Born and raised in Southeast Michigan near Ann Arbor, Elle learned the importance of reading from her mother. It was also her mother who, later on in her life, gave Elle her first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, Elle became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance. An old journal she wrote back in college became her first book (which she still wants to publish one day).
BPM: How did you get to be where you are in your life today? Who or what motivated you?
I would not be where I am today without God. Without Him, I’d be nothing. My mother used to sing a song when I was little that says “Without Him, my life would be drifting like a ship without a sail.”
I’m where I am as a writer because of hours spent daydreaming, hard work, and perseverance. I’ve always wanted to do more, be more. My mother inspired me to read. My children inspire me to create, to follow my dreams. How can I instill in them follow their dreams if I don’t lead by example?
BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to? Do you consider authors as role models?
I think my body of literary work speaks to lovers of romance and drama! I love to write love stories and delve into how people find love, sustain it. There are so many authors that I consider role models; authors who are doing their thing in this genre and others. I’m always amazed and very grateful for the many authors who’ve given awesome advice, shared my book, and read my work. It’s been a wonderful experience meeting authors I’ve read and getting a chance to pick their brains or just chat with them.
BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
Her Kind of Man is book 3 in my Edge of Scandal Series. When I started the series, I wanted to explore the dynamics of a close-knit group of friends. There is a theme in each of the books. This book delves into unrequited love. There is something about Allina and Kent that is pure magic. There’s an innocence to their relationship. I had a good time heating them up, but I especially loved the bonding scenes. They had an ease and genuine affection for each other that made me smile. I love it!
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Actually, the best part of writing this book was that was so challenging. I really had to push myself with this one. There are disturbing moments in the book, but mostly, it’s a journey to happiness. Allina and Kent had to climb out of that box they put themselves in; in their careers and in their relationship with each other.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven? Why?
Usually, my book ideas come from weird questions posed by friends or family. The Forbidden Man came about when a friend asked the simple question, “What would happen if a woman was torn between two brothers?” From there, it became my goal to write a book where the reader would sympathize and even root for the forbidden relationship.
Character-driven. I want my characters to make sense, so I spend a lot of time with characterization. My cousin always tells me “if it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it.” For example, Allina was a runaway bride. She left her wedding, her parents, and her groom behind because she felt like she was in danger. She was dealing with so much in the present that was bringing up demons from her past. So, I had to slow the romance part down because it didn’t make sense for her character to rush it. Also, Kent was so noble, he would have never taken advantage of her.
BPM: Could you tell us something about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
Engaged to a prominent preacher, Allina Parker is the envy of Cleveland. But instead of walking down the aisle, she’s running out the door. After her groom-to-be reveals his true nature, she flees to Michigan, back to Kent. Kent is the man she left behind, the one man she knew she’d always love. He is also one of her dearest friends. When she appears on his doorstep, Kent makes it his mission to protect her and finds out that there is more to her story than she’s telling him. The book is available on Nook, Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
Allina is incredibly intelligent and creative. She’s the friend that you know is going to support you through whatever while remaining calm and collected. Her dream of dreams is to design wedding gowns, but she’s left that behind to marry. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that her Prince Charming was a sociopath. The best thing about Allina is that she surprises me. On the surface, she seems one way. But there’s so much more to her. I enjoyed figuring her out.
Kent is… loyal, dedicated, handsome, strong, protective, and funny. I absolutely loved him in all three books. He was my comic relief, but he’s also the type of friend everyone needs. He’s creative and extremely hardworking: the perfect book boyfriend.
BPM: Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
Yes! I love to write African American romance. I love writing diverse characters. It’s my reality.
BPM: How does your book relate to your present situation, spiritual practice or journey?
Honestly, I think I was Allina. I was the good girl. I married my best friend. I’ve struggled with living up to people’s perception of me. Yep, she’s me and I am her. LOL
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
One thing I always learn when writing my books are new ways of thinking about things. Each character approaches decisions differently. Most of the time in ways I would never think of.
I’m laughing because I found out that yoga pants are apparently sexy to some men. So I put that in the book. I also had to learn about different sketchpad apps for a particular scene, which was neat.
I’m from Michigan (GO BLUE), and part of the book takes place in Cleveland, so I got a chance to talk to a few friends who are from the Buckeye state. I learned about a few festivals and restaurants there that I’d want to visit one day.
BPM: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goal was to write a different book. I didn’t want all the books in the series to be the same. Each couple was very different. They all had their own crosses to bear, things to overcome. I needed to do each character justice. I feel that I achieved that in this book. It’s nothing like the first two books of the series, in my opinion.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
At the moment, I’m plotting two contemporary romance series. Both feature secondary characters introduced in the series. Also, I’m plotting a romantic suspense series and a Women’s Fiction.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Check out the books in the Edge of Scandal Series
Edge of Scandal Book One – The Forbidden Man (released July 28, 2015)
Tag Line: She’s walking out on her no-good fiancé… and into the arms of his brother.
Edge of Scandal Book Two – His All Night (released November 24, 2015)
Tag Line: No expectations, no commitments, no one gets hurt…or so she thought.
Order all of the books in the Edge of Scandal Series