Listen on Apple | Stitcher | Spotify

Isabel Jolie is on Steam Scenes! This episode is all about fumbling first times, multiple orgasms, and re-writing Stephen King to get Happily Ever Afters! Plus we take a nostalgia detour and talk about all those awesome 80s tween/teen romance novels.

Connect with Isabel online:

http://www.isabeljoliebooks.com

https://www.instagram.com/isabeljoliebooks/

https://twitter.com/isabeljoliebook

https://www.facebook.com/isabeljoliebooks

You can grab a copy of Chasing Frost and her latest release Rogue Wave on Amazon.

 

Transcript

Elle
Isabel Jolie is joining us today! Isabel is the author of the newly released Chasing Frost novel. Isabel is an up and coming contemporary romance novelist who just published her fifth book and her first year of writing. Okay, if you’ve published five books, you’re a pro. You’re a pro. I don’t think you’re up and coming. You’re a pro. Isabel worked as VP of partnership marketing for Universal Studio in California and JPM Chase in New York. Ran online marketing for now forgotten.com, where she met her husband, and has an MBA from New York University and a degree in journalism from the University of Chapel Hill in North Carolina. She’s already on book three of her next series – you are prolific – making it her eighth book in the last 18 months and is incredibly embarrassed to hear the read out loud. She’s humbled and a little confused as to why she was asked to be on this program, but deeply honored. It’s because I kept seeing your book. And I was like, You know what? She’s fascinating me. And this book is fascinating me. Let’s invite her on. So Izzy, welcome to steam scenes.

Isabel
Well, thank you so much for having me. I’ve never done anything like this. So I hope that I can pull it off.

Elle
I love that we’re breaking your cherry. This is not safe for kids. So okay, I gotta I just, I’m like kind of Mind blown that you’ve written eight books in 18 months? That’s incredible.

Isabel
Well, yeah, I think it’s because I kind of when I started this, when I finally decided like, okay, I wanna, I want to really see how this can work. If I’m going to try to publish, I just kind of approached it as a business. And there’s, I don’t know, you know, I’m JA Haas. She has kind of a section on her site, it kind of teaches authors, and writer wannabes. And one of her big things that she teaches is to try and like just a) treat it like a business, and b) have a schedule. And I just kind of mapped out my schedule. And in the mornings, I’m writing. And in the afternoons, I’m editing and marketing. And it’s just kind of the evenings I read, because I love reading. And I think it all ties in. But like, I could tell you what I’m going to be working on a year from now, because I just kind of like mapped it out. And I know what I have to do each month and then my work goal.

Elle
I have a schedule, it’s definitely a lot looser than yours. I have a schedule. I’m like I write in the morning, I do marketing in the afternoon, you know, and I split it up, I go into the gym or something like that, right. But for you, it sounds like you actually down to you’re writing this book on this date on this morning for these many hours, right? Like, it sounds like you know exactly what book you’re going to be working on. Like, like you said, three months from today, you can tell me what book you’re going to be working on.

Isabel
Yea. It is kind of like that. I mean, I have, it’s kind of like two months, but I’m writing. And then there’s a month in between before I start a new project where I’m kind of planning and outlining and doing research.

Elle
Okay.

Isabel
And in that month, I’m also editing like I’m constantly editing. That’s one thing that I kind of felt like maybe I spent too much time on editing, like from a business perspective, I would say maybe me trying to like figure out how I can lower my editing time would be worthwhile. But I don’t know, maybe I’ll always have to edit for months on end.

Elle
Do you work with an editor too? And then so are you cut solely self editing?

Isabel
Am I What?

Elle
Are you working with an editor as well? Are you just doing this yourself?

Isabel
No, no, I do I have an editor. And actually, that kind of helps me with my schedule too, because she books pretty far out. And so I have her reserved her time reserved for my next two books. So it’s kind of also serves the deadline. Like I have to finish my edits and get it as ready as I can before send it to her.

Elle
I would love to do that. I’m just so afraid of not hitting the dead like I’m so afraid of giving myself like a deadline that I can’t meet that I don’t do it. So I love that you do it. How many words a day do you write?

Isabel
On average about 2000. Like, I’m not, I’m not one of those people like JA Haas writes, I think 10 to 15,000 words a day and I have no idea she does that. I would fizzle out.

Elle
Yeah, that’s kind of crazy. I mean, because I do find it pretty like you do get tired after about 2000 words.

Isabel
When I’m writing, it’s kind of like I’m in Daydream. mode, like, right, every thing around me kind of phases out. And then in this thing, I’m in the scene, and I’m working through that. And then I kind of like I need to go and like, do something else, which is why I think for me the editing a different piece in the afternoon and, you know, doing marketing tasks, which are, you know, when you’re self publishing, there’s always something that has to be done like that kind of it works with my brain that way.

Elle
Right? And they say, you know, you, you use a different brain for editing. So that’s why they say like, don’t they like, I know, some writers are, say, a different part of your brain, not a different brain. We don’t borrow somebody’s brain when we’re editing that would be great, but we don’t. There are some some people like edit as they go. But but we actually do use neurologically a completely different part of our brain to edit and something completely different to write.

Isabel
Now, if I tried to edit as I wrote, it wouldn’t work. For me. I need to like, I need to get through it, and then go back and be like, what was I thinking? This sounds stilted. This, like, you know, it’s like, I need to finish the scene, and then I can go back later.

Elle
So. Okay, so you have like, a really varied background, I mean, MBA from New York University. And that’s like a tough MBA program. I know people who have gone gone through it. And doing you know, I guess marketing, for Universal, I assume marketing for Chase as well.

Isabel
Yes.

Elle
You know, you’ve had like this whole kind of corporate career. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Was there a time where you said, you know, what, this corporate grind? I want to be creative like this, this isn’t doing it for me?

Isabel
Yeah, I think. Well, for me, as a kid, I was one of those kids who any given day, there was a different career I was fantasizing over, I have like, a lot of different interest. And at some point in high school, I had written something and I’ve really enjoyed writing it and had it done. Well, it did well enough, for some reason, like, I think I might have gotten an award or something that I showed it to my parents to read. And my dad was like, you know, you could write those books your mom likes to read it well. It wasn’t flattering because to him, like that was a waste of time. But in the back of my mind that kind of cemented, hey, this is one of the potential avenues. And so I think it kind of stuck. And I went to journalism school, but I was also dabbling in psychology. And I couldn’t decide if I want to go psychologists like how I like the world, like I, you know, was one of those people who took 21 hours a semester, because like, I just couldn’t decide what I really wanted to do. And my dad told me, okay, if you’re going to be a writer, you need to go into publishing because you’re not going to make money writing, but you want to own a publishing company. Like that was kind of my dad’s business mentality. And that was kind of where he was coaching me.

Elle
Do we have the same Dad?

Isabel
So I took an internship at the Oxford University Press, which is somewhere near Carey.

Elle
Super academic too, we might add.

