Indie Support Sunday: Elliot Fletcher
There’s always something about books that are set in a different country, where the characters are going on a journey together. And as readers, we get to experience the journey through their eyes, plus we’re witnesses to the beautiful location. Elliot did that effortlessly with her debut The Paris Syndrome—I read it in less than 12 hours, so there’s proof that I was hooked from the first page. Her second book, Whisky Business, travels to Scotland and a grumpy Scotsman and an actress with a whisky distillery—all the perfect ingredients for a great story. And the covers for both Elliot’s books are gorgeous, eye-catching and they honestly look so good on bookshelves too!
And in case you missed it, Whisky Business and two more books by Elliot have been picked up by HarperCollins, with the first book to be republished in June 2024. So, this might be Elliot’s last interview as an indie author and I’m beyond excited for her author journey and where it’s taking her!
While she works on the second book in the series that kicked off with Whisky Business, you can download her first two books through Kindle Unlimited right now!
BEING AN AUTHOR
Who or what inspired you to write?
My year 4 teacher. My class was given a task to write a short story based off of a title ‘The storm.’ I of course ran with this and wrote a lengthy story, probably more creepy for any eight year old should be writing and went about my day. But later that evening my teacher phoned and read the story to my mum over the phone. I guess that was my first moment of validation.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The absolute best is the community. I’ve met so many amazing women from all over the world, people I hope are in my life forever.
The worst is being chronically online. I sometimes feel like social media is an anxiety bubble designed to make you compare your own success with everyone around you.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I honestly felt like self-publishing was the better route for a romance novelist. Traditional publishing can be very specific with the stories they want to tell. Also, I’m very impatient, with self publishing you can write a book and have it in your readers hands within a matter of weeks.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
This is probably going to be a very boring answer, but I read my favorite books or listen to music. And a walk on the beach always helps, something about crashing waves always brings new possibilities for me.
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t be put off if your first draft is a dumpster fire (writing this as I worry that my first draft of my WIP is a dumpster fire)
Try to read critically. Why do you adore your favorite books? What draws you to read them again and again?
Read craft books.
Don’t worry if your process doesn’t look like other writers.
Keep a little notepad or have a notes folder on your phone for random spurts of inspiration.
ROMANCE AS A GENRE
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?
Romance was the only genre choice for me because I adore it. I love this genre so much because it’s one of the few genres where we get to read about women succeeding. Romance is the genre that taught me to dream
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I would love to be able to write a horror novel. (if I could ever bring myself to read one) I think it takes a lot of talent to be able to scare a reader.
What are your most and least favorite tropes?
Favorite: Grumpy/sunshine– no matter how many times I read this it never gets old. Enemies to lovers–because I adore sexually charged bickering.
Least favorite (but will absolutely read if done right): Virgin FMC, Surprise pregnancy
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I’d actually love to throw the ‘sex lessons/dating lessons’ trope on its head and have the FMC take the lead.
I’d also love to write fantasy.
If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?
I write open door because I think sex positivity is really important. I first learned about sex through romance novels and I know a lot of teenage girls are probably doing the same now. All of my sex scenes put consent and female pleasure at the forefront. (Plus they are super fun to write ahaha)
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
The idea for The Paris Syndrome came to me while I was actually writing a draft for a book that will never see the light of day. A scene came to mind (The MC’s going on what is a very disastrous date) and I had to write it straight away and find out the rest of their story.
Whisky Business came to me on a whisky tour where I decided it would be really fun to watch a romance in a fun setting.
Can you briefly tell me about your books?
Whisky Business is the story of April and Malcolm. April is a once thriving actress whose work has dried up a little in recent years. After inheriting her families whisky distillery on the Scottish Isle of Skye, she returns to her childhood home to decide her next course of action.
There she discovers the grumpy master distiller, Mal, who isn’t quite as happy about her return as she was expecting.
Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?
Mal is my favourite character and I think he’ll be a tough one for me to beat. Like myself, he suffers with severe social anxiety and I really loved representing that in a male character. He’s a real marshmallow of a man and writing his cute, bumbling moments will always be a joy for me.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
So much, haha! I think every character inherits parts if the writer, whether its aspects of our personality or our experiences. Sometimes it’s even installing in them personality traits I would love to emulate.
Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?
Character growth. My stories are always character driven. I like to put them through the ringer.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I’m working on book two of the Macabe family series. Callum is coming in strong!
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I want people to feel as though they’ve been wrapped in a warm blanket. I want to write comfort books that people will read again and again.
Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks
Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense—But I’m picky haha!
Single or Dual POV–Dual
Standalones, series or standalones in a series—I want as much time with my favourite characters as I can get
Open door, ajar door or closed door romances
Music or silence when writing—Sometimes a comfort film
Plotter, pantser or plantser—Plotter but it usually ends up plantser
Water, tea, coffee or….wine?—I’m British, it’s the law
Cold or warm weather
Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?
Illustrated or photo cover?