Interview with Elena Sandidge

When did you first start writing?
I first started writing my book when I was 18. It started out as a short story and then got longer and longer until it was a 100 page script. I then decided to turn it into a novel.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a little bit of everything. I love reading first hand accounts of people's journeys, especially if it involves horses. I read quite a lot of history books too, some poetry and basically any novel that takes my fancy.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Describe your desk
It's next to a window which is really important to me. It's really just a desk though. I wrote on a laptop for quite a few years so basically I'll write anywhere there's a place for me to sit.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is about the life of dentist and legendary gunfighter, Doc Holliday. He's an interesting character to me as he's full of contradictions. While he was a real person, he's got tangled in his own legend over the years. It's always strange to try and find the truth sometimes it's more ordinary than the legend and other times it's the opposite.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
One of my friends suggested that I go ahead and give it a try. She's had a lot of success as an indie author. I was a bit nervous about it all but I was curious too so thought I'd do it and see what happens.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy researching new ideas and new places. With the Doc book, I did quite a lot of reading and thinking about the 1870s to 1880's American West. It's really fun to try and decide whether a gunshot wound ought to be sewed up or left open. What would a Dr. do back then. All kinds of weird and wonderful questions pop into your head. It's also fun to really imagine the settings that you're writing about. What noises are there? How does the place smell? What can the characters see? Of course it's also wonderful to be finished and have a completed book, but that goes without saying.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm extremely grateful to everyone who takes the time to read the books. I know its not the easiest thing to decide to take a chance with an author that you've never heard anything about before. I really enjoy talking to fans too, especially if they're interested in Wild West history.
What are you working on next?
I'm going to have a bit of a change and write a book set in Scotland, my home country. It's going to be a fantasy set in the present time, although I'm sure characters from the past will somehow find themselves in the story.
What is your writing process?
In the Doc Holliday books, it was actually pretty easy because I had books to read about the characters and I ended up with a large folder of information that I'd collected from different books. I created a chronological list of historical events and wrote according to the list. Writing fantasy is a bit harder. I've tried to be the kind of writer that plots everything out ahead of time but I'm not really like that. I do set out the characters and give them a basic skeleton and I collect images that inspire me, but then trying to connect things together is not so easy. I pretty much just start at the beginning and then things become apparent to me and connect up.
Published 2014-06-16.
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