Today, I have bestselling author Elouise East in the interview chair. We’re discussing her latest release Sooth Me, Daddy, a m/m contemporary romance. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
1. Hi, Elouise. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you, but what about the everyday you? Can you share about your personal life?
Elouise: Well, I live in a town in the centre of England, UK. I am a single parent with two children, who make my life worthwhile, but also drive me insane! My son is 13 and my daughter is 5 going on 15. She is every bit the drama queen and does not take after me for it. She is a complete extrovert, whereas my son and I are introverts. It makes for a tricky environment sometimes. We spend a lot of time together, having movie nights (Marvel with my son, at the moment; musicals with my daughter), crafting and going on long walks. We do a lot of baking, too, especially with my daughter being gluten free. It’s been a huge learning curve.
I’m very lucky that both my kids LOVE school so, while it’s been difficult for them not being able to go at the moment, I will have no problems getting them back there when the time comes, which is a godsend.
As for myself, I am presently between jobs due to be laid off from a nursery I worked at pre-lockdown. When everything gets back to a bit more of normality, I will be looking into my situation and seeing what best fits around our new routine. I would love to be able to write full time, but we’ll see.
2. I’ve been perusing your Goodreads page and see you are drawn to m/m romance with “a huge nod in the direction of friendships being integral to each character’s experience.” Why write m/m romance with a strong theme of friendship?
Elouise:I think friendship is VERY important for anyone and everyone. I believe having that support behind you—and I envisage someone standing behind them holding them up when they need it—will give you to courage to do anything you put your mind to. And that is the same for my characters. While they are put through hell, sometimes, I like giving them some sunlight within the drama. M/M romance caught my eye several years ago and I found the stories to have a lot more variety in their storyline structures. It gave a lighter yet deeper emotional feel to the books, and that’s what I want to be able to give readers. Characters with Soul.
3. Your latest release is Soothe Me, Daddy. Can you tell me what inspired you to create this novel?
Elouise: I love characters who shine, who jump out from my subconscious and scream “Me, me, me!” Henley did that for me. I didn’t have a choice when it came to who I was writing about.
The environment surrounding the story is taken from a job I did many, many years ago. It was a job I loved, but, unfortunately, had to stop due to becoming pregnant.
4. Can you share your writing process through Soothe Me, Daddy?
Elouise: I am very much a pantser, but I do try to make some sort of plan before I start writing a book. For Soothe Me, Daddy, I wrote all the details about the characters that I knew, this could be their physical description; any tells they may have, like biting their lip; their age, job description and any previous jobs if its notable; whether they drink tea or coffee; and any other tidbits that they might tell me. Then I decided roughly how long I think the book will be and separated some general ideas into when they might happen within the storyline. This made up some chapters and then the rest I left blank.
The actual writing and editing process is similar for all books. As I began to write, I just let my fingers go. If the characters cooperate, I can easily get through a chapter a day, sometimes more. If any information crops up as I’m going, I’ll note it down in my notebook under the chapter I think it would work best in, then carry on writing. If I don’t write things down, it will bug me for ages, or I’ll forget about it. This continues until the first draft is done.
I will often send parts of the first draft to my alpha, who helps me make sure it’s following on and I’ve not missed vital information somewhere.
Once that is done, I then edit the first draft myself before sending it to my beta. Then I edit it again from their comments and send it to my editor. I repeat the process from their comments, sometimes twice over, then print the document out and read through it out loud from the paper. I catch so many more things seeing it on a different screen. Sometimes, I will just send it to my kindle instead. A change is better than a rest, I say.
5. What is your favourite theme from the many novels you’ve written, and why?
Elouise: I have two favourites, to be honest, and they are both at opposite ends of the spectrum. I love the fluffy, low angst, sweet romances of Sinfully Star-Crossed and Treehouse Whispers, but also the taboo themes flowing through First Kiss and Forbidden Temptation.
6. Let’s talk about the main characters for Soothe Me, Daddy. What do you love most about Henley and what makes you want to shake him?
Elouise: I love the confidence Henley brings to the book. He decides what he wants and goes for it, without compromise. He’s willing to take a chance, even if he’s knocked back, he’s not afraid to try.
He’s a whiner. Oh my god, is he! If he doesn’t get his own way, he will go on and on about it. It could be just because he wants to be punished for it, but, oh god, the whining!