Isabel
And I also was doing an internship at like an advertising place. And so it was kind of like, trying to figure out what I want to do. So went out one weekend, or a few days for an interview in New York, because Oxford University Press, my boss, my internship boss, had kind of got me an interview in New York. And I met with all these people who were in publishing. And they all seemed completely miserable. Like, life sucked out of them, they just, no one looked happy at all. And then the advertising people had like energy and zeal. And like, if you could tell from the way they interacted, they liked each other. And they’re like, let’s go get drinks. I mean, it was just like this energy. And I was like, You know what, I think I’m gonna have what they’re having. And that kind of ended for me for a while, the whole idea of writing because I went down that advertising path.

Elle
That’s so funny, though, that you mentioned that, because you would sort of almost – because it’s true, like that’s the, you know, anybody who’s had… You know, my background is similar in terms of, you know, I’ve had a career in publicity and public relations and worked closely with marketing agencies and advertising agencies. And there was always a drinks there was always a party, there was always this there was always that. But the publishing houses which you would think would be all of these creative people, misery. A whole bunch of sad sack people. I mean, like, I’m God, no, no, they don’t listen to this. But if they did, like, I’m sorry. But mostly, I’m sorry that you all seem so profoundly unhappy.

Isabel
And they get paid less.

Elle
I Yeah, and I wonder if there’s a correlation there.

Isabel
When I first moved to New York, I still had to wait tables at night, just to like, yeah, eat, you know, do I mean, but, like, if I had been in publishing, it would have been like that many more hours, I was having to like, wait tables in order to like,

Elle
You would have had tables for like, the first 15 years of your career, if you were in publishing. I mean, it’s extraordinary how, how poorly the publishing industry pays. And that goes for journalism, too. I mean, you know, I mean, my first job out of grad school was as a beauty and – laugh real hard everyone – fashion editor. And, and it was, it was, you know, it was the 90s. But it was very, very hard to live on that salary in New York.

Isabel
My dad wasn’t wrong when he said, like, you will starve as a writer like, I mean, you know, although part of me is like, well, dad, if you could have seen the advent of Amazon, it would have been really good for me to have been writing right about. But I mean, anyway. So but I put it behind me and I, when I say I put it behind me, I went hardcore, like no more that I read fiction, I only read books that would improve my mind. And it was all about business business business.

Elle
You and I are not only do we have the same Dad, it’s like you’re me. We are the same person, ladies and gentlemen, I am doing this interview with myself.

Isabel
So it means that that was that was I think, and then, the founder of an ad agency, I work for started up dotcom and he brought me over. And you know, I had always been that person who was raising my hand for like, can I? Do you have anything extra for me to do before I left, like I was like, total, you know, nose to the grindstone kind of person. And when I went to work for thedotcom, it was like, by the age of 28, I had like, 40 people working for me, and it was the kind of thing that would have never happened in any other industry only in a dot.com where everything is insane. And I was just my life was that and then the bubble burst. And when it burst, I was midway through my MBA, which my company was paiding for. And you know how expensive NYU is. So I looked around and everybody’s out like, like, every day someone else was like going, I mean, it was just like, the end of the world. In Manhattan, at least.

Elle
I remember that. I remember that. Oh, do I remember that?

Isabel
I remember looking around. I was like, Alright, so where can I apply and that was financial services. They were like banks were the only ones who are hiring. And I went and I figured I was gonna be unemployed for a while. I had no hopes. And just I was thinking, trying to figure out what loan I could take. And I went in for this interview with this man who I owe him so much. He too, had worked full time for his MBA. And I remember I was just sitting there and they interview and I was a few minutes late, because I got lost. And I was just like, Oh my God, he’s gonna like, kick me out. But we started hitting it off. And then he’s like, so wait, you have like a week to pay NYU. I was like, yeah. He’s like, alright, well, we need to get paperwork process. Let me introduce you to your new boss, and let’s get this going. And I was just like, holy, you know, like, I mean, it wasn’t my dream job. But he offered, he matched my salary. It was the most insane experience. And then I was all about financial services. You know, finished my MBA and my, I actually my husband is younger than me. So he applied to UCLA’s business school player and that same man who I worked in his division, he was like, wait, it’s like, do you need to have a reason to fly out to LA for free. And I was like, yeah, that can work. So Universal became my client. And he moved me out of his division. So I could work on Universal.

Elle
What a wonderful mentor. Holy shit.

Isabel
I did it was kind of like this bizarre so much of it I owe to this one man on this one random interview that I had and and so I loved working for Universal, it was so much fun. I had like a parking spot on the backlot with my name on it, and I got to go to premieres. And we traveled, accepts global sponsorship. And, you know, I got to read scripts and look for movie placement opportunities, which very often actors or someone would object to so wouldn’t even come to fruition.

Elle
Welcome to the wonderful world of working with talent. Yeah.

Isabel
I mean, cuz, you know, these actors, like they have like the right to say, Now, I don’t want to be associated with that, and going on in the film, but whatever. So you kind of it was, but it was so much fun. And then I had a kid. And it was like, I don’t know if you’ve heard of like the 10 year nap. But that kind of , I guess you could say my nap started then because I was determined I was going to go back to work. And then I think I was just way emotional, I probably should have taken meds. I just I didn’t go back. And my dad was sick. And I’ve wanted so desperately to be on the East Coast. And when I was on maternity leave, my husband sold his company. And so we had options. And my brother lived in Charlotte. And we moved back here, and I became all about the kid and the baby. And then I had another baby, years later, and she had some medical issues. So it’s all about that. And then we finally kind of got heads out of the way, you know, life starting to return to normal. I started working with an internet company that my husband had created when I became a writer for like the study material doing that for him kind of ease back in, but I also started reading again and not reading things expand my mind, but reading things that I loved.

Elle
So reading for pleasure. So were you always a romance reader, or did you come to this later?

Isabel
I think I have. I mean, I definitely I went down the Stephen King path that went I had other things. But there’s always been to me, romance is what I’ve always loved. It’s just been always my favorite. I mean, even like, my husband and I recently, like last year, we watched The West Wing. So we just needed some Jed Bartlet in our lives. And I find myself now on season seven, I’m still waiting for Josh and Donna, these two characters to get together like seven seasons. And that’s what I’m really waiting for.

Elle
It’s so funny. Because I’ve talked to other romance writers, they do the same thing. Like if we’re watching something or reading something that’s not a romance. It’s like a thriller or whatever. We’re always looking for the romance angle that we never get. And it’s such a bummer.

Isabel
I’ll sit there and I’ll be like, okay, these two are supposed to get together. And when they don’t, I’m like.

Elle
And then you start rewriting it in your head. And you’re like, well, if I was doing this, I would. I would get these two together, and then they would break up this way, but then they’d come back and like it’s really kind of funny to live in my head when I’m like watching a movie that has absolutely no romantic elements whatsoever.

Isabel
Yes, well, I looked up Aaron Sorkin because I looked up to make sure that Josh and Donna did actually get together if I was gonna finish watching seventh season. And it I found on Wikipedia or something that it said that if he had to do it over again, and he would have had them get together in season two.

