Last week we left off with Craig mentioning deadlines at Elle Casey HQ. Read on for the next installment of Craig's chat with Noelle.
What’s it like at the house when Elle has a deadline approaching?
Craig: It depends on whether it's a contractual deadline or a self-imposed one. If it’s a contractual one, then Elle buckles down and pumps the work out. She just locks herself away and works until she’s done. The self-imposed deadlines are a bit different. If the story is flowing then she works well into the night and I just try to sleep while she types away next to me. If the story isn’t rolling along then she needs to let things percolate. It’s obvious that when she misses a release date that she’s promised fans, it upsets her. She really feels a responsibility to her readers, and although she tries to hide it, her distress is obvious.
You’ve mentioned before you cook and clean for the family. What’s Elle’s favorite meal of yours?
Craig: When Elle's on a deadline or working hard on a book, I do handle some of the cooking. She's a great cook and likes to work in the kitchen, but if she can't then I take over. I'm really a pretty terrible cook though, and about the only thing anyone has requested more than once is my spaghetti. I feel a bit guilty about that because all it is is hamburger and sauce from a jar.
Elle has been known to type up to 20,000 words in a single day. She must be exhausted after such an effort. How does she unwind after an intense writing session?
Craig: When she's cranking out the words it sounds exhausting, but it actually invigorates her. I think she feels good about getting the voices out of her head and onto paper. Once in a while we have the kids order in pizza and just the two of us get away for a nice dinner or a drive in the hills. Lately what helps her unwind is playing with the horses or dogs. There's something about watching them play that puts a big smile on her face and makes her laugh.
Do you always read Elle's drafts? What’s it like to give her feedback on her work?
Craig: I think that I’ve read all of her drafts, but I’m not an editor. I really just tell her what I like about the story. Early on I gave her my ideas, but that didn’t go well, so now I just mark the few spelling errors I find. Her first drafts are really almost finished products anyway. Sometimes when she has some plot issues to work out, we take a walk. I ask a few questions and that prompts her to think of solutions that fit with the story.
What’s it like to read the sex scenes in her novels?
Craig: I’ve dog-eared them all.
Check back next week for more of the blog series Married to a Writer. In the final episode,Craig shares the most romantic thing he's ever done for Elle, and which one of Elle's characters he thinks he inspired (it's definitely not who you'd think!).