Interview with Randal Eliot

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I believe that almost everybody understands that writing effectively is incredibly hard work - hard work that involves numerous drafts and revisions. The greatest joy of the process, then, is when a reader rewards you with a comment that shows they've taken your efforts seriously. It's always a pleasure when someone has enjoyed your work.
Who are your favorite authors?
Gawd, that could include almost everybody I've ever read. It's possible to learn something from every writer, even if the lesson isn't always a direct influence on what you do or try to do.

I've an interest in literature through the ages. So, I could include writers of classics through to popular and underground twentieth-century scribes... I like a lot of poetry and some plays, too. My broad reading tastes possibly explain why my writing style is very eclectic. My finished prose is grounded in realism, but displays all sorts of influences from the gothic to modernism to cult stuff through to very popular literature. What Goes and Comes Around is a hybrid novel full of thrills and relevant, poignant moments.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life itself and all the people - good and bad - in it.

Staying in bed all of the time would soon become very dull. And it's not much of a research method, is it? A writer who spends all his or her time lazying will soon run out of material...
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't. I'll guess that it was some exercise at school. Incredibly, I don't even remember the first short story I had published. I've narrowed it down to two possibilities, but in the process of moving several times I've lost the publications and I can't pinpoint which story it was...

Being published means more to you as you get a little older.
What is your writing process?
An idea that develops into a story with evolving characters and notes that is then developed into a plot and eventually a plan for chapters. These chapters are then written and rewritten until the book has been through numerous drafts... One fine day, you know you can do no more, and it's completed.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not the first ever story, no.

I remember as a teenager my first venture into more 'advanced' stuff, however. The power and humour in the writing of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest blew my mind. That's the great thing about reading - there's always another book with the potential to really move you, whether it be Wuthering Heights or... Whatever. So much great, undiscovered stuff.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
A friend on a social media site posted a similar question about a literary top ten. I found it impossible, so I'm not going to attempt to narrow it down to five. We should be happy that there are so many great books.
Describe your desk
A clutter of pens, pencils, paper, books and miscellaneous stuff like a broken watch and a lump of coal. With enough room for a laptop.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In the industrial North of England - my teenage years coincided with the government's closure of industry or their ideological creation of a wasteland... A very unstable period of history... So many bad decisions were made back then that have come back to haunt us... And they were often harsh times. Many of the hardships I witnessed gave me invaluable insights into human nature, and that's the good as well as the bad sides of our nature.

My experiences inspired or laid the foundations for many of the themes in my novel, What Goes and Comes Around. That's where I explore them fully - so give the book a chance! I'd be much obliged.
Published 2015-01-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

What Goes and Comes Around
Price: Free! Words: 116,890. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2014 by Literary Fragments. Categories: Fiction » Urban
Betrayal, the dreams inspired by popular culture and a slippery slope of debt propel a fashionable working family towards a ruthless criminal's grip. Can the estranged Randalls recover their unity and avert disaster? What Goes and Comes Around adapts and modernises the realist-cum-naturalistic novel, producing a sharp, poignant and sometimes acerbically funny study of contemporary living.