June 22, 2022

The Pleasure Principle with Evie Alexander

The Pleasure Principle with Evie Alexander

Would you consider having a male crime writer Beta read your steamy romance book? That’s exactly what Evie Alexander does! In this Steam Scenes episode, Evie shares the madness to her writing method, how her career as a filmmaker helped (or hindered!) her work as a novelist, and how she deleted 19,000 words of pure sex from her first novel. We go deep, talking about how romance writing (and reading) aligns with women’s pleasure and female empowerment. Plus, I read from her brilliant rom-com Hollywood Games.

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Elle 0:00
Evie Alexander is the author of sexy romantic comedies with a very British sense of humor. She takes a method approach to her work believing her capacity to repeatedly fail at life and love is what has given her such a rich supply of material for her writing. She has written for steamy romantic comedies as part of the Kinloch series. The first Highland Games released in 2021. She's also writing a series entitled holiday disaster disasters with Kelly Kay and the in the first book Cupid calamity is releasing on February 3, as his interests include reading, eating, saving the world and fantasizing about people who only exist between the pages of her books. She lives in the West Country of the UK, with her family, welcome Evita steam scenes, thank you so much for being here. I'm

Evie 0:47
very excited to be here.

Elle 0:48
This is so cool. So this is what I was at Highland Games is the very first book you've released. Yes. Okay.

Evie 0:57
It is not the first book I've written. But it is the first one. Yes, it's the first one where I thought actually no, this is this is good enough.

Elle 1:05
How many do you have tucked away?

Evie 1:07
Oh, so many. Oh, my goodness. Wait. So I started out. I've written since I was a little girl. And my, what did you say? How do you say it in America? We say primary school? Yeah. grade school when you're about when I was about? I think six or seven. I was given this notebook by my teacher who I'm still in touch with. I'm still in touch with my primary school teacher, which is just epic. Wow. It's amazing. It's I don't know if she's read highly gaze. I was like, Oh my God. I still call I can't call I find it really difficult to call her by her first name.

Elle 1:45
I have one of those in my life.

Evie 1:47
Yeah. It's amazing. I mean, I caught so I call her Mrs. Hayward. And you know, she came to my wedding. She you know, I've known her since since I was basically six. Wild. It was. Yes, yeah. believable. It's amazing. And so. And so she gave me a notebook. And she said, You've got to write down your stories. So I started writing my stories. And I just loved writing. I love creating stories. But then I moved into making films and writing films. I thought this is this is the thing I'm going to write and direct films. And I did that for a while.

Elle 2:21
Oh, oh, okay. Put it but we're gonna put a pin on that because I do want to talk about that. Okay.

Evie 2:30
So I did, I saw I wrote all of the screenplays. And of course with the screen with screenplays, it's so much harder to get a film made than it is to publish a book. So only these stories. And then I wrote what were essentially comedy novels about my experiences in the film industry, which had never saw the light of day. And then I had these endless efforts to write romance novels, which started actually by thinking, Oh, writing for mills and Boon must be so easy. Anyone could do it. Oh, yes, yes. And I was just like, honestly, I have utmost respect for anyone who writes category fiction, like mills and boon, because it is so so hard. It's very specific. Oh, my God, it's so difficult. So they're amazing. They're amazing, amazing. So I failed spectacularly at that. And then I thought, Okay, well, I'll write my own version of a romance novel, which again, didn't really happen. And so actually, I've written so many books over the last couple of decades, and it's only now I mean, also, Highland Games has been through so many iterations before. I actually go, okay. Yeah, it's going out now. I mean, so many, it's insane. It's a completely different book, first draft to what's out there now.

Elle 3:43
Really? How long have you worked on it for? Oh, I'm a bit mental. And it's good. You can admit it.

Evie 3:55
I asked the other day, I asked when I asked my husband for three words that describe me and they weren't very complimentary. Oh.

Elle 4:03
But you're still married? Yeah.

Evie 4:06
And then I asked my friends, and the most common word they use was bonkers. So So I started, so I started Highland Games about five years ago, and I wrote a little bit and then I of course stopped because I didn't have any confidence and I thought I was just shit. And then I wrote a bit more and then I just, so I ended up with about probably 10 or 11,000 words of stuff that wasn't very good. And I was in a really difficult place in my life and my friend said you need to do something that's really special and happy and wonderful for you. And she's so I taught told her I fest up that I've been writing forever. And she said are you just need to write for half an hour a day and it will be your fun thing, just a little break from everything else. But because I me, I started like, half an hour a day. And four months later, I had written to 200,000 words. Oh, and I had, yeah. And I had an adrenal disorder. Because

Elle 5:08
I mean, that's an extraordinary output. I mean, absolutely extraordinary. So how, how many hours were you putting in?

Evie 5:16
Well, I think it was like, I likened it to the fact that the stopper had come out of a bottle. And finally, it was flowing. And it was I had completely found my voice, I completely found who I was, I wasn't trying to be anyone else. I wasn't trying to write like anyone else. I was just being me. And so some days, I wrote, I mean, kind of, on and off. What I did was like, in order to actually be a functioning member of my family, I would get up at like four o'clock, I was usually writing by half past four in the morning. So this is why I developed the adrenal disorder because I just didn't sleep. And I was and I had horrendous neck issues, because I would sit, and I'd put a laptop on my lap, and my head would all be kind of curled over. Yeah, I would write and write and write, write, write. So I was, I think, I think I was probably averaging three to 4000 words a day, sometimes more, I can't remember because, and but I became so manic, I thought, if I stop, it will be like every other book, I will never finish, it won't be good enough. So I have to keep going. Wow. And also because I didn't plot or plan or do anything sensible. I just started writing because it was for fun. It just ended up being stupidly long and all over the place. But I still thought yeah, I've written a book. And I had no idea that you can't just chuck 200,000 words of crap out there. And it's going to be okay. Yeah,

Elle 6:42
but I mean, I just, I'm just kind of, I'm still over here going. He wrote 200,000 words, like that's an That's epic. I mean, that's really impressive, even if you're like, it was crap. And I had to edit and like the fact that you finished a book that was 200,000 words, I am like bowing down to you. Because that's all bless you. That's like fantasy writers, you know, their books are like 150,000 words, you know, they keep going. And I'm just like, I don't have the stamina.

Evie 7:11
It's too much, it's too much. And then of course, the horrendous thing was that then I had 200,000 words, that I had to turn into something that worked. And that took two years. It took a numerous BETA readers like complete strangers, some of whom are now like my closest friends. It will kind of go, Hi, stranger, how do I put this politely there are some issues. And then I then I employed my editor. And then I had other editors or not editors, but other people that came in to help. And then, I mean, it was insane. And then worst thing was, I sent it to so my sister's husband is a crime novelist. And he has never read a romance novel ever. But he's like a writing guru expert. Really, he's like, I haven't ever met him in real life. He's six foot seven, he's skinhead. He's an anti rights crime, and he's really fucking scary. And so I thought, Okay, well, I'll send it to him for a proofread. So then, so you basically had 200,000 words, I had to split it in half, it took for to make two books, Hollywood gate, Highland Games, Hollywood games. It took two years, it was just a complete nightmare. And then I sent him Highland Games about I think it was about a month before it was being published. And I'd already changed the date and Amazon were going if you change it again, we will come to your house and kill you. So I sent it to him for a proof read. And he sent back a 40 page report. Oh, yes.

