Please welcome Elle J. Lawson to the Author Spotlight.
The Fling is Elle J. Lawson's first foray into fiction writing, with most of her 20-year writing career being in non-fiction, technical writing and corporate communications. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.
Her education includes a BA degree in Communication Studies, an MA in English, as well as graduate-level certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Ms. Lawson now lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and their spoiled Chihuahua. She loves reading, movies, and travel to exotic locations.
Elle: The Fling is my debut novel, and is a New Adult contemporary erotic romance that will be released on April 3, 2015.
The story is about Amy, a 22-year-old recent college graduate who is ready to conquer the world if it wasn’t for her overprotective parents. She uses a once-in-a-lifetime academic opportunity to study abroad in Greece as a means to escape her parents’ watchful eyes, if only for a moment. She is hoping to find excitement and adventure in Athens in order to combat the boredom that has been her life up to that point. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) she finds just that.
Dr. Dimitri Speros is Amy’s incredibly attractive professor at the University of Athens Medical School. She is immediately enamored with him, but is disappointed to learn that he is happily married. Dimitri encourages her professional goals, building up her confidence and giving her the freedom to dream of the future she wants, rather than the one her parents want for her. He is exotic, sexy, charming, and their chemistry is off-the-charts every time she goes anywhere near him. For his wife’s sake, though, Amy desperately tries to rein in the attraction she feels.
Everything goes according to plan until an unlikely ally – none other than Dimitri’s wife herself – bizarrely encourages Amy’s crush. What then starts off as an innocent summer fling, awakening her sexuality like no other has ever done before, eventually becomes a struggle for happily ever after when Amy and Dimitri are faced with the ultimate betrayal. They must learn to trust one another in order for their love to survive.
JET: What drew you to erotic romance?
Elle: I grew up reading Danielle Steel romance books that my mother read and then discarded. As a young adult, I then stumbled upon Thea Devine’s paranormal erotic romance books and devoured each and every one of them. The combination of the love story mixed with the hot and steamy sex has been my go-to read ever since.
JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?
Elle: Finding time to write when you’re working full time. It took me six months to complete this novel, the majority being written between the hours of 3 a.m. – 6 a.m. I had no choice, though. I’d wake up in the middle of the night with a scene clearly in my head and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t go back to sleep until I got up and wrote it all down. It was actually a lot of fun, those quiet mornings spent just writing.
JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?
Elle: Getting the very first scene down on paper. While it was just in my head, it was just an idea; but when I wrote it down, I was like, ‘I can do this’. Little by little, that one scene blossomed into the novel it is today. The very first line I wrote was: “So what exactly is going on between you and my husband?” That line actually ended up being near the middle of the book, strangely enough. None of the book was written sequentially; I had to write it as the scenes came to me, which was not in order.
JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?
Elle: I read a lot of Nancy Drew when I was young. In addition to that much-loved series, my two favorite books were Wren, by Marie Killilea, and Jacob Have I Loved, by Katherine Paterson. I read almost every available book in the children’s section at my local library. My mother and I would check out so many books every week that it would require several trips to the car, lugging a huge pile each time. Then we’d bring them back the following week and repeat the process.
JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?
Elle: When the story wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it down! It was out of my control; it wasn’t a decision I made.
JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?
Elle: Although I spent a lot of time researching for my book, most of it was easily accomplished online. However, one funny fact I discovered is that what you find online is not necessarily true even if it comes across as such. Luckily, I have a wonderful Hellenic friend who actually was born and raised in the area my story is based in. I tried not to inundate him with questions, preferring instead to do my own research and then write the scene and then send it to him to make sure it made sense. One of the things I heavily researched was the practice in Greece of celebrating “name days”. Most names are so common and shared among so many, each day celebrates a specific name (or several) and they’re treated like birthdays. The research I had found stated that they celebrated these name days instead of birthdays. I wrote the scene and sent it to my Greek friend and he wrote me back saying, “Who in the world told you Greeks don’t celebrate birthdays?” I’m thankful I had him to check my facts!
JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?
Elle: Since this is my first, it’s obviously my favorite. J I’ve always been a writer, but most of my writing has been journalism or other non-fiction writing. Writing fiction was an incredible rush.
JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?
Elle: Just write. There are no rules, no tried-and-true tips that work for everyone. Just do what works for you and have faith in what you do. Be your own biggest fan.
JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with... Paper or Plastic?
Elle: Plastic (sorry, Mother Earth)
JET: Steak or Tofu?
Elle: Steak (cooked medium, please)
JET: Beach or Mountains?
Elle: Beach (no contest)
JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?
Elle: EDM, please – though if forced to pick from those two, I’ll take rock-n-roll
JET: Leather or Lace?
Elle: Both are uncomfortable. Can I choose sweats instead?
JET: Angels or Demons?
Elle: Demons have more fun
JET: Paper or Digital?
Elle: Paper (though I do love the fact that I can carry hundreds of books around with me on my iPad)
JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?
Elle: Cheesy B-rated horror!!!
JET: Twilight or True Blood
Elle: I’ll have to say Twilight just because that’s the only one I’ve read/seen
JET: Coffee or Tea?
Elle: Both -- iced
JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?
Elle: I left a little bit of a hint to a story for Abby and Dylan at the end of the book. What that story is, I have no idea yet – the characters have yet to talk to me about what it is, I just know it’s there. If at some point they begin to demand their story be told, I will have to tell it. In the meantime, however, I’m recovering from so many sleepless nights staying up writing this first one.
JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Elle Lawson and her work at the following places:
And in the meantime, The Fling is available for pre-order on Amazon!
Until next time,