Friday, August 24, 2012

Fabulous Author Friday ~ Elysa Hendricks

Please help me welcome Elysa Hendricks to the blog today! So excited to have her back with us sharing about her new book!

Without further ado......

Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I've been writing for over twenty years, which means I must have started when I was about five? Yep, that's about right, since once I hit thirty I started deducting a year from my age every other birthday. Then again, I'm not so good at math. Well, anyways, I've been writing for a long time and creating stories in my head for even longer.

Besides being an author I'm a wife of many, many, many years - more than the twenty I've been writing. I'm the mother of two wonderful young men. Actually, according to my math (counting on my fingers and toes) they're older than I am.

Did you always want to be an author?

I've always been a storyteller, spinning tales in my mind, but I didn't actually think about writing an actual book until the Christmas Eve my sister-in-law passed away. My husband and nine-year old son took my mother-in-law and went to Arizona for the funeral, leaving me home alone with our younger son. After putting him to bed I sat down to write what I thought would be a short contemporary romance. Strangely enough it turned out to be about a winged telepathic alien who stows away aboard a passing space craft. At that point I realized I wanted to write stories set in different worlds.

What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?

Being able to play God with my characters and their worlds. Unfortunately, it turns out all my characters are atheists.

Tell us a little about your book.

In THE SWORD AND THE PEN when his fictional creation, warrior woman Serilda  appears in his living room, Brandon Davis, an author of sword and sorcery novels, discovers that his characters are atheists too.

THE SWORD AND THE PEN was inspired by a combination of things - the Keenan Wynn Twilight Zone episode A World Of His Own, the TV show Xena The Warrior Princess and the movie Stranger Than Fiction. If your fantasy became reality, what would you do?

Oooooo... sounds fun!

What was your favorite part of the book?

I think the scene where poor Brandon finds himself surrounded by the things he fears most - women and small furry animals.

Rate your story in terms steaminess?

Probably comes in at about 7 out of 10 on the steaminess scale. There are several explicit love scenes. I'd rate it PG-13. 


Amazon Link:

If your fantasy became reality, what would you do?

It was time. After penning ten popular sword-and-sorcery novels, Brandon Alexander Davis was ready to move on. Ready to stop hiding in his fictional world. Ready to start living a real life. There was just one problem: as he plotted the noble death of Serilda D'Lar, his fictional creation, complete with mile-long sword, skimpy leather outfit and badass attitude, appeared in his study.

Was she nothing more than a crazy fan, or had Brandon finally cracked?

This warrior woman whom he knew so well, so strong yet vulnerable, was both fantasy and reality. She was an invitation to rediscover all he once knew--that life is an incredible, magical journey and, for love, any man can be a hero.



At first Brandon thought the shriek was an electronic whine that came from his computer. Panic threatened. When was the last time he'd backed up his files? It had been during that bad electrical storm three months ago when he'd almost lost everything, the same time his writing troubles began. Fortunately the freak power surge from a lightning strike only fried his monitor; his CPU hadn't been harmed. He should have learned from the experience, but writer's block had driven him past rational thought. The idea of losing what little work he'd managed to accomplish these last few weeks made him choke in fear. He scrambled to hit Save.

"Hell, no! Roark doesn't deserve a chance to defend himself. And even if he did, I'm not stupid enough to give him the opportunity to skewer me. That's something Donoval the Honorable would do."

At the sound of the familiar yet condemning voice behind him, Brandon whirled. He slipped off his chair and landed hard on his tailbone. Pain shot up his spine and blurred his vision.

"What?  How did you get in here? And who the hell are you?" He stared up at the woman and gulped. The sword in her hand pointed straight at his heart.

"You know damned well who I am."

The woman didn't sound happy-- and didn't look sane. She loomed over him. Her attire, a short, tight leather skirt, a leather bra, and knee-high boots left a lot of skin exposed to his view. The smell of leather, fresh air and warm woman teased his nostrils.

"What are you?" She poked him in the arm with the tip of her sword.

"Ow!" He scooted back, nearly under his desk.

"Warrior? Priest? Sorcerer?" She crouched down to rest on her heels, and stared at him. The position put her full breasts nearly in his face. "Definitely not a warrior." She pinched his arm. "You have muscle, but not enough to wield a sword in battle. No courage, either. Priest? Unlikely. They don't fear the sword. Only their god makes them cower.  Wizard? Perhaps, but not one of any power, or else I'd be at your feet. So…you're the wizard's assistant most likely." As if satisfied with her conclusion, she rose to her feet.

