Elsie Moore is an educator by trade. She spends her time in her suburban home in Southern California cooking, reading, and enjoying life. Any cooking reality show is programmed to record at any given time, and she faithfully checks Siren-BookStrand to see which new titles are up for release. She is a mom to two children and two dogs and a wife to her husband of twelve years, although they have been together for almost two decades. Elsie began writing stories in junior high school. The notebook paper was used more for writing than for school work. Thank you so much for helping Elsie to fulfill a dream of publishing her work! Follow Elsie on Twitter @elsiemauthor.
Q: There’s a strong element of thrilling yet realistic suspense in Sloan’s Scent, both with the mysterious texts and the vandalization. Was there a specific inspiration for this, and how do you think this kind of conflict propels a story?
A: I read so much fantasy that I had a good idea of what I wanted to add that was new. I wanted the sense of pack unity to be more than just an idea but actually tangible. The idea of the pack having a commercial bond that allows them to live and thrive was a good link to it. The vandalization of one of those bonds hits hard in the story’s conflict. Also, technology is the center of everything these days, and I love communicating by text messaging. I wanted to bring the texting trend into my writing. It allows for suspense, and also for some truly comical conversational moments with the characters.
Q: The olfactory sense plays a huge role in this story, as it’s important both to the plot and the individual characters. What do you think it is about this primal sort of mating and ritual in shape-shifter books that readers find so alluring?
A: There are so many people who haven’t found his or her partner in life. The idea of having that one person out there that is meant just for you, and all you have to do is be near them, to smell them, and know they are perfect for you is a huge concept. Shape-shifters having this ability to find his or her other half in an instant in this manner is a huge draw. Plus, I don’t know about anybody else, but the scent of your partner is a very alluring and sensual experience. Your sense of smell leads you in life in a lot of situations. Creating that idea in the story and centering on it was very exciting to write about. And though smelling one’s mate has been written about before, the importance of maturing and wolf breed differences in maturation has not. When the idea came into my head I got very excited.
Q: There’s a really sensual buildup to Sloan and Marcus’s relationship during scenes at the café, where they observe each other, sometimes anonymously. What do you think it is that makes his kind of curious observance of another person so provocative?
A: It’s the hunt, the chase, the excitement of the pursuit! I wanted readers to know the inner working thoughts of the characters, not just one character. Having that point of view into both Sloan and Marcus gave readers the chance to experience their emotions, feel their confusion, and cheer for them in the hunt. The provocative nature of being pursued built up more intensity for Sloan and Marcus, and when they came together it was amazing!
Q: Sloan’s Scent was an exciting introduction to a suspenseful new world filled with memorable and heroic characters. Will we be seeing more from the Sutton brothers, and if so, what can readers look forward to from this shape-shifting family?
A: Oh yes! I already have one more complete and ready to submit and another I am plotting out in my head. There is too much swirling around at the moment, but I know what is going to happen with each brother and I look forward to sharing it with readers. There will be more surprising revelations about the brothers’ relationship, how alpha wolves operate, mating pairs that are unexpected, and so many other twists that hopefully will leave readers wanting more and inspiring me to give it to them.
Q: Which character do you like writing more: the protagonist or the villain? Why?
A: Right now, the protagonists. They are the heart of the stories. My characters are not all “good” through and through. They have flaws and need to grow and learn from life and their experiences. I want my protagonists to not be completely fantasy, but to actually be seen as men who could walk the streets today without the paranormal elements.
Q: What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned about/from writing that you didn’t know when you first started?
A: Continuity! I was writing the second Sutton brother’s story and had to go back and chart out elements to remember. Then realized four chapters in I had switched perspectives and had to fix it all.
Q: Tell us about your writing routine.
A: I am a mom first of all, and I also work in the education field. I try to write when there is a spare moment. I may get the chance after dinner, after the kids are in bed, or even maybe when I should be sleeping, but just can’t get the plot ideas to stop swimming around in my head.
Q: Who do you look up to? What are some of their qualities that you strive to possess as well?
A: My mother. She is kind and compassionate to people. She also can have high opinions, but she gives good advice and strives to do her best in everything she does. She is her own worst critic. In turn, I have high opinions, I want to give advice, and I am a good listener. I hold myself to a high standard and put more stress on myself to do things than anybody else.
Q: What qualities do you think are important for the hero in a romance? Are there types of men you prefer to write about?
A: I don’t like the absolute macho, domineering types. When a character is hard and unmovable and the love interest just fawns over that character, it is not a good draw for me. I prefer to write about the guys who have strong leadership qualities, but have compassionate hearts.
Q: If you could be any of your characters, who would it be and why?
A: I want to be Nora Sutton at the moment. She isn’t afraid of telling her sons what they need to hear, even if one of them is the alpha of the pack.