Clubhouse Chat Guest: Carrie Elks

Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit the clubhouse is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Welcome to the clubhouse tearoom, Carrie. I do hope the tea is to your liking?

Yes, it is. Thank you for inviting me.

You’re very welcome. My first question to you is when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?

I’ve been an avid reader, ever since I was a child, and enjoy a diverse range of genres. But what I’ve found is, no matter what type of book I’m reading, the thing that always draws me in is the relationships. It’s a rare book that doesn’t have some kind of relationship or romance going on, even if it’s a thriller, horror book or literary fiction. So when I began to write my own stories, it felt natural to write romances – the parts of books I love the most. And I’m so glad I did, because eight years since I began to write seriously, I still love romance!

The delightful Carrie Elks

Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?

I’m currently writing the fourth book in a romance series, set in a small town in Virginia, USA. The series is about four brothers and their sisters, and each book is a standalone read about a different sibling. I love writing in series, because I can get to really know my characters, first as minor parts in a previous book, but then when they come into the spotlight in their own stories.

How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?

A lot! I have so many first chapters that never really developed into something firmer. I also have three full manuscripts that will almost certainly never see the light of day. I don’t mind that too much – I’ve learned a lot from every book I write, so even the ones that end up bad have given me something!

Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter?

I tend to write the first three chapters to try and get to ‘know’ my characters, before I then sit down and write out a synopsis. Because my stories are romance, they’re very character driven, and knowing a little about them first really helps with the plotting.

When reading your work through do you ever find that your daily mood swings are reflected in your writing?

I’m not sure they’re reflected in my writing, but they definitely affect how well or badly my writing day goes! There are days when the words flow and I finish at tea time with a big smile on my face. Then there are days when every word is like squeezing blood from a stone. But I find that you can’t tell which scenes were hard or easy when you read them – they all tend to come out the same in the end.

What did you learn when writing your book? In writing it, how much research did you do?

I love doing fun research when I’m writing. Because my books are light-hearted romance, my research often consists of finding interesting jobs for the hero and heroine. I’ve had spinal surgeons, whaleboat captains, firefighters and coffee shop owners – all of which have involved research and watching lots of YouTube videos to be able to really immerse myself in their world. I don’t know that I could do a lot of in-depth research though – I’m in awe of historical novelists and their dedication to accuracy!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I’ve been a full time writer for four years now, and have developed a fairly good routine. I tend to get up around 8am, and take the dog out for a walk before coming home for breakfast by 9am. After that, I spend the next few hours writing (taking a break for lunch). Then at around 3pm I do business and admin work. Because I’m self-published as well as being traditionally published, that could involve talking with cover designers, editors or proofreaders, working on my facebook ads, or planning out next year’s writing and publishing schedule. I love the mixture of creativity and business – it suits me to a ‘t’.

Do you set yourself a daily word count?

I do, mostly because I tend to release 4 or 5 books a year, and want to make sure I hit my targets. With my self-published books I also have to book editors and cover designers etc in advance, so I need to have a good idea of when the book will be ready for them.

My daily word count is usually around 3000 words, though it can vary depending on what I have planned for the day. I use Pacemaker press to keep track of my writing, and I love seeing the progress I make on there.

How many hours in a day do you write?

I tend to write around 3 – 4 hours a day, unless I’m against a deadline and need to get more words in.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I can write a first draft (of around 80,000 words) in around 2 months. I then like to give myself a couple of weeks to revise my own words and polish them up before I send them to my editor. She does two passes before I then edit again, and send to my proofreader. So from first words to finished product it can take around 3 – 4 months, but I’m usually overlapping projects (editing one and writing another.) This means I can usually write around 4 – 5 books a year.

Thank you so much for sharing an insight to your writing. If you would like to find out more about Carrie’s writing and her books here are the links to her website: Twitter:- Facebook: – Goodreads: and Amazon:

It you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops.

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