7. The same for Isaac. What do you love most about him and what makes you want to shake him?
Elouise: Isaac on the other hand is always trying to do the right thing but is completely thrown a curveball by Henley. He has a calming and affectionate air around him, always looking after those around him, even if they are not his responsibility. This is a positive and negative for him.
He needs to learn how to take a step back sometimes. He is a carer through and through, but he needs to remember that people have their own lives and don’t always need his help. It’s not an easy thing to learn for him.
8. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write for Soothe Me, Daddy and why?
Elouise: It’s not one particular scene, but all the interactions Henley has with his family, I loved writing about. They are a huge jigsaw puzzle of people, who fit so well together. That might not make sense until you read the book, but that was my favourite aspect.
9. What makes Soothe Me, Daddy different from other “daddy” romances?
Elouise: I think Soothe Me, Daddy shows a slightly different dynamic when it comes to the daddy trope. Henley’s confidence shines through and doesn’t dim, even when his Daddy is looking after him.
10. If a reader asked you why they should read Soothe Me, Daddy, what would you tell them?
Elouise: I would say because of the chemistry and emotions between the characters, and also, the humour.
11. You can only recommend one of your novels to a reader, which would you choose from the books you’ve written so far, and why?
Elouise: I would probably say First Kiss, for several reasons. Even though it was my debut book; therefore, was not my best writing, I think the emotion and development of the characters was still there, even so early in my career. Don’t get me wrong, it probably needs some work, being my first book and all.
It also has a little of both aspects of my favourite theme: sweet and fluffy and taboo.
12. Which novel was your personal favourite to write, and why?
Elouise: The theme for Deep Down was a book I had wanted to write for a while, but I hadn’t figured out what the basis around it was, so I hadn’t been able to pen it until January of this year. It took me a lot longer to write it than I expected, and it was very emotionally draining. I had to take several breaks during its development. Male domestic abuse is a topic that doesn’t get highlighted as much as it should, and I wanted to shine a little light on it. I also wanted to get across that a journey through the other side of it, is just as difficult and tenuous as the actual abuse itself. There was a happy ever after in Deep Down, but they went through hell to get there.
13. What can we expect from you in the future?
Wow! I have a schedule of releases until the end of 2022 now. I’m continuing with the Crush series, the fifth book will be out early next year, all being well. And I am also beginning a series about royalty. I’m planning on releasing them alternately over the next two years.
14. What do you enjoy most about writing?
The freedom. You get to write what your brain, and your characters, create. I love writing the first sentence and the last sentence equally. I like figuring out how things are going to work, what spanners have been thrown into the works and how the characters are going to get out of it. Do they get their happy ending? With Deep Down, I wasn’t sure until the last moment, so I am on the edge throughout the story, as much as a reader is when they read it for the first time.
15. What do you enjoy least about writing?
Admin. It’s why I now have a PA. I am a perfectionist at heart so every little job, actually takes me longer because I get distracted by how I could do this better or researching a different way to do something. If I give it to my PA, it gets done and that’s it. Job done. I don’t intend to procrastinate, I prefer writing to admin, but I get sucked in learning new things because I love to learn as much as I love to write.
16. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:
- What’s your favourite movie?
I have several depending on genre: Equilibrium, Before Sunrise, Speed, Practical Magic and Step Up.
- What book is currently in your e-reader?
Pretty Things by Chara Croft
- Who’s your favourite musical group?
I struggle with this because I listen to random stuff on either Amazon Music, Spotify or YouTube. I love Calum Scott, in fact, his album was the backdrop to Deep Down.
- What song puts a smile on your face?
I Get To Love You by Ruelle.
17. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I love interacting with readers. I don’t mind which social media site it’s through or whether it’s through email, but I love hearing what they want to tell me. It doesn’t even have to be about my books in particular. Although, I am an introvert, I love socialising with people online. Feel free to bug me, lol.
Book Title: Soothe Me, Daddy
Author: Elouise East
Cover Artist: Elouise East
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance
Trope/s: Daddy kink
Themes: Workplace romance
Heat Rating: 3 – 4 flames
Length: Approx. 42 000 words
Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted a Daddy…
Blurb: Henley knows what he wants from a relationship: to be taken care of by a Daddy. He’s under no illusions that he can be a handful. When he starts a new job, his gaze is taken to a prime specimen. Maybe Henley could persuade him to be his Daddy…
Isaac is worn out from the clubs, the scenes, the boys who say they want a Daddy then change their minds. When he’s given the responsibility of training the most obedient guy he’s ever met, Isaac is hooked. But does the guy even know what a boy is, despite acting like one?