Elle 8:46
Did you just like at that point, like close your computer and walk away? Because that's exactly what

Evie 8:51
I lost. I lost my shit slashed the wheel to live, because he had brought up some really major issues, which if I was completely dispassionate, I'd go actually, that could be construed as an issue. But it was so fundamental for the whole thing that I ended up freaking out, of course. And then I, my author, friend, Margaret, who's just an absolute superstar, she sat on calls with me, we worked on Google Docs. So we had the whole manuscript up of Highland Games. She was in Scotland, I was down in the West Country. And over 14, about 14 hours. We said, Go Go have these calls. At minimum time we're on the phone was two and a half hours. Yeah, we were on there for hours and hours and hours fixing it. And thank God because it's an infinitely better book. But then he's just, he's just done the same for Hollywood games. Oh, yes. This is not as bad. It's only 32 page report.

Elle 9:52
pages often for your second book, congratulations. I'm kind of curious like what kind of because I mean, Crime writing and romance writing. These are vastly different genres here, you know, so I am curious, like, what was he flagging what was coming up for him?

Evie 10:10
I can't talk about what he flagged up because it is it's about the story and it's spoilers however, he he looked at the book in terms of, like, structure and story and character so to be honest, it didn't matter that he'd never read read a romance novel. Although it was like his comments about oh my god his comments about the sex scenes. Oh my god, I could have just fucking died.

Elle 10:35
Okay, can you share one of those because just like give me the

Evie 10:41
quote Rory, the pumper Tron.

Elle 10:52
could say more about the crime writer than you at that point, right. Oh,

Evie 10:58
my God. And it just like it just things like that. Ways that me and my friends would never describe sex at all. And these things like I'd never even heard the word fingerbang.

Elle 11:14
I mean, fingerbang really is such a guy thing to say. I mean, I guess that's kind of, I guess that's kind of the benefit that I never really thought about is having like a dude read my sock scenes so that because I don't write male point of view because I don't think I'm very good at it. And I struggle with a male voice and and the idea of writing a sex scene in a male voice is a little is so foreign to me. And so I'm so I'm always kind of I'm want to do it, but I can't seem to and now I'm thinking about it. I'm like, you know, maybe it's a question of just having a guy read it, and then getting notes because like, fingerbang, like, that's such a guy term to use,

Evie 11:50
but it's so gross. It's yeah, but

Elle 11:53
it is such a guy term like.

Evie 11:59
So it was, oh my God, it was terrifying having him read it, but it was absolutely brilliant. And now he's reading. So now I'm at the moment. He's literally starting to read book three. As far as we're concerned, but three is finished. It's done. And now he's reading it.

Elle 12:14
You are brave. Like you're like you just put it right right through the gauntlet.

Evie 12:20
Oh, is it but he is a pussycat compared to my husband. So my husband is horrendous. My husband is a professional writer. He's a copywriter. And so he just writes all day. That's his job. Oh, my God, having him comment on my book was horrendous. Really? Oh my God. He was just like

Elle 12:48
oh, you're just surrounded by this?

Evie 12:51
Yes. Yes. i So honestly, I think the bravest thing I've ever done is give it to these two blokes, and have their comments and then work from them.

Elle 13:03
I mean, that's, yeah, that's kind of mind blowing, too. I mean, do you feel like, particularly with your husband? Do you feel like that was useful? Or are you just like, yeah, and

Evie 13:16
the experience was horrendous. But it was incredibly useful. Because he because he is literally the very last person. Okay. And so he would, and because his his whole job is about literally one word. Is that one word? Right. Does that one word go next to that one word. So he, he's spot he spotted, you know, grammar issues and stuff. And the odd thing that didn't really make sense. So there are always going to be things that that go through the net always right. And he was just an so bait. She says fingers crossed Touchwood that basically after he's that he's done it. After we've gone through, like so many layers of proofreading. It's obscene. After he's done it, I think we will probably only have one mistake in the entire book.

Elle 14:05
That's a thing. Yeah. Amazing. Because yeah, like you said, Something always slipped through. Always, oh, ways.

Evie 14:11
I mean, it's insane how much slips through. So you know, Amy, my editor will do it and finish do it all the edits, and she'll do approve Michael do his version, his his proofread, 40 page report proofread. And then I make changes but then it goes back to him. Then it goes back to Amy. Then it goes to Margaret. Then it goes to some other Alpha readers. Then it goes to my husband and it just goes through. It's like trickle trickle trickle trickle. Until we think we've got absolutely everything.

Elle 14:40
Well, you really have a huge team on this. Yes. I mean, that's really extraordinary. So how long does it I mean, obviously the Highland Games was a little bit of a different thing, because you actually had two books in there. Yeah.

Evie 14:55
Oh, yeah. And that has been it's it's very difficult. I think I'm worried that it's a difficult sell. Because people think it's, it's like a sequel. And it's kind of not it's kind of a continuation of the story. So they're both standalone. They both work on their own. But they are best read one followed by the other. And it was never into I would never ever recommend anyone does this, because it's difficult to kind of sell it, I think. But it's just how it is right there was I just had to do that I had no choice really.

Elle 15:27
Right. So I want to sort of back up for a minute and go to when you were writing and directing film. Yeah. How do you think that helped you? Or maybe it didn't help you when it comes to writing the novels?

Evie 15:42
It did. And it didn't start with how it didn't. I had no idea about this concept called Head hopping, which means that basically, anyone who doesn't know what head hopping world is, which I certainly didn't, you, you're in a scene and it's from one person's point of view. And then if you change your heart, you can't change mid scene, you've got to, it's all from one person's point of view or from another. And so I was within seeing going from so his head to his head to his head to her head or day to day to day. So that was a mess. Because I was just used to writing screenplays where it's just, okay, there's a bit of dialogue, there's a direction, there's dialogue. So that never crossed my mind.

Elle 16:23
And the point of view is constantly flipping in film. Yeah. Very confusing

Evie 16:27
to the reader. So that was a disadvantage. But the advantage is that I, even though of course, ironically, I didn't follow it at all. I knew I knew about three act structure, I knew what it how you should structure any story, whether it's a play, whether it's a film, whether it's a book, I know what makes a good story I know about the hero's journey I know about, you know, tropes and genres and all of this. I didn't apply it, but I because, because I was an idiot. And because I never knew that it was I was actually going to get my finger out my backside and do this properly. I kind of did it for fun. And then it but now now when I write I am right from the get go, I'm going Okay, where am I beats where what's happening in the acts like what I'm writing at the moment, I'm now planning my second act moving up to the midpoint of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Elle 17:19
So okay, because it's because it sounds like Highland Games was pants to completely. Oh, 100%. And so now you're moving into more? Are you? Are you? Are you like now hardcore outlining? Or are you a little bit kind of plant Singh? As we said?

