Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Elyssa Patrick and As You Wish

Today's guest is Elyssa Patrick, whose fun, sexy contemporary romance, AS YOU WISH, is out now. This is Elyssa's debut, and it's a good one. I'm halfway through it right now and I can't wait to get to the end! (Also - rock star hero, just like our own Lizbeth's book!)

Love doesn’t always follow the sheet music . . .

This Christmas, Portia Jackson needs a miracle to save her family’s generations-old florist shop. What she gets instead is a car that breaks down during a blizzard. Help arrives unexpectedly when the infamous Aubry Riley pulls over. She only expects him to drive her to the gas station . . . she never expects that kiss. But Portia lives in the real world—she knows this is only a holiday fling for Aubry. Except it doesn’t feel so temporary, and the last thing she wants is a broken heart.

Sometimes you have to sing some different notes . . .

Rock star Aubry Riley has no secrets. Thanks to the media, everyone knows about his troubled past. Six years have gone by since his world crashed, and now he’s ready for a comeback. But first he needs to reconcile with his family—starting with his six-year-old daughter. A month-long vacation at a Vermont lake house affords him the perfect opportunity to take a step in the right direction. He doesn’t need any other emotional entanglements, especially not with the bright-eyed florist he can’t stop thinking about. But no matter how hard he tries to resist her, he can’t. Now all he has to do is to convince Portia that there is nothing temporary when it comes to love.

Simone - Tell us a little about AS YOU WISH and how you came to write it.

Elyssa - Thanks, Simone, for having me on! In a nutshell, AS YOU WISH is about a jaded rock star who goes to Vermont for a month-long holiday to reconnect and reconcile with his estranged family, especially with his six-year-old daughter, but things get complicated when he falls for the bright-eyed florist.

I wrote this during October 2008 – March 2009, but I had wanted to write a rock star for a while. I had read SEP’s NATURAL BORN CHARMER, and in that book, there’s a secondary romance involving an aging rock star and his former wife. After I had read that book, I wanted to read more books where the rock star was the main hero but was having a hard time. I kept hearing that rock star heroes didn’t sell, and, in fact, when I started writing AYW, I was cautioned against it by a few authors, but I didn’t listen because I can be too damn stubborn at times, lol.

So I wrote the book because I really wanted to read a rock star romance, but I wouldn’t have been able to write a rock star hero if I never had a really good idea. And I’m still so grateful that Aubry came to me, and the idea was “born.”

Simone - The title is from The Princess Bride, right?

Elyssa - Yes, it is! THE PRINCESS BRIDE is one of my favorite movies, and I love the line Wesley says to Princess Buttercup. Funnily enough, I named another hero “Wes” after Wesley from THE PRINCESS BRIDE. I have a bit of an addiction, I guess. :)

Simone - What authors were your biggest inspirations and influences for the book?

Elyssa - Three of my main authors who inspire and who I look up to are: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, and Lisa Kleypas. I love their books.

I also love Nalini Singh, Maya Banks, Julie James, Shannon Stacey, Meljean Brook, Tammara Webber, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Molly O’Keefe, and the list goes on and on and on.

When I was writing AS YOU WISH, I was concerned about a few things: dealing with grief (I really did not want to make Aubry’s first wife an “evil” woman or have Aubry’s love for first wife disavowed or lessened in any way); the secondary romance; making sure all the characters felt “alive.” I’d never written a secondary romance or had a character who’d dealt with an addiction before, and I wanted to make sure I got it right. 

So, these are the books that I mainly read during the time of writing AS YOU WISH:

1. DREAM A LITTLE DREAM by Susan Elizabeth Phillips—for how SEP handled Gabe’s grief and to also study the secondary romance.
2. AGAIN THE MAGIC by Lisa Kleypas—for how LK handled the secondary romance and Gideon’s alcoholism.
3. THE BRIDAL SEASON by Connie Brockway—for the cast of characters, etc.

Each of these books also had the same “feel” I was writing: light, funny, emotional, sexy. Plus, I often reread these books so I wanted to see what was about those books that I kept coming back to—I think any writer might feel the same in that sometimes the best way to learn craft is by studying other books.

Simone - It's a great way to learn craft - I do it all the time. Where is your favorite place to read?

Elyssa - In bed. I’ll usually sneak books in right before I go to sleep.

Simone - What surprised you the most about self-publishing?

Elyssa - I knew self-publishing was going to be a lot of work, and I put a lot of pressure on myself in making sure I was doing things right. I wanted to make sure I put out the best product to readers, and I hope I did that.

Simone - What are the three best books you've read lately?

Elyssa - Only three?!!! Talk about Sophie’s Choice!

1. EASY by Tammara Webber. This is a New Adult, and I’ve reread this too many times to count. It’s emotional, sexy, and it’s just phenomenal. I loved this so much I’ve read all her others—and LOVED. She’s a phenomenal writer, and I would read her grocery list if she published it.

2. KAT, INCORRIGIBLE by Stephanie Burgis. This is a middle grade book. It’s Harry Potter meets Jane Austen but with a girl protagonist and it is SO SO SO good.

