Elle Klass is the author of the popular “Baby Girl” series of short stories which chronicle the quest of Cleo, a girl abandoned at a young age, who’s in search of her true identity, literally and figuratively. Her adventures span the globe and take the reader along for a wild ride filled with increasing mystery and intrigue as the story progresses. Elle’s characters are believable and engaging with Cleo’s growing maturity and self-identity slowly emerging with each exciting episode. The third installment, “Baby Girl 3: City by the Bay” is being released for Kindle today, July 15, 2014, with its precursors also on sale so this is your chance to grab all three.
MF: Where did your idea for the Baby Girl series originate?
EK: I was on summer break from work and had an itch to write. The story formulated itself and the characters evolved as I wrote. I get all kinds of ideas in my head for absolutely no reason and write them down. I have tons of rough drafts awaiting revival so they can become full fledged novels.
MF: The Baby Girl series has grown in suspense and complexity with each episode and gathered considerable momentum through its many interesting twists and turns. Has the story evolved as you’ve written it or did you know from the beginning where it was going?
EK: When I first wrote it all I had was a very rough draft that I put on a shelf for several years. I dusted it off last fall and began reworking it. I decided to publish it in short stories form because it seemed more time efficient to break it down. Each segment has grown by 5,000 to 10,000 words from my original draft. Each short has taken on a life of its own as well as my characters. Reworking the draft I knew how the story ended. When I first began the story all I had mentally was a beginning and an end. It was how she got from point A to point B that surprised me.
MF: Besides Cleo/Justine/Shanna i.e., her various pseudonyms, who is your favorite character and why?
EK: Cleo, she is and always will be Cleo even though she hides out and disguises herself. I had the most fun with Cleo-Shanna. In book 3 she finally comes into her own on her own. She realizes she is an adult and her life is hers to direct. She does a lot of growing up and finally finds a place in her life that works for her. She wants the mystery of her birth resolved and plunges forward. In book 3 she also makes friends that she keeps. Until this book the only friend she ever kept was James. She has attachment issues but I guess most of us would if we had been abandoned at a young age and had someone stalking us .
MF: Will Baby Girl 3 complete the story with Cleo finally discovering who she really is or will it be an ongoing series?
EK: In Baby Girl 3 she doesn’t find all the answers. She does fit a lot of the pieces together. The rest of them come together in Baby Girl 4 when she discovers the secrets she’s been searching for. I don’t want to give away too much. The story is ongoing and this November I will be finishing Baby Girl 4 and the sequel to it. The sequel is about half done. What I can say is another mystery blasts her in the face and she has to rescue La Tige from a ghost of her past.
MF: As a teacher of junior high age youth and an author, what advice would you give parents who have a child with an interest or talent for writing?
EK: Let them write, read their work, encourage them. I have students who bring me their stories to read and ask about how to publish a book. I critique their work and have found some very talented youths that I hope pursue their creative writing talents. Junior high students aren’t as autonomous as they like to display. They seek encouragement and support from adults with their interests. I would also recommend checking out the public library. Sometimes they have workshops and writing groups that meet.
MF: What is your favorite part of the creative process?
EK: Free writing! That’s how all my stories start. I have a rough idea in my head that materializes. Once I start writing the words flow, creating more than I expect. Free writing allows the monsters, goblins and frightened little girls to rise to the surface. Equally as entertaining is taking the free write-rough draft and further developing the characters. I love each one even the lowdown- evil ones.
CONNECT WITH ELLE:
Amazon author page- http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Klass/e/B00F2Y48C0/
Twitter handle- @elleklass
Baby Girl 1: In the Beginning
Baby Girl 2: Moonlighting in Paris
Baby Girl 3: City by the Bay