Evie 17:36
Yes. I love that plan. If they Yes, I'm definitely planting. So the first book. So after I've done Highland and Hollywood games I was going to write it's all really complicated, because in Hollywood games, which is essentially the second part of the story, there are two other couples in that that get their happy ever afters and they're in the first draft. They had them within Zoja Roy's story. And people said no, but they're their own books, or at least one of them is and so I thought, okay, so I write a novella for one of them. And that didn't go according to plan.

Elle 18:10
So it's the woman who wrote a 200,000.

Evie 18:14
Yes, I'm such an idiot. So I shouldn't know. So I started writing and I, and then I realized that holy shit, not only was this the best thing I had ever written, but it was actually easily going to be a long book. So then I thought, Okay, I am actually going to try and do this properly. But it still was a bit pantsing. So the most I can't obviously takes a spoiler, but the most important part of the male characters backstory, I didn't even know until I started writing it a third of the way through.

Elle 18:44
Isn't that wild? Because I do, I plants I've tried to so hard to outline, I really, I really want to be a planner, like I want to. But then I always, no matter how much I outline, I'll be writing and all of a sudden, I'll just go in a completely different direction. And then 17 chapters later, I'm like, Oh, let's see what the outline says. And you're like, yeah, that train left the station, like in chapter five, you know, so I'm kind of, I always struggle with that. And I and I do, I'm the same way like I have to be writing and then all of a sudden I'll do I'll discover something that happened to my character in their childhood, or whatever it is, that will kind of almost reshape the character as I'm writing out.

Evie 19:31
Yes. And I think that's what you when you leave room for that creativity and that and that beautiful kind of brilliance that comes out. I just love it. Yeah, so this third one, I ended up actually getting little pieces of paper. This was this how high tech I get a little piece of paper all over the living room floor when I was trying to plan like the second half because I always struggle after the midpoint going towards, you know, the end of Act Two and all of that so I wrote it all down and A nice little piece of paper and when I'd finished book three, it was the most insane experience because it had taken me two years of complete nightmare to sort out Hollywood Highland Hollywood games. And I thought I was done with them. haha How little Oh, you know how wrong I was. And then I finished book three. And I was like, Holy shit, I actually think I've written like a perfect first draft as in it's pretty much there. And I thought I'm, I must be insane. So I put it in a drawer, forgot about it, and then went back to it as like, actually, no, I think this is really good. I don't think this is obviously it needs editing, but I don't there's anything fundamentally wrong, where with Harlan holograms, everything was wrong. Oh, yeah. So but I sent it to my editor, and I said, I might be insane. And she just said, and she said, No, this is this is and she said, She says it's her favorite book that I've written. And I, you know, and she loves it. And I love it. And so I think now I can from now, so the the piece I'm writing at the moment, even though it's I'm trying to write a novella, and it's, I'm really struggling again, and my editor said, but this idea is so brilliant. It should be a full length. I said, No, I'm committed and committed to this big a novella. But I am definitely going. Okay, I must plan the kind of the shape of it in order not, I guess, can't do another two year stint of trying to fix something, you know, yeah,

Elle 21:27
no, of course I do. Because at this point, you know, I mean, I hate to say like, the market gets in the way to a certain degree with what we're writing, but the market gets in the way to a certain degree with what we're writing. And it's hard for readers, the readers don't have two years to wait, which sounds weird when you say it, but they really don't. And so there is a pressure to keep pushing those books books forward and getting them out into the world.

Evie 21:53
I mean, I have felt horrendous pressure in this regard. Because everyone I speak to says, Oh, well, your romance writer a book every three months, and I cannot I can't do that. I mean, my books an average 85,000 words. Yeah, yeah. I they go through, as I've just explained so many layers of editing. Yeah. And gestation and thinking and as well as writing the bloody thing. I cannot do that. It's just, it's just absolutely impossible. And but I do, you're right. I do feel that that pressure to get them out, but I can't I've got to be true to myself. I think everyone has their own journey. And my journey has to be mine.

Elle 22:30
Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And I'm just throwing this out here. Kristen. Ashley. Her novellas are about 60,000 words. So there isn't. Really, yeah, so there are no rules. There are just no rules.

Evie 22:44
I know. And I think it's really important to write to write what, what is right for you, because I've read so I will not name names. Obviously, I've read some romance novels. And I was just like, I didn't know how long they were, but I was reading them going. This is way too long. You know, the character, the characters have done what they needed to do. Yeah, yeah. And then I read another one. And the book ended at 72%. And then all this shit was added in. I was like, why?

Elle 23:14
Yeah, you know, it's really interesting, because I feel like I'm sometimes when I am reading those very specific, like mills and boon, Harlequin, like those very, very specific books that you're writing in a very specific way, I always feel I prefer the books that meander a little bit. Um, you know, I mean, not necessarily on and on and on. But But I always feel like I didn't get quite enough from the ones that are that follow that sort of formula. But the formula is great. And people love it. Like, people devour that formula. I can't write in it, much to my chagrin, because honestly, it would make my life easier if I could.

Evie 23:55
I know. And I think God, if I could just do what I do, but, you know, 60,000 or 40, like I was having a chat with a with a British author, and she her books average. And they, they she does not call them novellas, they average 40,000. Some are much, much lower.

Elle 24:13
I was writing for a very tiny ebook imprint a couple of years ago, which is romance imprint, which is where my first rock star book came from. And it was terrible. It was very badly edited. And they kept me at 50,000 words. So which is not my strong suit. And so I, I just it just wasn't a good book. And when the rights came back to me, and I rewrote it into the book that I wanted it to be, and and the editing was way better and all of that it was just, and it just came out to be about 75,000 words and my first in a series is always the shortest. And then as I get deeper into the series, things get longer and longer, longer. You know, but but it but 50,000 It was just it was too tight like they're just you. I feel I feel like I can't tell a proper story in such a limited word count.

Evie 25:08
Yeah, I mean, I definitely found that. So I'm doing this Novella series with Kelly. And the first ones coming out, obviously, February. And then I'm writing the second one at the moment. And it is just such a joy. I mean, I've got I just, it's just a hilarious idea. But it's but again, trying to go okay, I have less time to tell this story. So how am I going to make this work? And it's, and actually, me and Kelly, one of the reasons we wanted to do it was the intellectual creative challenge, because Kelly's books are really long, my average 85. And, you know, Kelly, like her first, you know, she writes series of three or series of two. And so for us, it was a really good exercise to get Okay, well, can you do it less? Let's, let's give it a go.

