Please welcome today’s guest author S.E. Gilchrist. S.E. hails from Australia. She’s a relatively new author who already has three books to her credit. She likes to write futuristic romance and historical romance with fantasy elements. Please check out the interview below to find out more about S.E. Gilchrist. Be sure to do your part to make S.E. feel welcome by leaving questions and comments for her following this post.
Laurie’s Interview With S.E. Gilchrist
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself – when did you first know you wanted to write – what was your journey to publication like – do you have a spouse or significant other – kids? Pets? Where in the world do you live? Where did you grow up? What real life events and experiences fuel your writing?
Hi Laurie, thank you so much for having me on your site today. Ok a little about myself; I’m an Australian who lives in regional NSW, an area called the Hunter Valley which is rich in vineyards, rolling hills, a river and a mere half hour’s drive from the Pacific Ocean.
Like many writers I have been putting pen to paper since I was little but for a long time, it was a hobby, a pastime to idle away a few hours. Being a single parent required me to work full time and with three children my ‘creative’ energy was usually pretty much depleted at the end of most days. It wasn’t until I began to have a little more free time that the urge to write grew stronger but I wasn’t sure I would ‘make’ it so deep down inside, I didn’t really believe I could be a real writer. In January 2009 I made a commitment to take my passion seriously so I took my first on-line writing course, the RWAustralia Bootcamp 109 and followed that up by my first attendance at the RWAustralia conference, that year held in Brisbane. Seriously, these two events changed my life.
Suddenly, I was in contact with like-minded people, some of whom were like me, on the threshold of their writing journey, others were established writers with years of experience and achievements and of course, there was everyone in between. It fuelled my dream.
And what was so wonderful at that conference, was that everyone said to me: If you write, you are a writer.’
My kids (now in the twenties) and my mum have been a wonderful source of encouragement. I’m a very newly published author. My first contract was for a short erotic story, Paying the Forfeit, published by Momentum Publishing on 1st December 2012. My debut single title, a hot sci fi futuristic romance, Legend Beyond the Stars, has only recently been published on 10th January 2013 by Escape Publishing. And on 27th December 2012 I self e-published an erotic fantasy novella, Bound by Love.
Q: To tell or not to tell – do you tell people what you write? Do your close friends and family members read your books? What have some of their reactions been?
At first I found it really hard to say, Hey I’m a romance writer but the past twelve months it has become easier, especially as I felt I was moving forward with my writing journey. I’ve found that some people I tell are encouraging and interested and yet others, think I’m wasting my time and view what I write as ‘trash’. Unfortunately I can get rather fired up then, sure my stories are no literary inspirational tomes but I hope, they are entertaining, capable of whisking a reader into another world so they forget their cares even for a little while. At least that’s my goal.
Q: What really makes you tick as a writer? What drives you? What inspires you?
I just have an over active imagination. There’s always some new story, a new exciting character popping up. I often have new ideas or work through a plot hole that’s missing something when I’m outside walking through the bush or beside the water. I find music is a great inspiration to me. I love reading about history, myths, legends and the various religions of our great planet. I also love reading about new inventions, futuristic weapons, discoveries of new planets, any space achievements etc.
I recently learnt about graphene which is incredibly small, incredibly strong and can conduct electricity. Fascinating. I decided to use this for a light, thin protective suit for my protagonist in my latest sci fi story.
Q: Please tell us a bit about Your Book.
I’m plugging my self e-published erotic novella. Bound by Love is set in the later Dark Ages of Britain and has fantasy elements. It is a story of revenge and how love can redeem even the most hardened soul. My heroine is a light-hearted, merry pixie who longs to find and know her mortal mother who abandoned her. She sparks more than lust inside the demon who captures her; in her own way, she brings him back to life.
Q: Please tell us a bit about the idea behind Your Book. What inspired the story? What part of the story did you get first? How did it build on itself till you had the complete story? What was it about this story versus other ideas that compelled you to write it?
I wanted to explore writing an erotic story with fantasy elements and utlilise my love of history and myths as well. The conflict was the catalyst for this book; a man / demon seeking revenge for the death of his mother captures his enemy’s only daughter.
I was at the time looking at myths and legends to work into a single title I was writing and came across the Fomorians of ancient Ireland. Reputed to be people or pirates from across the sea and supposedly ill-looking, they were warriors and fought the Tuatha De Danann. I used them to create my hero’s race and then thought of a magical race of people I could use that were not the fae or elves and settled on pixies. The pixies’ goddess is actually Danu who is connected to the Tuatha de Danann (ie the people of the goddess Danu).
