Eliott, recently, took time out of her busy schedule to let me interview her.
I recently finished another book, a revenge story, which I imagine is rather delectable.
I was sent to North Dakota for my job as a tax auditor one summer and found myself in the deep clutches of dead monotony. The entertainment roster was anemic at best. I visited the world’s largest statue of a bovine — a Holstein that stands at eighteen feet — and aside from the Lewis and Clark sunset river expedition, which was no more than a quick ferry ride, there wasn’t much else to do, so I sat down and started writing and I never stopped.
How hard has the journey been — both emotionally and mentally, on yourself as a writer?
No doubt, it’s an up and down process. The trick is to keep honing your craft and believing in yourself, one paragraph at a time. The original draft of Midnight Engagement was edging nearly eight hundred pages. Whittling that down was a painful process of operable proportions. All you can do is move forward and hope for the best and be grateful for all the people and blessings that made it possible.
Can you tell me what you've learnt so far?
Crafting is everything. Every part of the story is equally important. Deliberating over the right word gives your voice inimitability and pays dividends in terms of quality. Stephen King says the first million words are just practice… thank goodness!
Some writers prefer to write in the morning, locked away in the study, others at night. What is your own writing process and are there certain quirks you have developed that are uniquely you?
Every writer inspires me — the good and the bad, subjectively speaking, of course. It’s part of my job to read what’s out there with a careful eye, aimed at developing technique. Koontz is amazing, how he’s brave enough to write an entire chapter in the present tense, or turn one word into a whole sentence. Genius! If I’m not continually learning and improving, my own work suffers.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging when writing — Research, psychological, literary, etc.?
I just love to write and take great pleasure in re-crafting what I’ve already written. It’s like adding a spoonful of happiness to a pot of joy. The toughest part for me is being rushed. Stewing is just as vital to the process as the actual writing itself — so long as I’m actually building something in my mind. It’s architectural grammarianship, and I find it quietly exhilarating.
It’s definitely a volatile time to enter the marketplace, as the rules seem to change daily. I stick to the practice that if I put my attention into producing quality work, the rest will sort itself out.
And lastly, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
“Spreading Joy, Writing Books,” as is my personal mantra.
Thank you for having me, Nina! You are wonderful!
Eliott's book, Midnight Engagement is now available at Amazon.
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