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Elisa Braden Interview -Author Photo

I’m delighted to welcome Historical Romance Author ELISA BRADEN to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for having me! It’s a delight to be here.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Elisa:
I was born and raised in northeast Washington State, which many people fail to realize exists. Sounds funny, but it’s true. It’s a rural area dotted with small, snail-paced towns along the Columbia River. People unfamiliar with the region assume it’s either Washington D.C. (opposite side of the country), Seattle (opposite side of the state), Idaho (neighboring state), or southern Alaska (not even close). Public school geography instruction clearly needs improvement.

To be fair, Washington State has only a few major cities, of which Seattle is the best known. The state also boasts an astoundingly diverse landscape, ranging from sea coasts and rain forests in the west; Alp-like, jagged peaks blanketed with emerald fir forests running like a spine down the middle; rolling wheat fields and boundless vineyards and red-rock canyons at its heart; and, in the northeast, older, gentler mountains topped by remote lakes, cascading creeks, and towering pines.

Elisa Braden Interview - Cascades
The majestic Cascade Mountains separate hot-summered, long-wintered Eastern Washington from the mild, rainy, gray west side, where Elisa now lives. Because Elisa prefers rain.

Where I grew up, it was slow and sleepy, scented with pine, populated with families and churches and local watering holes (lots of those). Dry, hot summers were spent near the lake or floating the rivers. Long, snowy winters were spent finding a good hill for sledding and trying to avoid driving on black ice or in freezing fog.

Elisa Braden Interview - Me with Mom and Granny
Elisa’s mom and granny stand knee-deep in an epic Eastern Washington winter. Elisa prefers rain.

That last bit is why I ended up on the western side of the state, where snow and ice are a novelty. Who needs the stress? I like rain just fine.

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Elisa:
My dad once told me if I was any more laid back, I’d be dead. He was kidding (sorta), but I’d say I’m far more easy-going than not. That’s not to imply I don’t get uptight (deadlines—ugh) or that I don’t have my prickly moments (mostly before coffee or after someone pushes my last button), but generally speaking, I prefer peace and happiness over chaos and drama.

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Elisa:
Yes. All of the above. I love food in general and rich, bad-for-me food in particular. Except fish. Blech. Many people have tried to convince me to like fish by suggesting, “Try it. It doesn’t even taste like fish.” My answer is this: If I want to eat something that doesn’t taste like fish, I’ll eat chicken. My second answer: The problem with fish is that it smells like fish. As you might imagine, I’ve had this conversation more than once. I even incorporated the no-fish preference into one of my characters. Sneaky little writer.

Elisa Braden Interview -Little Elisa
Toddler Elisa kicks back with a plate of spaghetti, proving she has been both easygoing and a fan of food since birth.

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Elisa:
I’ve never been overly sentimental about material things, but if my house were on fire, I’d grab my purse (replacing your driver’s license alone takes a trip to the DMV, which is like hell, only more stultifying), and my laptop. That’s my practical streak talking, of course. Okay, if you twist my arm, I do have a sentimental attachment to my new house, but reportedly, grabbing your entire house while it’s on fire defies the laws of physics.

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Elisa:
Ah, now we come down to it. I mentioned how much I like rain earlier, and then I mentioned my new house, which is in a rainy location. So, I’m pretty darned pleased with my current abode. However, this time of year (winter), the daylight hours are short and the gray goes on forever. Gray. Wet. Rainy. Cold. Did I mention gray? So, if I could have a second home, it would be someplace sunny and warm and hospitable with handsome pool boys and gorgeous, bad-for-me drinks. Baja, maybe. Or Belize. Or Bora Bora. Sigh. There must be something magical about the letter B.

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Elisa:
Embarrassment is the enemy, as far as I’m concerned, and I go to great lengths to avoid it. I have the deepest admiration for those who can throw caution to the wind, but there’s a huge part of me that clutches caution like a greedy toddler with a favorite doll and screams, “I love caution! You can’t throw it away!”

So, for example, I’m slower than a sloth in rigor mortis when composing my tweets or Facebook posts. My fear is that I’m going to say something stupid and be publicly embarrassed. Another way to put it is that I’m careful. Because I care. Plus, caution has saved my behind many, many times.

On the other hand, even caution is no cure. Life is embarrassing sometimes. You trip on your own feet and knock down a photography backdrop (done that). You hit send and then realize you got the recipient horribly, horribly wrong (done that). You innocently use the word “fanny” in the sentence “kiss my fanny” to a co-worker from London (done that), thinking it’s the mild equivalent of “backside” everywhere English is spoken. (Note to my fellow Americans: It’s not.)

Still, I’ve learned and grown. Gotten better. Besides, I think many readers appreciate how flubs and foibles help enrich my characters, making them seem more real. It’s hard to accurately portray embarrassment if you’re immune to it, so having plenty of red-faced moments of my own has served a purpose, I suppose. Thank goodness for silver linings, because I am far from perfect, despite what that greedy toddler would have you believe.

~~~~~~~

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Elisa.

You’re most welcome. It’s been a genuine pleasure.

 

If you would like to find out more about Elisa and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

 

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