THE SWORD AND THE PEN – which really is mightier?

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Elysa Hendricks to my little corner of the cyberworld. And guess what? Not only is she going to share a few details about her life and her fabulous books, she’s also giving away copies of one of her books. The details are at the end of this post.

Elysa, tell us a little about yourself
I’m 5’6″ tall. I have curly hair and brown eyes. I’m an author, a wife, a mother and a daughter. Everything else is subject to change without notice.

Good answer lol. Let’s talk about your author self. Do you have any advice for those authors just beginning this journey?
Read – a lot – especially in the genres you want to write. Write – even more than you read. Finish a book. Join a critique group, a writer’s organization, take writing classes. Hone your craft. Submit to publishers, but be ready to face rejection – lots of it. Write some more and keep writing until you reach your goal.

Great advice. But what about writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, what do you do to combat it?
All the time. I love writing (or rather I hate writing, but love having written), but it’s hard work. Mostly my writer’s block comes from my insecurity about my abilities. Though my rational, logical mind tells me I write well, that my books are good reads, inside my inner child stomps her feet and cries that I don’t know what I’m doing. When the brat starts whining I lose confidence and momentum and the writing dries up.

The best way I’ve found to get her to shut up and let me get back to writing is to read. If I read a good book she settles down, enjoys herself and forgets to whine. If I read a poorly written book she gets excited and realizes that maybe, just maybe we can write better than that. Either way I win and am able to write again.

I think most of us go through that insecurity now and then. For you, which comes first – the plot or the characters?
This is a hard one. Sometimes it’s the plot or rather a situation that poses the all important What If question. In my sci-fi romance STAR CRASH I wanted to write a story about two people trapped in an alien zoo. Once I had the idea then I had to figure out the who, what, where, when and why of the story. So even though I’m more of a panster than a plotter I guess I’d have to say the plot (story idea) comes first then I discover who the characters are as I write the book.

Where do your best ideas come from?
My ideas and inspirations come from everywhere, life, the news, books, TV, and movies. The entire world is my idea garden. My sci-fi romance STAR CRASH was partially inspired by the Roddy McDowall Twilight Zone episode People Are Alike All Over. I also drew on my love of Star Trek and the Planet of the Apes movies.

What’s a typical writing day like?
In my life there is no such thing as a “typical writing day.” I’ve tried working on a schedule and failed miserably. Deadlines do motivate me, but I’ve yet to find a way to force myself to write on any kind of schedule.

Generally I try to do my creative work first thing in the morning when I’m fresh, then after lunch I’ll work on email, Facebook, blogs, promo and edits. Unfortunately, I’m weak-willed and often times find myself browsing the Internet, playing on Facebook and reading emails while I’m eating breakfast. The day goes downhill pretty quick after that.

I know exactly what you mean. Me, I often end up watching videos or movies on the Internet. What is your favorite movie? Why?
It’s a toss-up between White Christmas and The Day The Earth Stood Still (the original version.) I love romance and even though the conflict in the story is bit contrived White Christmas is a classic romance. Plus it has Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, Vera Ellen, and Rosemary Clooney singing and dancing to some great music.

The Day The Earth Stood Still is one of the first science fiction movies I ever saw. Though compared to today the special effects are low tech, the storyline remains relevant. The filmmakers and actors managed to portray human reaction to first contact in a believable manor.

Can you tell us about your upcoming release(s)?
My next release is STAR RAIDERS. While pursuing criminals whose evil plans threaten the safety of the universe, an intergalactic lawman finds himself at the mercy of the woman he’s always loved — the woman he once betrayed.

What inspired you to write THE SWORD AND THE PEN?
I’m a BIG fan of The Twilight Zone and there’s one episode that has always captured my interest – A World Of His Own starring Keenan Wynn. It’s about a playwright who can bring his characters to life by describing them.

I wondered what if an author’s fictional character suddenly appeared in his living room. What if that author was trying to kill off that character? And what if that character was a sword-wielding warrior woman with a mile-long sword and a badass attitude?
THE SWORD AND THE PEN is my answer to these questions.

         If your fantasy became reality, what would you do?
         It was time. After penning ten popular sword-and-sorcery novels, Brandon Alexander Davis was ready to move on. Ready to stop hiding in his fictional world.Ready to start living a real life. There was just one problem: as he plotted the noble death of Serilda D’Lar, his fictional creation, complete with mile-long sword, skimpy leather outfit and badass attitude, appeared in his study.
         Was she nothing more than a crazy fan, or had Brandon finally cracked?
         This warrior woman whom he knew so well, so strong yet vulnerable, was both fantasy and reality. She was an invitation to rediscover all he once knew–that life is an incredible, magical journey and, for love, any man can be a hero.

