Counterfeit Love - Meeting the characters and the woman behind the story

by - Friday, March 23, 2012

Hey y'all,

I know I haven't been blogging much (blame school!) and I haven't been getting around to your blogs or even to reply your comments (blame school!), but thank you for still visiting my blog and comment on my posts! (I swear after this year, and if I'm not repeating the course, I'll be much more free).

Getting to the point, few Fridays ago, I was extremely excited to write a review for Counterfeit Love, an ebook that I won from Ritesh's blog that I was daring enough to approach the lovely author, Elysa Hendricks for an interview! Thanks Ritesh for the encouragement! So without further ado...

Introducing the Family. 

1. Hey Alexandra, I heard you have a recent addition to your family. How’s your little pet doing? And how about school? Does daddy make you breakfast every morning?

Hi, Miss Anne. Samson is my best friend. Daddy said he's living up to his name. He's getting too big to get in my lap. (She tugs Samson's large head onto her lap. He gives her a happy doggy grin.)

School's fun. I like math. Ms Reed, my teacher says I'm really smart with numbers. I get A's. Maggie thinks it's in my jeans, but I figure out the answers to the problems on paper or in my head. I don't keep the answers in my jeans. That'd be cheating. Besides some days I wear a dress.

Daddy still makes dinner most nights. Grandma Blake taught him how to cook and she shows me stuff when she visits. But Maggie's taking cooking lessons from Mrs. Larkin and she's getting better at cooking. Even though sometimes they're lumpy, I like her pancakes. She puts chocolate chips in them. (She gives Maggie an apologetic smile. She grins back.)

2. What do you think of Maggie?

Maggie's the best mother. Since she and Daddy got married we have lots of fun. She lets me help catch computer bad guys. And she's a lot better with girl stuff like clothes, make-up and boys than Daddy.
"Make-up? Boys?" Jared butts in looking mildly alarmed. "You're not allowed to be interested in boys until you're a least thirty."
(Alex giggles.)

3. With Maggie in the family, does your dad still sew your costumes and cook dinner? And in your opinion, who’s food taste better?

Like I said, Daddy does most of the cooking and I help. Maggie cleans up. She says it's safer and better tasting that way. But she sews a lot. She made me a bunch of new clothes. All my friends are jealous.

4. Maggie, in our eyes, Jared is the epitome of perfection, but surely he has some bad habits, does he?

Not really. Sometimes he can be a little bit stuffy, but mostly I think he's just about perfect.

5. Jared, where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Right where I am now. Teaching at Council Falls high school and living with my two favorite people. (He wraps one arm around Maggie and the other around Alex.) I've also started my own small computer consulting firm in conjunction with Maggie's computer security company. I tell companies what they need and she makes sure their systems are secure.

6. Maggie and Jared, how’s life? ~grins~

(Jared looks at Maggie.) Perfect. (She blushes.)

7. What is your idea of family time?

Jared - Spending our evenings together, going for a walk or a bike ride, reading, playing a game, watching some TV. Nothing terribly exciting I'm afraid.

Maggie - Since moving to Council Falls I've discovered that excitement is vastly overrated. In real life boring can be good. The simple things are what's important. Like waking up in the morning when Alex and Samson invade our bed.

Jared groans - We really need to get a king-sized bed.

Alex - I like when we go to the park or Great-Grandma and Grandpa Blake's farm. I'm learning to ride a horse. Visiting Grandma and Grandpa Blake in Florida after we went to Disney World was fun too.

8. Jared and Maggie, what is your sweetest memory yet?

Jared - Finding out that the woman I love was indeed a woman and not a teenaged girl.

Maggie - Funny you didn't seem happy about it at the time. I think just knowing that there are people who love me and will always be here for me is the sweetest thing of all.

9. This question is open to everyone! Tell me something random about yourselves.

Alex - Can I tell? Can I? (Alex bounces up and down, disturbing Samson who plops down on the floor with a disgruntled woof.)
(Jared looks at Maggie, who smiles and nods.)

Alex - In September I'm going to be in the fourth grade and (she pauses for dramatic effect) I'm going to be a BIG sister! Daddy and Maggie are going to have a baby. We don't know yet if it'll be a boy or a girl, but Daddy and I are hoping for a girl. Maggie says she doesn't care, but if she wants a boy she can have him the next time. (Maggie looks slightly alarmed, but Jared grins.)

10. This is unusual for me, but…Samson….tell us how you feel to finally found a home.
Woof, woof, ark, bark, growl. Howl.
That means he likes living with us. And he wants a baby girl too. (Alex translates.)

And now, introducing Elysa Hendricks, the one who make the story happen!

1. How did you come up with the idea for Counterfeit Love? And where have you found your inspiration to write about such wonderful characters?

Characters seem to spring to life in my mind without much conscious thought on my part. Sometimes I think they'll real people who exist in an alternate reality and somehow I've tapped into their lives. If I could teach them to type my writing would go so much faster.

Truthfully, the character of Maggie was inspired by a woman I knew who at 26 years old was always being mistaken for a teenager as well as my 28 year old son who was once asked if he needed a child's menu at a restaurant. And Jared is loosely (very loosely) based on one of my high school English teachers who I had a crush on. It wasn't until decades later that I learned that handsome hunk was gay.

2. What was the hardest part of writing the story?

Balancing Jared's sexual attraction to Maggie with his strong moral resistance to even thinking about one of his students as woman. I think I managed to walk that fine line. 

3. Do you have a favorite quote and character from the book?

Not really. Counterfeit Love is pretty much a three character book - Jared, Maggie and Alex - each is my favorite in their own way. I did like Widow Larkin's line - "Don't go giving me a look like butter wouldn't melt in your mouth. I've been alive a long time and I've learned to read people pretty well. If you're eighteen then I just turned thirty, and Eisenhower was president then. Watch your step little miss. Council Falls protects its own."

4. Can you tell us something random about yourself?

What do you want to know? My life is an open book. No deep dark secrets. No skeletons that I'm aware of. Basic vanilla bland and boring. But like Maggie says, Boring is good. Excitement is vastly overrated.

I'm 5'6" tall. I have curly hair and brown eyes. I'm an author, a wife, a mother, and a daughter. Everything else is subject to change without notice.

Oh, I'm a freaking optimist. I rarely take things totally seriously. And I have an absolutely terrible memory for people's names and faces. So if I run into you and we've met before, don't be insulted if I get a deer-in-the-headlights look. It's not you, it's me. 

5. So do you have a new story in mind?

I always have at least two or three stories actively in progress along with dozens of ideas in the simmering stage. As I lie in bed at night waiting to fall asleep characters whisper in my mind - write my story, no, write mine.

I love to read and to write all different sub-genres of romantic fiction - contemporary, historical, sci-fi and fantasy.

Right now I'm working on finishing up a contemporary fantasy romance about a matchmaking cat. I also have an adventure romance set in the jungle between a mercenary and a grade school teacher caught up in a South American revolution.

And a friend and I co-wrote a humorous women's fiction novel called GRANNIES AND TRANNIES: VEGAS OR BUST, which we're shopping around to agents and editors.

Don't tell me you weren't laughing! This is exactly how I picture Samson! Thank you Elysa for the wonderful and funny interview and thank you for stopping by my blog!

Until then.

Have a great weekend!

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