Saturday, 15 June 2013

All Authors Blog Blitz


The First Ever Annual All Authors Blog Blitz is here! Today I have a special guest on my blog - Lucinda Elliot, an exciting new cod gothic author.  Don't know what cod gothic is? (I have to admit, I didn't know either, but Lucinda explains all below.)


How long have you been writing?

Too long. I did it on and off for a long time without finishing anything and I let other things distract me too much. James N Frey gives the brilliant advice in one of his books that to get anything done properly you have to be really selfish about having a writing time when nobody is allowed to interrupt you except about absolute emergencies. Imagine what Elizabeth Gaskell would have achieved, if she hadn’t been so bound to notions of duty…

Have you always wanted to be a writer since you were a child?

For sure not, I didn’t read or write at all if I could help it! I used to go in for a lot of imaginative play, and I suppose that’s much the same thing, but not written down. I never thought of writing as a career, though. I didn’t read for pleasure until much later. I preferred to make my own stories up. I must have a bossy streak, as I liked and like controlling the action.

Who is your favourite author?

I don’t know! I admire Shakespeare (yep – actually do read Shakespeare), A S Pushkin, the Bronte’s, Ann Radcliff, Bram Stoker, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Patrick Hamilton, Alfred Hayes, Olivia Manning, Harlan Ellison, Margaret Attwood, Martin Amis and many others. At the moment I’m dong research by reading a lot of classic brigand novels. I’ve not long finished Pushkin’s ‘Dubrovsky’ and I’ve ordered Fredereich Schiller’s ‘Die Räuber’ (Translation, obviously! I don’t know any German) and trying to find a translation of Vulpius’ Rinaldo Rinaldini and so on.

On favourite authors, I’ve recently come across a few Indie writers who are as good as you can get: Rebecca Lochlann, whose recently published the brilliant concluding volume to the Bronze Age section of her ‘Child of the Erinyes’ series. Very stirring!

Then, Anne Carlisle, whose ‘Home Schooling’ series has recently been taken on by a mainstream publisher. That heroine Marlena Bellum is wonderful.

Then there’s my writing partner Jo Danilo. I love her paranormal YA stuff, especially her story about a time warp, ‘11.42’.

Then there is Lauryn April. More excellent YA paranormal. Her novel ‘Into the Deep’ is exciting and has one of the nicest love affairs in it I’ve come across in a while.

There is Kate Hanney, of ‘Watermelon’ and others. Another YA writer, the humour and hard realistic edge second to none.

Mari Bellia is another favourite. ‘The Quickening’ is an unflinching example of how brilliant you can be when you do what James N Frey calls ‘following through’ i.e. mercilessly sticking to your original intention in a plot, however painful.

That is so difficult, that ‘following through’, at times. In my second, ‘Aleks Sager’s Daemon’ I had to kill off one of the main male characters, and I was surprised how difficult I found it. I had originally intended to kill of two of them, but decided that was a bit too grim.

I quite like Lucinda Elliot, who – Oh, that’s me. Sorry, I forgot.

What is your latest book?

I’ve only published one so far, that’s Cod Gothic, ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois. I’m hoping to bring out my second, ‘Aleks Sager’s Daemon’ in a couple of months.  I’m revising it. I so hate those revisions that if I didn’t do them at once, it would remain in a drawer forever, like my earlier efforts.

This one features a Pushkin obsessed author (don’t look at me!) who starts to be haunted by one of his characters, who wants to steal his girlfriend. Is this a Daemon Lover or a jaded rake from Tsarist Russia?

That was quite dark stuff and now I feel like some light relief. I’ve got another planned, another one set in the eighteenth century, which will be very much a comedy. Like Émile Dubois, this will feature a highwayman, but unlike in the story about Émile Dubois the heroine will be anything but foolishly romantic and totally unimpressed by her brigand admirer, though all the other local young ladies think he’s a wonderfully romantic tragic figure.

What's Cod Gothic?

God Gothic' means take off Gothic, slightly tongue in cheek, as laughter and horror are very near each other. In restrained terms, there's Jane Austen's 'Northanger Abbey'. A very unrestrained one is 'The Rocky Horror Show'.

Tell us about one of your books?

Ooh, an excuse to go on and on! Well, I’ll try not to, but I snort when people say, ‘I’ll be Brief’...It sounds if they’re sure that nobody would interrupt them if they held forth for an hour… I’ll only go on for a little bit, honestly.

That Scoundrel Émile Dubois is Cod Gothic, as I said above. I hope any potential readers will enjoy the incongruous combination of down to earth eighteenth century swaggering rogues and the over the top paranormal adventure in which they get caught up in the form of Man Vampires and Time Warps.

The heroine, Sophie, again as I said above, has a foolishly romantic streak, and she longs for adventure as the bored but compliant companion to the Dowager Countess of Ruthin, tucked away on the Famau Mountain in North Wales. She is besotted with the romantic allure of the eponymous scoundrel, and when she agrees to marry him she is caught up in more adventure than she ever wanted. Fortunately, she has two staunch allies in her down-to-earth maid Agnes and Katarina, a waif Émile has rescued.

Tell us something about yourself?

Well, years before it became fashionable my parents used to renovate old houses in isolated areas, so I was brought up in a series of old houses that would make for perfect locations for Gothic stories, in Buckinghamshire, Devonshire and Wales.
I lived and worked in London, and neglected writing, for many years. Now I live with my family in Wales again, and am getting on with writing.

I was once a Sportsfighting champion. I’m interested in weight training and body shaping. I am also something of a feminist. I love a laugh above almost anything, except maybe tea. I am a names Geek, and love baroque music. I speak some Welsh, but there’s a long way to go.

What's involved with Sportfighting? I have to admit, I haven't heard that term before.

Sportfighting was a martial art which combined many of the moves from the others and such pleasant moves as 'forearm smashes'. It was quite savage and I ended up with some back injuries from going in with heavyweights. I was always a little mad...

What made you decide to self publish?

To be frank (as distinct from ‘to be brief’) because I got fed up with receiving rejection letters saying my work was ‘too cross genre’. I have found it a fascinating experience. I like being in charge like this!

Amazon UK link for That Scoundrel Émile Dubois

Amazon US link for  That Scoundrel Émile Dubois

 



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