Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Crushing is a YA Romantic Suspense set on an fictional island near Charleston, South Carolina. Rory, the main character, is the daughter of a wealthy Southern family who have planned out her life for her. When her troubled, childhood crush moves back to town she has to decide if it’s worth upsetting her family and her life to be with him. She’s not sure he’s a good risk. On top of that a friend goes missing and she ends up in the middle of a very dangerous situation.
Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes. In this book Dominic was not supposed to be such a big character and he turned out to be a nice guy. I was originally going to have him be a jerk but he wanted nothing to do with that! He was difficult to get to stay on track. His voice was loud and Rory’s other love interest, Gage, was difficult to get to know and took a lot of prodding to get him to be front and center. I had to be sure I didn’t let Dominic’s bold, loud personality overshadow Gage’s.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
No for now I’m happy to continue being a self published author.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I like the freedom and I’m a bit of a control freak. I love being able to choose my own cover, etc. I don’t have the patience to wait eighteen months to have my books published either. This works for me.
What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I definitely need silence. I think I’m too easily distractible to be able to listen to music. Also I think it might affect the mood of the scene I was writing. I’m easily swayed. Lol. I get in my office by eight every morning and I’m pretty much there all day. I set word count goals and I have lists of all that needs to be done.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely. She does a critique first, then first round edits, then clean up and proofing. Then I send it to another service for proofing again and then yet another for formatting.
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
To just keep writing. Not to get distracted by all the other stuff people say you “should” be doing. Writing is the most important thing. Balance your time. It’s not easy doing it all yourself but it can be done.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, Kobo. You name it, they’re probably there.
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I have my blog and I’m on most of the Social Media sites as Elena Dillon. I’m pretty active on FB, Twitter and Google+. Pinterest is my addiction though. I can’t go on there if I have stuff to get done. Two hours will go by without me even noticing.
What’s next for you?
I’m in the middle of writing my third book which will take place in the Breathe universe. It should be out before the end of the year.