Thank you so much for being here with us Elle Henry.
Hello Sylvia and thank you for having me again!
What can you tell us about your latest book?
More Than Words is my first full-length novel. It started out as a short story.
What was the inspiration behind it?
This story started as an assignment for one of my writing classes almost two years ago. The assignment entailed taking a biographical piece from your life from any time period, turning it in to a fictional story. My instructor applauded my work encouraging me to continue expanding on the main characters. There’s one part in this novel that actually happened to me, I choose not to reveal which part because it keeps the audience guessing.
How does this book differ from your first one?
My first book Pieces of Me is a collection of stories and poems; while More Than Words is a full-fledged novel with two sequels planned (The Beautiful Ones will be out in November). My first release was a reflection of my life as a writer and my creative process at that point. I was experimenting with poetry; a genre I never thought I would write and short story. I wasn’t comfortable writing a novel at that point; however I wanted to display my creative works, because each story and poem mirrored my sensitive nature.
In your new novel do you have a favorite character?
Of course I love Ansley Stevenson, her traits echo mine as a teenager in a sheltered parental existence. Maxwell Browning her best friend was a great character to create, her nickname is “Maxi” so people call her “Maxi-pad” to upset her. Maxi and Ansley is the yen to each other’s yang. Maxi is carefree and outgoing, while Ansley is more serious and aware of her surroundings. They compliment each well with Maxi always having her sensitive friends back with no judgment. Maxwell is definitely very protective of her best friend.
What is the main theme of the book?
Innocence’s lost, forgiveness and teenage love.
Is this book a part of a series?
Yes, this is the first book in the Ansley Stevenson Series. The follow up novel will be titled The Beautiful Ones due out later this year around November. Follow my newsletter for updates!
What type of preparation did it take for working on your novel?
This novel was a journey to complete. I spent many sleepless nights over a fourteen-month period writing this book. I did outline this novel a bad decision that added more stress than necessary. Also, I ended up deleting 20,000 words three months before release. People say that writers are their own worst nightmare when it comes to critiquing. I am extremely hard of myself with my work always second guessing; mostly because this work is part of me, one of the best parts of me.
What advice would you give a writer starting out?
Keep a journal to jot down every thought or idea you may have. I have work saved in a few journals, my iPhone and my iPad. I never leave home without my journal and a book.
Is there something we do not know about you?
I’m a trained singer, and I tried out for American Idol back in 2004. I didn’t get picked, but it was a great experience. One thing I learned from that reject is to never give up on something you’re truly passionate about. Writing was my destiny, it’s a blessing being about to create work and write in an environment you love.
Who inspires you?
My Mom inspires me daily, she is always told my brother and I to “give out, never give up!” Plus, I come from a family of strong willed women with take no prisoners attitudes.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.” This quote is from the novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. The second Mrs. De Winter is reflecting on memories her old home Manderlay.
Tell us a bit about a girl and her books publishing?
A Girl and Her Books publishing started with me wanted to spread awareness for young women writers with a passion for reading. In school I was always the “girl with glasses and a library book” who loved the smell of an old book at the public library. While my friends hung out with each other I was at Orange County Public library in Orlando, Florida three-four times a week. I started the company to support my self-publishing goals. Now we have three authors on board and three books published with four more releasing this year. I was lucky enough to partner with two great editor/writers the wonder Sylvia Stein and Lynette Lee. We are a complete puzzle working together. We accept for editing and publishing on a rolling basis just visit agirlandherbooks.org for more details.
What is next for you?
Right now I’m editing and consulting for independent writers through A Girl and Her Books Publishing’s. I’m working on the first draft to the second book in the series The Beautiful Ones, and I have another series of stories I would like to release this summer. I’m looking forward to my annual Bahamian trip this summer with a group of classmates.
Thank you again for taking the time to be here today.
You are a gem of a friend, thank you again for having me!
Where can we find you?
Websites: agirlandherbooks.org and authorellehenry.com
Blogs: avidwriterelle.com and hypeorlando.com/candidly-elle
Pinterest: Author Elle Henry