Q: Which comes first for you? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?
It usually is a mix of conflict and characters, sometimes one or the other is the first to pop into my head.
Q: Was there one particular scene that was your favorite in Your Book? Please tell us about that scene. What happens in the scene? Why is it an important scene in the book?
My favourite scene would have to be the one at the end of Chapter Ten. Domhnall is using sex to chastise Teelah for disobeying him, mainly for her own protection. When she begs to know why he is hell-bent on revenge against her people, he has the opportunity to really hurt her by telling the truth about her father but he desists, not wanting to give her pain. It is here that he admits (to himself, that is J) how much she has come to mean to him. Here’s an excerpt…
“Aileen said you had gone to the pool and I thought you may harm my people.”
“I made a vow, Teelah, to rid the world of all your kin. I will not be gainsaid,” he said sternly.
Something cold, wet and small dropped onto his chest.
His pixie was crying.
He heard her gulp. When she spoke her voice little more than a whisper of warmth on a cold Samhain’s night, his gut cramped with regret.
“I went to stop you.”
“And how would you do that, pixie? Had you thought to kill me yourself? Like you promised that pup Robbie you would rid him of his wife?”
“Nay, I could never hurt you.” Her declaration rang with sincerity. “And I would not hurt Aileen. I thought I would chant my spell and she would leave Tranellean. You gave back my pouch, why?”
He snorted. “No pixie spells can work on a Fomorian.”
“I could have cast my spell and became invisible,” she argued.
He snorted. “Aye, but you would not be able to pass the gates. Plus my sister can see your pixie glow.”
“If that is true, how did we manage to pass through your shield spell around the fort?”
“My headstrong sister and for that I have yet to have speech with her. Neither of you should have left the protection of the fort.”
“Aileen wished to help me. And I have done nothing but cause problems.” Teelah squirmed and his heart thumped at the friction of her still damp, inner body over his skin. “It is all me fault that you are here.” Her voice sounded husky and thick with tears of remorse. “Aye, Domhnall, I sang me chant and she came here. You both came. I did not know you would seek to hurt us.” More tears plopped onto him.
There was more than a hint of question in her wistful words but Domhnall declined to answer. He knew it would cause her pain to learn of her father’s evil actions.
It would be best to keep such matters to himself…leave her with good memories of her kin. And then when he had exterminated all her people, what would she think of him?
He stared with burning eyes into the darkness. Well, no matter what she thought, she would remain with him. Always.
Q: What are your boundaries as an author? Are there certain things you won’t write about? Are there certain situations that you will never put your characters in? Are there certain sexual practices that your characters will never indulge in? Why have you adopted these particular boundaries?
I’m not sure I could ever write a full m/m story, not because of any particular taboos on my part but rather because I don’t believe I could do the story and the characters justice. In relation to sexual practices, at this stage I couldn’t say but only because the erotic genre is one I have only begun to explore.
Q: Are there any subgenres you absolutely cannot envision writing? Why?
I don’t believe I could ever write a horror story, I don’t read them nor do I watch horror movies. Not my thing.
Q: Please tell us about the characters in Your Book. What strengths do the characters have? What weaknesses?
The heroine, Teelah, is kind, merry, full of love and laughter but she is too trusting and naïve.
The hero, Domhnall is abrupt, cold and empty of love, and trusts very few people.
Q: Most writers know a lot of things about their characters that never make it into the book. What can you tell us about your characters that didn’t make it into the book?
I left a lot unsaid about their childhood and ‘growing up’ years. Teelah has a weakness for strawberries and can hold her breath / swim under water for a very long time. Domhnall plays a wooden flute which never made it into the story at all.
Q: What internal conflicts or character weaknesses did your characters have to overcome in order to reach their happily ever after ending?
They both had to learn to let go of their past.
Q: What do you envy about the characters in your book(s)?
Their great sex life.
Q: Angst or humor? Which is your favorite in the books you write? The books you read?
Humour but its so very hard to get right.
Q: Please describe your book in five words that are not in your blurb.
Sexy, dangerous, action, a love story.
Q: What aspect of writing do you find the most difficult?
The love / sex scenes because I wanted to portray the emotion as well as the physical connection.