Elle 25:55
There are some Romance Writers that write like 10,000 word books, there's like a whole there's a whole readership out there that just craves those sorts of like shots, almost, you know what I mean? And they, they can just flip through at the doctor's office or flip through a line at the DMV. And, you know, and there's like, you can, but I'm just I can't tell a story in 10,000 words, I'm hopeless.

Evie 26:19
It's so difficult. But yes, I know people do. Because when I was looking for people for my arc team, and I asked author friends, they said, Oh, no, not them. Because they they basically just like the short reads, it is like a shot. It's like a Yeah, I'm getting my romance fix. And we don't want to I don't want to go too long.

Elle 26:36
Yeah, yeah. And that doesn't work for me, because I just get I really like getting deep into character. Hmm. I wonder if that's because my background is theater. So I worked. I worked in theater and film and TV for a number number a number of years, not on the creative side, I was doing publicity. So um, but you know, my exposure to story was those that that type of storytelling was pretty immersed. Right? So. So I'm wondering if that has to do with our backgrounds?

Evie 27:06
Well, it's really interesting, you say that, because I have had so many people say how visual my writing is, yeah. And how they can imagine it, and how they can see it as people who have no idea that I came from film go, I can see it as a film. And I think that, that so you know, what it's like, in film, it's about when anything, really it's about, particularly in a scene. It's about getting in late to the scene and coming out early. So it's just the most important part the most. And also with writing a screenplay. It is visual. It so you don't have lots of characters sitting around talking. You have you tell the story through images and action. And so that definitely informed my writing. 100% Right.

Elle 27:53
So talking about going long. You had told me it was something like you, you deleted 19,000 words like of pure sex from Highland Games. Yes. What was that about? Like was that were they just having lots of sex?

Evie 28:13
What was going on? Yeah, well, okay. This is quite interesting, because this has to do with writing about sex. I when I started writing, I felt that I could not write a sex scene until I had fallen in love with Rory. Because it was just like having sex with with Roy. He felt so real. It was just like, it was me. So I thought okay, well, I can't write it yet. Oh, my God.

Elle 28:36
This is some method writing here.

Evie 28:37
Oh my god, it seems it's proper to mad and so my friend who said right for half an hour a day she was going. Where's the sex? Come on, where's the sex? And it took me on. Okay, the first draft. It took me to 80,000 words. Oh, I wrote my first SEC seed. 80,000.

Elle 29:01
Wow, that's a slow burn. Okay.

Evie 29:03
I know. It's not like that. Now, it's not like that. But yes, it took me so long. And then I found that once I got them to have sex, it was just like, well, they wouldn't want to stop. So I just kept writing and writing and writing until the second half of the book, which was essentially a first draft of Hollywood games was a nearly a third of it, probably at least Yeah, nearly a third of it was just pure sex.

So when it was when it was just like the second book, ami with my editor was going okay. So at the start of the book, the whole of chapter two, cut, half of Chapter Three cart. Chapter Four. And it was it's literally as Cut Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. And yeah, 19,000 words of sex got cut. Wow.

Elle 30:02
That's a lot. Okay, so I want to back up for a second. So with Highland Games, was this the first time you were writing sucks? Yes. Okay, I see where the trepidation was coming from. And then I see it opened the floodgates when it was so I mean, what was it like to write that very first scene for you? Because at that point, you must have fallen in love then with worry,

Evie 30:23
I was completely in love with him. It was very, very, I would almost describe say, I have to use the word difficult or challenging because I can't say it was very hard.

Elle 30:36
I mean, you could we enjoy a good pun on this on Steam since we really do epic.

Evie 30:43
So it was it was super, super challenging. And I found because like, for example, language, particularly in the UK, like the UK, and I know that a lot of America has, you know, deeply conservative, sweet, clean, wholesome.

Elle 30:57
Oh, god help we do.

Evie 31:02
But in the UK, we have our version is twee is just, you know, it's really twitchy. That is the best

Elle 31:09
word on the planet, by the way. Oh

Evie 31:11
my god. Yeah. And so I thought, well, I I'm not going to write tweet, I want to, uh, you know, and I had, I've got a massive like, philosophical agenda behind my sex scenes as well. So there are a lot of thought goes into them. And so I thought, well, I don't feel comfortable using words like pussy, and even saying that because I'm so British. Very, very easily retentive, British differ. We're not recently public, because I'll cry the whole time. But I'm, I'm really repressed, which is ironic. Thing I write.

Elle 31:43

Evie 31:47
Although, my friends go, No, you're fucking not. So I language was a real issue for me when I started writing it. And I also wanted to make it. I wanted to make it really, really emotive. I wanted to give people that all of those fields. So it was, yeah, yeah, it was. But then I loved it. I love I love the challenge of it's like writing a book within a book or a piece of music. And it has the ebbs and the flows and the buildup and this and that. And it's just, I found it really, really intellectually stimulating.

Elle 32:27
Oh, my gosh, that's wonderful. So I jumped back a second to fifth philosophical agenda. What did you mean by that?

Evie 32:35
Well, I have, oh, God, this goes back to my and I think a lot of people are so scared of the word feminist. And they just and they miss understand what it actually means. But I was so fed up of, you know, personally, having really shit sex, you know, growing up, you know, in my teens, and 20s, not teens, my 20s and 30s having really, really shitty crappy experiences with and it was just it was, I didn't want that. And then, you know, you're exposed to porn, and it's hideous, and you think, and I just wanted to write sex. That was about a woman's pleasure, and consensual reality. And the idea that a man wants to play, it's not just it's not about him, per se. It's about the two of them coming together and being really equal and consensual, and it being about, you know, he gets off on her getting off. Yeah, so that has always informed all of my sex scenes. Yeah.

Elle 33:44
It's really kind of funny, because this is something that comes up in just about every episode. Is that sort of real kind of feminist undercurrent of Rome?

Unknown Speaker 33:56

Elle 33:58
Yeah. Yeah. Which is phenomenal. And it's so funny, because, you know, it's like nobody else in the world feels that way. Except for people that write and read romance, that there is this sort of sense of female empowerment. These are books written mostly by women, mostly for women. I mean, of course, there is the, you know, there's gay romance, there's male, male, female, like there's tons of there tons of flavors, right for whatever your predilections, whatever your interests, but But fundamentally, the romance genre is women writing stories for other women, and a lot of that has a healthy dose of empowerment in there. And writing women's fantasies are actually set. It's like such a submissive Act, to do to do something like that. And I think that you know, and that goes back to like, you know, the 70s and the 80s when a lot of the romance writing was really cringe because there was a lot of dubious consent going on there.

Evie 34:59
And you see It was really funny because I grew up on all of that. I know, I have had to completely unlearn. You know, and I've checked and you know, book for the Central. Yeah, everything changed based on, you know, it all changed based on being re educated by rote by modern romance novels. I know. Right. Right.

