Interview with Elaine Macko

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Connecticut and it is such a wonderful setting for cozy mysteries. The seasons, the quaint villages. How could you not set a mystery there.
When did you first start writing?
I was living in Europe at the time and found myself out of work. A friend suggested I should use the time to do something I always wanted to do. So over dinner one night my husband and I started to talk about my writing a mystery and it took off from there.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Actually, a fan emailed me to say she enjoyed my first book. She took the time to give me a suggestion on how to kill someone and I took it! The fifth book in my series, due out in a few months, is called Smoked.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wasn't happy with the marketing or lack thereof that my previous publisher was doing for me. I also didn't like the covers they were coming up with. They were nice, but not what I wanted and didn't really show the reader what was inside. So I decided to take things into my own hands and I found a wonderful cover designer, learned how to get the books out on various sites, and things are really picking up.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, I am new to Smashwords and they only have one of my books so far, but one of these days I am hoping to see my books in Target!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like seeing where my character is going. In my latest, I had the killer down as someone else, but my character is taking things in an entirely different direction.
What do your fans mean to you?
Oh, gosh, they are the ones I am writing for. I get such wonderful feedback from readers and when someone tells me to hurry up and write another book because they've finished the others, I feel really proud.
What are you working on next?
I need to finish Smoked and then I will start Pickled. I'm also working on a memoir of my years living in Europe but it's hard for me to get a handle on that book. It's just all over the place. Maybe I should try writing it as a novel instead of a memoir and that might help.
Who are your favorite authors?
Michael Connelly, Stuart Woods, Steve Martini. I so enjoy their books. And of course James Patterson.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My day job! the fact is, I really am a morning person, so getting up isn't much of a problem for me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to read and power walk. And I enjoy riding my bike and swimming in the summer, especially at night. So peaceful to be floating in a pool under the stars. I also enjoy doing crafts.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I don't have an e-reader. I enjoy reading the old fashioned way.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a poem I wrote for my grandmother who had died a few years before.
What is your writing process?
I write in the mornings for a few hours. I just write and get everything down and go back and edit later. I also have ideas written on scraps of paper. Not very organized, but there you have it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I wasn't much of a reader as a child but I loved ice skating. In 1960 Carol Heiss won the gold medal at the Olympics and a few years later someone wrote a biography of her. I got it out of the school library and read it many times.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a wonderful person who does it for me. I tell her what the book is about and she sends me a few ideas and then I pick the one I want and we tweak it until it's exactly what I want.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I just loved the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I couldn't understand who a book could be written in letters and then I started to read. I actually cried when I was done because I didn't want it to be over. I am not sure other books have impacted me that way but there are just so many good reads out there.
What do you read for pleasure?
Usually a James Patterson or Michael Connelly book. I also love reading Yankee Magazine. I've had a subscription for years and it keeps me in touch with my New England roots. My guilty pleasure is sitting in a café on Saturday mornings and reading People magazine, but don't tell anyone!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't have one.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Hmmm....I'm just learning the ropes and all about social media.
Describe your desk
White. With a globe and a lamp and that's about it.
Published 2013-09-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.