3. SLOW SUMMER KISSES by Shannon Stacey. I was reading a few novellas because I’m writing my first novella ever, and Shannon Stacey is a master at them.

Simone - What's next for you?

Elyssa - A novella called ONE HIT WONDER, which I’m currently working on. I’m having a lot of fun with this one. It’s basically about when a personal assistant hands in her notice, this once famous pop star will do anything to make her stay. Think Music & Lyrics meets Two Weeks Notice—but the hero in OHW does not look like Hugh Grant at all. I’m trying to get this out sooner than what I had said originally, but if not, it’ll be out in Spring 2013.

Thanks again, Simone! I’d love to giveaway three digital copies (Kindle only) of AS YOU WISH! (If you read on something other than Kindle, say so in comments! You can still enter the giveaway—if you win, I’ll just send you the book directly.)

Thank you Elyssa! Okay, I'm going to make today's question a fun one. If you could put any real rock star in a romance novel, who would you choose? (Or country star, or jazz star, or r&b star... you get the idea.) Make sure you leave your email address in your comment to win!

Elyssa Patrick is a former high school English teacher who left the classroom to write fun, sexy, and emotional contemporary romances. Besides being slightly addicted to chocolate, she loves cupcakes, classic movies, and Shakespeare. She is a member of RWA. Elyssa lives in New York, where she is currently working on her next novel.

Elyssa's Website

Elyssa's Twitter: @elyssapatrick

Buy the Book:
All Romance Ebooks


  1. Welcome to GLIAS, Elyssa. I' curious, what's your favorite classic movie?


    1. Thanks, Angi! My favorite classic movie is Gone With the Wind. I was very obsessed with that movie when I was a teen. Scarlett O'Hara is one of my favorite heroines/characters ever. And Rhett isn't too shabby either. Plus, those kisses! *swoon*

  2. I'd choose Ringo Starr.. but I just love the whole idea of reconnecting with family.

    1. Ohhhh! Ringo--great choice. I'm partial to George myself, but I think that's because I love "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" so much.

      My family and extended family is pretty close, so I guess that's a factor why I'm drawn to exploring those relations. I'm always fascinated by the different kinds of families, especially the ones you choose to make.

  3. I love Princess Bride so I can relate... :)

    For me, it's Rob Thomas. Your book sounds terrific btw!

    1. Yay on another The Princess Bride fan. :)

      Rob Thomas is hot--I was watching The Voice last night and saw previews where he's one of the mentors and thought he is one fine looking man. :)

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy AYW if you get to read it.

  4. Great interview! I can't wait to read your book. Sounds fantastic.

    1. Thanks, Maureen! I'm excited about DEVIANTS releasing soon--I cannot wait to read it.

  5. Ringo Starr! That's a good one. I was sure someone would have said Jon Bon Jovi by now!

    1. I thought Jon Bon Jovi would be thrown out there by now, too. My sister loved Jon when she was younger, but I tended to go for the more clean cut type of guys. Like Joey McKntyre from NKTOB. *hangs head in shame*

      But now? Total Jon Bon Jovi fan. Remember when he cut his long hair?

  6. Elyssa, what a terrific interview. And I love Love Doesn't Always Follow Sheet Music! Welcome to Get Lost in a Story and congratulations on your debut! Here's to many sales and a long rewarding career!

    1. Thanks, Donnell! Coming up with those little lines was difficult--I had different things beforehand--but I actually pulled those two lines from my query that I managed to dig up. And thank you for the congrats and well wishes. It's been no secret that AYW went on submission (when I was with my former agent) and was rejected everywhere.

  7. Hi everyone! Thanks for having me on the blog! I'll be popping in throughout the rest of the day. Sorry I wasn't here sooner--I have a cold and am being a big baby about it, lol.

  8. Enrique Iglesias...mmmmmmmm.
    Congrats on your book. And thanks for spending time chatting with your readers. Contest are nice too...LOL.
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

    1. Great choice, Brenda! The hero in ONE HIT WONDER is from Puerto Rico. :)

  9. I would love to read a romance novel starring M. Shadows from the band Avenged Sevenfold - or maybe a young Johnny Cash. As You Wish sounds awesome, and influenced by authors I love. Great interview!


  10. Great interview. I'm a big fan of Jared Leto and I think it would be great to see him fall in love in a book.


    1. Ah, Jared Leto and My So-Called Life. Sighhh.

  11. I for one am so glad you left the classroom! As You Wish was so much fun to read! And like stated above, it has a rock star. =) Perfect!
    When do we get another book from you??

  12. Hi Lexi! It's nice seeing you again. :) I'm so glad you enjoyed AYW!

    The novella will come out next, but after that, I'm not sure what's next--or when it'll be out. But I'll definitely keep anyone who's interested updated by posting info on my website when I have it. :)

  13. I enjoyed the interview. Princess Bride is a nice movie.


  14. Winners are Danielle Gorman, May, and Miss Sigh... anide. Watch your inbox for a message from me!