As a child Ella read books under the covers with a flashlight. There she found a special love of elves, dragons, and knights. Now that she's found her own knight in shining armor and happily ever after, she loves to write tales of fantasy, hot enough to scorch the sheets. No flashlight needed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Last update: January 8, 2011.

  1. What is Romance? As a genre, my basic definition of Romance is that the main characters of a story overcome obstacles to realize their love and have a happily ever after (HEA). At least 50% of the story is dedicated to their love story versus any other elements of the plot. Other definitions are out there, but that's the one I apply to my writing. The most important thing is the HEA. If it doesn't have a HEA, I classify it as "romantic" or as a "love story".
  2. What is Paranormal Romance? Paranormal Romance is a story that puts the other-worldly into the real world. That otherness is usually a part of the conflict of the romance & story. For example: A vampire hero in the real world, who falls in love with a human woman. His vampireness is usually a large part of the problem they must overcome to be together.
  3. What are all those acronyms?
    HEA-Happily Ever After
    HFN-Happy For Now (this means a couple may have a future, but not specified)
    PNR-Paranormal Romance
    UF-Urban Fantasy
    SFR-Science FictionRomance
  4. And just what is Science Fiction Romance? A science fiction story with the main conflict centering on the Romance. There are two wonderful resources that delve further and I highly recommend if you're interested in the genre. One, an interview of author Linnea Sinclair. The other, the Introduction to the Anthology Love and Rockets: "SFR -- Not Just Science Fiction Research Anymore" by  Lois McMaster Bujold.
  5. Do you have print books? Yes. The Forbidden Chamber from Samhain Publishing is available in print. Hearts Afire: December from Liquid Silver Publishing (with my novella "Firestorm on E'Terra) is also available as a reprint from the authors in the duology. Links to purchase these are available on the individual book pages.
  6. What is an ebook? An electronic book. They come in a variety of formats, some of which have digital rights management (DRM) in addition (see below). The world of digital publishing changes everyday. For a more indepth look at ebooks, see this article at Wikipedia.
  7. How do you read ebooks? There are so many ways to read an ebook. On your computer, on your mobile phone, or on a dedicated device such as the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony. Or, on other devices such as an iphone, ipad, etc. To understand this constantly changing field, a great starting point and resource guide is maintained at Dear Author, a romance review blog. It has a chart explaining ebook devices (listing formats) and buying guides.
    I started reading ebooks in 2006 using a PocketPC, the Dell Axim. I've gone through several different setups since then, but I currently read Kindle books on my  Android mobile phone and my latest, on a dedicated ereading device, the Nook Color, from Barnes & Noble.
  8. Where do I shop for my own reading? I purchase Kindle and Nook books from those stores but I also buy many ebooks from small publishers. In this case, I buy either directly from the publisher or from a retail store such as Fictionwise or AllRomanceEbooks & download either to my Android mobile or Nook. I also maintain a library on my computer using a library manager, Calibre. This software also saves ebooks in different formats, in case I want a book that's not available in a format for my Nook Color, I can save it to epub & load it with a USB cable directly from Calibre. If you purchase many ebooks (I have several hundred), I can't recommend Calibre highly enough.
  9. What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)? DRM limits the sharing and use of an ebook to a particular user agreement (usually one has to accept these terms upon opening an account with a store). For example, the Kindle (from Amazon) currently limits the number of devices allowed per one user account. The license for the ebook can be used on those allowed devices. For more information, see this article at Wikipedia. The intention of DRM is to protect the copyright holder of the work, in this case, the author (me). Whether this model does protect the copyright holder in actual practice, is debateable. All of my publishers have decided not to use DRM as it can complicate purchasing and use for the reader. However, if you buy one of my ebooks from a store which requires DRM, it will add it to the ebook. What does this mean? If you buy one of my ebooks from, for example, Amazon, the store adds DRM to the ebook. If you purchase direct from the publisher, it will be DRM-free.
  10. What story lengths do you write? Short story, novella, and novel length. The general length of these vary by publisher, but a good breakdown is Short Story: 1k-25k, Novella: 25-50k (this is approximately the length of one story in a three or four story anthology), Novel: 50k+.
  11. What's the deal with the sex? I believe that an integral part of any romantic relationship must involve sex in some way. Even if the people involved have decided on abstinence, the sexual relationship is there in at least the form of decision making and parameters. Sex is a part of life and a part of all relationships, whether a small or large part is dependent on the dynamics of the partners in question. But it's a fact of life and in writing, I've chosen not to close the doors. It's the characters in my stories that lead me to decide how much to show, how explicit, etc. But the truth is that I love to read well-done sex scenes and thus, enjoy writing them.
  12. What heat levels do you write? I write sensual, hot, and spicy. In order of least hot to hottest. In sensual books, the sexuality is depicted in terms of emotion. The door isn't shut, but the details are fuzzy and the descriptions in the scene show the feelings and emotions of the characters. Hot scenes are fully described but use more accessible language. These scenes doesn't push boundaries. Spicy uses explicit language and the characters may push boundaries on the types of sexual acts, fully described.

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    ~ © 2009-17 Ella Drake
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