What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I write historical romance, particularly focusing on the medieval time period. There was a time growing up when I wanted my very own knight in shining armor to whisk me away on a grand quest. I’ve found medieval times come the closest to evoking the world of fairy tales I was so fond of as a child, but the history gives it a gravity I appreciate as an adult.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
Usually, I have a couple of different projects at different stages that I can move between to keep from getting bored or overwhelmed by any one story. So, for example, I have a story that I’ll be starting a final draft on soon, but I’m taking a break by brainstorming an outline for the book I’ll write next.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
I’m fortunate to have a number of people who read for me and provide feedback. I’ve belonged to writing groups in the past and found them to be extremely helpful, but over time, it can be difficult to keep them going given changes in careers and family life.
Can you remember your first reading book?
Actually, no. I remember going to the library when I was very young—in fact I still have that library card. Needless to say I loved reading and still do!
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
My go-to snack is something chocolate to perk me up in the afternoons. Some chocolate-covered almonds or a square off a really nice dark chocolate bar usually does the trick.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
I’m fortunate to have an office in my house that’s got a nice view of the nearby mountains and lots of space to spread out all my books and papers. It’s usually tidy, but can verge into bombsite territory if I have a lot going on.
I’m traditionally published. I queried agents, but kept getting variations on “Great writing, can’t sell it.” Finally, I signed with a small press, and they were bought out by Kensington before my book Siege of the Heart was released. It’s been an interesting journey, but at the end, I’m just thrilled to share my medieval romance with readers.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
This is a tough question! I don’t think I can point to any one author. I found romance novels in my early teens. Classics by Jane Austin and the Brontë Sisters, gothic suspense by Victoria Holt, Harlequin Superromances, and the audacious but unputdownable bodice rippers. I read them all, but something about historicals in particular kept me coming back for more. The appeal of another time and place, love that risks everything, and of course the dresses!
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Remember that you are not your manuscript. Love it, nurture in, but be able to see it for what it is, and what it needs to become.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
Hmm…. My hero Alexandre d’Evreux is a Norman knight with long dark hair, blue eyes and a strapping figure. Perhaps Jonathan Rhys Meyers. My heroine Isabel Dumont is a strong willed English heiress with brown hair and eyes. I think Keira Knightly would be a great fit.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
On my morning run in the foothills I ran across not one but three snakes on the trail. I live in New Mexico where the mountains meet the desert. You learn to keep an eye out for snakes, but three in one day is a bit much. Luckily, two of them were ribbon snakes—known for the band of coloring that runs head to tail. Harmless and happy to slither out of the way. The other was either a rattlesnake (bad) or a bull snake (a constrictor that eats rattlesnakes). Either way, I wasn’t sticking around to find out!
Thanks so much for hosting me, Glynis!
About Siege of the Heart:
He fought for king and country, but that battle was nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.
Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Évreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.
For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.
Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?
CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.
About Elise Cyr:
Elise has always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. She writes primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun.
Elise lives in New Mexico with her husband and the sweetest dog ever. When she’s not writing, she hikes, bikes, cooks, and (of course) reads.
Follow her on twitter (https://twitter.com/EliseCyr), Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/elisecyr1/), Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/EliseCyr), or stay up-to-date by checking out her blog: elisecyr.wordpress.com