Interview with Elle Anor

What's the story behind your latest book?
I needed something for NaNoWriMo 2013 and I had nothing except a piece of paper, about two folios with names of characters and an idea of an Afrikaans short story that I wanted to write in 2012 and never had the time for doing it.
I've entered the NaNoWriMo writing and I finished the 50K in three weeks. I'm going to do it again this year. I better start thinking of an idea for a story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I live in South Africa and the people are still a bit homophobic (my opinion only), because the editors and publishers don't care for gay novels.
There are hardly any books about lesbian characters. If you check on amazon kindle, there are about 7K lesbian books/stories. I think I won't even find a lesbian fiction on any of the bookstore shelves where I live.
That's why I became an indie author, to put the lesbian fiction out there on the online shelf. And it's not exclusively for lesbians, anyone can read it.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm still a newbie here at Smashwords.
I use Draft 2 Digital to distribute my novels. Then I went on to amazon KDP when amazon refused to publish any more books coming from D2D.
Now I have problems cashing a check from amazon (non-US get royalties via check). It cost a fortune, because it has to go back to amazon via courier and the process takes 8 weeks.
D2D pay via PayPal and if I knew earlier that Smashwords used PayPal (Feb 2014) I would've never published my books on amazon.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Oh, the research. I love to browse the internet and read about everything. Sometimes I get so carried away and read about things that has nothing to do with my research.
The other joy is when the story comes alive. It's not just words on white paper or screen anymore. Someone is living in it. They are like family to me.
I'm always sad when I end a story and have to say goodbye to my characters to make friends with new ones. Yeah, I know I'm silly.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. If they weren't there, nobody would read my stories.
And I would have no sales and no money. I don't have as many fans as Stephen King or James Patterson (yet), but there's enough out there to keep me going, to keep me writing, sharing my work and my inner thoughts with them.
What are you working on next?
Oh, wow. I have two stories at the moment. A third one arrived last night and I had to run for bigger pieces of paper. I have almost a rough draft for a third story.
The one is a novel about shape shifters. It’s not your normal werewolf and vampire shifters. It's a bit different. A scientist cloned the first amphibian man. A crocodile shifter changed him into a killer to sell him to the highest bidder.
The second one is a novella about an institution for injured military people. Which is a scam. They train and use the injured to assassinate murderers, rapists, child molesters, those serious crime offenders who escaped jail on technicality. The agents go via a portal back in time to kill the targets. But when the families visit them, they are patients in a coma.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, of course. James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen. From South Africa, is Daleen Mathee, Ena Murray and Isa Konrad.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm always in front of my laptop. Either watching movies or update twitter and facebook
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I subscribed to Bookbub. I get an email every day. On twitter as well, via tweets. Pick up lots of e-books there.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was an Afrikaans love story about a couple from SA who went to Spain and the setting was mostly there. I wrote about the bull fights and the bulls chasing the men down the streets. Those days you had to go to the library to do research. I miss that smell
What is your writing process?
I'm a Pantser, through and through. I cannot write a story structure, neither an outline. An idea comes into my head. I take a piece of paper, write down names and sometimes surname when necessary. How the characters look and how old they are. Oh yah, and the place where the story will take place - the setting, isn't it.
Then I sit down at my laptop and let the characters lead me. Sometimes I think the story must go that way, then my characters turned it around and we're heading the other way.
I never know how my stories will end.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I mostly read Afrikaans novels. Love stories, romances. It made me into a hopeless romantic. That's why all my Afrikaans short stories are romance / love stories.
It's the last two years that I start to read English novels, crime, paranormal, fantasy, and horror.
How do you approach cover design?
I design my own covers. There are lots of beautiful public domain photos / pictures out there on the internet. I have bookmarked many of those sites.
Programs like Photoshop, makes it so easy to design covers.
What do you read for pleasure?
When I go to bed at night just after ten, I read until 1am. I have to read every night. If I just switch the light off, it feels if there something missing.
