2. Edmond Dantès.
4. Prison breaks.
5. How much I loathe Amy March.
6. Why is Little Women the only instance I've ever heard of people saying "Marmee"?
7. How in the world can Little Women & Count of Monte Cristo be combined in a fantasy world? I can't wait for this.
8. Maybe one of the characters will be a writer like Jo?
9. If there is, please don't have her marry an old German dude.
Moving on, here is a video of Elliott reading an excerpt from the first book in that series. It is tentatively titled Mask and slated for release in 2015. Sorry for the heads and the quality, but I was on my iPhone in the second row:
The next question was basically an inquiry as to whether each progressive book an author writes gets easier to finish. Elliott said no. Some aspects of writing she feels she has improved at, namely recognizing how to structure a book, how scenes work, how to spot the need for x or y, how to frame plots, etc. She knows that she likes to do a quick intro in her series books so readers can recall what happened earlier in the storyline, but she does not recap too much and the series books are meant to be read in order. But along with the things she has learned and feels more confident about, she says the other side of the coin is that she is now much more adept at spotting flaws in her work. Whereas her favorite part of writing used to be the first draft and she was less excited about the editing, she's found that her opinion has changed and it is now quite the opposite.
One reader said that Kate Elliott writes great characters but that unlike most authors, it seems to the audience member that Elliott almost enjoys writing side characters (not villains) that people sort of love to hate, and that it does not bother the author when readers dislike them. Elliott says that's probably accurate. She tries to make her main characters sympathetic but some of the secondary characters, "are like [her] on [her] bad days. Sometimes they just come out obnoxious."
Her other recommendation, I'm sure Catie will be happy to hear (she's a big fan!), is the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. Elliott said she read the first three books in three consecutive days and that Aaronovitch has the right blend of humor and that he writes fantastic women characters. The bookstore host mentioned that future editions of that series will only be published in the UK. I don't have a secondary source to confirm that but I did just check on Amazon US and no results showed up for the fourth book in the series, Broken Homes, which will be released in the UK on July 25th.
You can find out more about Kate Elliott's writing on her blog, or follow her on Twitter @KateElliottSFF. For those of us who are Redditors (or if you are just interested and/or have a question for Kate!), she will be doing an AMA on Reddit on July 17th, 2013.