Interview with Elysa Hendricks

Please help me welcome Elysa Hendricks back to my blog. Elysa has a new book out, The Sword and the Pen. She’ll be giving a copy of this book to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave her a comment.

ElysaHendricksSword-Pen_21.What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I write across multiple genres of romance – contemporary, historical, fantasy and sci-fi – sometimes the lines as to which is which blur. Each story is written in the genre that suits it best.
THE SWORD AND THE PEN combines a contemporary setting with a fantasy element. What would happen if an author’s fictional creation came to life?

2. What is your favorite part of writing?

The best part of writing is hearing from readers. There’s nothing better than knowing that something I’ve created has made someone laugh or cry, and has helped them spend a few pleasant hours escaping from “real” life. Aside from that I love writing my favorite two words THE END. Depositing royalty checks is always fun, too.
I do enjoy doing research as well as brainstorming story ideas with other authors.

3. What is your least favorite part of writing?

My least favorite part of writing is the actual process of writing. It’s hard work and I’m never 100% happy with the words I manage to get down. I angst over each word, sentence, paragraph, and plot point. Did I handle the action well? Does the narrative flow? Do the descriptions add to the story or are they intrusive? Are the characters, their actions and dialogue believable? I always feel I can do better, so I spend a lot of time editing, revising and polishing my work.

4. What is your typical day like?

Let’s see. A typical day in my life goes something like this:
8:00 The maid opens my drapes and brings me a yummy breakfast in bed.
8:30 My masseuse gives me a massage.
9:00 – Noon I spend in my office writing.
Noon – 1:00 Lunch with friends at the club or something thrown together by my live-in chef.
1:00-3:00 More writing/research/promotional work.
3:00 – 3:30 Another massage or a dip in the pool/hot tub.
3:30 – 5:00 Out shopping or reading.
5:00 – 7:00 Dinner with hubby and/or friends.
7:00 – Bedtime Is spent with hubby and/or friends watching TV, going to the movies, plays, etc.
Yeah, right! If you believe that I have some ocean front property in Kansas to sell you. There’s never a “typical” day for me. I try to write every day, but life seems to conspire against me. I’m fortunate that I don’t haveto try and juggle my writing around a full time day job, but I still find myself struggling to find writing time and energy (at least together.) Laundry, household chores, meal preparations, and other mundane tasks seem to eat up my life. I only write during the weekdays. Evenings and weekends are reserved for spending time with my husband, family, and friends. That’s the only part of my “typical” day that’s real.

5. How much time do you spend promoting your books? What works best for you?

I spend way too much time promoting. I think I’ve tried just about everything that doesn’t cost a lot of money. Poor “starving” author here. But I’ve yet to figure out what works best. I have books I haven’t done much promotion for that sell really well and books I’ve spent hours promoting that don’t sell at all. If anyone has any secrets to share, I’d love to hear them.

6. How has your experience with self-publishing been?

After doing the traditional publishing route for over ten years and never earning out my meager advances I jumped into the self-publishing pond (ocean) about a year and a half ago and I love it. Being a control freak I like being in charge of my product from the content to the cover art. That said, self-publishing has a steep learning curve and doing everything myself eats up a lot of time and energy I could use for writing. It’s very easy to get sucked into the technical and promotional aspects of self-publishing to the detriment of the actual writing.

I haven’t had the success of some, but for the first time in my writing career people are reading my books and I’m making money every month, so I couldn’t be more pleased. Well, a best seller or two and tens of thousands of dollars in sales wouldn’t be bad.

7. Give us an elevator pitch for your book.

When Brandon Davis’s fictional character Serilda invades his life, the slightly neurotic sword and sorcery author finally learns what it means to live.

8. Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?

My muse is a flighty, fickle little witch who lives in the attic of my mind. She comes and goes on her own time table without a thought as to how her absence impacts my work. She likes so many different genres of fiction, especially in romance, that it’s hard to pin her down as she flits from story to story like a bee from flower to flower. Still, I wouldn’t trade her in for another. She encourages and inspires me with her energy and imagination. She also does her best to banish the “evil” inner critic who lurks in the basement and loves to bash my work.

9. Tell us a little about yourself and your latest book.

My life is so totally bland, beige, boring it’s hardly worth talking about. All the exciting stuff happens in my books and that’s just the way I like it. My motto is: Boring is good. Excitement (in real life) is vastly overrated.
Brandon Davis the author hero in THE SWORD AND THE PEN has lived by this motto most of his life. It isn’t until Serilda, the fictional character in his popular warrior woman series – the one he’s about to kill off – turns up as a flesh and blood woman in his study that he realizes life is a crazy adventure worth living. And that for love any man can be a hero.

THE SWORD AND THE PEN is what I call my Xena – The Warrior Princess meets Stranger Than Fiction story. It was inspired in part by an old Twilight Zone episode – A World of His Own starring Keenan Wynn about a playwright who can dictate his characters into life. If anyone is interested they can watch the episode on YouTube at: for Part I and for Part II.
If you’d like to know more about me or my books, you can find me on Facebook:
Or check out my web site:

Here’s an excerpt from THE SWORD AND THE PEN when Brandon first meets Serilda in the “real” world.

She poked him in the arm with the tip of her sword.
“Ow!” Brandon 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.
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.
“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. “Who the hell are you? And what are you doing here in that ridiculous costume?”
“Who I am 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 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.”

Elysa.476x716x240dpi.2012_2THE SWORD AND THE PEN IS Available for $3.99 from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony, and for other ereaders via Smashwords.

11 thoughts on “Interview with Elysa Hendricks

  1. Good for you, Elysia. That’s a big leap into self publishing, but I’m with you. The control is great and worth it.
    I like your fantasy day and long for a maid.
    I’m too busy with promotion and the next book to keep up these days.

    The excerpt is a gem. Funny! No cowards here. Ha!

    Best success to you!

  2. Hi Elysa! Great interview and I loved the excerpt! Your life of boring beige sounds a whole lot like mine 😉

    I get up, prepare breakfast for my alien kitten, hubby and myself, (you’ll notice who gets fed first, lol) then do housework and if I’m lucky, a few hours of writing related work. Boring with a capital B, lol. It’s good to know that I’m like other writers in that regard.

  3. Lynda,

    Yep, that’s my motto: Boring is good. Excitement is vastly overrated. 🙂

    And while I don’t get up with my hubby (he’s up at 5:15am – I’m barely alive at that time) I do feed the cat first. Kyle, our kitty is about 20 years old, but he’ll let you know right away if his food isn’t delivered promptly. 🙂

    • My muse is two-faced – at times she’s a real sweetie, kind and helpful, full of wonderful ideas, and then she turns on me with a vengeance, disappears for days, weeks, months, leaves me at the mercy of my “evil” inner critic. But, no matter what, I always welcome her back because without her I’m totally lost. 🙂

  4. There’s something about muses–they definitely have a mind of their own. No matter how snarky, I can’t live without mine, even though I want to smack her silly sometimes. I love your excerpt, Elysa. Fantastic writing! Love the book title, too.

    • Thanks!

      Since our muses and our “evil” inner critics are part of us, I agree, we certainly can’t live without them. But sometimes it’s nice to think of them as separate entities, so we can complain about them. 🙂

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