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Interviewing the Indies: Elena Dillon

Breathe by Elena Dillon
Elena Dillon

Elena Dillon stopped by today for an interview on Examiner! She’s the author of the young adult thriller and suspense books, Crushing and Breathe. Her new book, Shimmer, will be released on July 18. We have the brand new synopsis below:

Chandler Raines and her “dad” are on the run. Never staying in one place for very long. It’s just not safe. When they arrive in Lafayette, Louisiana, Chandler quickly realizes this is the place she wants to call home. Friends, a cute boy, and competitive cheerleading have her taking dangerous risks to have the life she always wanted. Risks she promised she wouldn’t take.

When her lies catch up to her, a decision has to be made. Stay or run? Will the evil that’s chased them for the last four years catch up to them? When Chandler’s past comes screeching into the present she’ll have to sacrifice everything to keep what she loves safe. But will it be enough?

Elena sat down to give us the full story on her books! And since Breathe is an award winner, her writing is worth checking out.

What draws you to the Romantic Suspense/Thriller YA genre?

Writing characters and their relationships is one of the joys of writing for me. Writing for YA, I have the opportunity to write about first love and really what's better than that? Also, if it has a good mystery and a bit of a scare factor, I'm all in. Maybe it's because my birthday is the day before Halloween, who knows.

What's the hardest part about writing a young adult romantic suspense novel? Are there any secrets to how you approach each novel?

I think it's weaving both the suspense and the romance story lines together so they are seamless. Being sure to have a balance between the two. You have to have enough tension to keep the reader guessing about the suspense but have enough room for the romance to flow as well--if that makes sense. Some stories are easier to do that with than others.

So far I've plotted each [book] a bit differently. Breathe was really straight-forward, Crushing was more complex with a ton of characters and mystery to try and throw the readers off plus the dreaded love triangle. I actually didn't intend for that story to be a love triangle, but the characters had different ideas about it. I'm never really sure who is in charge, them or me.

Two of your books take place in Lafayette, Louisiana -- what attracts you to that setting?

Well, all of my books so far take place in the South. I love it, and I think I was born in the wrong place. Manners, big families, Southern cooking, what's not to love? Shimmer is the next book in the Breathe series, that's why it takes place there, but most of the characters are from somewhere else. I like the idea of teenagers having to adjust to a bit of a different situation culturally. Of course, it's just one more thing conflict wise to work with.

What is your favorite personality trait of Chandler Raines? Why?

I think my favorite trait of hers is that she will sacrifice [anything] for the people she loves without question. She loves her "dad", her friends, and of course the boy as well. Even in terrifying situations she's thinking of how to keep them all safe. She thinks she's a coward, but she's really not.

I’m hoping you can give us a little bit of a teaser of why Chandler and her “dad” are on the run. Can we get a little hint? Who is Chandler’s “dad” anyway? Or is that giving away too much?

Hmmm, how to answer this one. I can tell you a little about her "dad". He's a complete nerd. He's a hacker and works in internet security. It's the only thing that has kept them safe for the last four years, and Chandler loves him very much. Why are they running? Well let's just say the alternative was unacceptable so they decided to run for it.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Elena! You can purchase Breathe and Crushing on amazon. You can follow @ElenaDillon on twitter, connect with her on facebook, or check out her website. Be sure to look out for Shimmer on July 18!

Stay tuned for more Interviewing the Indies! There will be ten authors featured this month. All have passed the great writing, artistic cover, and fantastic first pages test, so you as a reader know you’re picking up a good book!