Elle
Oh my god, that’s so funny.

Isabel
Even Aaron, would redo it.

Elle
I love that you like were like, I don’t care about spoilers because I am a person that will flip to the back of the book to find out what happens. And it takes no joy from it. Like it does not impact my joy. In fact, it’s better because then I don’t have the anxiety.

Isabel
Yes, I don’t have the anxiety. And quite honestly, if I’m not gonna like the ending. And I don’t need to waste any more time with it.

Elle
Oh, well, that’s a good point. I still plow forward. I just like it’s almost like I have no, I reserve judgment. I have no judgment of how it’s gonna end. I just want to know how it’s gonna end. That’s it.

Isabel
Well, romance is my preferred genre. I have to admit the vast majority of the times it turns out okay,

Elle
Right. You always know. You’re always get the happily ever after.

Isabel
If I had read on West Wing, that they didn’t In fact, get together. I probably would not be finishing watching.

Elle
I was gonna say if you had read that there was no coupling there, you would have stopped watching, you’d been like, yeah, I’m not putting more any more time or effort into. Amazing, amazing. So do you remember the first romance novel you ever read?

Isabel
I don’t remember the first romance book that I read. But I remember the first one that I bought and it was PS I love You by Barbara Conklin. I think I was really into like, the Sweet Dream series, I think is what they called it. Okay, but junior level Harlequin kinda thing. And RWA would not classify it as a romance because it did not have an HEA like, he died. But I bawled. And I think that, you know, like, you hear about people who read love story in the seven days involved. And I kind of think this was like, the teenage version of that.

Elle
Good. I’m trying to remember like, I kind of hold on, let me see, I’m looking up the, I kind of remember this. I feel like I read that, but I don’t remember what it was about at all.

Isabel
Well it’s like he had cancer, and he died. And that’s what I remembered. I actually, I tried to get it because my fourth book, inspired by that, it was kind of like, What did she go on to do? kind of book. It was like, $80 on eBay, like, you can’t get an E book.

Elle
Yeah, I noticed that I just thought it was like, yeah, it’s like a gazillion dollars to actually get the thing. Even though the cover like I’m looking at the cover, and it’s like this, sort of like soft focus 80s teenager with like, almost like Brooke Shields looking and she’s got this. This Um, I don’t know. purpley pink kind of flowy shirt. And yeah, like, I totally know this cover. I’m sure I read this book. And but I don’t remember it. And I kind of remember the storyline of somebody dying of cancer. And I’m pretty sure I read it.

Isabel
I mean, I love that book. That’s like the first one that I remember that I was just taking in by.

Elle
Amazing. Oh, my God, you just jogged my memory. What? But it didn’t have the happily ever after? How did you feel about that?

Isabel
I mean, at the time, it didn’t bother me at all. You know, like, I was just so emotional. Or, you know, it didn’t bother me. And honestly, I would say that I don’t have to have happily ever after, although in my books, I would always include one. But you know, I will say like I read The Nightengale, have you read The Nightengale?

Elle
No, I have not.

Isabel
Alright, so there is not a happily ever after. And that book will just say that. And when I finished it, I was like, Are you kidding me? Like I just read 1200 pages for this to happen.

Elle
Somebody is angry. Oh my god. Google is totally taking me down the 80s book rabbit hole. Yeah, oh my god, I read this book too, Little Sister by Yvonne Green. This is amazing.

Isabel
And it’s kind of crazy that they haven’t brought those books back because I don’t know, I say that they probably do well, but they’re probably things that maybe would, I don’t know.

Elle
They are probably incredibly dated. Like they’re like, like, I feel like they would probably need a serious update. Have you ever gone back and re read books from that time?

Isabel
I haven’t. But it would be interesting to do that now that reading so much and, you know, writing and it would be interesting to see how different things were I had a writing instructor Lee Michaels. She’s published like over 100 books. Some of them are Harlequin. She is mentioned that some of the books that she wrote at the beginning of her career, she’s going back now and updating and they’re definitely stylistic changes she’s making. And you know, just trying to bring them up to speed with things like cell phones and the computer, you know, just little nuances. But it will be interesting to go back and read. I think that’s one of the things about contemporary that I love so much is that it’s really kind of a sign of the times.

Elle
Yes, yeah. And it’s really interesting. I actually have a book it was I guess it was my mom or my grandmother’s I don’t know how it ended up in our home library that I read when I was a kid and it was a got kind of a gothic romance called Castle of Terror. And it takes place on like this old castle on the craggy main coast. And it’s all very dramatic and amazing. And I reread it a few years ago because they still have the paperback and and I was like, Wow, this is so different. Just stylistically, you know, it definitely is sort of, like part of the part of the time, you know, and it slides into kind of like a little bit of a torture, titillating torture scenario, but but it’s not the heroine that participates is actually kind of horrific, and traumatizing to her. Because, you know, we didn’t, nobody wrote openly about like, BDSM or anything like that. Like, that just wasn’t, and there was no sex, like, there was definitely like, nobody was having sex in these books. They were very clean. Um, you know, it’s just very weird and interesting to sort of read. Again, you know, from from that time period, I highly recommend it if you have if you ever come across those books to like, grab it and read it, because it’s really interesting.

Isabel
Well, I think for some of my books, obviously, I need to find a less expensive source than the $80 on eBay.

Elle
That’s a lot of money.

Isabel
I wonder like, overdrive. overdrive might have Well, I don’t know, like, because if they were never electronic, they wouldn’t have it.

Elle
Your library might have it. But uh, you know, I think they purge books after a while too. So I don’t even know if you can find it in the library.

Isabel
Yeah. And the libraries. by me. They aren’t enormous. Like, yeah, they wouldn’t go back. I don’t think to like, the 80s. Like, I’m sure Love Story is still in libraries. Right?

Elle
Kind of iconic that one. So probably, I would, I guess I don’t know, I guess troll the old bookshops. Right. They used bookstores? I mean, you know, who knows? I mean, sometimes you just kind of discover these things. Right? So, okay, so you wrote a lot of books? Well, I’m assuming, you know, you did write a lot of books in a very short period of time. So I’m curious, like, where do you find your inspiration for these.

Isabel
When I first started this one, the first one, there’s, like, I have always had kind of like, played in the back of my mind with this idea of like, someone who left Chapel Hill and then years later, runs into her, you know, an ex. And I kind of like, just played with that storyline so much. And the rest of the books that I have really kind of came from some of the characters in that first block was just kind of brainstorming and thinking about, alright, so what would this person you know, what’s this person’s story going to be? And you know, when it just kind of all evolved and there was no plan to the series at all, and they’re all very different and that’s probably I think, I’ve definitely read advice columns that say not to do that. I will say I’ve had reviewers write that they love that, that they’re also different. No, I’m like, Yes. Because that’s kind of this actually I will say like if I’m reading a series and they all feel like the same thing I won’t finish the series like I kind of like it when they all do feel like they’re their own little book.