They are powerless to stop their relationship. They complement each other so well.
Is Isaac the right Daddy for Henley, and is Henley the right boy for Isaac?
Note: This is a 40,000 words sweet Daddy/boy romance.and is a standalone book.
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
“I don’t want you to change yourself for me, Henley.”
“What do you mean?”
“You need to be yourself from the beginning. Don’t act or speak how you think I want you to. If I think something about your behaviour needs correcting, I will discuss it with you and help you alter it.”
“Through punishments?” Henley asked, eyebrows raising.
“If I believe that is the best way to remind you, yes.” Isaac hesitated. “For me, being a Daddy is a twenty-four-seven responsibility. I would need you to realise that everything I do for or to you is for your own benefit. I want to help you become all that you can be, and in return, you need to trust me wholeheartedly. Telling me the truth at all times, even when it scares you. You need to trust that I will catch you should you fall. I will hold you close and protect you with everything I am.”
Isaac gazed at Henley, seeing a shimmer begin in his eyes before they filled and overflowed.
“Come here.” Isaac issued the order, and they both scooted out of their opposite seats, Isaac guiding Henley to slide over in the booth seat so he could sit next to him. Isaac wrapped his arm around Henley’s shoulder, hugging him close and resting his fingers against the side of his face as his tears continued to fall soundlessly.
Once Henley had calmed, Isaac lifted his face. “Are you okay?” Henley nodded. “I need your words, sweetheart.”
“I’m okay,” he croaked. “I…You…It’s everything I want.”
“Alright. Let’s eat our food, and once we’re full, we can talk some more.”
Isaac reached for Henley’s plate from the opposite side of the table and placed it in front of Henley. Henley smiled, and though a little watery, it filled Isaac’s heart with joy. He couldn’t believe he had found someone who already knew about Daddies and boys, and in fact, was one.
After they had finished their meal and Isaac deduced Henley didn’t want a dessert, he gripped Henley’s hand and left the restaurant. It wasn’t particularly late, and the air was warm, so he suggested a short walk.
“For a relationship to work with me, I would need to give you a routine to stick to—”
“What kind of routine?”
Isaac raised his eyebrows at Henley, waiting until he apologised for interrupting before continuing, “Things like when you’d need to go to sleep, when to wake, when to eat. I don’t do this because I think you are incapable of doing them yourself. I do it because then I will know you are looking after yourself like I have asked you to. I trust that if I ask you to do something, you will do it. For example, if I ask you to eat at midday, and you agree, I expect you to eat at midday, barring any unforeseen circumstances.”
“That sounds good.” Henley glanced up at Isaac from underneath his eyelashes. “I do sometimes forget whether I’ve eaten or not.”
“Good to know, and thank you for being honest with me. I have seen that you can be a little excitable at times. I would like to help you find a way to manage that. I think your work, however amazing you already are at it, would benefit a great deal from you being calmer and more in control of your actions.” He paused and smirked. “And mouth.”
“Hey!” Henley pouted for a second before grinning. “Yes, okay. I know I can be a chatterbox. But I have so much to say.”
“And I wouldn’t ever want to stop you from saying it, but I do think there is a time and place for certain topics of conversation.”
Henley scrunched his nose up. “Is there really?”
“Yes,” Isaac said firmly.
They walked in silence for a few steps before Henley asked, “What should I call you?”
Isaac exhaled deeply. “I would love for you to call me Daddy. But you don’t have to. Isaac is fine, too.”
Henley rested his head against Isaac’s shoulder, wrapping his free hand around his biceps. “I would love to call you Daddy.”
“Does everything sound okay so far?”
Henley nodded, and when Isaac raised his eyebrows, he added, “Yes…Daddy.”
Isaac inhaled and briefly closed his eyes, his pulse skyrocketing at the word. “Perfect.”
Elouise East is a bestselling author of contemporary MM romance. She writes a variety of themes: sweet and fluffy to high angst to taboo, but there is a huge nod in the direction of friendships being integral to each character’s experience. She writes books that are emotionally realistic, even if liberties are taken with other aspects of her stories.
Reading and writing have always been a part of her life, although her debut book wasn’t published until July 2019, when she was 36 years old. Her experience has come from reading thousands of books over the years and being a perfectionist when it comes to trying to make things right. She lives in the centre of the UK with her two children, who make life worth living, keep her (in)sane and make her laugh. She loves Zumba, yoga and walking, all things that can be done alone as she is very introverted.
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