Interview with Ela Bell

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Courting a publisher takes a great deal of effort. It seems that the publishing business has changed with the introduction of Smashwords and Kindle. While the Indie author, the independent author, must do her own marketing and promotion, it's a bit more satisfying going it on your own. I've always wanted to try it, so here I am giving it a try.
Ela Bell? That's a pen name right?
Yes, I thought it might sound better than my own actual name since my father gave me a first name that many people think is a man's name. I wanted readers to know that I'm a woman. I have other pseudonyms, but I'll probably use Ela Bell for my erotic romances.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The satisfaction of creating a work of art is one of my greatest joys. The mystery of the creation of art is that it comes from within us. If I finished a piece, even if it needs revision, I feel a sense of satisfaction that I made an effort to express some concept or some situation for my characters. Of course, all characters in some subconscious way represent our experiences or the experiences of those we know. Characters also can take on a life of their own and go down paths we never thought to visit. However, it's all a matter of the creation of art. If outcome is what we intend when we created it, a sense of satisfaction is likely.
What are you working on next?
Heat: An Erotic Romance is actually part of what I intended to be a series. It has two other parts associated with it--Hot and Rough Sparks. In both of those two works, female protagonists struggle to find love while they enjoy sex.
Who are your favorite authors?
Diana Gabaldon and Bertrice Small are two of my favorites within the romance genre. I enjoy other writers as well, many of them part of the canons of literature. But I think the work of writers like Gabaldon and Small have not been taken seriously enough. Of course, since their sales are healthy, one would think that's there is no need for serious consideration within the academic field. What I find especially gratifying about their work is their strong female characters. Small's Skye O'Malley characters and the family related to her always delighted and surprised me. Of course, Gabaldon does a good job at the environmental details of Scotland.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm inspired by the possibility of connecting with my readers. That drives me to get out of bed each day. When you think about it, we all need to connect to others. Writing is my way of reaching out to others. Everyone isn't going to like what I write, but someone out there will read it. If what I do can help someone suspend thought and be entertained, I'm happy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy playing the piano, reading mostly romance novels, seeing films. I have a large dog, a German Shepherd and a cat. That consumes some of my time. I enjoy walking and exercising to stay fit. I take a yoga class when I have time. My husband and I enjoy traveling when we can.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I use several methods. I check Smashwords. I was introduced to them at an RWA conference in 2013. I use iBooks and search there using the phrase "historical romance" or "romance."
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it wasn't romance at all. It was a story about my mother's penchant for a mynah bird and the bird's habit of cursing after my naught aunt visited. I'll be uploading that story as soon as I can unearth it.
What is your writing process?
I outline my story first, keeping in mind that my characters might take the story in a different direction. I try to develop character details and associate photographs with how I think the character might look. I give some thought to the story's tension and plot. I then proceed to tell the story, and try not to get in the way of the telling.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Ha! Yes, it was Wuthering Heights--a morose romance. I read it as a teenager and thought it was the most wonderful story then. Later, I realized that it was quite the Greek tragedy. I realized later that stories like that say so much more about class than we allow ourselves to consider.
How do you approach cover design?
A family member helped with the first cover, but I will probably seek other help later. I looked up the list of contacts for formatting at Smashwords and found a cover designer who was quite helpful. I usually pick a photo from Shutterstock, probably not the most efficient method, and have an idea what I'd like to do.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My cell phone.
Describe your desk
Books and papers I use for research are at the left with a computer in the center--laptop. Bound index cards are stacked to the right.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in several areas of the US. One of my parents was in the military and that meant we were stationed in various parts of the country. That meant that I met people from varied backgrounds. I learned that friendships aren't something you can lock down always, but you can certainly be friendly with lots of different kinds of people, which is fun.
When did you first start writing?
When I was a preteen I wrote poetry that was terrible but expressed my feelings at the time. I kept a journal and continued to write though college.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's actually a chance for a person to enjoy the sexy nature of interaction between a man and a woman. I remember reading romance novels where I just wanted to fast forward to the sexy parts. My first two stories don't make you wait too long for the sex. If you enjoy reading about it, you'll like these two pieces, Heat and the next novella, Hot.
What are some of the things you want to say to romance readers?
I hope to suggest that we can enjoy a story for its plot and its sex while leaving the door open to difference.
Published 2015-01-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Desire at Sea
Series: Hot Desire. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 35,920. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult
Lusciously tall and handsome, Alex is taken with the sensuous good looks of Kara. He is bound for Asia on the last of his runs to deliver goods. But pirates interfere with his plans. Kara isn't sure she wants her orderly life upset by this man, but she's so strongly attracted to him that her life begins to unravel as she follows him into danger.
Hot: An Erotic Romance
Series: Hot Desire. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,070. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Sadie has everything a woman might want--wealth, comfort, friends--except love. In her effort to leave her past behind, she moves to New York and meets handsome business man, Spenser, from Britain. The two seem well matched--tall, athletic and attractive. Sadie's sensuality is a siren call for Spenser; however, her virginity surprises and challenges him. They turn up the heat in Hot!
Heat: An Erotic Romance
Series: Hot Desire. Price: Free! Words: 12,440. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Erotica » Menage/Multiple Partners
Heat--an erotic romance of Brice and Val who find unexpected pleasures. Will it be a threesome?