Learning from those who do what you would like to be able to do is a great way to absorb the nuances and expectations of others in that line of work or athletic endeavor. My guest author today has done just that! Meet Elsa Winckler! First a look at her bio and then we’ll find out who inspired her and what attracts her to writing romance.
Elsa has been reading love stories for as long as she can remember and when she ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James, The Brontë sisters, etc., during her Honours studies, she was hooked for life.
She married her college boyfriend and soul mate and after 45 years, 3 interesting and wonderful children and 4 beautiful grandchildren they are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa
She likes the heroines in her stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are, of course, also gorgeous! Her stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Elsa: In 2008 when I entered an Afrikaans writing competition. I was fortunate enough to win it and the prize was the publication of the story. I was hooked.
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Elsa: I actually jumped right in without any thought to writing skills! I’ve been reading love stories since my teens, so it somehow came naturally to me, but since then, I’ve learnt so much and I’m still learning every day.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Elsa: I’ve probably read every single Mills & Boon during the 1980s and 1990s, so I knew what I liked as a reader and that’s what I try to do – write the kind of stories I would like to read.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Elsa: The writing competition.
Betty: What type of writing did you start with?
Elsa: Romance. I also write Inspirational romance and have one children’s book published (in Afrikaans).
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Elsa: Romance. I love happy endings. I’ve been married to the same stubborn, at times infuriating but always loving husband for 45 years, so it makes it easy to believe that true love really exists J.
Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?
Elsa: I learnt about writing by reading literally thousands of books in every genre but mostly romance. Reading, I think, is still the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been to conferences and learn daily from fellow romance authors. The one book I can recommend, is Stephen King’s On writing. Everything you need to know about writing, is in there.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Elsa: How to handle a rejection! I’m still not very good with that J.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Elsa: Every single Mills & Boon author! I also love Nora Roberts, Jane Ann Krentz and Sandra Brown, Sarah Balance, Lilliana Hart, Jane Porter, Lauren Blakely to mention a few.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Elsa: It’s the last book in a series about the Cavallo brothers, billionaire tycoons with a string of boutique hotels in South Africa and the Seychelles. We’ve been to the Seychelles many years ago and I left a little bit of my heart behind. To have one of the Cavallo hotels in the Seychelles, was an obvious choice. The brothers work hard, play hard but have a difficult time trusting woman.
Darryn Cavallo is a seasoned photographer and quite used to being surrounded by gorgeous, half-naked women without breaking a sweat but he isn’t ready for the powerful feelings fashion model Hannah Sutherland elicits the minute he sets eyes on her. He’d once made the rookie mistake of falling for a model and it had ended badly, so when another photographer implies he’s also been with Hannah, Darryn uses it as the perfect excuse to walk away.
But when they meet again, Darryn can’t ignore his instincts—Hannah is in danger. Lies and threats make targets of them both, and faced with a situation of pure terror, Darryn is forced to realize he’ll do anything to protect her. And to keep her with him, always…
Lifting her face up to the sun, drinking in the fragrance that was the Seychelles, Hannah lifted the layers of pink tulle of the skirt she was wearing and twirled. Sandy, the makeup artist and the hair stylist laughed.
“I was wondering when you’d do that,” Sandy said. Looking over her shoulder, Sandy grinned. “Looks like our photographer caught you in the act.”
Hannah looked up into a pair of dark brown eyes that were watching her over the lens of a camera. This had to be Darryn Cavallo. The rumors were true—he was drop-dead gorgeous. Tall, muscled, with tousled, ink-black hair. Wow.
She didn’t wait to be introduced to him, didn’t wait to listen to his instructions. With her eyes locked on him, she slid into a pose. He stared at her for another minute before he lifted the camera.
And then her body started moving to a beat only audible to her and the photographer. Without any conscious thought, she posed and turned, instinctively knowing exactly what he wanted her to do.
The air around her stopped moving, breathing became difficult, any minute now she was going to go up in flames. Every cell in her body was reacting to him.
Sounds like a great story, Elsa! Thanks for sharing with us your thoughts on writing!
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