Elle 35:20
But you know, honestly, though, that's not to doing what came before, because what came before was writing women's fantasies. I mean, you know, of course. And so and this was the only place where you could do it, you know, and there are some, actually some wonderful documentaries out there about in particular about this and about, like, the history of Romance Writers and why it sort of been kind of, you know, relegated to like, you know, the the sidelines and why the New York Times Book Review in the New York Review doesn't, you know, review it and et cetera, et cetera. But, you know, but it does fundamentally come down to the idea that it's women telling women's stories, and and that makes some people really uncomfortable.

Evie 36:02
I, Elizabeth Everett coined the phrase, you know, write romance novels and destroy the patriarchy. Yes, yes. Yeah, the patriarchy.

Elle 36:13
While we're fucking them, yeah.

Oh, my God, you're so fun. So, do you remember since you were, you know, your memories of the Romans world come from like, you know, the 70s and 80s? Do you remember the first one you read?

Evie 36:34
I do. I remember. I don't remember where I was. I remember all about it. I remember being in my friend's house, upstairs. And her mom had a copy of The Thorn Birds and got this scene where and I never read. I still haven't read the whole book. But it was about someone who wanted a baby. And so she basically, you know, persuade got her husband to basically have unprotected sex with her. And I just remember feeling or kind of funny and warm inside and thinking, oh, so yeah, that was my first ever experience of reading like a romance novel.

Elle 37:10
What do you remember the TV series that they made of that?

Evie 37:13
Richard chambers? I wasn't allowed to watch it. Why was it we didn't have a television in our house till I was 12. Oh, wow. Imagine going to school with everyone. Every people have TVs in their room. We don't even have one in the house.

Elle 37:28
Oh, wow. Oh, wow. Yeah, I remember my mom watching it and like sort of like me kind of like hovering, you know, outside of the den like watching her watching it. Yeah, I remember that was a really big deal. And Richard Chamberlain was wonderful.

Evie 37:43
I know. No, all I remember is Yeah, I just remember him from saw it.

Elle 37:49
Do you remember Richard? Oh, my gosh. So okay, so you write you write your first seksyen and it like, opens the floodgates. But to write that first one, like just in terms of like, take me through what like you sit down at your desk, or during wherever it is that you're writing? And was it like a lot of like, type delete, or were you really able to get into it?

Evie 38:15
No, it was it's, they always take the longest time. They do, right? Yeah, Lentini do and it's like your, your writings flowing. And I can write dialogue. Like, no, yes. If the whole book was dialogue, I'd be happy. I'd like. And but then it comes to this. And I'm like, oh, so it was like I had to I had to completely choreograph, what was going to happen? Where it was going to happen? You know, I had to kind of imagine the entire thing from start, you know, beginning middle end. And then I would work my way in, but oh my god, the amount of times that I write, because there are only so many words you could use for, you know, hand head it. Yeah. Yeah, feel pleasure. You know, there are just like, how many words are there for pleasure? Do you?

Elle 39:05
Do you have a crutch word I find I have, like, I have like one word like slide slid, like, repeatedly. And I have to catch my eye. Like, I'm like, okay, that's my crutch word. I need to get rid of that.

Evie 39:15
I have so many, mainly, you know, hand touch, but it's just so what I did, what I do is I go through them and I do like a, you know, overuse words things on them. And I just cut, cut, cut, cut, change, change. And, you know, that the source that I created, because I made my own sex this or us because

Elle 39:38
yes, I think okay, because why is this the same as the sex index or

Evie 39:44
sex? I'm all over the sex look.

Elle 39:48
So we have, we have a thesaurus and an index. Okay.

Evie 39:52
I have I have the I have like my How To that I wrote. And then I have a thesaurus. And then I have the sex index. So the sex index is is different the sex index is what I invented to go at the back of every book so that you can just flip to the back and go.

Elle 40:06
Okay, right page, right? It's this page, you can you can find the naughty bits easier. Yeah.

Evie 40:12
It's a public service.

Elle 40:15
We do it for you. Yes. But what is your thesaurus?

Evie 40:21
So I realized when I started writing that there were only a few words to describe certain things. So I then created like this Word document, which was just all of the words that you could use for this, all of the words you could use for that all of the words you could use to the other. And so I use that to reference my writing. So I use that when I was writing the sexes to try and make it interesting, because otherwise, I mean, I remember reading a review of one of Alyssa Kay Adams is bromance Book Club series. And this reviewer said, Oh, my God, this was she was like reviewing Book Three. In Book Three, she used the same phrase in sex as she used in book one, and I'm like, give her a fucking break.

Elle 41:06
Well, first of all, how do you how can you remember that from Book One to book three? That's crazy.

Evie 41:12
It's, well, partly I can kind of get it like, if you have a specific phrase, like, plundered his mouth or plundered her mouth, like, you're using that and you're like, Okay, plunder like a pirate, and then you read it again? Like, I'm sure I've read that before. So I think there are certain phrases, and so when I write I'm like, shit, have I used the phrase shower of sparks? Before? Yes, I probably have. Okay, I'm limiting myself to once per book. It is really, really, it's really tricky. So that's why I created my own, that you know, the source and the guide, because I didn't want to just repeat myself the whole time.

Elle 41:54
Well, okay, so on your blog, you had a post about how to write a sex scene that I thought was really cool, because you pulled in this idea of using elemental imagery, which I had never heard before, and yet makes total sense. And I thought that this was absolutely brilliant. So using elemental elemental imagery is meaning earth, air, fire water, so you're sort of like, you know, a cool, he's, he's a tall drink of water or, you know, or like, you know, his, his, his touch lit my skin on fire, you know, those sorts of things. I thought that was absolutely brilliant. Where did you sort of come up for that?

Evie 42:32
Well, it's when I was writing the sex scenes, I was, I'm always thinking about my imagery and my sentences and where things go. So I don't want to mix imagery so that if even if I'm talking about something completely different, I don't want to be using buy imagery, and then start talking about air. And so I realized that actually, what I needed to do was to get all of these. So to build this, for example, like going towards having an orgasm could be described as like, a volcano for example. So okay, so how do you you can't use water words with that. Or if you like, you're drowning in sensation, you can't use fire words with that. So what I did was when I was writing, so you can imagine like an orgasm, it could be an explosion, or it could be a wave of blood or it could be like a crushed it like like a kind of explosion or rocks or anything, or you're floating on air. And so what I did was I grouped all of these words together. So you know, fly fire, you've got like blazing blistering, burning, scorching smoking, sparking flare, Flash, flame, fire, and then the water you've got like dissolving, floating, flooding, gushing, pounding, rippling running. And when you start to think like that, it helps you become very creative. And the reader won't necessarily notice but they will be drawn in and they won't be kind of kicked out. You know, things that will kick the reader out with really goes your what,

Elle 44:11
this is absolutely brilliant. And so does that mean like for each sex scene, you say, okay, the sex scene is going to be an Earther this is going to be a fire this is right, or in a way does it make its way as part of the outline?