Elle
Yeah, cuz you have you have this one series. You know, just to bring everybody up to speed, it just fascinated me that you one book was like a rom com. One is this f you know, a thriller. One is suspense, slash intrigue, like they really, it’s so like, you’re really playing in the different genres within the genre of romance that I think is truly fascinating and really inspired. I mean, I know some writers, or some readers will only read paranormal romance, or they’ll only read rom coms, but I don’t know. I think the majority jumped around. They just want to read a romance.

Isabel
I mean, that’s, that’s the way I am I kind of jumped around. But I also kind of wanted just to explore and see what I enjoyed writing and see what kind of worked well and what didn’t. And so I wasn’t I definitely when I was coming up with the different ideas for the book. I was trying to not trap myself in to a box. I wanted to kind of continue doing something different. The characters kind of, to me kind of required that too because you know, I have like this one kind of young like goofy girl who’s like you know she’s just playing out her life, having fun and she’s not taking anything seriously and so you know that’s like to me when her story comes up like she’s got to you know it’s got to be when she meets someone it’s going to be by accident you know it’s not going to be like i don’t know. So i kind of i just had a lot of fun with that. For example like she actually dog sets and her the dog ends up at the bet and i had you know just fun coming up with like what happens with that and i think in a way that was kind of because when i was at that period of my life i dog sat and dog did not end up at the vet but it didn’t go well.

Elle
It obviously created a really great what if scenario for you to come to later which is so cool. But i’m curious apart from obviously you know the pivoting between the genres and having to almost like you know almost like a different writing style to a degree because rom com is very different from suspense because we’re all about the steam on this podcast how do you how do you feel that it it changed the way you wrote those steamy moments?

Isabel
i think it did and that the characters themselves what they’re going through is different and the situation is different. So in that regard yes and i’ve always had a beta reader who’s always like pushing me saying you know make sure everything is different between books. She’s always like this is similar to this you need to change this kind of feedback it’s great to have her as a beta reader but um i think that for the most part when it comes to the sex scenes it really ends up being a little different i mean definitely different between the different books because the characters are different. You know for me like when I sit down to like write a sex scene i’m just kind of like I zone out you know and it’s the characters to me it kind of just coming through what I’m imagining and what I’m envisioning and

Elle
When you wrote your very first one how did that go?

Isabel
Well the very first one and truth is part of a book that a version of my first book in the series that was edited and will never see the light of day. Like this sucks.

Elle
I mean were you like like we’re like okay i’m gonna sit down…so my very first sex scene that i wrote wasn’t i mean you know how do you define sex right that famous quote um so i was it was for it was not a romances for my urban fantasy which was my first genre i wrote on and and i felt like we needed a moment between them but i wasn’t sure what to do so it was like this weird like it was i don’t know to me readers were fine with it my editor loved it i still find it very awkward and terrible but whatever you know so so that was sort of it was really hard it was really really hard and so i’m just kind of curious like when you sat down you’re like okay here we go or is there any point where you were like I think I want to close the door or, you know second guessing it.

Isabel
I don’t think it was that tough when i was doing it it was more when I went back to it I was like oh my god this is really bad.

Elle
Do you remember what you didn’t like about it?

Isabel
Well for that book it was more like there were certain serious plot issues and then I think from the sex scenes perspective I really hadn’t brought enough of the character in. It was kind of like I think I was just too going on the motions and so I took some writing classes and like I kind of worked and tried to figure out what I needed change and studied things that I liked and you know so now and then I just try. Even now I will say that you know i just did my first audio book and the producer asked me if i wanted to listen i was like oh my god no i don’t want to listen to that!

Elle
It’s hard. It is so hard I find I struggle to listen, I actually struggle to edit. Because to self edit, because I hate my writing so much that I like when I’m rereading and re editing, like, sometimes I’m like, God, you’re so awful. What do you do? What Who are you kidding? And like, as like that, that little nasty little voice inside your head just like comes out. And this so hard to kind of like, overcome that. I mean, I’m sure the the lovely person who left a one star review is probably agreeing with me right now. But you know, it’s it is it’s, it’s hard to like sort of like leave the credit late leave, like that nasty critic behind and actually be an objective critic and say, oh, fix this. And, oh, just change that here. You know.

Isabel
Now that we’re talking about this, and thinking about the critic and the inner critic, when I first started, like, especially the first several books, I was using this site called Critique Match. And what really helped me with that, as I found other, you know, writers who we’d swap work, and I found a core kind of group of writers. And it helped me so much when they would like, read some of my sex scenes, and that comments would be like, Oh, this is so hot. This is so great. And so just getting that kind of feedback helped me say, okay, like, I don’t need to keep like editing this, like, it’s okay. You know, like, I can move forward, like, have some kind of positive feedback challenge a chapter helped.

Elle
And I think it also gives you the confidence that you need to keep going, you know, because I think that that’s, you know, particularly on the intimate scenes, because they are so revealing with the characters, and I don’t know, I pour, those are the hardest scenes for me to write, do you struggle with those two? Or? Or you’re like, no, that’s just, it’s just as easy as anything else that I’m working on.

Isabel
Um, you know, I can struggle, but for the most part, once I get going, I’m flying through until the end, until I’m like, wrapping up and thinking about, Okay, are they awkward? Are they happy? Like, what’s going on now? Like, they finish? What’s the, how are we wrapped? Like, then I’m kind of slowing down again. But for me, but then I have to get back and edit and be like, realize that I used hand like 20 times.

Elle
Or suddenly they have like, 16 legs between the two of them? Yes.

Isabel
It’s great. I’m saying I fly through it and get it done. And then I had to come back and be like, what would I change about this?

Elle
I’m super curious. Since you have written in all of these genres. Is there one that you prefer? Or are you happy to just keep skipping through through them?

Isabel
Since I have what?

Elle
Since you’ve written and all these different genres, so you have you’re rom or your thriller? Is there one that you’ve found that you prefer? Or are you just happy to keep skipping through them?

Isabel
Um, yeah, I probably find myself leaning towards romantic suspense. But I don’t know that. You know, I think it’s a little bit of a maybe tougher market, maybe. So, I don’t know my next series that I’m working on, which is the Haven Island series. It’s kind of more of a take from current events, kind of inspired by current events kind of series. Oh, but like, each kind of found like a nonfiction scenario, which I kind of like taught them spawn and thought about for each of those books, and that’s, none of those are, you know, romantic suspense. They just kind of play with different tropes. So I would say that probably, to me, the most fun to write is romantic suspense. I think romantic comedy is really hard.

Elle
Yeah, actually, I would. I would agree with that. Because I mean, it’s hard, tone is hard in writing to begin with. You know, I mean, everybody says that, like, you can’t judge a tone in an email. You can’t just atone on a tweet, you know, so imagine writing a book.

