How long have you been writing?

10 million hours. No, not really but sometimes it feels like it!

In elementary school, my fourth grade teacher entered me into a local contest. I submitted a short story and got to attend a writing “conference” at one of the universities in town. I was hooked.

Then in college I majored in English (Go Heels!) and landed a few publishing internships. But it wasn’t until the fall of 2015 while I worked as a career coach at a small liberal arts university that I began seriously pursuing my fiction writing. I would wake up at 5:30am to write. Yes, there was A LOT of coffee involved. No, I am NOT a morning person.

Now, I split my time between career coaching and writing, focusing on steamy contemporary romances that hit all their key performance indicators.

Where can I find your books?

I will keep you posted! Right now I’m pitching an adult contemporary romance BIG PRICK ENERGY to agents.

What are some books about writing that have helped you?

So many. I’m grateful for the writers, editors, and agents who have written these gems:

The Business of Writing by Jane Friedman

Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes

On Writing by Stephen King

Nathan Bransford’s Blog

Where can I find you online?

Follow me on Instagram @ewalk_illig for the most recent updates.

Where do you get your ideas?

Man, everywhere. My first novel (which is now in a drawer) came from the idea of American expansionism. The beginnings of SKULL AND KEY, a YA fantasy, popped into my head while watching the Social Network on Netflix. I kept thinking about a society that became divided because of “made-up” stories, one side believing one thing, the other believing another. To me, storytelling is magic. It can unite, persuade, divide, and inspire. So, I thought what if it actually were a magical talent? And that’s where SKULL AND KEY came from.

How do you come up with character names?

This is really tough for me. I scour baby name sites. I Google last names. Sometimes I put names together that I like from other stories, books, or TV shows.