Q: What kind of writing do you find the most fun?
The action / adventure scenes.
Q: What do you know now after writing and publishing a book that you wish you’d known at the outset?
More about how to use social media to promote my books. Something I’m still learning.
Q: What advice, resources, or useful information can you offer aspiring authors who might be reading this interview?
Join writing associations, join or make your own face to face writing group, attend seminars, conferences and do as many writing courses as possible. Learn to accept that not everyone will love either your ‘voice’ or your stories.
Q: Which drives your novels more – the plot or the characters?
Q: What are your favorite television shows and do any of them impact what you write?
The Stargate franchises, Battlestar Galactica, Walking Dead, Murdoch Mysteries and yes anything sci fi will fire my imagination.
Q: How far is too far in erotic romance? What are your limits for your books? Do you like to color inside the lines or push the boundaries when it comes to the love scenes in your books?
Sadism, where the need for pain takes over the desire for pleasure.
Q: What makes an the hero of Your Book the ideal hero?
In the end he sacrifices his burn for revenge in order to save his lover’s life.
Q: What has been the hardest scene you’ve ever written and why?
My first ever love / sex scene. I kept thinking, OMG, what if my mother reads this?
Q: Authors have to develop thick skins to deal with reviews. Most books receive some mixture of good reviews and bad ones, simply because tastes are different and people like and dislike different things. Please tell us about one of your most memorable reviews and how it impacted your writing.
I’m so very new, I have had few reviews of my works so far.
Please Answer These Questions As A Reader:
As a reader I am always curious about the reading habits of the authors I enjoy, so I have a few questions about your reading habits.
Q: As an author, where do you learn about books you might want to read? Do you research the books in depth before you buy them, read an excerpt or do you buy without a great deal of research?
If its an author I like, I’ll buy anything they write. Otherwise, I’ll go with a genre I might feel like reading at the time for eg a cozy mystery or a sci fi romance. So I search for the genre and read the blurb. If I like the sound of it, I buy it.
Q: When you are learning about a book what five words are most likely to get you to buy the book?
Adventure, alpha male, damaged hero, heroine with a past, thriller, romance. (sorry that’s more than five)
Q: When you are learning about a book what five words will make you decide against the book?
Horror, devil, renaissance, vampires, shape-shifters (the last two only because I’ve read so many I’d like to see something different pop up).
Q: What can you tell us about your book that isn’t in the blurb?
Teelah’s father was ‘set up’ by Domhnall’s liege (ie the villain) as part of a dastardly plan to obtain control of Britain. I based the villain partly on an ancient mythical Persian Sorcerer and partly on an ancient mythical Irish demon who refused to die and who is believed to be one of the first vampires.
Q: As a reader are you finding the advent of self-publishing to be a positive or a negative within the industry? Are you finding more good books or are you having to search harder for good books? Please explain your answer.
I usually go on recommendations for self e-published books. When I’m looking for a book to buy / read I’m usually looking for a particular genre first. I’m quite happy to purchase a book written by an author either I don’t know or who is self published and to be honest, the $ would influence my choice in this regard. Sloppy editing though, is a real bug bear of mine. I can understand how little mistakes can slip through and they don’t bother me. (I’ve actually just spotted one in mine J)
Q: Has the way that you shop for books changed since the rise in the popularity of ebooks? Has how you shop for books been influenced by the rise in self-publishing?
Definitely, so much less time consuming in locating the book you are after and down loading it almost immediately.
Q: What are your favorite sub-genres to read? To write?
To read : Science fiction, historical and mysteries. To write, futuristic, historical flavoured with fantasy elements.
Q: What are your least favorite sub-genres to read? To write?
Horror and inspirational.
Now for some just for fun:
Q: On Pinterest are you a A.) Hoarder in disguise (you collect images of everything you like) B.) Minimalist (you only collect images that fit in with some project – my next book – a home remodeling project – etc) C.) you’re not on Pinterest.
B, I’ve only just joined Pinterst and to be honest have spent very little time on it. Its something else on my To Do list J.
Q: On Twitter are you A.) The life of the party engaging with my friends and followers B.) Mostly a promoter – I use Twitter primarily to promote my books C.) Mostly a lurker. I follow a lot of people looking for useful information – some of which finds its way into my books.