Isabel
And you know, and my, um, I have a really good friend too. She is an avid romance reader too and so we’re constantly comparing books and we talked about that you know there’s some romantic comedy writers out there that she and I read and we just cringe but they have huge followings and I suspect that romantic comedy is one of those things that might be region specific so like New York humor is one kind of humor and maybe midwest humor is something else and that maybe your readers and you’re following you don’t just get the humor always if it’s not from your region maybe.

Elle
That’s a really interesting point that i didn’t think about but you’re probably right i mean i certainly think it varies country by country. So like british humor is usually very dry you know so so i think that that’s a really interesting point and definitely something to think about

Isabel
So I don’t know because I mean I know too for like some people, like when i read the reviews some people think it’s great and it’s funny and this and that and then others are like mad and funny at all and i’m like that’s okay

Elle
So as he sent me a scene from her latest book in the West Side Series which is the series we have been talking about Chasing Frost and this is the fbi romance and this was just released at the end of January so i want to dig into the scene but could you set up where we are in the book for listeners so that you know a little bit about where we are in the characters because this is their the first moment that the characters getting together correct yes

Isabel
It is and then you know the tension between them has been kind of rising slowly like he’s tried several times and been kind of brushed off by her because she’s on a job. I mean her job is he’s the prime suspect and she doesn’t want to cross that line this is her first undercover role and she is like a great FBI agent one of the best in the field she’s great at her job but she’s it’s her first time doing this and so she’s a little uncertain on some things and so first time in this role of undercover and they have gone away for a wedding which just came about because her bowl and her role she was new to manhattan new to this company that he’s working for and you know this guy is the kind who brings you along and he’s introduced her to his friends so she’ll get used to new york and the friends were like come out to this wedding it’s like an iowa and it’s like in the backyard of the squirrels parents so it’s one of those things we’re bringing in a last minute guest didn’t matter and while she’s on this trip she gets essentially evidence that he’s not really the prime suspect and so that one wall that she’s been with is kind of holding up it’s kind of removed they still don’t know who is responsible but she’s still playing out this case and she thinks that you know come monday she’ll probably maybe never see him again because she’s going to go back to the fbi world but they’ve had like this romantic weekend this wedding weekend they’ve gone to this wedding and they’re coming back to hotel and it’s kind of like she’s at the point where she’s had a little bit to drink and she’s like just ready and he’s totally stoked he’s like oh my god like she’s actually interested in it.

Elle
Cool okay so um and her name is Sydney and what’s his name?

Isabel
um he is chase chase

Elle
Rhat’s right Chase and Ssydney

Isabel
Sydney has her undercover name and that’s what he knows her as in

Elle
Oh of course that makes sense okay. And now I want to kiss her. All over. The elevator door closes, blocking out the rest of the world. I press our floor number and step forward, crowding her up against the wall, my body pressed to hers, like I wanted to do all night. This woman is intoxicating. I have the smallest of tastes, dipping my tongue, testing the waters, before the elevator jolts and the doors open. We stumble out together, laughing, but by the time I’m turning the key in our door, there’s no humor between us. No, we both know what’s coming. There’s been a current of energy between us the whole night, with every soft touch, every glance. It’s on the tip of my tongue to reassure her that we can go at her speed. To tell her I don’t have any expectations, just because we’re sharing a bedroom. To tell her I don’t want to do anything that makes her uncomfortable when she closes the distance between us. Our lips smash together, and she pushes my jacket off my shoulders. Our kiss is manic, hot, an explosion of all the energy that’s been simmering between us. She backs me toward a bed, ripping at my shirt, pulling it out of my pants. It’s a fucking dream. Her hands are on my belt buckle as I grip her ass, rubbing her against my wicked hard erection, when she pauses to ask, “Do you have a condom?”

I love this. I love how this moment kind of changed lightning fast for them. In this sort of like, you know, these couple of paragraphs, but I’m totally here for it. Because there is just like such a lead up of the tension in the elevator, right? And then we can sort of clearly see there’s like a mark, we can clearly see when the tension gets cut. And it’s like, they just go for it. And so I was hoping, like, Can you tell me more about like, this moment, like, you know, where did it come from? What led you to it?

Isabel
I think it was just, you know, I wanted to show that she was taking charge. And that’s kind of her personality. And so, to me, it was just much more about, you know, he’s been interested in her he’s been a little insecure about it. And it was just, you know, her taking over and him being totally turned on by it, you know, and he wasn’t the kind of guy who maybe would have ever thought he wanted a woman to take charge. But he’s completely turned on when she does.

Elle
Right, right. I just really loved it because I just loved how you can see right where that tension gets sliced. And I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that. Or at least that I’ve noticed that and any books that I’ve read where you’ve got tense, tense, tense, and then you just see that moment where goes shoom and they’re just going for it, which I think is so cool. Okay, the next little bit.

Sydney stands before me in a black lace silk bra and the sexiest matching black thong I’ve ever seen. Her stomach is flat, taut, and her breasts curve, round and erect. I fist them, dipping my head to suck and nip, making her moan. Her palms press hard against my chest, and she shoves me back on the bed. I lift onto my elbows to watch as she grips my trousers and boxers and pulls them off. They get stuck on my damn dress shoes, but it’s not a problem because within seconds she’s slipped them off and I’m naked except for black dress socks. She climbs up on the bed, straddling me, and she’s looking at me like I’m the slice of cake she refused to eat but really wanted at the reception tonight. And I like it. I like every single thing about this.

The dress shoes, I’ve loved that. I love that we’re in this middle, like in the middle of the super erotic moment. And, and then it’s like, Oh, snap error, error stops. And I love it. When these foibles get, I mean, this is something that I don’t do well and I need to be more conscious of like, you know, we these, these are what makes the scenes really sing true, right? These moments of your pants gets you know, you forget you don’t take your shoes off because you’re in such a hurry and then your your pants get stuck or, you know, your bra snaps or you know, you can’t get it, you’re wearing a sports bra. So you’re trying to pull it off, you can’t get it up, you know, like all of these moments that are absolutely ridiculous and hilarious and always happen when you’re about to like get busy.

Isabel
In reality, there’s no way to take off a sports bra in like a smooth way.

Elle
The shoulder always gets frozen. You’re stuck.

Isabel
Yeah, definitely, like break my elbow half the time you know, I mean, it’s like so

Elle
You know, TMI moment, the first time the man I married and I got together like, you know, I have had our first intimate moment like, I don’t know what the hell we were doing, but he ended up like throwing me on the bed but like he overshot and I just skidded off the bed and onto the floor. I mean, this shit happens. Curious when you wrote that, like, is that something you’re consciously thinking about? Or is it just something that you’re able to naturally do because I don’t naturally do it my sex scene they’re always so perfect and Like, and you know, and I have to sort of like, stop and look back and be like, ain’t nobody has sex like that honey.

