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Author Interview - Elly Grant

This week's interview is with Author Elly Grant.

Elly has a knack for killing characters in her stories. If you're a nice person, you have nothing to worry about. If not, you may find yourself a victim in one of her stories.

Thank you, Elly, for participating in Author Interviews.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you - in what way and what was the name of that book?

I read the book ‘Psycho’ when I was a young teenager. I found it really creepy then and I still do. I remember sleeping with the light on for a few days after I finished reading it, and I still feel nervous in showers that have shower curtains.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I can’t remember a time when I haven’t written. I loved essay writing when I was at school, but even then, my stories were often dark tales.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Agatha Christie. She was a prolific writer with an amazing imagination.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

My favourite thing is when I have finished writing my book and I can relax. When it is near completion, I have the irrational fear that I might die before the end and nobody will ever know ‘whodunnit’!

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Often, I witness injustice or bad manners and I really despise this. When I see people being cruel or unfair, I usually plan to kill them in a book. Many of my characters are horrible people who, on paper at least, deserve to die.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I like to design things then make them. Usually, this either involves knitting something or baking a cake.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

One book that has held my interest for many years is ‘Gone with the wind.’ It is a book full of extremes. It is set during a harrowing time in history, yet still offers hope for the future. The characters are wonderfully portrayed, and by the end of the book, I felt as if I knew them as well as I knew close friends.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

My characters are never based on people I know. However, they are often inspired by people I observe or hear about. Sometimes, when I give my character a voice, I hear the words in my head as if spoken by someone I know.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

Thankfully, no. Many of my characters are psychopaths and monsters, so I hope I never meet them in real life!

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

My titles are inspired by the situations, places or characters in my books. Once I think of my story the title seems to just pop into my head.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I am writing short stories. All of them are rather dark and I’m hoping to compile them into a book.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

Several years ago, I began attending a long-established, local writing group and was thrilled when I won first prize in their annual short story competition. This was the first time that I’d received recognition for my writing and years later, I still get a jag of excitement when I think about it.

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Whilst spending time in France I have often been given recipes by local people using ingredients from the region. I now have many recipes using products such as sweet chestnuts, walnuts, apples, cherries and many other locally sourced items. I would love to write a cookery book which uses these ingredients.

14. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I am not superstitious however old habits die hard. My mother would often say ‘touch wood’ then touch something made of wood as a way of warding off something going wrong. I still find myself doing the same thing even though it means nothing to me.

15. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

I once ate a fruit in Madeira that the local people described as a pineapple banana. I still don’t know the name of this fruit. It was long and plump with a hard skin like a pineapple, but with a pungent smell and taste similar to a banana.

16. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

My favourite place in the world is a small spa town in the Eastern Pyrenees called Amelie les Bains. It is situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and I find everything about this town delightful.

17. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

A day spending time with my family picking wild blackberries to make jelly is one of my happiest memories. After collecting the berries my mother set out a rug on the grass and produced a wonderful picnic. It was Autumn and the sun shone all day. This day was one of simple entertainment, but to me it was magical.

18. What makes you happy?

My family makes me happy. We are very close, and we all live near to each other. So, we spend lots of quality time together.

19. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

When I’m not writing I spend as much time as possible socialising with friends and family or visiting my favourite holiday spot in the Eastern Pyrenees.

20. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

I haven’t met any ‘A’ list celebrities, but I once met the magician Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie Magee who were both utterly charming. I also met, and spent the evening, in the company of the comedian, Frank Carson. He was absolutely hilarious, very funny both on and off stage, and a genuinely kind man. My mother and my mother-in-law were big fans of his and when I mentioned this to him, he telephoned them for a chat. They were thoroughlyly delighted and completely star struck.

Elly’s Links

Pyrenees series book 1:


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