A bit of B as well as C. I use it to promote my books plus any others that pop up and I recognize either the writer or the story and I like to follow entities such as NASA, National Geographic because I find their posts interesting, not necessarily to use in my stories.
Q: What’s your favorite social network? Why is it your favorite?
My favourite is Twitter, short messages and the diversity of who/what comes through your tweets is fascinating. I could do it all day, it really sucks me in.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday and why?
A week we spent in Forster, the last holiday we had as a family unit when my children were teenagers.
Q: Did you read 50 Shades of Grey? Love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between?
I started to read it but couldn’t get past the first few pages; mainly as I was time poor when I bought the books. Its still on my TBR pile.
Q: What was the last book you read that you really loved – enough that you’d recommend it to someone else?
Elizabeth Peters’ A River in the Sky. I know it came out in 2010 but I only recently obtained a copy and read it. I just love her Amelia Peabody series.
Q: What’s your favorite place to read? Do you have a favorite food or beverage you like to eat or drink while reading?
Favourite place to read is an arm chair, the ones where you can lean right back and prop your feet up too. A pot of tea is my favourite food / drink of choice.
Q: If you could go backwards or forwards in time and have dinner with anyone in history who would it be and why?
I’d go backwards to spend time / have dinner with Nikola Tesla to talk about his inventions and his view of the world.
Q: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Definitely an introvert.
Q: Describe your ideal romantic getaway?
Anywhere my mobile has no service, a pool, a spa and a built masseur.
Q: You have three magic wishes – what would they be?
A cure for cancer, my own Tardis machine, more time.
Q: If you were to be stranded on a desert island with one of your characters which character and why?
I’d want to be with Tarak, the hero out of Legend Beyond the Stars. I fell a little in love with this bloke, strong, determined, protective, prepared to think outside the box, impatient and stubborn. And sexy as hell.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about yourself, your books, your characters?
I like to write in interesting or odd ball secondary characters.
Q: Please share with us your five favorite hang outs on the web – these do not have to be book related. Please share sites other than your own website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Space X, Nasa, National Geographic, Hunter Romance Writers
Q: When you’re not writing what other hobbies or interests do you engage in?
Love bushwalking, kayaking, walking my dogs. Other interests are animal welfare and the environment.
Q: Have you ever done anything in real life that you read about in a romance novel? Please tell us about that.
I’ve lived for five days on a deserted island in the Great Barrier Reef. My boyfriend (later my husband, later my ex – lol) and I were on holidays and arranged for a sail boat to drop us off within swimming distance of the shore. Told them to come back in five days. We took fresh water and a few supplies and toyed them to shore on a blow up raft. Fished and ran around naked. It was the most, freeing experience of my life.
Q: Is there anything you’ve read about in a romance novel that you’re dying to try?
A couple of things but not even torture will get me to divulge.
Cover Blurb From Bound By Love
Whilst searching for the mortal mother who bore than abandoned her, a pixie princess becomes the unwitting pawn in a warrior’s thirst for vengeance against her father. But neither are prepared for the passion and love that binds them together. Nor, the hatred that may tear them apart.
About SE Gilchrist
SE can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Now she writes stories where her favourite words are …’what if’ and ‘where’? She combines passionate romance with action and adventure set in dangerous worlds. Her heroines are valiant and know exactly what to do with their alpha heroes. SE enjoys making both of them work hard to be worthy of their ‘happy ever after’.
She lives in an urban/country town in New South Wales, Australia and writes in the romance genres of futuristic/sci-fi, fantasy, historical and post-apocalyptic.
Her first release, Paying the Forfeit, a short erotic romance set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic world, published by Momentum Books on 1st December 2012.
Her second release, a single title, Legend Beyond the Stars, a sci-fi/futuristic hot romance will be released by Escape Publishing on 10th January 2013.
SE has self e-published an erotic fantasy novella, Bound by Love, set in late Dark Ages Britain on 28th December 2012. The second in this series, Bound by Lies is coming soon.
Find more on SE on her website – http://www.segilchrist.com
All Books are also available on Itunes:
Paying the Forfeit http://www.amazon.com/Paying-Forfeit-Down-Under-ebook/dp/B009DZKG6G
Bound by Love http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AU4L7KI
Legend Beyond the Stars http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/978085799016
19 Responses to Australian Author S.E. Gilchrist Talks About Writing Historical Romance With Fantasy Elements & Futuristic Romance
Leave a Reply
Hit Counter provided by Skylight