Isabel
That’s the fantasy, right? And so I think you have to balance that. Like, I mean, I had yet to read a scene where I’m sure there have been a few, but almost all of them the woman always orgasms, right? proud, right full times, like I mean, there’s a there’s an element of fantasy that you want to pull in there. But I think I used to like, try and just go for all perfect. And then a comment, someone commented maybe one of my critique partners, I can’t remember. But um, they kind of come to like, really, they pulled off the leggings, like in one swoop. And you know, and just like, you know, kind of try and make it real. And that comment kind of, to me, I’m always like, you know, what, let’s, you know, let’s add in some, like some of what would really be going on? Because, you know, I mean, there are like little things. I mean, I don’t think anybody their first time, it’s like, in reality, it goes perfectly. Like I just think that in people I think appreciate a little bit of the rail coming on.

Elle
There’s a lot of fumbling, that go, you know, a particularly when you’re first time with somebody, right, like, you don’t know each other, you don’t know how the other person moves you don’t you know, so I think that those, you know, that that sort of, you know, stumbling is important. Yeah, and I don’t do it, or I don’t do it enough. And I need to do it more. I mean, that’s, this is just my mental note mental note to self meant. Because I do think it just bring it bring so much more I you know, and not only reality, but it does ground the characters to and it gives them some endearing, you know, because they’re not perfect, and neither are we. And it’s nice to see that these characters that we’re reading that we think are so beautiful. And so and and we’re so captivated by them that, you know, they take their pants off one leg at a time, too. It’s kind of nice to know, it’s nice to hear, it’s nice to read that sort of the reminder that we get.

Isabel
Yeah, no, I mean, I think that’s good. And I think, um, you know, it’s, it does, I think it also allows like a little bit of the character to come out. And to mix in.

Elle
So I know, you probably don’t remember, like, at that particular moment, but are these the things that you like, kind of layer in afterwards, like you’ve already sort of like dashed off, you’ve written it, you’ve done your lightning fast writing, and then you you’re going back, and you’re going back over it, again, are these the things where you’re not going to get it in the first draft, but you’re going to put in after when you go back for the rewrite?

Isabel
Um, sometimes, I mean, you know, sometimes, like, there’s the scene that I was just editing for one of my upcoming books, and it was just kind of, it was something that just wasn’t going well with me and that sexy and, and I kept going back to it. And I realized, you know, hey, you know, she needs to be like, in this situation, if he’s understanding her, she needs to be on top, you know, so it’s like, sometimes, like, I’ll think about what I want the character evolution, what the relationship evolution needs to be. And I’ll go back and I’ll, if I don’t think I hit that, but I’ll go back, and I’ll revise and it’ll like, kind of change. Structurally, some and I’ll, or sometimes I’ll think, you know, I, I flew by this too quickly, I need to add more in.

Elle
That’s actually a really good sort of point, like the idea of and I’ve talked about this too, with other writers that these intimate moments are actually really about the evolution of characters in their relationship. And so that is one way to also differentiate the scenes.

Isabel
And you know, to me, like if you take the all time to me the all time, biggest book that changed the industry for us 50 Shades like everybody snickers over and like I have a friend who’s like, way too much sex. Of course, I’m like, all right, all right. But if you actually look like if I did go back to get an MFA, I would write a paper on this, I would study this and like, prove it to everyone, that every single sex scene and that first book, there’s big character evolution going on, because he’s dealing with what is essentially a mental illness. And he’s had years of therapy, but he’s adapted like opening himself up. And with each scene, she does a little bit more things that he’s never done before. And like you can actually go sex scene by sex scene and see how he is in a way healing. Um, I mean, she’s the virgin that’s like the virgin romance trope, but he’s the one who has, you know, he has his first missionary acts. I mean, it’s like all of these things. And in thinking about that, I think that there’s something to be said for that, because she wouldn’t have made 65 million off of a book that was just a sex thrown together. Yeah. Like everyone was really whether they realized that or not, I think picking up that there was more going on in those scenes, and the whole BDSM that was kind of like, you know, it’s just a layer that captured, you know, it was a nice layer to add on it. But, you know, it’s kind of like dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. It’s like a nice layer. But the story underneath it was still there as what was coming outwith each.

Elle
Actually let that’s, that’s actually the best explanation that I’ve heard about the book, and I believe it or not have never read it.

Isabel
No, how have you not read that book?

Elle
Yeah, I have not read it. You know, partly because it came under a lot of criticism. And I was like, ah, then I don’t need to read it. There are other writers that I can read. But now that you’re sort of describing it to me, I am going to go back and I’m going to pick up a copy and read it. Because I I’m finding this really, really fascinating, and it’s conversation that I’m actually having with another writer who, who writes in the BDSM world. And so, you know, this looking at the BDSM moments as healing as a way to heal trauma and stuff like that. And nobody’s ever said to me, that’s what’s happening in 50 shades. And so now, now I want to go take a look.

Isabel
And I also like, the first one and her perspective, you pick up on it, but then the first one in his perspective, you really see it, because then you see, I actually like his perspective better, but you really see how much is going on with him. And how much he is those, those intimate scenes are helping him to resolve so many issues from what was essentially abuse, you know, as a very young child, and then as a team. So it is kind of, I think it’s kind of fascinating, and I do think that someone could step in and say that BDSM is often something that people who have actually experienced abuse, kind of lean towards as a way to deal with some of those emotions.

Elle
Yeah, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, because I’m, I’m actually taking a class that that is that really, it’s, it’s, it’s intimacy, coaching, which I’m not going to do, but it just works well with the the romance writing. And there was, you know, in our, in our module on trauma and fantasy, on fantasy, there’s actually very direct correlation between fantasy and trauma. And oftentimes, you know, victims of trauma actually then turn that trauma into a fantasy. And it becomes part of their, their sexual fantasy world. And that’s actually very healing place for it to, you know, place to go with because they’re because they’re finally able to control that narrative. Yeah, so So yeah, it’s it’s really pretty fascinating.

Isabel
Your intimacy class sounds really interesting.

Elle
Yeah, it’s very cool. It’s very cool. It’s it’s a little strange, a little awkward. I’ve never done anything like this. Um, you know, like, but but it’s really cool. I’m definitely learning a lot and it’s making me rethink some things which I think is you know, I mean, that’s why we’re here right. So okay, one little bit I want to to read here that I really, I really loved.

I slam against her, then slow and rise, using my thumb to stroke her clit, to bring her to the edge with our gazes locked on each other. She moans and arches her back. “Right. There.” A thin layer of perspiration coats her skin, glistening in the streetlight through the window.

Are you coming and she breaks with a quiver milking my cock and I let it go Never breaking my gaze, memorizing her face as it distorts and ecstasy her lips open when Brian I collapse onto her and kiss are enveloped in her warm it’s a slow kiss a grateful kiss I’m in awe for it being our first time and for us barely knowing each other sex with Sydney is pretty fucking stellar. “Are you coming?” And then she breaks with a quiver, milking my cock, and I let it go, never breaking my gaze, memorizing her face as it distorts in ecstasy, her lips open, whimpering. I collapse onto her and kiss her, enveloped in her warmth. It’s a slow kiss, a grateful kiss. I’m in awe. For it being our first time, and for us barely knowing each other, sex with Sydney was pretty fucking stellar.