"Get up. I'll not harm you. I wish to speak to your master. He and I have business to discuss."

Brandon eyed the woman warily. Though her speech and clothing were odd, she sounded and looked extremely familiar. Why? Was she a crazy fan he'd somehow communicated with before?

To be honest, she bore a striking resemblance to Serilda, if shorter. She was five feet seven or eight inches, rather than six feet, and she was less buxom and had softer features than the character he'd ultimately developed. Actually, this woman was more like how he'd envisioned Serilda originally, when he'd introduced her in Donoval's second book: an extremely feminine woman forced to survive in a harsh world by denying her nature. Hillary had convinced him that in her own books Serilda needed to be stronger and have more sex appeal, hence the height and the bigger chest. The change hadn't sat well with him, but the public-- men and women-- loved her, and the books had hit all the bestseller lists. As a result, he had a thriving series, a pending movie deal and cash in his once empty bank account. Success was hard to argue with.

Despite the trampy clothing and hard scowl, she was attractive. Short reddish blonde curls framed an elfin face. Dark lashes fringed large, cat-like green eyes. Sun-kissed skin covered high cheekbones, and her lips, though currently set in a hard line, were full and red.

"I said get up!" She grabbed his arm and hauled him to his feet.

He was surprised that, when he stood, he topped her by a good six inches and probably outweighed her by sixty pounds. That size difference gave him a bit of confidence, but the nasty-looking sword she held with such self-assurance negated it. One could never trust the actions of a crazy person.

"Who are you?" She looked him up and down then seemed to dismiss him.

He pulled himself to his full height and stared down at her. "Brandon Alexander Davis. This is my home."

Unimpressed, she laughed. "Brandon? What kind of name is that? Bran is what I eat to ease my bowels."

Heat crept up Brandon's neck. Being compared to a laxative made him angry, which helped push fear away. "Who the hell are you? And what are you doing here in that ridiculous costume?"

"Who I am and" -- she paused, and two spots of color stained her cheeks-- "what I wear is a matter I will discuss with your master. Where is he? Has he run to hide from me? It will do him no good. I'm determined to find him and solve this."

"I don't have a master. I live here alone." Damn! Why had he told her that? He eased back from the lunatic toward the phone. Could he hit speed dial for 911 before she skewered him? Then what? Even if he succeeded, it would take the police a good fifteen to twenty minutes to reach his isolated home. Could he wrest the sword away from her before then?

His size would be an advantage, but even standing at ease, the woman radiated strength and skill. The odds seemed against him. To win he'd have to hit her-- hard-- and he doubted he could bring himself to do so. The lessons of chivalry his grandmother had taught were too deeply ingrained. In that way, he and Donoval were of one mind. No matter how greatly provoked, men didn't hit women.

Although, the thought of wrestling with this woman was appealing.

"No master? Do not lie to me." The lunatic's fingers flexed around the hilt of her sword.
"Why would I lie?" he snapped. "It's obvious your beef is with someone else. If I knew who and where he was, why would I protect him?"

"Because you're a coward. A powerful sorcerer inspires fear if not loyalty in his minions. But you should fear me more than him," she warned.

"There is no him! I'm the only one here. And I'm not a coward." Being called one triggered something inside him. Having phobias about crowds, insects and small furry animals didn't make him a coward. Not really.

She gave him a thoughtful look. "Is it possible? Are you the one?"

"The one what?"

She ignored his question and studied him. Her intense perusal made him squirm.
"Why didn't I see the resemblance?" she murmured.

"What resemblance?" He didn't like the turn of this conversation. Come to think of it, he hadn't liked the original direction, either.

"To Donoval. You are him-- in form at least." A bit of fear crossed her features, though anger quickly erased it. "I'm loath to believe it, but you are the wizard. Did you construct me so you could play God in my world? Does it give you pleasure to toy with me?"

"What the hell are you talking about? Play God? I'm just a writer trying to make a living. I write stories for people to read and enjoy. It's just entertainment."

LOVE the excerpt!