         “You’ll enjoy this more.” He handed her a hotdog smothered with all the fixings.
         She took the offering and sniffed it. The aroma of grilled meat, onions, mustard and ketchup must have pleased her, because she took a bite. A look of delight spread over her face. In seconds she had devoured the hotdog and reached for a hamburger.
         Fascinated by her appetite, he almost forgot to eat. Most women he’d known– his mother, Wanda and Hillary– merely nibbled at their food. They always claimed to be on diets, yet never seemed to lose any weight. His grandmother had been the exception. Until her death, she’d eaten anything and everything and never gained an ounce. She’d claimed magic kept her thin.
         Seri ate with gusto and didn’t seem interested in counting calories or carbohydrates. Whatever she did in life she kept her body trim and fit. The pile of food diminished. She glanced at him. Her hand paused as she reached for the now melting ice cream.
         “Why aren’t you eating?”
         The sudden suspicion in her tone reminded him to tread carefully. He grabbed a handful of fries.
         She relaxed and picked up the dish of ice cream. “What is this?”
         “Chocolate ice cream. You’ll like it.”
         “Mmmm,” she groaned around a mouthful. “This is astonishing. I think I could easily live on this alone.”
         “It’s full of fat and sugar, and loaded with calories.”
         “I know fat and sugar. But what are calories? Are they dangerous?” She gave the now empty container a wary glance.
         “Only to your waistline.”
         Understanding spread over her face. She grinned. “Ah, I see. You fear I’ll grow obese and lazy.”
         “No, I didn’t mean that… I only meant…well, I…” He stumbled.
         She leaned forward and placed her fingers over his lips. “I but tease. Only the very rich and powerful can afford to grow stout and indolent. And those that do so, soon lose their wealth and their power to those who are hungry.”
         Slick from the fries and cool from the ice cream, the feel of her fingers against his lips sent a jolt of awareness straight to his groin. Without thinking, he sucked one finger into his mouth. The taste of salt and Seri exploded on his tongue.
         Her voice trailed away. He pushed aside the tray with the remains of their lunch and leaned across the concrete table. She pulled her hand from his mouth and replaced it with her lips.
         She tasted of chocolate, cool chocolate ice cream. The smell of grilled hotdogs and onion rings filled his nostrils. But the hunger inside Brandon wasn’t for food. Eager for the taste of the woman he kissed, he ran his tongue over her lips. They parted on a sigh and he delved within.
         Hot and tangy, her flavor sucked him in. Heat burned away rational thought as he lost himself in the kiss. Their tongues thrust and parried, the tempo increasing with every breath. Not satisfied with the limited contact of their mouths, he put his hand around the back of her head. Soft red curls twined around his fingers.
         Honk! Honk!
         “Hey man! Get a room!” a loud voice rang out. Laughter followed, as a car filled with teenagers pulled into the lot.
         Brandon jerked away. His elbow cracked against the stone table. Pain ran up his arm. He welcomed the distraction. Seri looked dazed as she settled back on her bench.

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As a Thank You to everyone who stops by and leaves a comment I’d like to give a FREE ecopy of my contemporary romance COUNTERFEIT LOVE. Just drop me an email at: and I’ll send you a Smashwords Coupon Code for a FREE download.


THE SWORD AND THE PEN – which really is mightier? — 11 Comments

  1. What a great interview! I loved the whole process of telling us about the day in the life so to speak. I really enjoyed reading it. And thanks for being so sweet about the ebook. =0) It’s funny but it seems like a lot of authors have the same struggles with sometimes being pulled in a million different directions. It gives fledgling authors hope I think to know that if they persisit they can be successful. tHanks agian! =0) Debbie

  2. Love how you deal with writer’s block. I could have easily written exactly that. I’m ready to smack that inner child silly. She needs to get a grip here.

  3. Elysa~

    Awesome interview! You were singing my song with how my writing day can go from bad to worse right after breakfast. (Notice what I’m doing rather than my edits. LOL) Your premise for

  4. The Twilight Zone rocks. So much there to inspire.

    Enjoyed the interview and getting to know you.

  5. Oh I envy your ability to write in the morning. I have to work and write only at night or on my breaks. How many books do you usually write in a year?

  6. Linda,

    I’m fortunate to have a husband who supports me both emotionally and financially and my kids are grown (if not completely out of the house,) so my time is mine to schedule as I see fit. Now if I could just discipline myself to actually “write” in the mornings and not spend my time “playing” on the Internet I might get something written. 🙂

  7. Anyone who’s on here in the morning knows about procrastinating! You’re so lucky to be able to make your own schedule though. Great excerpt. I need to know, if she doesn’t know about food, does she know what kissing is? 😉