Friday, 13 September 2013

Elle Casey on the Origin of her Story

As part of the Don't Make Me Beautiful Tour hosted by Itching for Books I've dragged Elle Casey out to talk about what inspired her story and how she kept writing. Check it out:

A ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL. No one knew a woman lived there or that she even existed. A monster, living in darkness...

At twenty-six, Nicole doesn't even look human anymore. The beast made sure of that. So she hides. A monster consigned to a life of fear and solitude. This is all she deserves, she is quite sure of that.
And then one day out of the blue, the autographed baseball caught by Brian Jensen at the latest Marlins game enters her prison and manages to turn her world completely upside down.
Temptation comes in the form of pity at first, and then perhaps something more.
Does she dare to believe the things she's told, that this is not the life she was meant to live? That being a monster is not her forever-fate? And will she be willing to risk everything, to reach out and accept the helping hands around her? She knows only too well that hands can hurt. Finding out whether they can also heal is a risky proposition, especially when the beast is still out there. Looking for her.

**This story was inspired by true events. If you liked the movie "Sleeping With the Enemy", then you might like this story too. CONTENT WARNING: Violence, foul language, and adult situations. Not meant for younger readers.**

About the Author
New York Times Best-Selling author Elle Casey is an American girl living in southern France with her husband, three children, and several furry creatures. She writes in a variety of genre including YA Fantasy, YA Action/Adventure, New Adult Romance, and Adult Contemporary Romance. She's a little on the wild side, usually busy making people laugh, and always in the mood for adventure. There's not much in this world that she loves more than reader interaction, so feel free to drop her a line.

I read a story in a magazine one time, about twenty years ago or so, about a girl who was beaten so badly by her husband that she became deformed.  She was essentially kept prisoner by someone who was supposed to love her.  That’s all I remember about it, but it was enough to stay in my head for all this time.  I think because it was real and not just a wive’s tale, and it was so horrific, it became a permanent part of my memories.  All this time, that poor girl who I imagined has been stuck in that house in my mind.

When I write stories, I write the ones that seem most urgent in my head.  The characters are like real people for me, so I hear their conversations and I see their faces.  I know their histories.  Nicole of Don’t Make Me Beautiful was in there, and I know this sounds kind of spooky, but it’s like she was trapped in her house waiting for me to free her through my story.  The urgency of her voice became too much to ignore, so her story got told.

The subject matter is darker than any I’ve ever tackled before, so it was a little nerve-wracking putting it out there.  Even just the decision to do it was stressful, and I had to take about a week off in the middle of writing it to get a grip on my emotions so that I could finish the book.  My step-father was an alcoholic and abusive towards my mom, so while it wasn’t nearly to the degree that Nicole suffered, it was enough to make me personally aware of the pain that domestic violence brings the whole family.  Some ugly memories came to the surface and had to be dealt with.

That being said, this story virtually wrote itself. From a technical perspective, it was one of the easiest ones I’ve ever written.  I just had to sit down and poise my fingers over the keyboard and out the words came.  Nicole’s was a story that needed to be told, and she made sure that happened.  I just helped, acting as her transcriptionist.

Nicole is a fictitious person, living only in my head, but she represents thousands if not millions of women who’ve been traumatized by domestic violence.  I only published the book a few days ago, but I’ve already gotten lots of emails and private messages from readers telling me their own horror stories of abuse.

Bottom line is, while I found this story difficult to tell, I’m really glad I did it.  Nicole is free to move on with her life in my head, and I’ve made a difference for some readers who’ve thanked me for helping them exorcise some demons they’ve carried around for a long time.  A writer cannot ask for more than that!


  1. Great guest post. Thanks for participating :)

  2. Thanks much for including me on your blog!

  3. I devour anything Elle writes, but something tells me that this book is going to impact me in a far bigger way than any of her other books. I can't wait to read it!