Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Interview with Elaine Bergstrom

So tell us a little bit about you. What makes you tick?

The creative process. I've written my entire life...from ads to novels. I carry on dialog in my head. As I get older, I also seem to be doing that out loud. It sometimes concerns me.

How long have you been writing and who or what inspired you to write?

I've been writing since I was 7. I have a degree in journalism, but creative writing didn't really start until I was in my 40s. My first novel, Shattered Glass, was my first piece of fiction beyond some rough short stories.

Now on to the important bit, your book. Can you tell us about it?

Shattered Glass was first published in 1987, and reissued uncut late last year after I decided to take my career into my own hands. I went with the old advice "write what you know...or something you are really fascinated by" and did a novel set in my childhood home and hometown of Cleveland, about an immortal living and hiding in our world who begins a passionate love affair with a young human woman who, he discovers, has the capacity to save his race--if he can protect her and her family from one of his own bent on destroying her if he must, as a way to die. It was one of the first vampire romances, with a strong theme of addiction, as at the time my then husband had just gone through rehab and I was attending a lot of la-anon meetings.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?

For the most part these are something the publisher does...and usually a pleasant surprise, though my third book, with just a pair of big red lips and fangs was playing off "Sunglasses After Dark" and not, to me, in a good way.

When I reissued print versions of Glass and released the latest novel Beyond Sundown, I had to do my own covers and called on a co-worker to work with me. Karen did as good a job as any publisher's artist.

This is not my forte, so I am thankful I had someone to work with me on this.

Do you have plans for more books?

Absolutely. Another in the Austra series, then I am plotting a long historical novel set in Russia. It's going to be work as I work hard to get historical facts correct.

Which comes first the character or the plot?

That depends on the book, though I will say, now that I know my characters, they come first.

Describe your main characters in a single word.


Okay, now can you tell us more about them?

Beautiful, powerful, charismatic and, though they would deny this at length, sensitive and highly moral.

What is your favorite scene?

Near the end of Glass, the protagonist Charles, begins to mentally assault his brother Stephen, by torturing those Stephen has sworn to protect, including a long scene with a couple in a hotel room which has been described as "one of the most horrific scenes in vampire literature." As one fan told me, "you raped me, too...I loved it!" On the other hand, I've had someone go to great lengths to give the book one star on Amazon and accused me of writing "Torture porn"--I intended it to be erotic but was very careful to keep it R rather than X rated. On the other hand, I don't think his comments are hurting my sales, either.

Where can readers connect with you?, there is an email address there, too.

Where can readers purchase your book?

On my site, or at Amazon in either print or kindle versions.

A big thank you to Elaine for the interview! We will be chatting with her Wednesday at 3:30 PST. You can set a reminder for the show here.

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