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'Earning It:' An Interview with Author E.F. Dodd

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

A second chance at romance is the theme of E.F. Dodd’s Earning It. The author's latest novel follows Rae, who has lost all interest in romance after enduring the heartbreak of a breakup. However, things get complicated when she's forced to spend the day with her ex, Van, at her best friend's wedding. Rae's decision to leave love behind is challenged by old feelings and Van's determination to make things right between the two. With fun, captivating characters and a beautifully written romance, it's safe to say that E.F. Dodd has accomplished her goal of getting readers excited for her next book.

To learn more about the story behind the story, read A Good Book To End The Day’s interview with the author below.

Writing has always been a big part of your life. What’s the allure for you?

The biggest allure for me is the ability to create your own little slice of reality. You create a whole world for people from whole cloth and decide on the challenges they face, the success they’ll have, and, of course, how they fall in love. It’s also nice to be able to take a break from reality, especially these days, and go to a place where happily ever after is entirely possible.

Tell us about your central characters, Rae and Van.

Rae is a firecracker! Readers first met her in my novel Risky Restoration, which centers around Rae’s best friend Kez. Rae is that one friend I think we all need in our lives because she is always willing to shoot straight with you and give you the absolute bottom line. Sure, it might sting a little bit, but it’s a good dose of tough love delivered with the best of intentions. She never pulls her punches and doesn’t hide how she feels about anything. She was refreshing to write because she honestly does not give a rat’s ass what people think about the way she lives her life.

Van is a little more measured than Rae, which makes sense given his job. He’s also more in tune with how he feels about her and his wanting a future with her. I liked this sort of flip to the traditional view of the girl being the one who knows they should be together and just has to wait it out while the guy gets his head on straight. Van isn’t afraid to share the way he feels about Rae and own up to his mistakes in that the implosion of their relationship the first go ‘round was entirely his fault.

What part of Earning It was the most fun to write?

I really enjoyed writing this whole book, so it’s hard to pick a favorite part! If I have to choose, though, I’d probably say the “talent show” night at the resort that takes all the guys way outside their comfort zone. It’s based on an actual vacation I took with a few other couples, tweaked to heighten the humor, of course!

What’s your favorite thing about romance as a genre?

The inclusivity of the readers and authors. I really cannot stress enough that no matter who you are or what you are into–hell, even if you’re deeply into alien erotica (Hello, Ruby Dixon, you are a true literary goddess!!)–it really does not matter to the majority of the romance community. You are welcomed into the fold with open arms and pats on the back. I’ve never experienced a community that really is open to anyone who wants to be a member. It’s great!

What are some of the challenges of writing a love story that readers will connect with?

The connection with readers is the challenge because the readership is so varied! No matter what book you write, there’s always going to be some people who think it took too long to get to the steamy parts, or that it didn’t take long enough. That the grovel was too much, or that it was too little. That some aspect of what you write that you see as an inconsequential minutia resonates with the reader in a way you never even fathomed. I think that’s because people are so invested in this genre. They have certain tropes that they love and if they feel you dabbled in their favorite trope—say second chance romance like Earning It—and didn’t nail it . . . whoo boy will they let you know!

Do you have any other projects in the works at this time?

I do actually! Kez got her story in Risky Restoration, Rae got hers in Earning It, so obviously V will get her time to shine in a third book that I hope will come out in the fall of next year. I’ve also got a few other novels that involve whole different characters that I’m working on now. One that is currently in editing is about a small-town heroine who owns a horse rescue facing off with a suave developer over the property next door. I hope to release it at the first of next year.

What does literary success look like to you?

Being able to write full-time is my goal, which means my writing has to become my main avenue of financial support. But looking at this in the terms of dollars and cents is a little too black and white for me because writing is something that brings me so much joy and using the financial gain of it as a marker of success almost taints that joy. True success would be to have readers embrace my work and love my characters and stories to the point where they cannot wait for the next book. Having people clamor to read what you write? It doesn’t get much better than that, regardless of the money.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

I have a website and am also on Instagram. My e-mail is efdoddwrites@gmail.com and would love to hear from anyone that wants to reach out and chat about my books!

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