From planning your novel to editing your WIP, Elouise East encourages you to find best practices that work best for YOU to not drown out your voice.
Thank you for joining me in my Author Blog Series!
This collection of interviews with authors and book influencers has been geared towards inspiring writers as well as giving them the tools and knowledge to create their very best book. You can click here to read more of the series with authors such as Aalia Lanius, Danae L. Samms, Ryan Krol, Brandi Sumey, Anna Fox, and more!
Let's Meet Our Author
Reading has always been a passion for Elouise East, and writing has just extended from that. East's debut book came out July 2019, and she hasn’t looked back. Readers are really important to her; East loves to hear what they have to say whether it’s about books, themselves or some random fact they found out the other day.
Author Interview Questions
1. To some, there's nothing more romantic than an old typewriter, and no day more perfect than laying by the fire reading a good book. Writing has touched so many lives and, as writers, who would we be without it? What do you love about writing?
What’s not to love?
For me, I get to take a video reel movie that plays in my head and write it on paper for everyone else to see. My own take on how I perceive the world and my experiences make my writing unique.
Not everyone will agree with what I write, and the opinions of the characters within the stories, but that is their right.
I love being able to create something from nothing. Sitting down at the computer with a blank page in front of me is the scariest and the most awe-inspiring thing I’ve experienced.
2. Not all endings can be happy, and not all endings can leave you balling because everyone died *cough* George R.R. Martin *cough* calm down *cough*. What is your favorite kind of ending for a story?
Are you more drawn to happy endings, cliff hangers, or tragic endings?
Personal preference is a happy ending because…who doesn’t?
I love seeing where the characters end up. It’s one of the reasons I write extended epilogues in some of my books; I don’t want the stories to end!
Cliff hangers, for me, are okay if they continue in another book, for example. And, I would prefer for the books to be released so I can binge read them! I can’t do cliff hangers if there is no end in sight.
As for tragic endings…that’s a difficult one. I don’t particularly like tragic endings, but I can get into it if it is relevant to the story. I don’t enjoy them if they are just there to make you feel sad and has had no reason.
3. What genre do you usually write in, and why?
I write gay romance mainly. I fell in love with the genre several years ago and couldn’t get enough of reading them.
When I decided to write my debut, I knew I would choose gay romance. I find the characters within the genre to be more three-dimensional than some other genres. Also, I like being able to write what I enjoy reading; I would happily read my own books.
I find the community to be one of the most welcoming and helpful. Social media has made it very easy to get in contact with others in the same genre.
4. We want to stay organized and want to make sure we have no plot holes in our books. Different authors use different tools. Some like to use whiteboards or flashcards and some like to dive in to their story and let it find them as they write.
To stay organized, do you outline your stories before writing? If so, which method works best for you?
I’m a bit of a mixture between a punster and a plotter.
I usually start by recording my ideas on voice recorder. I can kind of follow my ideas along and just say random things that come into my head regarding the story.
I write out the transcript of it and work it into something more coherent. This usually ends up being a basic outline of the main plot points.
After that, I usually just start writing and see what happens.
Saying that, my current WIP is a novella and for this I have actually set out what I want to cover in each chapter. I will say, though, that I am not following exactly to that outline, it’s taking on a life of its own…as usual.
5. What's your favorite part of a book to write? The beginning, middle, or end?
My favourite part of a book is the middle.
I would love for a book to be never ending! I always think books don’t give you enough of what happens after the characters get their happy ever after. For me, I want to know what they are doing three years in the future, ten years in the future, twenty years in the future. I know it’s unreasonable, but it’s just how I am.
So, the middle is always my favourite, I get to know the characters better, learn their good traits and bad traits and fall in love with them.
6. Do you have any advice for writers who are scared to take the first step?
I would, and have, told new writers to just write. Just sit down at the computer, phone, paper and just write your ideas down. Write whatever comes into your head about your idea. Once you have your ideas down on paper, it will be easier to sort through them and allow other ideas to get in there. You need to be enthusiastic about what you want to write. If you aren’t, your enthusiasm won’t show through in the writing. Also, take your time.
