I am so excited to have the wonderful Elle Strauss on my blog today for an interview! She's a wonderful writer, blogger and friend, so lets not waste time!!!
Elle Strauss Interview - Elle Strauss I'm the author of CLOCKWISE, a YA chicklit about a teenage time traveler who accidentally takes the cutest boy in the school back in time, and of PLAYING WITH MATCHES, a YA historical about a boy who grows up in Hitler Youth. I am represented by the fabulous Natalie Fischer of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Find me on Facebook, Twitter and on my blog.
1. What made you think of the idea of Clockwise? Playing with Matches?
I started Playing with Matches in 2005 after a friend of mine brought his father over for supper. He started telling us his story about having to walk 200km from one city to another after the war—no money, no transport, no food and only sixteen. The muse started talking. Clockwise came out of the need for a break from such a serious subject. Writing a book based on history and a very well known even at that, takes loads of research. I just needed a break from the war. I had written a time travel story many years ago and decided I like to do a better job of that, and started a new one.
2. Are these currently out on submissions are is there a publishing date in sight?
I’m fortunate to have both of these books out on submission. Clockwise went first, then Playing with Matches. Interestingly enough, it was Clockwise, my take a break book, that got me my agent.
3. How did it feel when an agent emailed/called you to let you know they were interested? Laugh, scream, cry, dance with a bear?
Actually, the first thing I felt was relief. After spending years looking and enduring a ton of rejections, I was just relieved to finally have climbed over that hurdle. That was quickly followed by joy and a happy dance.
4. How does you writing process work? Are you a panster or an outliner? Does the first draft or the revisions take longer? How long did it take you to write both YA novels?
I’m a blend. I usually have a general idea where I want to go, a beginning, middle, end, but then all bets are off and usually all those point turn out completely different than what I first imagined. The first draft takes longer, but revisions can happen over and over again, and ultimately take more time. Playing with Matches took five years to get agent ready and Clockwise took a year and a half.
5. How long have you wanted to be a writer? Do you work as a writer or do you have another profession on the side?
I’m a late bloomer and didn’t discover my passion to write until I was in my early thirties. Right now I’m working in administration part-time, but my plan is to write full-time in the future. (Hoping!)
6. What was it like during the querying process? How did you properly decide who to send your queries too? How many did you send out?
Anyone who has entered the query process knows it’s agonizing. I researched all the agents I submitted to, making sure they were looking for the type of book I was pitching to them, and followed their submission guidelines. I don’t have my records, they died with my laptop, but I would say thirty plus agent submission for each of them is not far off.
7. Do you have a critique group you are a part of?
I have a couple on-line crit partners and a couple writer friends who read for me.
8. What does a day in the life of Elle look like?
This is a really hard question to answer. Every day is different.
9. Do you have any other projects currently in the works?
I just completed another chik-lit project called SEAWEED about a teen swim athlete who falls for a merboy, only to find out they have more in common and more to fear, than they thought.
Fun and Random Questions
Favorite burger joint? I don’t eat fast food, but if pressed I’d say A & W (teen burger).
Favorite bookshop? We only have two in our city and I like them both.
Favorite book? Pride and Prejudice
Favorite author? Too many great ones to choose.
Favorite series? They’re only two books and more companion than series, but I liked Ballad and Lament by Maggie Stiefvater.
Rain or snow? Rain
Bear or Lion? Bear
Writing snack of choice? I don’t eat an write but afterwards I’m all about dark chocolate
Sweet or Salty? Sweet
Book you are currently reading? Just finished Not Suitable for Family Viewing by Vicki Grant — loved it.
Thank you so much Elle for stopping by my blog!! Be sure to check out her blog and join her on the journey to publication! I wish her the best of luck and know that with these books we will be seeing her in stores soon enough!!!