Evie 44:23
Part, isn't it? Yes. What I ah, what I do is I start off, I'm going okay, so So for example, I the SEC scene that I'm going to write, I haven't even thought where it is, but I have this idea that it's going to start they're gonna kiss for the first time massive spoiler, because if this does, if I do write this, it they're gonna go swimming in a river. It's really hot. So they've gone a hike, they go swimming in a river, they kiss for the first time in the river, and then maybe they have sex, you know? So I might think, Okay, well, where are they? And what is the imagery that's going to come most to me? Like, is it more earthy? Because they are literally on the earth? Or is it more watery? Because they kissing in the water? Where does it go? So I think I start the scene and then I go, Okay, this is where I'm going with this.

Elle 45:13
How cool. I am totally trying in my neck scene, because I thought this was like, particularly inspired.

Evie 45:20
Oh, well, I hope it helps. Because it's been, it's been really, really useful. And also it means that you keep a cohesiveness about it. So you don't jump from going like, oh, and then she had an orgasm detonated, and then she was flooded with. And then she was grounded. And you know, you don't necessarily realize, but if you start to go into real detail, like I'm such a perfectionist with the sex scenes, you can think actually, you can do so much more with them.

Elle 45:51
Yeah, yeah. And you know, it's sort of funny, because it forces you to not kind of mix your metaphors, I guess, no, you know, where you're able to sort of stay on this one track that I thought was really, really great. And I know that I think I, I lean on fire, for example, you know, everything is always a little sketchy in my scenes. But this is this is really cool, because now it's going to kind of forced me to rethink, well, you know, where are they in the story? And it wouldn't, and what does this feel like for them? Because your first moment with somebody is probably going to be burning hot. Right? But then like, your second moment, you know, let's say you've been overcome with passion, it's burning hot. But that second moment where maybe it's like, you're falling in love, right? Like, you're really like moving into the what is is that air? Maybe? Because you're starting to float,

Evie 46:38
right? Yeah. Oh, it could be that the fact that they, you know, the fact that they're falling in love is very scary because of who they are and their backstory and they feel that they that you could go for Earth, you could get this idea that they are fracturing their body is kind of crazy. Oh, that's good. Do you see what I mean? And then and then or it could feel that their sense of self is dissolving, because they don't see it and everything feels fluid, but they don't feel necessarily comfortable with it. So there's so many different ways you can go with it. And I think it all comes from the characters. Because in my books, every time they have sex, it is different. And it there is it's about you tell the story through the sex and through their connection. And you're gone. Yeah, no,

Elle 47:22
no, and it doesn't mean different, like, Okay, well, we're gonna do it on the bed, and then we're going to do a count. And then we're going to, because you could actually be on the same damn position, but because those each moment, and each feeling in that moment is so different, that it then changes. And that took me a bit to get to, like, it takes me it has taken me some time to get comfortable with letting the emotions drive the story, if that makes sense. Um, you know, I'm always like, I'm the one that always wants to plant a gun or have something explode. Excellent. Amazing, you know, because I feel like I need I need something else to sort of propel that story forward. And it's really taken me some time to be okay with maybe it's just their feelings for each other that is pushing the story forward.

Evie 48:14
So, I mean, this is going to be a massive spoiler, but in my book for the main male character, has never had sex with anyone before. He's never even kissed anyone? And no, oh, my God. Oh, I know. And he was Yeah. And this was, so this was how much I changed who he was. And he was. And because of that, I know exactly what you said, no one knows. Nobody has any clue. And so when the woman has sex with him, he is a certain way, because he's never done this before. And she has no idea. And it was just brilliant. And then so the next time it's slightly different. And then the next time as his confidence grows, it's even, it's just so it's all about character is all about character and emotion of where they are with each other.

Elle 49:02
Right, I'm going to do something a little bit like kind of out of order, because we've been talking so much with, with the sort of playing with the elements. And it was so perfectly done in the scene that you sent me. But it's sort of at the end of the scene. So it was like the second bit that I was going to read. But I think I need to like go into it now and read that and then I'll read the beginning but you read what you like. So it's like Alright, so we're gonna go a little bit backwards in this story, but this was such a great example of the elements and since we're talking about it, and we're here, I want to kind of like, you know, read this out so that people really get get what we're talking about. So I'm just going to read it and then I'll have you set everything up. Because this is a sex scene, it's pretty, you know, self explanatory.

Evie 49:54

Elle 49:57
So we've got we've got Rory and Zoe though I will set it up By the by saying that we were with roar, worry and Zoe. She reached towards his kilts needing to feel him. He shot back as if scorched pinning her hand to her side. He lay her forehead on her as fuck knows, oh, you can't touch me or I'll explode. She felt his hot breath on her face and lifted her lips to his burning cheek, kissing her way up to his ear, but I want to she whispered, she gently tugged on his ear lobe with her teeth. It was like pouring gasoline on an inferno. He took her mouth with his devouring her as he pushed past layers of sat in a net to find her leg, running his hand up her skin, dragging her bottom towards him. He bent his right leg and pushed his thigh between her as she writes to get closer, grabbing it, his glorious man pulling it his arms frantic with need, he slipped his hand under the cotton of her pants, cupping her bottom, the calluses on his palm sending shivers across her silky skin. God Zoey, it's, it's she bucked her hips against him desperately seeking relief. He released the pressure of his leg between her ears and she tried to open for him against the confines of the dress, shifting her hips, encouraging him to move. As she twisted. He let go of her bottom and slowly sit as he slid his hand around to her front, sinking a thick finger into her wet heat. She cried out and he growled and response sucking at her bottom lip, and her tongue feasting on her. He circled around her clitoris. zeroing in on the source of her pleasure. flashes of fire shot through her ricocheting back and forth colliding and multiplying as she began to shake. She was imprisoned by the dress his mouth his caress, and the only escape was up. He stroked her higher and higher she wanted to touch him to give him the same pleasure he was giving her but she was lost, disoriented, her breathing fitful and frantic Yes, so he Yes, He breathed between deep frenzied kisses. He held her tightly, relentlessly driving her on his fingers were flames filling her with light and heat as she blazed in his arms. She felt the pressure building saw stars behind her eyes, heard a ringing in her ears as he rocketed her into a blinding climax, she detonated with a scream her body pulsing with spasms of searing pleasure looping and radiating through her

chest. A good thing, so that's like the elements that work like right there. It was such a perfect example. And how it all worked together. You know, I mean, it, you know, I think like, kind of when you explain or talk about, like, what it is you're doing, it almost feels a little like, I don't know if that could work. It seems like, it seems like it's too obvious, right? Like, it's but it's not like when you actually put it into the scene, it just kind of blends in and it makes the scene stronger. It doesn't sort of stick out like a sore thumb. You know, that's

Evie 52:59
the whole point. It's actually the opposite. It's designed to make things not stick out. Who were you know, I mean, it makes it hopefully gives it much more of a cohesive, seamless nature, which draws people in rather than making use of them think that you're doing something deliberately poncey. Right, right. And

Elle 53:21
I just was like, when I when I read your blog post about it. I was like, Oh, that's really interesting. And then I read your scene. And I was like, Oh, I see now. And then I'm like, wow, that's all strokes of genius. Like I was like, That's brilliant. I was like, that's absolutely perfect. Epic. Yeah. Yeah. I'm wondering, I'm also sort of like, going to prod you to consider publishing your thesis.

