Hi Toni. Thanks for inviting me to visit your blog today. Thrilled to be here! Nice to have you, Elyse :)
Who are you and what do you write?
My name’s Elyse Mady, I write contemporary and historical romance for Carina Press. I live in southern Ontario with my husband, two boys, a cat with an identity crisis and a ragged collection of semi-feral dustbunnies I’ve named Flopsy, Mopsy and Killer.
When I’m not writing, I teach film and literature at a local college. When I’m not writing, teaching or ferrying my children to activities, I enjoy creative endeavours like sewing and hand embroidery.
What’s your favourite place in the world to visit?
I went to France this summer for the first time and loved it. It was utterly gorgeous. Became something of a running joke, as we’d round the corner of some teeny tiny road, only be greeted by the site of nodding sunflowers, dappled skies and some 13th century village, all soft creams and red clay, to sigh and say to each other in exasperated tones, “Ah yes, yet another picturesque French vista. Really, I do so long for a change, don’t you?” (What can I say? I come by my penchant for sarcasm honestly!) I do love France :)
How long have you been published or is this your first sale?
“Learning Curves” is my second novel, but my first contemporary. My first, “The Debutante’s Dilemma”, was a historical novella and came out last fall. I’ve got two more books coming out in the next six months: “Something So Right” in September, 2011 is another contemporary, while “The White Swan Affair,” my first long historical, will be coming out in 2012.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was a teenager. I wrote my first novel in my early twenties and then several screenplays after that. None of them were picked up but I kept at it. When I returned to school after my second child was born to complete my masters, I started doing magazine articles on a freelance basis in order to make some extra money, since grad school does not make you rich. While I was there, I wrote what became “Learning Curves”, which was ultimately sold to Carina.
What comes first—characters or the plot?
Characters all the way. I’m a total and complete punster. I don’t even write my novels in order. For me, it’s the characters who direct the story and really tell me how they want the story to evolve.
Who’s your favourite hero?
Captain Frederick Wentworth from Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”. He loves Anne Eliot so faithfully. How can you not love him, too, when he says something like this:
Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago. Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. That’s love, in my opinion. Real, piercing, untidy but ultimately unshakeable.
Who’s on your auto-buy list for authors?
Megan Hart, Julia Justiss and Michelle Willingham are all authors I love.
Do you write to music? Do you make soundtracks for you stories? If so, what was on the soundtrack for your latest release?
I never listen to music as I write. I find it utterly distracting. I can work in noise (uh, hello? Two small kids in the house – I could probably work on a runway at Pearson and not notice!) but music is something I can’t work and listen to simultaneously. I love music – I played piano for a lot of years but not while I’m writing.
What’s your biggest dream?
I want to write a novel that ends up on the NYT Bestseller’s List. Barring that, having one of my novels optioned and then get either Daniel Craig or Hugh Jackman to star in it. Or both. Preferably acting in Speedos ;) Funny but I'm hoping your wish comes true too :)
If you were a millionaire would you still write?
Absolutely. I write when I’m very far from a millionaire and love it now. How could I give it up? I’d just have a fancier computer, an assistant and a must better ‘research’ trips to far flung places.
Cat or dog person?
Grew up with a dog. Sam. A schnauzer of dubious pedigree. Married a cat person though, so by default, I sort of switched alliances. Love our calico, though and sort of enjoy the best of both worlds. As my mom says, our cat is the most dog-like creature she’s ever met and it’s true. If she (our cat, not my Mom!) ever starts barking, I won’t be surprised.
Elyse Mady is the author of “Learning Curves” and “The Debutante’s Dilemma”, both with Carina Press. Upcoming books include “Something So Right” (September, 2011) and “The White Swan Affair” (2012). She blogs at www.elysemady.wordpress.com. You can also find her on Twitter at @elysemady and Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4410592.Elyse_Mady.