Friday, March 20, 2015

Author Interview: Elsie Hillman-Gordon

LM Please tell us a little about yourself?
EG: Love Is Everything is my first fiction novella. I was thrilled when it won the Gold/1st Place Award for Best Short Story in The Feathered Quill Book Awards Program.
Love Is Everything is an inspirational romance about a woman struggling to find joy in life and doubting her faith in God after losing her parents in a tragic accident.  But after reluctantly accepting a blind date with a handsome widower with a strong faith, she embraces anew her relationship with God and the power of love.

The original concept for my story had only a light theme of grief, but I emphasized it more after my mother passed away. Feeling emotional, I wrote a stronger storyline on grief to not only help me externalize my grief but to help others understand their own emotions, after losing loved ones. Several readers have told me that before reading my book, they had never heard of the five stages of grief. So, for them, the story was both enlightening and uplifting.
Many of my friends are asking for a sequel to Love Is Everything—they’re not ready to let go of the characters.  And honestly, I’m not either. So, I’m mapping out ideas for a sequel, as well as a non-fiction, inspirational book.

I welcome readers to my website to find out more about me:

LM: Do you feel like your background or upbringing influences your writing style?  If so, in what way(s)?
EG: Yes, my background influenced my writing of Love Is Everything.  I’m a Christian and active in my church with various ministries. My book is an inspirational romance with Christian values. 

LM: Describe your book, in 10 words or less
It’s an inspirational story of love, loss, and new beginnings.

LM: When and why did you begin writing?
EG: I write for many reasons. For example: just because, to share my thoughts with others, to leave something behind in the world when I pass away, and the list goes on.   My love for writing started early. I can remember sitting at the kitchen table at the age of nine, writing stories on notebook paper and sharing them with my family, especially my father.  He loved books and encouraged us to explore the world through reading and writing. He was an animated storyteller—often educating and entertaining my brothers and me with his childhood stories.

LG: Is there a central message or theme in “Love Is Everything” that you hope readers will come away from the reading experience with?
EG: I want my writing to inspire and encourage readers to have faith in God and to know that in one way or another, everything’s going to be alright in the end—the love of God, family and friends will see us through challenging times.

LM: What has been the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author? What has been the best compliment?
EG: Honestly, I have not received any tough criticism. Some readers have mentioned that they wish the story had not ended when it did, but only because they were enjoying it and wanted it to go on a bit longer.  That’s a criticism that I take as a compliment.

LM: What’s next for you? What can readers look forward to from you?
EG: Many readers are asking for a sequel to Love Is Everything—they’re not ready to let go of the characters.  And honestly, I’m not either. So, I’m mapping out ideas for a sequel, and also ideas for a non-fictional inspirational book.

LM: If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of writing your novel or getting it published that you would change?
EG: My story is a novella—it’s short and sweet.  If I could go back and do it all over again, I would extend the story at least a couple of more chapters to satisfy the appetite of readers who want more information about Vanessa’s and Elliott’s future.  But that can always be handled by writing a sequel. 

LM: What has been the most effective method of marketing and/or publicizing your books so far? Why or how?
EG: For the most part, I have managed my own marketing by directly reaching out to my networks: family, friends, acquaintances, social circles, etc.  I read somewhere that the majority of people who will support you are people who like you or trust you.  

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