Everyone knows your writing gets better the more often you do it, so don’t be disheartened
if you’re not happy with the first attempt.
7. Editing can be one of the most daunting process for writers, but some absolutely love going through their drafts!
What does your editing process look like? And do you have any tips for other authors?
When it comes to editing, the process has changed a lot since I first started writing.
If everything is going to plan, I finish the first draft before I start any kind of editing.
I will read through the story from start to finish on a computer, changing things as I go, adding things in, taking things out, checking facts if I have made a note to do so.
Once I’ve read through it again, I will do the spell check either through Word or Grammarly.
After that, I will print out the whole document and throw it down the stairs. Yes, you heard me right. I stand at the top of the stairs and I, or my two kids, throw the papers into the air and let them float to the floor. Then I gather them up. You might be wondering why I do this…? Well, it’s so that the pages are out of order. I find that I get complacent when I read a story several times in the right order, so this enables me to read pages out of sync with the rest of the story, making me concentrate on what I’m reading rather than what I think I’m reading.
Handwriting changes on the manuscript is another tip I would give writers.
Once all the changes have been made to the document, I then send it to my betas. They often catch more mistakes and then I change those and send it to my editor. The process is not a short one. This takes me approximately three-four weeks.
When I first started out, I self-edited my work because money was tight. I will wholeheartedly admit that it wasn’t the best choice.
If you can afford an editor, then definitely get one.
If not, there may be other authors around who are willing to swap strengths, for example, if you are good at graphics, you could offer to make graphics for someone who can edit your work for you. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
My main advice would be to look at your first draft on other places than your laptop. Remember, you have been looking at your computer for days, weeks, months or even years writing this. Printing it out or sending it to your kindle to read instead gives your brain a break from the monotony.
There are a lot of authors out there who are willing to guide new writers through the process.
I had that help and I would gladly help others. It can be an isolating career, so make sure you get into the community on social media, there are loads of places you can do this. Don’t be afraid to approach authors, but do be prepared for them to say no. Not everyone has the time to help, but don’t give up hope. The writing community is also where you can find beta readers – I found my betas through knowing other authors and being part of their online lives.
My main piece of advice would be to ENJOY it! If you don’t enjoy writing, you’ll get disheartened.
Writing is a beautiful, yet intense craft. If you're nervous to take the leap and start, don't doubt yourself! Ask for support and guidance from your writing community, practice, and read books and articles like this.
Discover the Books
This is my latest release, Deep Down. I’m not sure when my current WIP will be available yet–welcome to the world of writing!
Trusting your instincts can have unexpected consequences...
Craig is a website designer. He spends much of his time happily chained to his desk and, as a boyfriend, he looks after the home while his partner works. It’s all about balance.
Alex is a workaholic doctor, often covering others’ shifts because a busy hospital is where he is most comfortable. He doesn’t have much of a social life even with his best friend dragging him out. He knows nothing about balance.
But Craig’s life is not as picture perfect as it appears… And when Alex has to patch him up, he realises something is amiss with Craig’s relationship. Craig is just another patient, but Alex can’t let him go back into a dangerous situation. But when Alex reaches out, Craig’s boyfriend sees him as a threat and Craig’s carefully balanced life falls apart - under the fists of the man who has promised to love him.
As a doctor, Alex can heal Craig’s body, but it is up to Craig to learn to heal his own heart… and maybe, give love another chance.
***This book contains sensitive material that could be a trigger for some***
Buy Deep Down, part of the Crush series, but books can be read as a standalone
Stalk Elouise East here… ;-)
For more on the writing process from our bi-weekly author interviews, you can subscribe to my website for weekly updates: click here. If you want to be part of this series, you can contact me via my contact page or on social media.