Evie 53:47
No, believe you me, I that's what I want to do. I want to, I want to do, I've started, it's just there's too much to look at today, I want to basically turn my blog posts into a proper book with a full thesaurus that I've been working

Elle 54:02
on. Oh, that would be wonderful. That would be really cool. And then I

Evie 54:07
want to also at the end, have loads of examples of how you do this. And lots of different something, it can be really gentle sex, it can be hardcore, it can be graphic can be whatever, but using these, this, these ideas in writing different examples of sex scenes.

Elle 54:25
And I think it's really useful I think, to because I'm actually teaching a course and a couple of weeks for like, basically how to write sucks for people that don't write romance. Really? Yeah, I'm doing a workshop and so on writing your naughty bits. And I actually probably will pull this elemental idea into this if you don't mind if that's okay with you. Simply because I think for non Romance Writers in particular, I think I think it's something that they can kind of grab on to and go oh, okay, I think I can do it that way. Yeah. Uh, you know, because because there is a sense of sort of understanding, which I think is really, really great, just in terms of like getting somebody comfortable to, to write a scene because you know, not, not many people are I mean, there are sweet romance writers out there who write sweet, because that's where their comfort level is.

Evie 55:19
Oh, absolutely, absolutely. And yeah, there's plenty of people who write sweet but they love reading the saucy stuff. Yes. Don't have the confidence to do it themselves. Yeah,

Elle 55:28
yeah. And I mean, I would I honestly wish I could write sweet sometimes because I feel like I'm so slow with like you with my with my steamy scenes, like, it really holds up my time. Like it yeah holds things up.

Evie 55:45
But then I think you just have to remember how important they are. Yes. Character development? Yes. It's not just, it's not just the kind of excitement about them. But it is about because if you think about peak, two people falling in love, the most intimate things happen when they have sex. And so, you know, that's an important part of their relationship and their journey and their story, which I don't, you know, I don't want to miss out on.

Elle 56:14
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And, and then, you know, the other thing that, you know, I've talked about it before, too, is that there is a sort of healing that happens through that intimate moment, whether you know, the of the character psyche, because something that they've been longing for, or something that they've been missing, there's like a pieces of is that is missing is replaced, for example, through the act of sex, not necessarily the relationship itself. But through that opening up between these two people can can have a hold really healing moments for characters that you might you know, that you would otherwise miss, if you're not writing those intimate bits. So I'm going to jump back to the beginning. But this is where I'm going to ask you can you set this set the scene up for us?

Evie 57:07
Okay, so Zoey has come up to live in Scotland in a cabin, which is pretty much derelict that she spent a summer with when she was a little girl with her great uncle. And he's died left the cabin to her she's changed life come up to Scotland. And her neighbor who's this very, very grumpy, gruff, kind of half Thor half, I don't know. Grumpy man with an axe. He wants to live there. And so he's just like, Who the hell are you? And what are you doing in essentially my cabin is just a well here it you know, I own it. And so, they, I this, they really, really liked each other, but they think that the other one really, really doesn't. And so Zoey has this idea to publicize the local Castle by getting Rory to taking photos of him. And she persuades him to, you know, put on a kilt and wave a sword around because he's so hot. And he's just and then she suddenly she comes to the realization during the photoshoot, I think he actually likes me. And he's someone who's never gonna say anything. So she goes, Okay, right. And she's wearing her. They're pretending to take this marriage shot. So she's dressed up in her friend's wedding dress. And so she basically kind of does a little kind of flounce. And obviously, it looks utterly gorgeous. And presses herself up against him. And he's just like, oh, and so Fiona who's taking all the pictures has to leave conveniently because her babies just good eyes no filled it's nappy. So like so she buggers off. And then so he thinks, right. I've got to go for this. Do you like me? And he goes, and then he breaks he goes, No, I don't like you. I everything.

Elle 59:04
This was such a great moment. Okay, so first of all, the Highland Games Highland Games is a thing and I actually enjoy watching the Highland Games. It if you put me in front of a video of Ardmore stones I am like gone for the rest of the day. I can't that is like my Zen. I don't

Evie 59:20
know. I love it. No, no. I love it. You see, I grew up on on the World's Strongest Man. And every Christmas The World's Strongest Man goes on and the only thing missing from that is kilts.

Elle 59:31
Yeah. So is he a Highland Games guy like is he or

Evie 59:38
his backstory is that he so he's, he's really, he's really tall. He's about six foot six, six foot seven. He was in the army. He was in the Special Forces. So he's, you know, he's a very very fit man. But he's out the army now. He's out of special forces. And now he's just keeping himself to himself. He's had a bad breakup. He's just wants to be on his Don't be all Zen and live on the land and just with his dog and just not have to deal with people.

Elle 1:00:07
Okay. All right. So um, so you know, it wasn't a long scene that you sent me so and I have picked out some long ish exchanges but so here's the other one that I have highlighted. Don't you like me? She asked. were returned towards her. His eyes were burning. She stepped back her breath stuck in her throat silence stretched out waiting to snap Nozomi I don't like you. His voice was strained. The voice of a man pushed to the edge of reason, then kicked off into the abyss. I love that. I'm overwhelmed by you. My head is so full of you. There's no room for anything else. He pressed his fists into his temples. My life was simple before you showed up now it's a car crash. I can't think straight fuck. I can't even think when you're at all when you're around. I might as well try to count all the stars in the universe and make it through a day without a raging hard on or dropping a boiler on my foot. He advanced on her. She backed away until she bumped into the edge of the bed. She leaned back against it and he leaned forward towering over her so no, I don't like you. I want you. I crave you I hunger for you. Everything you are and everything you do drives me crazy. Like doesn't even begin to cover it. He closed his eyes. I can't be here. I can't. Zoey put her arms around his neck and stopped his mouth with a kiss. Their lips touched with a tingle of electricity, a fizzing pleasure that spread through her chest and ran down her spine with a shiver. She molded herself to his rigid body, stroking the back of his neck with her fingertips coaxing him to respond. His lips were shocked but soft and warm. She kissed around his mouth the prickle of his stubble, thrilling her nerve endings. He reached back behind his neck, grabbed her wrists and slowly pulled them away from him breaking the connection. What are you doing? He asked his tone harsh but his breath ragged, as if he'd just run for miles. I'm kissing you. Why? Because I don't like you either. She saw confusion, uncertainty, doubt disbelief and hope flash across his face like a summer storm. You don't I really loved that.

Evie 1:02:23
So it's fantastic. Because you're so good at reading these. And I have never had them. I've never heard them being read.

