Shine Not Burn by Elle Casey
Publication date: June 30th 2013
Genre: NA Romance
1. You started out writing in YA. What brought you over to New Adult?
I’ve been a reader of new adult titles even before they were called ‘new adult’. And I love the age group it covers. 18-30 years old is such a great time in life, isn’t it? I mean, it’s when you sow your wild oats, learn about yourself in the context of the whole world and not just your family and friends; it’s where you figure out who you’re going to be. The adult-formative years I guess you could call it. And the sex part is awesome too, I won’t lie. You can only get so sexy with a YA book, so as a writer, I have to hold back. In NA, I don’t have to do that. It can be passionate, raw, sometimes awkward and full of bad decisions, but it can be REAL. I guess that’s what I love about NA most … it’s raw and real.
2. What’s your favorite part of being a writer?
My readers. Hands down, it’s the readers. I get emails and messages every day from devoted fans, and I can’t express how much that means to me. There are readers out there who’ve set up book blogs just because they were so excited about my books, people who make it a point to promote my books on their Facebook pages and Twitter just because they want to share the reader-love, and whole families who are reading my series and discussing them at dinner. It just blows my mind that people would be so generous and so involved in my made-up worlds. Recently I had a fan dress as one of my characters at a comic con event. I also occasionally get a very heart-warming message about how my writing has changed someone’s life – caused them to finally start reading or to go to college. To me, that’s the sign of a life well-lived – that I’ve somehow inspired another person to reach for something they want in life that they thought they didn’t have a chance at having before.
3. What’s the most important element in a romance in your opinion?
A sexy guy. Seriously, he just needs to be sexy as hell, and that doesn’t mean sexy can’t come in different packages. For example, in the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the MC, Ian, is very understated and shy, but man, he rocked my world. He reminds me a lot of my husband, actually. On the other hand you have your angsty fighters … guys who you’d never let into your world in real life but who are safe to fall for in books. Travis from Beautiful Disaster comes to mind. Boy, did he cause a lot of fuss in the reader world! Chemistry comes in all kinds of packages, which is awesome, but the chemistry has to be there or the book falls flat for me.
4. What kind of romances do you like to read?
The kind where bad boys are tamed by courageous girls. It’s really that simple for me. 🙂
I used to read constantly. I never was without a book in my purse or backpack. I’m a very fast reader, so I can read three full length novels in a day if I’m not doing much else. And when I read, I cut off the outside world; I don’t hear or see anything else but the story when I’m reading. It’s awesome to be in a mental reading cocoon like that! Once I started writing, that stopped for a couple reasons: First of all, I don’t have the free time anymore; I write too much. Second, I worried that other people’s words would seep into my own writing and influence it too much. I’ve recently gone back to doing more reading just because I’ve missed it, but the problem is that now I’m a much more critical reader than I used to be. I pick things apart and think about how I would have handled it, had I been the author. I pick up on every single grammatical mistake and every awkward sentence. I sometimes wish I could go back to being a reader like I used to be just so I could immerse myself in the story more. That is one of the few negative aspects of becoming a writer that no one tells you will happen, but it happens to everyone once they write enough.
Elle Casey is a full-time writer of New Adult and Young Adult titles in several genres, including romance, urban fantasy, sci-fi dystopian, and action-adventure. She’s an American girl who’s been living in southern France with her husband and three children since 2010. She loves chatting with her readers, so feel free to drop her a line.