Welcome! Pull up a seat and enjoy a chat with Today’s Tease Winslow Eliot
Your Name or Pen Name you use: Winslow Eliot
Title of the book you are promoting: The Happiness Cure
Genre: Romantic Suspenseful Contemporary
Welcome WE…I, LH have some questions for you 😉
LH: I wanted to be a ballerina, race car driver and a private detective when I was little. What did you want to be when you grew up?
WE: A writer!
LH: I didn’t really have a literary influence, I just decided one day to start writing. Who influenced you in your writing career?
WE: My parents were writers, my grandparents were writers (my grandmother write children’s books that I adored), my great-grandmother was a writer, my sister is a writer … I grew up reading and writing and reading and writing.
LH: I self published all of my books and was then “discovered” by a publisher. Are you an Indie or published author?
WE: I had the opposite experience: I was traditionally published by big-name publishers like Signet/NAL and St. Martin’s Press and then I “discovered” Indie Publishing! I have never been happier as a published author than when I went independent!
LH: As an Indie Author, I was hesitant about being with a publishing company. If you are an Indie author, would you like to be published by a traditional publisher and if so, why or why not?
WE: The joy of independence, control, owning the rights to my books, and investing and profiting from my own writing business outweighs any prestige of being published traditionally, in my opinion.
LH: This is easy for me…I’d invite Johnny Depp and I would not discuss movies! Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead, and what one topic would you NOT discuss with them?
WE: The writer Graham Greene – and I would not discuss all his former lovers. I’d want his attention focused on moi.
LH: I personally think that there is way too much sex and violence everywhere in society these days and it’s everywhere but that Hollywood is one of the biggest offenders. Do you think that society as a whole is subjected to too much sex and violence and are you concerned about it? Which form of media do you think is the worst offender?
WE: My anger is mainly toward the excess of violence in our culture. I find it abhorrent everywhere, but especially in the marketing of children’s video games. Age-appropriate sexual content is fine with me!
LH: I’m a huge softie and by no means a beauty queen… lol but, I truly would want world peace in the blink of an eye if I could make it happen…If you could change one thing in the world, in the blink of an eye, what would it be?
WE: World peace would probably do it. 😉
LH: With the traditional bookstore becoming obsolete and everyone turning to buying books online, I don’t buy the hype that “the cover is everything”. How important do you think book covers are now that almost all shopping is done online?
WE: Probably not as important as they used to be – reader reviews are much more interesting to me – but I have to say that the cover to The Happiness Cure is utterly spectacular, and readers have said that they bought it for the title and the cover.
LH: I can remember wanting to write as a kid. I got a really late start! Have you always wanted to write and when did you start?
WE: Before I knew how to write I’d fill up dozens of blank notebooks with squiggles and symbols and pretend letters, thinking I was writing! I wish I could make head or tale of them now.
LH: I love to see if I can see myself in a character. What interests you most about a story?
WE: Yes, the heart of a character, but I adore a good story, that has you on your toes, but not engagingly and enticingly, not so that you’re holding your breath.
LH: For me, I just get hit with this whole movie in my head and start writing. How do you come up with your stories?
WE: I have an idea for a story and then the characters themselves pretty much take over the writing of it.
LH: I can’t tell you or I’d have to…lol Are you working on anything now?
WE: I just finished The Happiness Cure so I’m catching my breath.
LH: I’m working on #6…3 are published and the other 3 are due out this year… How many books have you written? How many have been published?
WE: Written: hundreds! LOL
Written and published: 5 novels. 5 romances. 5 non-fiction and poetry.
LH: I write for fun I don’t even dream of riches…Do you write for fun or money?
WE: Writing is my pleasure, and it is also my business. I do count on it and I couldn’t dream of a more wonderful way to make a living.
LH: Some of my family members had a bit of a problem with me writing my first book “A Beautiful Liar” because the character Maggie West is basically me…to a point 😉 They had a problem with the genre and me “putting it all out there” so to speak so I took a pen name. They eventually came around as I have never cared who knows who I am what I’ve done or what they think of me. I’ve never wanted to be famous, just infamous! What has been your biggest problem when it comes to family or friends when writing?
WE: I haven’t really had any problems from family or friends. Incredible support – I am very lucky.
LH: I have never experienced writers block…I have experienced writers “don’t want to”… Have you ever experienced writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?
WE: My writers block experience was one of the most difficult experiences of my whole life. It was a terrible downward spiral … BUT I overcame it by realizing that everything a writer does and experiences is “writing.” I relaxed my relentless inner pressure to put pen to paper, and instead allowed myself to “live” – even to (gasp!) enjoy life although I hadn’t produced any writing that day. Daydreaming, washing dishes, raising children, loving – it’s ALL writing. I hope I never again experience that pain of imagining I would never write again.
LH: I get asked all the time “Do you have any advice for new writers?”… Do you?
WE: It depends. I used to advise “Just do it. Pen to paper. Fingers to keyboard. Ass on chair. Get going.”
Now I’m more prone to advise them to give themselves a break. Be kind to themselves. Listen – enjoy – be alert and attentive to people, nature, books, art … let it feed your soul, and allow the writing to flow from that part of you.
Of course, it depends on the kind of person I’m advising. If you’re a procrastinator that can take over the actual activity of writing.
Perhaps I’d advise a balance. But definitely being kind to yourself. That is so important. Not sloppy, not unprofessional. But kind.
LH: I would not change one thing in my life as I would not be me if I did… If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
WE: I something think that I really, really, really wish I could go back and change are all the times I hurt someone, even inadvertently. Like not dancing with a boy who liked me or not returning a phone call… It was never out of meanness but sometimes I might have been unkind out of integrity or thoughtlessness. I wish they had never happened.
Thank you for that honest and uplifting interview WE…Now… for the fun stuff!
Favorite Beverage? Fresh well water (my own)
Exercise or Bubble Bath? Bath, every time.
Favorite Color? All of them – I love rainbows
Take out or Dine in? dine in.
Camping or Hotel? Luxury hotel.
Sports or Chocolate? Chocolate, champagne, roses.
Dogs or Cats? I have cats, but love them both.
Favorite Food? Dolmades – stuffed grapeleaves.
Favorite Song? Something by Leonard Cohen probably
Favorite Movie? Romancing the Stone (of course)
Favorite Car? Electric Gem.
Sex or Chocolate? (The answer “Both” is totally acceptable 😉 Both, then.
And now for the essay part of the interview 😉
If you could go anywhere for a week, with anyone you wanted and no one would ever find out about it…where would you go, what would you do and who would you take?
WE: I’ve always wanted to do a retreat in the desert – with no one around, nothing to do, no connection to anyone at all – just stars and sunshine and emptiness. Yes, I think that is what I would do: I’d go to the desert, I’d do ‘nothing,’ and I’d take no one.
Thank you for spending this time with us. Make sure to pick up your copy of Winslow Eliot’s
The Happiness Cure