Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Guest Author Interview - Elizabeth Los

In today's guest author interview we meet Elizabeth Los, read what she has to say in the interview below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Elizabeth Los. My career path has been, for the past ten years, that of a Cancer Registrar. I work in hospitals and handle oncology data that is later used in research and survival statistics and studies. I took to writing in college as something fun to do, but for some unknown reason had stopped. It was only less than two years ago that I had picked up writing again. I've been using it as a form a therapy, a way to relieve the stress brought on by work and life. My loves are reading and music. At a young age, I learned to play the piano and hated it, so I stopped. By the fifth grade, I learned the flute and joined the band in school. I continued that path until my Sophomore year of high school. The brass section had dwindled from the previous years, so I had decided to learn the trumpet. Unfortunately, I failed to practice over the summer. I scrambled on the first day of band camp to learn the fingerings and scales. Within two months, I not only developed the skill, but claimed first chair for the section. At my graduation ceremony, I played a solo, accompanied by the piano, in the Crystal Cathedral. I've never really spoken about it, but I was really proud of my accomplishment. I proved to myself that if I put my mind to it, I could accomplish my goal.

What inspired you to start writing?
Dreams. They usually inspire me. 

The funny thing about writing, is that initially I was discouraged. During my junior high school years, our English teacher had instructed the class to write a piece of fiction. I was excited, but concerned because I had no ideas. Finally coming up with one, a scribbled out the story as fast as my brain could think it up. Sadly, I received a poor grade and decided to give up on writing. I wish now I had it to review. I'm sure it needed work and that there was a valid reason for that grade. In college, I had a strange dream that led me to writing again. This, too, dwindled for a while until a year and a half ago. I had yet another odd dream, wrote it and emailed it to a friend. It was my friend who encouraged me to continue writing. It was through her persistent encouragement that I've now published my first eBook, not to mention a very supportive husband.

And what was your first story?
My very first story, back in fifth grade, was about a satellite that was thrown off course, pushed through a worm hole and out into a universe where artificial intelligence existed. I don't recall much more than that. 

Who is your favourite author and why?
My favorite author is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He is my favorite because of Sherlock Holmes. Growing up, I found myself drawn to those stories. I love puzzles and those stories were full of them. Sherlock was intelligent, yet flawed, another feature I liked about him and the books. 

What do you enjoy most about writing?
When I have an idea that I really love, I like writing as my brain thinks of the idea. Call it speed writing, but I love when the words flow freely and easily onto paper (or computer).

And the least?
Like any other writer, I hate the block. I've had those from time to time. It can be depressing.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
If you have a block, write through it! I had to do the same. I'd either write my story, trying to write through the block, or I would write something different. Either way, it would be a mental exercise that eventually would inspire some thought or idea. Of course, any writing that I did during the block, I would have to review and often throw out. 

What are you working on at the moment?
I still need to finish my fanfic work called The Case of Need. It was a fun, yet challenging project, to see if I could write Sherlock Holmes. Of all the characters, I find him the most daunting. I've often told others that I believe the character is too cerebral for me to write. But, therein lies the challenge! My solution was to write the characters from the BBC series Sherlock, rather than the original character from Doyle's series of books. I've had a blast writing the "voices" of those characters in the story. I have yet to finish the ending though.

I'm also brainstorming ideas and working out details for my next book. It will most likely be a murder mystery/crime novel, but set in an earlier time.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest work is entitled Second on the Right.

I delve into a lot of psychological issues. How would a man react if the very thing he values or loves is taken from him? Would he seek revenge? In this story, he does and falls into a bitter depression, which begins to change him. I asked myself if such a man would be able to pull himself out of that pit of depression and self-loathing if he were disfigured in the process. 
One female character finds herself in a situation where she makes a rash decision based on passion and later regrets it. How does she handle the guilt and shame of such a decision? 
There are a lot of things going on in the book, including adventure, romance, and time travel. It's a fun tweak to an old story.

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Thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her thoughts with us, on Friday we welcome Elle Jacklee to the hot seat.

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