I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Australian romance author, Elise K. Ackers. She’s taken the time to answer a few questions about her latest release with Destiny Romance, The Man Plan.
Please describe The Man Plan in five words.
Sweet, funny, dramatic, relatable, optimistic.
What inspired you to write The Man Plan?
When I first started writing this book, I was single, just like Cora, and there were times when the single game was just exasperating. I felt like I was the only single girl in my suburb, and I suppose the idea grew from that, combined with the realisation that my unit was full to bursting with romantic novels, movies, pictures and more. I looked at all of my things and thought (in one of my more optimistic moments, I’m sure), that they were like clues to that elusive happy-ever-after.
The Man Plan, a contemporary romance was released shortly after your debut romantic suspense novel, Small Town Storm. How have readers received your contribution to two different romance sub-genres?
Positively, I hope! Romantic suspense and contemporary romance are two of my top three favourite genres (the third being YA), and what I read a lot of. I can only hope that readers embrace this dual contribution, because I have many more of these sub-genres in mind for the future. The reviews I have received to date have done well to highlight that The Man Plan is a light-hearted, comedic read, as opposed to the darker, more layered Small Town Storm.
What do you love about writing romance?
At the risk of sounding like a total sap, I love the happy ever after. And I love writing the black moment, when all seems lost, when there’s a chance (however slim) that the lovers won’t overcome whatever hurdles I’ve thrown at them. Because then I get to move my characters back from the edge and comfortably into each other’s arms.
What do you enjoy especially about writing stories with Australian characters and settings?
I’ve travelled extensively around Australia – it’s a fascinating, beautiful and diverse country, and being as inspired by place as I am, it’s a joy to write about. Small Town Storm is set in the real town of Olinda, in the picturesque ranges east of Melbourne. The Man Plan is set by the bay near Port Melbourne and St Kilda, and I have a title coming out in January based on a cultural icon in Melbourne city, on the banks of the Yarra River.
The Australian characters I write are so sassy, sharp, laid-back and sarcastic. They’re fun, but they’re a challenge. Australians have a way about them, and I try hard in each book to capture this. Also, Australians seem so worldly to me. We’re such travellers and adventurers. I’ve so often gone to the other side of the world only to be in a roomful of Aussies. And I’m a sucker for the Aussie sense of humour!
What are you currently working on?
I’m writing the third book in a novella series scheduled to come out with Destiny Romance in 2013. This third title is about two single parents and their kids, a small country town and the pressures we put on ourselves to put on a brave face. I’m very excited for these books to come out – they’ve been a work in progress for some time now and I really, really want to talk about them!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have a day job with a project management organisation, where I’ve had the great fortune of being involved in some very iconic projects. Other than that, I’m spend a lot of time with my family and friends, and my partner and our house full of pets keeps me busy, too. I also crave day trips and exploration, which I do whenever I can.
And just for fun, when writing do you prefer…
Coffee, tea or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate
Plotting, pantsing or both? A bit of both. I tend to know a fair bit about the plot before I start writing a book, but I’m so often surprised as I work my way through it.
Quiet solitude or background noise? I could probably write in the middle of a protest rally; noise doesn’t bother me. I write on trams, on benches, in the park, in a lunch room. I’m so grateful I can tune things out.
A warm, sunny day or a rainy day? Love writing on rainy days – I get my hot chocolate, my blanket and my pets and I don’t move for hours. Sunny days I tend to try to multi-task, so I’m far less productive. A few weeks ago I was getting up at 4am to write, so I guess I write well in the dark.
Typing or pen and notepad? Notepad – I type quickly, and my handwriting fast becomes illegible when I have a good idea!
The Man Plan can be purchased from Destiny Romance and other leading ebook retailers.
Synopsis- Cora is ‘over’ being alone. She has no family, and all her friends are couples. Fed up with feeling sorry for herself, Cora hatches a plan to find a good, loving man she can call her own. Her deadline is Christmas – she doesn’t want to spend another holiday by herself.
Just as she decides her strategy, she meets Matt, her downstairs neighbor. They become unlikely friends, with Matt an amused bystander as Cora tries various methods in search of a man.
Then something strange happens. Matt, who spends his life avoiding commitment, begins to feel jealous of the men Cora is dating and his resolve to never fall in love begins to crumble. Cora finds herself increasingly attracted to Matt. But is he Good Husband material? She thinks not.
A light-hearted, contemporary romance about a young woman who goes looking for love, only to find it right under her nose.