I love to read James Patterson and Stephen King.
I read a few chapters fiction, then I turn to non-fiction. Brush up on my English grammar as well as on my writing skills.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Samsung Tab 10.1 It reads kindle (mobi), kobo (epub) and pdf as well.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I only use twitter and Facebook for marketing. There are many lesbian pages on Facebook and I post my books there for marketing. I have my books on my Pinterest account too, but I'm not on it regularly.
Describe your desk
A huge wooden desk, I can't reach the other side of it when I sit down. I need space around me. It has four drawers, two on each side.
There's a small bookshelf on the right of the desk (it's standing against the wall on its length). A printer on the front left and a scanner on the front right. Two pen and pencil holders. I love pens... stop there... I love stationary, anything and everything. Then of course, my laptop in the middle in front of me. A paper tray stands at the back, with only a road map of South Africa in it, my novel takes place in the northern cape.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small village (Ingagane) outside a town called Newcastle. I didn't read, didn't write and hated English essays and Afrikaans opstelle (essays) when I was in school.
I started reading and writing when I moved to the city, Pretoria, but I only started seriously writing about three years ago.
When did you first start writing?
When I moved to Pretoria, I wrote an Afrikaans romance novel and a few short stories, only three years ago, I've started to write in earnest. Many Afrikaans short stories, then I decided to try my hand at writing English. Since it's not my mother tongue, I find the tenses difficult at first. The different spelling of words is difficult too. In SA, we use some of the US words and some of the UK words, there is always someone who finds wrong spelling in ones work, but that's how it is.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My writing inspires me to get up at 7 am, sometimes even earlier. I can't wait to start writing.
It's winter in South Africa and this time it's freezing cold. We are not used to this freezing weather, especially in Pretoria where I stay. Not even my writing can get me now out of bed. I know I have to write, I have to finish so I can start a new one, but I'm so cold. The heater is on and I wrap a blanket around me when I eventually get up at 8am and move in behind my desk.
Published 2014-06-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,940. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: November 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Lesbian / Paranormal / Suspense Stacey Kibbler clones South Africa's first human. She tampers with the DNA structure and creates an amphibian creature. After giving him a formula to save his life, she unknowingly turns him into a shifter. Scar, a shape shifter, gets orders from her boss, Tony to kidnap Tass for her archenemy who wants to sell him to the highest bidder. Word count approx.: 30 418
Darkness of Her Soul
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 70,010. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: August 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Lesbian/Crime/Thriller. NOT erotica genre, but contains explicit scenes and strong language. Diane turns into a serial killer to revenge losing her childhood and her father. She kills butch lesbian women who has short spikey blond hair and in their fifties. She leaves Pretoria after she falls in love with Laura, the butch policewoman, who tries to track the serial killer down. Word count: 69 456
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 20,240. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
A lesfic, dark fantasy, romance novella. The prequel to the short story, Konitah. Konitah and Marilla discover love for the first time, but this love is forbidden. Their secret becomes known and both women are captured and sentenced to death. They escape death, but are brutally separated from each other.
Konitah - a Short Story
Price: Free! Words: 3,290. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
A lesfic, dark fantasy about Konitah, a woman who lost her true love. For punishment, because they were two women in love, she was changed into a beast and a forest dweller. To revenge her loss she killed all the men who enter the woods. Word count: approx. 3100
Raine McKenzie
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 22,250. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: June 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
A sexy lesfic, crime / romance novella about a sexy psychiatrist who is the prime suspect of a murder investigation. Sandra, one of the detectives on the case, is madly in love with this woman and she believes in her innocence. Is the good doctor a killer? Word count approx.: 22 000
Ylva the She Wolf
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 63,000. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: June 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.00 from 1 review)
A lesfic paranormal romance between a werewolf (soon to be leader of the Uluma pack), and a human. They fell in love, although Darlene was in a relationship. She didn't know Sandy was a werewolf. Actually, she didn't believe werewolves exists. Word count approx.: 63 000