The Devil in Midwinter
by Elise Forier Edie
Release Date: April 8th, 2014
A handsome stranger, a terrifying monster, a boy who burns and burns… Mattawa, Washington, is usually a sleepy orchard town come December, until a murder, sightings of a fantastic beast, and the arrival of a handsome new vintner in town kindle twenty-year-old reporter Esme Ulloa’s curiosity—and maybe her passion as well. But the more she untangles the mystery, the more the world Esme knows unspools, until she finds herself navigating a place she thought existed only in storybooks, where dreams come alive, monsters walk the earth and magic is real. When tragedy strikes close to home, Esme finds she must strike back, matching wits with an ancient demon in a deadly game, where everything she values stands to be lost, including the love of her life.
***Author Interview with Elise Forier Edie***
Tell us something unique about yourself.
I like to make quilts in my spare time. Right now, I’m working on a series of baby quilts to donate to the local hospital for children who are born into poverty. Their moms get to take home a beautiful quilt with their baby. I like picking out the different colors and fabrics and inventing themes for each baby. This week, I’m making a whole ocean quilt, with beautiful fish and deep blue colors. It’s awesome.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I always wrote. Even before I knew how to write, I made up stories on the piano, about a mole (he lived around middle “C”) and the tigers who attacked him (low notes) and the mice who were his friends (high notes). Later, in first grade, when I actually learned how to write letters, I wrote a “novel” (The Adventures of Stripey the Kitten”) and a play (“The Fairy Adventure”) and I just went from there.
What inspired your NA paranormal romance novella, The Devil in Midwinter?
When I wrote the book, I was teaching Theatre Arts in a small rural college (I wrote plays as well as novels). I would say my students were my biggest inspiration. I wrote a magical story about female empowerment and risk. I guess that’s what I would want for my students—true love, claiming of power, creative delight and a sound defeat of doubt and evil.
What was it like to write Esme and her story?
I had so much fun writing this book. I love Esme, and I really enjoyed getting to know her as I wrote the book. She combines the traits and problems of many of my students—a gifted, beautiful young woman, totally unaware of her considerable power, but finding it and letting it loose on the world.
What got you interesting in retelling of storybook fairy tales and fantasy? What kind of research did you do for the backstory of your novel?
The first book I ever received was a collection of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales and I just loved it. (I still have it). I went on reading fairy tales all through my childhood and adulthood. My bookshelves are full of them still. I did extensive research while I was writing “The Devil in Midwinter,” mostly on regional stories about winter and the change of the seasons, but also Mexican and American myths. It was fun reading all of the stories. I can’t get enough of them.
If you could date any one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I would totally date my hero Xavier … except he’s completely devoted to Esme, so I know it would never work out. Also he’s way too young for me. But he’s yummy—smart, sexy, handsome, loyal, powerful and completely loving and devoted.
Do you have any other books in the works? What are your future goals?
I have a contemporary romance, a YA novel and another paranormal romance in the works. I tend to work on several different projects at once. It diffuses anxiety. If I get blocked or worried about one project, I switch to another for awhile. My plans? To spend the next fifty years of my life writing novels. It’s really fun.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Commit to the long haul and don’t give up. It takes a long time to get good at writing. Let that be okay and have fun with the journey.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I wrote in a big, comfy armchair. Seriously. I don’t have a desk.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I read EVERYTHING. I like good books. I am always THRILLED when I find a really good book and then I read EVERYTHING that author has written. I tend towards fairy tale retellings and fantasy (Robin McKinley, Juliette Marillier) and history and historicals (I just loved “Code Name Verity”! I cried), but I’ll read anything, honestly. I especially like books that teach me something new, even if it’s only something new about how to write a better book.
Warm weather climates or cold weather climates?
Warm. With a beach.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
There are so many wonderful things, it is hard to pick a “best.” But I think one of the nicest things that happened to me is my parents and teachers always let me go ahead and make up stories on the piano, write novels, put on plays and sing songs without complaining or interfering. There was never a time in my life where I thought I “couldn’t write” or I “couldn’t make things,” or I “couldn’t be an artist.” No one ever said “that’s stupid,” or “what, are you crazy? You’ll never survive doing that.” A lot of my students have all sorts of hang ups about creating and being creative because people criticized them when they were young and impressionable, or they think their lives will be hard if they really go for it, or they can’t take criticism, or they worry incessantly about failure. My parents just let me make marionettes and put on puppet shows and write books. And so I grew up and kept doing those things without a lot of drama. I’m at home in the messiness of creating, and the process of it. Failure happens. Success happens. I don’t agonize. I feel very lucky about that, really.
Elise Forier Edie is an author and playwright based in southern California. Recent works include the play “The Pink Unicorn,” which performed at the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York, a short story, “Leonora,” published in Penumbra magazine and several plays, included in the anthology “Original Middle School Scenes and Monologues,” edited by Kent R. Brown. She is a member of the Authors Guild, the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She is married to actor Keith Edie. When she is not writing, she likes to make quilts and soup, but rarely at the same time. Visit Elise Forier Edie on these sites to follow her or list her as one of your favorite authors: Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter @EliseForierEdie, and www.eliseforieredie.com.