Want to read more? Here are the buy links:

And if you would like to get more information on Elsie and her work, here are her contact links:

Free Chapter One Read-Back in the Rancher’s Arm
Member of RWA and KOD, Award-winning novelist

Thank you, Elsie, for being our guest today and telling us about your book! Any comments or questions for Elsie?

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