I am so thrilled to interview my friend, Elodie Colliard today! Elodie’s debut novel The Last Encore is out now & I can’t wait to talk to her about her writing style, self-publishing, and our shared love of The Vampire Diaries.
About the Author: Elodie Colliard
Originally from France, Elodie moved to Montreal, Canada in 2014 to pursue her studies in politics.
An avid reader since her childhood, it wasn’t until 2021 that she rediscovered her love for books, especially romance novels. Because she never does anything half hearted, Elodie has shared her love for reading with other book lovers on her Bookstagram (@elosreadingcorner) where she has found an incredibly supportive and inspiring community.
When she’s not immersed in reading or analyzing public policies during her workdays, you can find Elodie baking sweets for the whole neighborhood, cuddling with her cats or behind her keyboard, trying to create a world and love stories that everyone can dream of.
Synopsis for The Last Encore by Elodie Colliard
Avery Clark needs a break. Between her photography business not doing as well as she’d hoped and incessant family drama that does nothing to ease her spiking anxiety, she needs something to go her way.
And that was even before her ex-best friend, and talented pianist, Joshua Harding, ran into her during an event in Toronto, after he left her suddenly ten years ago, breaking the only promise he had swore he wouldn’t.
When an opportunity to grow her business falls into her lap, Avery decides to put her doubts and resentment aside and agrees to photograph Josh’s sister’s upcoming wedding.
As they spend more and more time together, rediscovering each other and the people they turned into, Avery realizes that maybe, the spark she felt ten years ago wasn’t just a fleeting teenage phase.
But the past is never far away, and an unknown future is terrifying. Could Avery take that leap of faith?
Author Interview: Elodie Colliard
Elodie, I’m so excited to talk to you today about The Last Encore, your debut novel – out now! Thank you for joining me for this author interview. Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind The Last Encore?
The Last Encore was born after I read Beach Read by Emily Henry, which really inspired me to start writing my own story. And it was really important for me to have the story set in Canada and I’ve always loved Toronto so it was a no-brainer to have it there. For the story in itself, I drew from my personal life and from what I enjoy reading the most in romance.
Avery, a talented photographer, has to work through her own anxiety and hurt to take advantage of a job opportunity to help her business. Can you tell us more about Avery?
Avery is a lot inspired by me. She deals with anxiety daily and learns to cope with it, which also makes it hard for her to focus on one thing, her brain is always spiraling into a million thoughts and scenarios. She loves fiercely and without restraint, wears her heart on her sleeve but she got burned in the past because of it, so she gets more selective over who she gives her love to now.
Avery’s ex-best friend, Joshua broke a promise to her ten years ago. They cross paths as adults when Avery agrees to photograph his sister’s upcoming wedding. Can you tell us more about him?
Josh is a very sweet guy, a cinnamon roll hero if you will, who is always trying to do the right thing and make the best decisions even if he’s a bit clumsy about it sometimes. He’s a pianist who lost his mom at a young age and is trying to make her proud every day and live up to her legacy. Son of a Canadian mom and a Mexican dad, he’s also figuring out where he fits when it comes to his background and mixed cultures.
Can you tell readers what tropes and/or themes to expect from The Last Encore?
TLE is a friends to lovers romance, with a hint of only one bed and it’s always been you tropes, which is also the title of the series 🙂
All About Writing
Do you have any favorite scenes in The Last Encore?
Yes! Chapter six, when they’re on the Toronto Islands and reconnect there. I loved the simplicity of it and seeing them all shy around each other. The epilogue was also a favorite scene and the easiest part to write. And just everytime Josh is being so supportive with Avery basically.
I would love to know if you’re a plotter or a pantser. What seems to work best when you’re working on a new manuscript?
I am definitely a plotter! I need to know my characters beforehand, their background (especially when it comes to childhood best friends, you need to know who they were back then), and what motivates them, what their goals are. I usually have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen (the broad lines) per chapter but then write and see where it takes me. My outline is just to give me a direction but I am not letting it limit my imagination.
