Elise Sax - Hilarious Happy Endings
Elise Sax used to work as a journalist, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before writing her first novel. She lives in Southern California with her two sons. As our Author of the Day, Sax tells us about her book, The Fear Hunter.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Fear Hunter is about.
The Fear Hunter is about the mysterious Agatha Bright, who lives in Sea Breeze, California. Agatha runs a soup shop and may or may not be in love with a ghost. When a woman disappears and later turns up dead, Agatha throws herself into the investigation, much to the chagrin of the new detective in town, hottie Remington Cumberbatch, who is a sometimes MMA fighter. The Fear Hunter stars a cast of quirky characters and more than a few laugh-out-loud scenes. And murder!
What inspired you to write about someone who lives in a haunted lighthouse?
I've always loved lighthouses, and I've always loved the movie "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." My imagination took off from there.
Why did you pick a small town in California as the backdrop for your book?
I love small-town mysteries because I love to meet the residents, which is harder in a big city. In Sea Breeze, most of the residents know each other, so it makes for a hilarious dysfunctional family dynamic. I live in California, so I'm very comfortable with writing about this fabulous state.
The book contains a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. Why did you create it this way?
What are you talking about? It's not supposed to be funny! Just kidding. Just kidding. I can't help creating jokes. An editor once told me that my heroine in one of my series sounded exactly like me. I find humor in life, and my writing reflects that. I can't stop myself!
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I play the piano and create life-sized sculptures of the presidents. One of those things isn't true.
The Fear Hunter also includes a dash of romance. Why did you take this approach?
Because I love love. Don't you?
Was there a single defining moment or event where you suddenly thought, 'Now I'm an Author,' as in—this is now my career?"
When I got the call that a publisher wanted to pay for my first book, I jumped up and down and screamed. Then, I drove to my mother's house and didn't stop screaming the whole way there. When I arrived at her house, I continued to scream and ran up the stairs to her bedroom. She was just getting out of the shower, and I was screaming. "I'm an author!" I screamed. And that was that.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
Persist. Don't quit. Just because you're in a bad place in your life, it doesn't mean that you can't get out of it and fulfill your dreams and goals.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
Outline. Outline. Outline. My books have many plots woven through them: murder, romance, the town, the heroine, and her family. Without an outline, I get lost.
Do you have any interesting writing habits, what's your average writing day like?
I wish I did! I'm all over the place. I work at my desk, in the living room, in my bedroom, anywhere I can. I work in the morning, afternoon, night. But I'm always behind on my deadline, and the last week of work is always grueling for me.
What are you working on right now?
Some Like It Shot. It's the second book in the Agatha Bright Mysteries. It comes out on Nov. 8.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Please visit my website. elisesax.com. And please friend me on Facebook. I love communicating with my readers.