Elle Klass quickly made it onto my list of favorite authors with her masterful ability to spin a suspense-laden tale with endearing real-life protagonists. “As Snow Falls,” a touching fictitious memoir is one of my all time favorite; her “Baby Girl” series is an enjoyable, suspenseful tale of a girl who was abandoned as a young adolescent and left to fend for herself; and her new series, “Eye of the Storm”, is a dark, sinister, paranormal thriller with tremendous potential you’ll definitely be hearing more about soon.
I’d read the “Baby Girl” stories as they were released and was delighted to read them again in their re-release format as a box set. Elle has added a few bonuses to this version including additional scenes which round out the story even more and awesome new covers. What I enjoyed the most about having the four episodes together was being able to read them all as a single, contiguous tale. When I read them separately with various other books to say nothing of my own writing in between I tended to forget who some of the supporting characters were and other important details. Thus, being able to enjoy the stories as an integrated saga enhanced my enjoyment considerably.
Elle’s characters are not only memorable but seem so real you expect to run into them at the grocery store. They quickly attach themselves to your heart as you vicariously share their adventures, heartbreaks, dilemmas and triumphs. If you’re looking for a gripping read that sucks you into the story to the exclusion of everything else, then look no further than one of Elle’s stories.
Now let’s get to know the woman behind them a little better…
MF: How long have you been writing? Was there anything in particular that got you started?
EK: I’ve been writing since I was a teen. It was something that relaxed me and I enjoyed it. I still enjoy it today. I started with corny poetry and moved into novels.
MF: Do your characters come to you fully developed or do you gradually get to know them?
EK: Gradually we get to know each other. I have a basic idea but once I start writing they take on a persona of their own. I go with it. If I try and fight it the book stalls and dies. The characters run the story and I’ve learned to let them. Cleo is a great example because she has not only developed but grown and matured through the course of the books. When I began writing the shorts I had no idea what twists and turns she’d take, often lollygagging as a teen/new adult.
MF: Cleo is a fascinating multi-dimensional protagonist who develops quite naturally through her adventures. Did she ever surprise you and if so how?
EK: Many times! She’s independent and won’t listen to me or succumb to her love interests. Meeting Fetch and her reaction was a huge surprise. She’s at Happy Trails enjoying a beer and starts dancing. Until that point I didn’t know she could then she gets hit on by a man beyond gorgeous and walks away. There are many times I feel the need to parent her but she won’t listen.
MF: LOL! You’ve gotta love strong-willed characters! So how are you like Cleo? How are you different?
EK: Like Cleo I’m stubborn and independent. My life hasn’t always been easy and I’ve learned to take the hard road. Even now I chose to be an indie author – one of the most difficult professions to make a living at, however, that doesn’t stop me. It’s my passion and the incentive that keeps me striving for more. Cleo uses her stubborn independence to track down the dirty details of her familial beginnings. Our similarities end there.
Cleo loves to cook – I hate it. She loses focus with her task – My sights are set dead on. She can’t let go of Einstein and her past – I let mine drop like a lead weight and have felt amazing since.
MF: Besides Cleo who’s your favorite character in this series?
EK: La Tige. Love him! As an ex-cop he’s got a tough man exterior, and has his own secrets which Cleo gets a glimpse of in “City by the Bay.” She’s too focused on finding answers to her mystery such that the information she finds slips past her. He tests Cleo’s limits almost to the point of his own pleasure yet he adores her.
MF: I, also, loved La Tige! Fabulous character. Did you know how Cleo’s saga would end from the start or did it evolve?
EK: I wrote a rough draft several years ago and the two parts I knew when I finished writing were the beginning and the end. The in between was raw but once I decided to work on the story it filled itself in. The Box Set includes an epilogue and prologue not found in the shorts. It is still very much like the original rough draft with editing. It is my original vision which started the series.
MF: Do you come up with a premise, i.e. “What if…” first or a character with a story to tell?
EK: “What if” comes first, the characters come in when I least expect it. Didier was a surprise, Kacy, Fetch, Halette, Slug’s brother. They weren’t even a thought when I first drafted.
MF: I love it when that happens. Walk-on characters add so much depth and reality to a story. What’s your favorite part of writing? Your least favorite?
EK: My favorite part is getting on my computer in my comfy stretch shorts or pants and drifting into my own world full of vibrant characters. Their actions and twists their choices make in the story keeps me pegged.
My least favorite part used to be editing but I’ve learned to enjoy it and use it as a means to write and learn more. I think my least favorite at this moment in time is the process of formatting and uploading. It’s not difficult to do and I feel a sense of accomplishment but it’s mundane.
MF: I agree that formatting can be a challenge. How do you think your writing has evolved?
EK: I’ve learned to write more action as opposed to prose. I catch a lot of my grammar crutches right away. I’m learning to use the known as a suspense builder and less description = more reader imagination. The story is meant to guide not tell.
MF: Your new “Eye of the Storm” series is off to a great start. Is there anything you’d like to tell us about it?
EK: “Eye of the Storm” is a paranormal suspense thriller that I’ve been told borders on horror. It’s the story that makes people double check their doors are locked at night before snuggling into bed. It’s unlike my other books and more my nature.
CONNECT WITH ELLE:
Print Copy: http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Girl-Box-Books-I-IV/dp/1512343293/
Amazon Kindle pre-order- http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Girl-Box-Books-I-IV-ebook/dp/B00YDJX24K/
Smashwords pre-order: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/545931
Ebook Pre-order price is $2.99 until July 14th when it will jump to $4.99 so get it NOW!