My name is Grace Elliot and I lead a double life! By day I work as a veterinarian and by night my passion turns towards historical romance. If you would like to learn more then my blog, Fall in Love with History, is a good place to start:
(Q) I think it’s pretty safe to say that most writers love reading. What are some of the books that influenced you the most? Anything you’d like to recommend?
Books have changed my life. The book which has affected me most is, The Autobiography of Henry VIII, by Margaret George. Put simply, this novel got me interested in history. I went from loathing history to addict status, and it was Margaret George's work that changed me.
The history I learnt at school was dry as bones; all dates, battles and treaties, but The Autobiography of Henry VIII was about people and what made them tick. It is a fascinating, exciting, immersive read and when it was finished I needed to know what was fact and what was fiction…and my love affair with the Tudors began.
As for recommendations, well I read widely but always come back to historical romance. My most recent discoveries are Tessa Dare (for her humorous and well-written Spindle Cove series) and Elizabeth Hoyt (full marks for using the unusual setting of an orphanage in her Maiden Lane series.)
There are many stages in writing a novel, but each flows naturally into the next. I think my favorite part is the second draft and paying attention to the details of setting, costume and character. Let me elaborate.
The first draft is pretty much a state-of-mind download from head to page. I avoid being over critical and self-editing, in order to get the ideas down and get a feel for where the story needs to go. By the second draft I know the ending (characters can be such strong minded people- pushing the story in an unsuspected direction.) It's now time to build atmosphere and I love painting with words, recreating the sights, sounds and smells through description.
As for the pleasure of writing - well for me it's all about the escapism of visualizing another time and place, and traveling there in my head.
(Q) What’s your biggest pet-peeve when it comes to the writing world? Does anything get under your skin and itch?
In all honesty I'm not sure I have a pet-peeve, other than there are never being enough hours in the day…OK; I suppose that is a peeve. What I'm trying to say is that I write because I want to and that I get withdrawal symptoms if I don't ( that must make me an addict!) If no-one read a word I wrote, you'd still find me at the keyboard, stubbornly typing away.
(Q) If you could meet any writer, living or dead, and pick their brain over coffee/tea/hot-chocolate, who would it be? What would be your first question?
I'd be totally over-awed to meet any of my favorite authors. That said, over the years I have made many 'virtual' friends amongst Indie authors. Without exception they are generous and supportive, and if I had my way I'd throw a big party for all those Indie authors, have FUN and say, thank you.