Okay so this is like really cool and I I really loved that. You slid in that thing about the perspiration coating or skin and how it glistens through the window and it’s right in the middle of her climax. Pretty much. And it could have broken the momentum, but it did not. It could have been like, there would have been like, you know, I think my immediate place would just let her come right? Let her have that moment, but to sort of like slow it down and hit on like one. Like, you know, one, one element that is, you know, that really just sort of paints a bigger picture of what that looks like, in the moment is really kind of cool. And so I’m curious again, was this? Was this something that you were cognizant of when you did it? Or were you just like, now I’m like it, you just kind of like, wrote through it and just kind of came out?

Isabel
I’d have to say, I probably wasn’t that cognizant of it.

Elle
Okay.

Isabel
I mean, I definitely, and honestly, I edited this so many months ago to write, it’s hard to remember. And now it’s kind of hard to remember exactly what I added to it or not edited, because I definitely, I mean, I go back, and when I’m editing, I’ll set aside like, a week where I just focus on going back and editing my sex scenes. So I’m in that mindset, and, you know, I’m trying to like, look at what I need to do. And I’m double checking that I’ve crossed off what needs to happen, what needs to be communicated emotionally, and you know, that I’m like, checking every little thing on it.

Elle
I’m actually in awe of your system, right? Like, I love that you have this one week that you set aside specifically just for editing the sex scenes, not even editing, just the book, it is actually just editing those specific, intimate scenes?

Isabel
Yeah, I do. I mean, because I have, like, I’ll do the read through edit. And then I go back through, and I edit, just because I like dual POV, it’s kind of, I’ve just gravitate to that. I’ll do one edit, where I’m just editing his chapters, and making sure that the voice is coming through and that, you know, none of the words he says are used by her. And you know, I’m kind of like just fine, toothcomb. And then I’ll go through just her chapters. And I kind of, but my editing, like I said, my editing process takes a long time.

Elle
I’m curious, because I don’t right dual point of view, I think I don’t think I’m good at the male point of view, I or I’m not comfortable enough with it, where I feel like I could do it. And I’ve tried, I’ve tried. And one of the things that always sort of trips me up is the balance between the voices. How do you know? I mean, how do you how do you know that you’ve got it? Right? You know, because I know so many writers who, like some writers just alternate the chapters, some writers, you know, write the sand from one point of view than the other point of view some, some writers, it’s just kind of like, you know, they don’t, there seems to be no pattern with with the changing point of view. And I’m sort of wondering how you approach it?

Isabel
I don’t know, first off, I don’t know if I do it, right. But the way I do it is I took you know, like when you take character writing classes, it’s about kind of really thinking about the character almost as if you’re like, an actor, and trying to act like that character. And, you know, I don’t think men, yes, there are certain rules of thumb with men, like they’re not going to sit there and notice, most men are not going to notice brands and certain things like that. I mean, like, you can kind of make a checklist of like, things that guys won’t do that women might. But for me, it’s just going in and just trying to get in their mind. And I think to some extent, at certain times in my life, I have had a very male attitude to you know, like, during those years, when I was all about work, I was very much someone who came into a meeting, like, I didn’t want to know what you had for breakfast, like I had a gazillion things going on, I needed to get, um, you know, I needed meeting to end on time I needed to move on to my next you know, meeting I and kind of I think that a lot of times when I’m writing men, I try to pull from that experience where I was so much just about, you know, the next protective not thinking so much about the other people. isn’t necessarily fair. I mean, you know, I think there are some men who are probably very much thinking about being girly. But I think that for each character to it’s different, you know, it’s just trying to get in there has if you’re an actor, you know, I mean an actor. You know, William Shakespeare, the men played the women. I think that women can play men, you know, it was just a matter of getting in their head.

Elle
Right, That’s, that is true.

Isabel
Although I am curious, like, when I see like Serena Bowen, she does really well male male. Okay, I find that to be curious, like, how she’s so good. I mean, you know, like, you could do research porn, etc. Like, I mean, you can, I’m impressed by that.

Elle
So what’s what’s next for you? What’s coming up?

Isabel
Um, well, I’m working on the Haven Island series, which is a fictionalized version of Bald Head Island. And then I’m trying to decide right now what I’m going to do for the next series for 2020. But that’s, I’m preparing right now my next release is going to be its Rogue Wave. And it’s an age gap romance.

Elle
Oh, wow. Cool. And when is that coming out?

Isabel
That will release April 13.

Elle
Oh, wow. Amazing. I love that you’re sort of like all planned out to 2022 like that. I’m like, that’s just incredible. I’m kind of Mind blown. And I think that I need to start taking your approach. I’m just so afraid of like, missing deadlines or whatever. Like, I’m just like, No, you can’t, you can’t, you can’t, you can’t. And I think that that’s I kind of love the way that you’re doing it.

Isabel
It’s in my calendar in pencil. And I will like if something comes up, like I can make adjustments, but one of the good things about playing it out month by month, is that I can kind of see when I go in to plan the week, what I really need to get done. Right, it helps me prioritize, and I am pretty steadfast on blocking off my writing time. Like I used to let things you know, if someone said, Let’s go play tennis, maybe I go do that. But now I’m pretty diligent now about this is my writing time, I have to do that. Like I’ll have more flexibility on my afternoons. But I think that when you have it all planned out, you kind of see where every how everything feeds in, at least. It’s, it’s helpful. And then it’s kind of like, you know, three months later, you’re like, Whoa, look at all I’ve done.

Elle
So do you. I mean, I’m just kind of curious, do you do you have a set amount of time? Do you go by time? Or do you go by word, so like, you’re gonna sit down and you’re gonna write until you get your 2000 words, or you’re gonna sit down for two hours or however many hours and you’re going to get what you’re going to get, like, how does that work?

Isabel
I go more by time, I sit down, and I’m writing and then like, some days, like if I only got 1000 words, because maybe I decided I needed to research something or maybe I stuck like, okay, at least I got 1000 and some days, I’ll get 3000. So 2000 will be like a rough goal. Okay, I’m pretty gentle with myself. But um, you know, I, I do what I, I have a scene that I plan to cover each morning. And but when I finish at the end of the day, before I stop, I think about where I’m going to start the next day. So when I slow down, I kind of already know exactly what I need to write and what’s going on.

Elle
Okay, so it’s a little a little bit of pre planning.

Isabel
Yeah. When I finish, I kind of I know in my head, like what needs to go but if I don’t write it down, and I don’t kind of like say make notes, then I might not really remember it might feel like I’m sitting down fresh, which is an ideal, like, you know, it’s better for me to come in with my coffee and be like, okay, what’s going on? Let me get my head into the scene and then kind of go

Elle
So how many how many hours do you dedicate to writing every morning?

Isabel
Um, say I mean maybe 15 hours. is actually writing and then i’m probably doing it out that and editing

Elle
Okay

Isabel
And then of course there’s other things that are going on too and

Elle
And then and then when you’re done with your writing like when do you do your outline?

