Author Interview Blitz: Elena Hartwell

Author Interview Blitz:  Elena Hartwell post thumbnail image

We’re continuing our Author Interview Blitz series today with the delightful Elena Hartwell, author of the Eddie Shoes Mystery Series.  Please Enjoy!

Question # 1: Let’s start with a fun question– Why do you write?

HartwellHeadshotIt’s not really a choice. It’s more that I am compelled to write. Even if I take a break away from writing, for example, if I’ve just finished a big project, I soon find myself back at my computer working on some new piece. The characters start getting very loud in my head and I have to put them down on paper (or at least into a computer file!).

Question # 2: What is one “piece of writing advice” that you wish you’d never taken?

“It’s fine the way it is” from an agent about one of my novels. It wasn’t fine, it needed rewrites. Now I know to trust my instincts.

Question # 3: How would you explain your creative process to a five-year-old?

Five-year-olds don’t need the creative process explained. Five-year-olds get it. The problem is our 25-year-old selves forget what our five-year-old selves knew. So I would tell an adult to remember what it is to be five years old and answer the question “what if…”

Question # 4: How do you know when something in your manuscript should be edited, removed, or left just as it is?
I’m pretty ruthless when it comes to editing/cutting. If something isn’t moving the story forward or giving us insight into a character a reader can’t live without, it’s gone. If I read my work and something pops out at me as being extraneous or awkwardly written, I ask myself, 1. is the information vital, just the writing is bad or 2. is the information unnecessary and the whole thing can be cut or 3. is the information in the wrong place. After assessing that, I either rewrite, move, or cut. I do that through several rewrites. If the material flows and moves the story, then it’s fine as is. Then my work goes to beta readers, then to my editor. The best advice I can give a writer about rewrites is to have a good, professional editor. Whether a writer is with a publisher and has a great editor to work with, or a person is working on a first project and looking for a publisher and hires a freelance editor before doing submissions, that’s the best way to know if a manuscript is “done.”

Question # 5: And finally– What do you plan to write tomorrow?

one_dead_300 coverI’m currently finishing up book two of the Eddie Shoes Mystery Series, Two Dead Are Better Than One. I’m doing a second round of rewrites with notes from my editor, so that’s what I’m going to do now and what I’ll be back at again tomorrow. A little cutting, a little rewriting, and a little bit of leave as is!

© 2016 – 2017, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.

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