When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing that Christmas Eve and finished the first draft of that book three months later. Of course, then I spent the next three years learning how to write. That first book now resides under my bed guarded by killer dust bunnies. During those three years I wrote two western historical romances - THIS HEART FOR HIRE and HER WILD TEXAS HEART. Both of them are now available as ebooks.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Oh, I just send my muse to go pick ideas off the idea tree in my backyard. Actually, my inspirations come from everywhere - the news, books, movies, TV, conversation overheard in the grocery store checkout lane - everything I see, hear, taste, touch and smell triggers the What If response in my imagination.

I love the idea tree!

Do you plot and outline or do you just write?  Plotter or Pantser?

I used to say I was only a Pantser, but have realized that while I might not rigidly plot or outline my stories before I start writing them, once I've started I have to sit back and figure out where things are going before I can finish. So while I start off writing into the mist at some point I have to stop and check my GPS.

Can you tell us a little about the process of getting your first book published?

I sold my first book, a western historical romance called RAWHIDE SURRENDER (now available as THIS HEART FOR HIRE) to one of the first ebook publishing houses Hard Shell Word Factory. The process involved submitting my manuscript via email, which back in 1998 was revolutionary. The offer came via email as well. No first call for me.

Do you have another book in the works?

Right now I'm working on a contemporary adventure romance. TANGO IN PARADISE is set during a revolution in a small South American country. The heroine is an idealistic school teacher, the hero a jaded mercenary.

I'm also working on several other projects: another sci-fi adventure romance in my Star Chronicle series and a series of romances featuring a matchmaking cat.

A friend and I have also written a humorous mainstream fiction book together. GRANNIES AND TRANNIES: VEGAS OR BUST is The Golden Girls meets The Bird Cage on a wild, wacky and heartfelt road trip to Las Vegas to rescue a friend from the Mob. We're shopping it around to agents.

What advice would you give new authors?  What have you learned about the business?

 As far as advice - read, a lot! And write even more. Finish a book. Submit to publishers. And while you're waiting to hear write another book and another and another. The best and only way to learn the art and craft of writing is to write.

What I've learned is that I don't know what I don't know. Right now the whole of publishing is changing so fast it feels like a roller coaster ride and no one knows where it'll end up. But I think this is one of the best times to be an author.  The opportunities are there. You just have to reach out and grab them.

Boxers or Briefs?
For me or for my hero?
For me - white cotton, granny panties.
My hero - Commando. (Easier access)


Pizza or hamburger?
Definitely a hamburger or better yet a juicy rare steak.

Beer, Wine, or mixed drink?
Mixed drink - frozen Marguerita

If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Would you write or read there, or do something else?

On a tropical beach with cute cabana boys bringing me my frozen Margueritas and shrimp cocktails. I'd keep busy with a bit of swimming, napping, some writing and reading, as well as a whole lot of other stuff.

(Character Questions)
What were your first impressions of each other?
Brandon: She nearly scared the life out of me, but at the same time I never felt more alive.
Seri: Well, at first look I found him to be a bit of a coward, but first impressions can be deceiving. When the time came Brandon has more courage and strength than any man I've ever known.

What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?
Seri: I love his sense of humor. He makes me laugh at the most inappropriate times.
Brandon: Seri is the strongest, most courageous person I've ever met. She's taught me how to live life rather than just endure it.

What are your plans for the near future?
Seri: Learn how to be a woman in Brandon's world rather than a warrior.
Brandon: Make sure Seri never regrets she gave up her world for mine.

As a Thank You to anyone who leaves a comment I'm offering a FREE ecopy of my contemporary small town romance COUNTERFEIT LOVE. All they have to do is email me at: and I'll send them the Coupon Code for the FREE download.

Readers please be sure to visit Elysa@

Thank you so much for being my guest today! I know we all enjoyed getting to hear about your new release!

Krystal Shannan


  1. Hi Krystal,

    Thanks so much for having me here to visit today.

    1. You are very welcome! I'm so glad to have you :-)

  2. Darn it, Elysa. Do you know how high my TBR pile is? Now I'll have to add another book to read. :) The Sword & the Pen sounds great. I still want to read Grannies & Trannies.

  3. Diane,

    I know what you mean about TBR piles - mine grows everyday. Always something to look forward to. :-)

    My writing partner and I have gotten a lot of great feedback from editors and agents about Grannies & Trannies, but no offers yet. :-(

  4. Ha, what a great interview. I loved the blurb and excerpt. I'll definitely have to check this one out. :)