Isabel
What was that?

Elle
when do you do your outlining process is that because you said that was a whole month and is that you’re you’re not writing anything you’re not editing anything you’re just working on the outline?

Isabel
Well on my outline process, i’m researching the aspects like i’ve usually give myself a month schedule that down and if i’m writing during that month it’s more like the bonus epilogue or it’s you know something small that i’m just kind of that i still have to do acknowledgments or something like that right and then but um i feel like when i look at my schedule i always have something that it is like some piece of something that needs that a day and and i once told my editor i was like you know i feel like i could pick up anything because i do once i finish something i like to set it aside for several weeks before i pick it back up right i told her that i feel like i could go through this editing and pick up i would always say something else that i need to improve and she said that yeah that she has because she’s also a writer and she said you know that she feels that way and lee michaels who’s written 100 books that you know there are things that she’s written and that at the time she was really proud of and she goes back to and she’s like oh my god this needs that a day in our business you know and i kind of feel like maybe that’s just normal

Elle
Yeah editing is like laundry it’s never ending.

Isabel
so like to me like once you hit publish it’s like alright that’s behind me i’m not going to go there anymore and let’s just focus on forward.

Elle
Yeah you got to let it go at some point and you know it’s never gonna be perfect as much as we want to say it’s perfect and you know if we waited for perfect we’d never get books out

Isabel
now and you know what sometimes i’ll read some books like five traditionally published authors who are critically acclaimed and if i come across like a typo or something that just really doesn’t make sense i highlight it just to like tell myself like even they made a mistake.

Elle
Yeah it’s okay it’s okay

Izzy where can people find you on the internet?

Isabel
um they can find me at instagram account which i’m pretty active in and i have a twitter account although i don’t tweet that often i follow and i do have a facebook account that i post on there but i’ll be honest i’m not very active on facebook

Elle
So Instagram is where you live Instagram

is it was such a pleasure to meet you i feel like we’re kindred spirits

Isabel
well that actually is a huge compliment to me i’m like so impressed with you. You’re writing and you wrote rock star romances and like and they’re cool ass women and you podcast i mean you’ve done I’m very impressed

Elle
Thank you that yeah the.com bust in new york destroyed the work that i was doing with musicians but now because back then you could get tons and tons of really great online there were all these really great online publications and that were covering all sorts of music and different music and independent music in particular and it was really sort of like that at the time that like the white stripes were coming up and the strokes like new york in particular downtown new york lower east side music was having this sort of renaissance rock’n’roll renaissance and it was such a great time to be working with musicians and and then boom and and and everything all the money disappeared and all the outlets disappeared and a lot of venues started closing and and i stopped working with the musician so it’s been kind of cool to kind of revisit that with these with this series and revisit that that vibe you know that sort of rock and roll vibe that was going on.

Isabel
It’s really i mean we say technology has really evolved publish it and it’s kind of fascinating to see how book publishing as well but i don’t i have not had much to do with the music industry but i feel like that industry has just it’s night and day the way they make money now versus how they used to because of technology i mean i don’t know the last time i bought a cd or

Elle
Yeah the evolution of the music industry and sort of like the music Industry always gets it and gets hit first, and kind of gets hit hardest. And so we can always learn. If you’re in like another arts focused industry, you can always learn, look to the music industry to learn from them, you know, because, you know, with streaming services and, and back in before the.com bust, you know, there was still a very traditional way of discoverability for new bands. It was like, there were no streaming platforms except for Napster. So, if you were streaming music, you were stealing it. Um, you know, there really wasn’t an easy, there weren’t a lot of places to sort of buy mp3, you kind of had to buy the CD and rip it yourself. Um, but there was still this sort of, like, you know, we were still relying on the traditional media to give you some exposure, give your band some exposure, and there were this was still, you know, you still had the city papers, and the village voices and the LA weeklies, like, there were still Alternative Press out there that were writing, and there was, there were music, blogs, and music focused websites that were pretty influential. I mean, this is where Pitchfork came out of, really, you know, and now they’re, they’re one of the most influential public, you know, web publications in the space. I remember when they started coming up. Um, but now it now it’s really completely different. You just put yourself on YouTube, and you can get a you know, and you can and your career can take off, or, you know, a sample, you know, on Spotify or something like that. It really it really is. It really is kind of amazing to see that evolution and pretty fascinating.

Isabel
And if it isn’t, I mean, it seems to me that it’s so much harder for the musicians to make money. I mean, like, yeah, like, perform that. Yeah, like this small band starting now. That’s a rough life.

Elle
I mean. Yes. And no, I mean, I think that there are also more opportunities. I mean, music licensing back then, when I was working with bands was actually a really big deal. And one of the bands that I worked with their sort of claim to fame, they had a, they had a license, a song licensed on Dawson’s Creek. And that was, you know, they didn’t make big money, but it was something you know, and I think now, I am hearing a lot more about musicians who are getting their, their music licensed. And that’s still like a big, you know, financial funnel. A touring, I mean, you know, that’s the thing, like, you’ve got to like the grind, right. And it’s not only touring to clubs, this was something that was kind of novel back then that one of the bands that I was working with was doing, but now it seems to be something that more and more bands are doing, particularly if you’re like working in that adult alternative folk genre, you can do living room concerts, and so you have fans that are, let’s say, you know, you can sort of like, figure out your network of fans across the country, and you just go living room to living room. And these people sort of have like these parties, in their homes where the artists perform, and they crash on the couch or in a spare bedroom and the you know, and they’re hosted basically, and they charge their friends to come in, or I don’t know exactly how it works, I don’t remember how it works. And then they give that money to the band as sort of like the quote unquote, cover charge. You know, so it’s, it’s kind of like, if you can build a network of super fans, you can actually have a really great career. Wow. Yeah. But it’s like, it’s about building a network of super fans, and you won’t be necessarily really famous, you know, but there are other ways. So where it’s become harder in some areas, it’s actually I think, opened up other opportunities. You know, you just have to kind of know where to find them. You know, kind of not unlike publishing, really?

Isabel
Yes, yeah. I feel like publishing, it’s kind of fascinating to me to see that. The change. Yeah, I kind of part of me wishes I had taken that traditional publishing path. So I could maybe be the woman with my flapping arms going, we have to change and stop acting like a dinosaur.

Well, thank you so much for having me on, really, so much. It’s been fun. It was super fun. Thank you. Hopefully, at some point, when COVID is over, there will be various, I don’t know, trade shows, groups, conventions, whatever it may be, we’ll cross paths and get to

Elle
We can actually meet in person. Imagine that.

Isabel
Like I felt like that. We are like in that point where that is that ability to connect with others and to network is greatly hampered right now.

Elle
Yes, it absolutely is. So hopefully, we’ll get back to the you know, get back to being able to be in physical places together again soon.

Isabel
Yes, that well. Thank you.

Elle
Thank you.