We chatted with Elizabeth Ellen Carter about being a published author:
Can you tell us about your latest book “Live and Let Spy”?
“Live And Let Spy” is the first book in The King’s Rogues series. The series addresses a little-known piece of Napoleonic history. Across the four-book series, my heroes and heroines have to thwart invasion plans that will come from an unexpected quarter.
What motivated you to write this book and series?
I was intrigued by a historical titbit. Napoleon seriously considered an aerial invasion of England by hot air balloon. There were logistical reasons why it didn’t happen (Nelson’s decisive victory at Trafalgar was one of them), but I wondered what might happen if those logistics had been overcome.
What kind of research do you do?
I’ve spent a bit of time becoming familiar with the state of the Napoleonic Wars in the first 10 years of the 19th century and the logistics of telegraphy and of the real spy networks of that time. And more than that, there is the research in back stories of the characters — lawyers, carpenters, publicans, governesses, smugglers and sailors.
Why are you drawn to writing historical romantic adventures?
I love writing high adventure and exploring what heroism means to my characters. My heroes and heroines risk a lot to fall in love, so the stakes are high. I love putting my lovers through the physical and emotional wringer and have them come out the other side as better, more resilient people who are more in love than ever.
What did you edit out of this book?
I’ve learned to write tight over the past few years, so there are few wholesale edits. Also, since “Live And Let Spy” is part of a series, there are elements relating to supporting characters that are only teased about in the first book, which will become more apparent as the series developed.
You’ve written a number of series – will you ever go back and add to any of these?
My husband has been the champion of one of my early heroines and he’d like to see a new series centred around her. I have some ideas which I’ve approached my publisher about, so there is a good chance of revisiting one particular series.
Would you recommend self-publishing a book?
Anyone who writes a manuscript deserves congratulations – it’s a big achievement. There are millions of unfinished stories lurking in drawers and hard drives. Self-publishing is a very viable option for authors.
I’m what’s described as a hybrid author – self-published and traditionally published. I think people underestimate the work that goes into publishing. And as a self-publisher you have to do everything – source cover design, editing services, formatting, and that all important marketing. So, long story short, self-publishing is great, but only if you go in with your eyes wide open.
I’d recommend joining groups like Romance Writers of Australia for their excellent professional development programs and support.
What’s the most common myth about writers?
That we’ve made our fortune with our debut novel. And that we’re crazy people… oh wait, that last one is true.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t give up. Make sure you’re well read and understand what makes a compelling story.
What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, the only one of his books that hasn’t made me want to slash my wrists in sympathy with the put-upon heroines.
Who or what inspires you?
People inspire me. Everyone has a fascinating tale. And, as my Irish grandmother was fond of saying, ‘there’s nowt as strange as folk’.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Heading over to the United States for an author event and meeting a fan who travelled half way around the country to say hello.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love exploring the highs and lows of human nature and bringing fictional worlds to life.
Do you have any plans for the future?
A lot more writing! I have another three novels planned for the coming year and another four for 2020.
About Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Elizabeth Ellen Carter is an award-winning historical romance writer who pens richly detailed historical romantic adventures. A former newspaper journalist, Carter ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years. She lives in Australia with her husband and two cats. https://eecarter.com/