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Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Feature: CJane Elliott

C.S.: What do you write?
CJane: I write contemporary romance with m/m MCs and a cast of LGBTQ characters.

C.S.: Why do you enjoy this genre?
CJane: I love romance because it’s the genre of hope and happy endings. I like exploring people’s inner barriers to love and what it takes to overcome them. But these days I have a love/hate relationship with the contemporary genre because of what’s been happening in our country since 45 took over. My LGBTQ characters have to be affected by the assaults on their rights, so the question is how I weave that into a romance book.

C.S.: Tell us about your writing space.
CJane: My writing space tends to move around. I’ve written sitting in bed, in coffee shops, and in different places in my house. The one place I’m not writing is in my home office even though I got a wonderful standing desk several years ago, certain I’d stand at it to write. Um, no. I currently write sitting on a loveseat in my bedroom or on the living room couch.

C.S.: What sort of work-related items do you keep at hand?
CJane: I used to write in longhand on yellow legal pads and at that point the kind of pens I used were important. Now I draft everything in Word on my trusty laptop. I have a portable lap desk that I set on my lap with my computer on top. I have my iPod and headphones for when I need to listen to music as I write. Coffee is necessary! Candles are nice.

C.S.: What’s the weirdest item you keep nearby that’s not at all beneficial to writing?
CJane: This strikes me as funny because it seems like everything becomes beneficial to writing one way or the other. But my sister loves to send me Halloween-related birthday gifts, so here’s a picture of my skeleton flamingos.

C.S.: Do you have any ‘good luck’ charms?
CJane: I have a ‘cave’ in which I keep all sorts of talismans. Every week I pull three ‘angel cards’ for guidance and set them out. Also you may have noted the skeleton sock monkey on my loveseat (another gift from my sister). His name is Oscar and he keeps me company.

C.S.: What’s easily the most distracting item in your writing space?
CJane: My husband! He loves to talk to me, which is nice, but not while I’m trying to write.

C.S.: Do you have any bad habits when you write?
CJane: Looking at Twitter and Facebook. I have to disconnect from the internet when I’m really out to accomplish anything with writing.

C.S.: What time of day are you most creative?
CJane: It’s hard to say because I work 32 hours a week, so I have to cram my creativity into Saturday-Mondays. Creative breakthroughs do come to me often in the shower!

C.S.: Do you have any ‘helpful’ pets?
CJane: No, just a ‘helpful’ husband!

C.S.: What do you do to de-stress or enjoy that’s unrelated to writing?
CJane: I do Nia, which is a delicious dance exercise class that blends dance arts with healing and martial arts. I highly recommend it! I enjoy binge-watching TV shows or watching movies on Amazon and Netflix. I live in a university town with a great local music/arts scene and my son has two bands so I go to concerts and shows frequently.

C.S.: Do you drink or snack while writing?
CJane: I drink coffee or water. I sometimes snack but it’s hard to type and eat at the same time. Although I love a glass of wine or two in the evening, I try to finish my writing before because I get too sleepy.

C.S.: Listen to music? If so, does the soundtrack change with projects?
CJane: I do listen to music but tend to listen to the same soundtrack over and over. It used to be George Michael’s Greatest Hits. Currently it’s Daft Punk.

C.S.: Question from the audience: Which book of yours did you most enjoy writing? Which was the most difficult to write?
CJane: I most enjoyed writing my current book, In Over Our Heads, and its predecessor, All the Way to Shore. I’d conceived All the Way to Shore as a tropey Harlequinesque story and had the best time with it. And In Over Our Heads features my favorite character from that book, Anthony Vallen, in his own second chance romance. The hardest book for me to write was Aidan’s Journey. Aidan, the MC, is involved in an emotionally abusive relationship for much of the book and also experiences a major depression. I was so damn happy to get him to his HEA!

All the Way to Shore takes place before
In Over Our Heads. Both are standalones.
Title: In Over Our Heads
Release date: October, 2017

Blurb: Anthony Vallen is the life of any party. Full of energy and fun, Anthony adores romance and enjoys playing matchmaker for his friends while dancing the night away with a series of Mr. Right Nows. But he’s given up on his own happy ending. A bad breakup years ago made him a secret cynic about love… until he runs into Walter Elkins—the boy who broke his teenaged heart—on a scuba-diving vacation in Key West. Suddenly, Anthony’s reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. Being with Walter again forces Anthony to get serious—about himself, his worth, and his heart’s desires.
Brilliant and self-contained, scientist Walter Elkins prefers deep thoughts to other people. He’s a good boss and a model citizen, but Walter doesn’t let anyone get close. After a tragedy drove him out of his science career, Walter landed in Key West and became owner of a dive shop and a bar. Things are fine until Anthony Vallen—the only person who ever penetrated his defenses—shows up, and Walter’s calm, controlled life capsizes. He and Anthony have a second chance for love, but Walter must confront the old fears that threaten to torpedo their happiness.

Pre-order begins in September at Dreamspinner Press.

Note: This is a standalone, but follows the story of All the Way to Shore, available at Dreamspinner Press and Amazon.

Author Bio: After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.

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Don’t forget to join CJane’s giveaway! The prize is (2) e-books from her available backlist.

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  1. Thanks for the interview. I love the cover of your upcoming release.

  2. Thanks for this post i loved the interview :)

  3. I loved All the Way to Shore, so I'm glad to see that there will be more from that series.

  4. I've never heard of NIa, but it sounds cool. I'll have to check it out!

  5. Angela:
    My favorite book by Cjane is Wild and Precious. I have All the Way to Shore on my ereader so i look forward in reading that one. I like the blurb of In Over Our Heads :)

  6. I have read Stay right Here and looking forward to read more by CJane Elliott.