Elle 1:02:29
Oh, really? Nobody's ever read them to you or you haven't read them out loud? Or Oh my god. Oh my god. Okay, so this was okay. We haven't even touched on this yet. God, I feel like I could talk to you all afternoon. You're writing comedy, but you're also writing steamy bets. Right. And I think that that's really hard to do, because I don't know, like sexes are so serious. And we do talk about that about how it's propelling the characters forward. And they're making all these dramatic realizations. But like you're writing comedy, you know, there's a levity to this, how do you?

Evie 1:03:00
I am How do I book set up? Yeah, my books are getting more and more and more hilarious and more and more hot, they are getting getting funnier and funnier and hotter and hotter. So like my alpha reader, or my editor, whenever they read the next one, they go, this is the hottest thing you've ever written. And they also say, this is the funniest thing. I mean, my editor, she was beta reading one of them and she was just reading it as she was kind of going around. And she she was in the dentist waiting room. And she said she actually snorted and to like things coming out of her nose.

Elle 1:03:41
That's awesome.

Evie 1:03:43
So I think it for me, I'm just it's the way I do it. But it's really, again, it's a challenge to go from something that's like, high comedy and high fast to something that's really fucking hot. And how to kind of marry the two of them.

Elle 1:04:00
Yeah, I thought, you know, because there was some, you know, and not having read sort of before, right? Although I'm so getting this book when we're done because this was such a fun. It's such a fun scene and the prevalence, the premise is just absolutely hilarious. And sort of having this kind of grumpy guy and, you know, I mean, I guess the trope would be grumpy guy ray of sunshine or something like that. Right?

Evie 1:04:21
It's enemies lovers, grumpy sunshine. Yeah. Fish Out of Water on a water. Yep. Opposites attract

Elle 1:04:31
me how this kind of like wonderful moment and like this is their first time together, obviously. And, and it's just so funny, but it is so sexy at the same time. And I was like, this is brilliantly done. This is really, really fun. And it's really fun to read as a reader.

Evie 1:04:46
Oh, thank you. It's well I'm glad you say that because years have gone into this book. Yeah, I

Elle 1:04:53
know. You know, because sometimes, you know, like sex can be funny in a very slapstick sort of way, which I don't think we write enough about, like the kind of like the bloopers, which I know we're supposed to be writing fantasy, but I think I like it based on some realism because, you know, blooper sex is also a lot of fun.

Evie 1:05:13
I know and I that I remind myself of that because I think you have to also do that kind of bloopers acts as well as everything else. But I think so much of a comedy can come from things that are, you know, deeply, deeply serious and one character can be so serious or, but that's where comedy comedy comes from tragedy, tragedy, Comedy The whole way into play. And it's yeah, I just I just I fucking love it. I just love it.

Elle 1:05:38
I mean, I was kind of curious. Did you watch the films that you did? Were they comedy films, or were they?

Evie 1:05:48
All over? I did. I did do too. dark comedies. Yeah, I did what a dark comedy called Chicken karma. It's about two couples going out for a curry in it all going horribly, horribly wrong. And then I did. What was I did a very dark, dark romance comedy called covered love. And that's yeah, that was that was pretty. Yeah. Not like this. Not kind of fantasy, lovely, you know, gorgeous people and all of that. But I think if I look back, I've always loved to come. I've always written comedy. I've always written dark comedy.

Elle 1:06:30
When you were working in film, did you were you? Did you put sex scenes in the movies? Were they? How explicit were I mean, obviously? No, no sex scenes.

Evie 1:06:42
Yeah, there was no sex scenes. No. Writing? No. Okay.

Elle 1:06:45
Interesting. Okay. That's so wild. Okay, so you've got Highland Games? Yep. Over 200 reviews on Amazon for a first book. That's crazy.

Evie 1:06:59
It's by that was hard fought for. I've been very incredibly grateful to all of my arc reviewers. And anyone who's written a review. I'm just unbelievably grateful. I was

Elle 1:07:11
stunned by that to see 200 reviews on there for the first book. I mean, that is truly an extraordinary feat in and of itself. You know, so So next on the docket for you is the February release. Of course, this will be out by the time that comes out.

Evie 1:07:29
So that's Cupid calamity. So that's So Kelly and I have come up with this concept recording Evie and Kelly's holiday disasters, and it's going to be brilliant. So the first one is Cupid calamity. And she's written a novella. And I've written a Bella. Mine's called Animal attraction. And hers is called a stupid Cupid. And then so there's two novellas in one book, and then that's for Valentine's. Then we've got one for the Fourth of July, which I'm writing at the moment. So that's cookout carnage. And her story is called up in smoke. Mine's called off with a bank. And then we've got for Christmas. We've got Christmas chaos. And her story is no, my story is no way in a manger. And there's no crib and no bed.

Elle 1:08:15
So Oh, fun.

Evie 1:08:18
It's been brilliant. So the Valentine's Day One obviously out in Feb. Of cookout one for Fourth of July is going to be sixth of June. And then Christmas chaos is 18th of November. And then in between them. Hollywood games fourth of April, which I just ludicrously excited about. And then I it's like, you can't have your favorite child, but I do. And and that's kissing games, the unexpected Book Three, which I never intended to write. And then when I did, it was just like the most beautiful thing of perfection in my eyes only in my eyes. So that's coming out probably in September and I am so in love with the story and the characters is just, I mean, I'm obsessed with

Elle 1:09:05
it. Okay, well then you're gonna have to come back and we'll talk about the obsession.

Evie 1:09:10
Oh, yes. So obsessed. But I was bad with Rory. I just I became so obsessed with Rory. I googled him to try and make him real. As in. I genuinely thought there has to be someone who looks like this and has the name Rory and it's just like a complete idiot.

Elle 1:09:28
I'm curious to do you didn't find out somebody.

Evie 1:09:32
Oh god. No. And then my friend tried to do as well obsessed. And she just got loads of very hardcore gay porn with her search.

Elle 1:09:43
When that happens, yeah. You're like clear browser history clear browser.

Evie 1:09:51
And her husband thinks that I'm basically dangerous. Yeah, when she says that she's reading another book by me. Your husband goes Oh god. Oh god. No, no. Apart job.

Elle 1:10:03
This is a fantastic, where's the best place to stalk you on the internet? Where do you hang out?

Evie 1:10:09
Instagram is where I hang out most as Ed Alexander author, but also, there's so much on my website. And that's just Ed Alexander author.com. So just Ed Alexander, author, Instagram, and also.com for the website.

Elle 1:10:21
Perfect. And I will also have links to all all of your places, BookBub, Amazon, et cetera, et cetera, in the show notes for people who can just you know, 90 enough to follow a link. So, Abby, thank you so much. It's been so much fun to have you.

Evie 1:10:35
It's just been epic. It's been such a joy

Elle 1:10:39
to come back because we have a lot a lot more to talk about. Oh,

Evie 1:10:42
anytime, anytime, anytime, anytime.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai