Elsye Harwood

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
I hated the books I was given to read at school, I always preferred the stories in my head. I finally learnt to read when my mother refused to read "The Gift From Winklesea" to me anymore. I started to write the stories I told my nephews and nieces down in the nineties but, like most aspiring writers, thought they weren't good enough to send to a publisher and put them in a draw instead. With the explosion of the indie publishing scene in the last 7 years I was exposed to a lot of fiction that I liked and that made me believe that there might be a market for mine if I put the effort into being a good story teller. So I started writing.
I wrote a short story for a competition that I was quite proud of so my husband challenged me to write one of the stories in my head down. Three hundred and forty seven thousand words later I had finished the first draft. It wasn't brilliant, but I could see the progression in my writing as I went through it. That one is still in the draw. I immediately sat down and started another. This time only one hundred and ten thousand words, and started to send it to agents and publishers, whilst still writing short stories and submitting them as well. I started another novel as soon as I had finished that one and have kept doing that for the last four years. I have missed four days in that time.
I received an offer from a publisher last year on my second book and "standard contractual terms" made our lawyer blanch. So after considering what the upsides were to being an un-promoted mid list author were I decided to go with a small indie publisher instead and see where it went from there.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Simply being able to share all the stories that have been in my head since I was a little girl. I've spent years terrifying younger relatives for fun, to the point of sending a signed photo from one of the creepier characters to a nephew. This was in the days before photoshop so it was hard work but worth it. The phone call from my sister complaining about her terrified child was a small price to pay to be able to remind him of it in front of his girlfriends as a young man.
On a more serious note, I want people to share the same passion for the past that I have had since my mother read the Odyssey to me at bed time. It has informed my choice of career in the real world. Amongst the dull bureaucracy that seems to dominate the teaching profession it is fun to inspire passion for a subject by means of a good yarn.
The idea that someone will read and enjoy my writing helps me to enjoy making it.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Elsye Harwood online

Where to buy in print


Shadow of Hope
Price: Free! Words: 110,190. Language: British English. Published: August 3, 2015 by Lillian White Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Classical Greece & Rome, Fiction » Romance » Historical
(5.00 from 1 review)
A simple shepherd in ancient Greece, Cimon struggles to deal with the aftermath of being torn from his home and wife by a wandering Rabisu. As he changes in ways he could never have imagined, it seems that the gods may not have finished with him yet. Might there be a chance for him to regain his former life and love, a shadow of hope?
The Kin
Price: Free! Words: 105,070. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: July 14, 2015 by Lillian White Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Classical Greece & Rome, Fiction » Fantasy » Historical
(5.00 from 1 review)
Book 1 of the Custodians: Rome, present day: David Lowe arrives to research myths and folk tales. Studying in a library that seems to have as unusual a personality as it's Custodians. Parthia, second century A.D; Two legionnaires, far ahead of Emperor Trajan's legions, explore the dead city of Persepolis and unwittingly unleash a force more deadly than any the Roman Empire has had to face before.

Elsye Harwood's tag cloud