Interview with G. Eldon Smith

When did you first start writing?
I started writing fiction in about third or fourth grade. I wrote a story about a boy who wanted an electric train for Christmas. It was not an assignment but I showed it to my teacher it to my teacher anyway. She returned it with one written comment: "You spelled electric wrong." I have Spellcheck now so watch out!
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wanted to write a Western or courtroom drama. Discovering that Westerns are out of style and that I don't know enough about the law, to base a whole plot in a courtroom, I settled for a murder mystery. My research led me to write about Denver in 1890. In retrospect, I think the story found me or rather forced itself on me. I did not create Murder in the Rockies, I merely wrote it down.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Exposure, exposure is the name of the game for a debut author. Smashwords will make readers aware that there is a book named Murder in the Rockies out there among tens of thousands of books available. If they are inclined in that direction or curious about the title or setting, whatever, some may decide to read the book.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting the story out of my head and heart, and watching the plot develop and unfold is my greatest joy. Sometimes I become one with the setting and wish I had lived in the days I am writing about. On the other hand, who's to say that I didn't?
What are you working on next?
Two Miles High and Six Feet Under will be the second in the series of Andrew Coyle mysteries. I am a little more that half way finished with the first draft, 57,000 out of 72,000 words. I like the character and characters I portray and enjoy the setting. Historical events are tied to each novel I write. The location for Two Miles High is Leadville, Colorado during the life of the famous Ice Palace,winter of 1896. I have visited Leadville several times, and went to the site of the Ice Palace. My head spun with ideas as looked around and imagined it was 1896.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many that I hesitate to even begin. John LeCarre, Ernest Hemingway, and Mark Twain are the first ones I think about, but ask me the same question tomorrow and I will probably name three entirely different authors.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Who says I get out of bed each day? Actually I have certain duties that I am expected to do as part of the social contract of living with another person, such as making a lunch for my wife to take to work, feed the dog, take out the trash on trash pick up day, etc., etc.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
In the summer, fishing is on my mind when I am not fishing. The last several months I have been surfing the internet looking for and acting on marketing ideas for Murder in the Rockies. The dog needs walking, as do I. Walking is a good way to come up with answers for being stuck in my writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My first published story appeared in a Sunday school magaize. It was about three siblings. The oldest two did tricks on their bicycles. The littlest one made his tricycle go in a big circle backwards. Big brother and big sister could not go backward on their bikes. Everybody and everything has some special talent.
What is your writing process?
I do not outline. I do know where the story is going, but even that might change slightly as I fill in the middle part of the story and see how that might change the outcome. Or perhaps one character's personality requires some adjustment to the conclusion. It is another way of saying the characters write the story and I just put it on paper.
How do you approach cover design?
I wanted to show mountains and hint a something sinister. I think that Murder in the Rockies has captured that very well. I hope it will catch readers attention enough to make them pick it up and read the cover text. There are some very good reviews on the back.
Published 2014-01-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Two Miles High and Six Feet Under: A Tale of Leadville, Colorado, Elevation 10,152 Feet
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 72,650. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
"Two Miles High and Six Feet Under" is set in Leadville, Colorado in 1896. Andrew Coyle, a young Denver lawyer, is offered a job to audit the financial records of the Leadville winter carnival which features the Ice Palace as its star attraction. Upon arriving, he sees a corpse frozen in the Palace. As accidents and bodies pile up, Coyle is convinced that murder is involved.