Do you have any favorite snacks, music or rituals for your writing? For instance, are you blasting music or need complete silence?
I used to need complete silence but now I am usually sipping coffee while watching shows I’ve watched multiple times like Friends or The Vampire Diaries.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Just do it! Putting your work out there is so scary but also so rewarding (at least for me personally). If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to put it down on paper. Start with a small scene and see where it takes you. And read, read, read! It’s the best tool for writers, to know the genre you’re writing in. And don’t hesitate to connect with fellow authors and writers and ask for advice.
I would love to know more about your decision to self-publish and why that was the best route for you and your writing.
I decided to self publish because I have no patience haha. Querying takes sooooo long and is a hard process. I really wanted Josh & Avery’s story to be out in the world, like it was a need, and I couldn’t wait to find an agent to do it. I also wanted to experience complete creative freedom over my first book, and see what I could achieve by myself and be able to say ‘This is 100% my success’. I am lucky to have an amazing community on Instagram so that made the process less scary. But I’m not closing the door on going traditional later on, because it’s always been a dream of mine to see my books in bookstores!
Famed illustrator Leni Kauffman designed your gorgeous cover for The Last Encore. I would love to know more about working with Leni and how you helped capture the nature of your beautiful novel with this stunning cover.
Working with Leni was the easiest part of the whole process and a dream come true. I adore her and trust her with my vision a thousand percent. I put together a pinterest board for her with elements I wanted and she managed to capture the scene perfectly (which is Chapter six by the way). I cannot thank her enough for agreeing to work with me and just you wait for the cover of Book 2… she outdid herself.
Book & TV Recs & More
I’d love to know what started your foray into reading and loving the romance genre?
I’ve always loved reading. My mom used to read me a lot of books growing up and then I picked up the habits. When I was a teenager, I was reading a lot of fantasy. But then college happened and I put reading aside because I had so much work with homework and papers. In 2021, I really wanted to get back to it and asked myself what genre would really hook me back into reading and being a big romantic, romance was a no-brainer. My first book was actually Red, White & Royal Blue and I was hooked.
What are some all time favorite romances and what’s on your TBR?
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception, The American Roommate Experiment), Christina Lauren (Love and Other Words, The Soulmate Equation), and Emily Henry (Book Lovers, Beach Read) are my go to romance authors that I adore and would read anything from them. I’ll give you the top of my TBR because it’s infinite haha. Right now, my priorities are One True Love by Christina Lauren, Happy Place by Emily Henry, The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead and The Celebrants by Steven Rowley.
I always love talking about TV and movies. If you were to cast an adaptation for The Last Encore, do you have anyone in mind for your characters?
Yes, I do! Emma Watson would be cast as Avery. Josh was always Shawn Mendes in my mind. Miles, Avery’s brother, makes me think about John Krasinski (with the beard) and Brooke, Avery’s best friend would be Ashley Benson.
Do you have any favorite TV shows or movie franchises?
I do! The Office, Schitt’s Creek and Ted Lasso are my go-to TV shows that always make me laugh. I love a lot of movies in every genre, it’s so hard to choose but my Christmas favorite is The Holiday.
Who is the ideal reader for The Last Encore?
Anybody who loves reading! I hope TLE can capture the hearts of people reading in every genre, and they can find themselves in Avery & Josh.
What are you hoping readers understand or feel when they read The Last Encore?
I am hoping they’ll feel all the feels! Most of all, I hope I managed to portray anxiety well enough for people to understand the struggles that come with it. I also hope I did a good job with the grief side of the story. This was close to my heart as I drew inspiration from my own life and wanted to pay tribute to my mother-in-law. As for the more sensitive subject tackled in my book (please check the trigger warnings), I hope readers who have experienced similar traumas feel seen and understood.
What are you working on next?
I am knee deep into Miles’ book (Avery’s brother). I am a few weeks away to submit the first draft to my editor. I really love where the story is going. You can expect lots of grumpy moments and an international trip to the City of Love (Paris)!
Connect with Elodie
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me, Elodie! How can readers best connect with you?
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