Welcome to the sixth post in my Author Spotlight series! Every month, I showcase an indie author and interview them to find out more about their writing life.
This month, the author in the spotlight is Elle Beaumont! I've edited one of Elle's short stories, and I'll be working on one of her novellas soon! She is a prolific writer, and she just released a new book with Christis Christie called The Dragon's Bride! Elle and I got to know each other through Instagram, and I'm an affiliate editor with her publishing company, Midnight Tide Publishing.
Bio: Elle Beaumont is a creative who loves building and writing vivid fantasy and science fiction worlds. She lives in southeastern Massachusetts with her husband and two children. When not writing or chasing her children around, Elle crawls into her dungeon to craft candles. Sometimes, when the sun isn’t shining too brightly, she ventures into her gardens too. More than once Elle has proclaimed that coffee is life blood and it is how she refrains from becoming a zombie.
In July 2020, Elle founded Midnight Tide Publishing, which is an author collective platform focusing on fantasy and science fiction. The publishing house was created to help self-published authors not only navigate, but flourish in the independent book world and still feel like they have the support of a traditional platform.
Q: What made you want to be a writer?
A: I’ve always had an active imagination. Really. To the point that my parents brought me to a therapist when I was younger because they thought I was hallucinating when I had my imaginary friend. Timmy was my scapegoat. Whenever I was in trouble—he made me do it.
Aside from that, I think a part of me always wanted to be. I grew up with my Dad telling us horror stories he made up at bedtime, or he’d drive us to a cemetery to scare us. I was obsessed with Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which centered around storytelling as well.
When I was younger, I had a severe form of epilepsy that wasn’t responsive to medication and because of that I was in the hospital for weeks on end. Movies, books, plays . . . this helped me escape in times that weren’t fun. To be that escape for someone when they need it most, I think that’s pretty special.
Q: How do you choose your characters’ names?
A: Most of the time I have a “country” that I base my worlds off of, or maybe it’s the real world with a supernatural aspect woven into it. It depends on their background, where they’re from, and I research names and their meaning. Sometimes . . . I just like the name. Sometimes . . . I go to a public Facebook post, close my eyes, scroll really fast, and pick a first and last name like that. Seriously! (Colleen Hoover does this too!)
Q: Have any of your characters surprised you? If so, how?
A: All the time. I think that’s the best part of character creation. If they don’t surprise you, I don’t think you’re listening to them enough. Sometimes, no matter how hard you strive to have them do X, they do something else instead and it opens SO many more doors. Sometimes . . . I slam the doors in their face and scream NO too.
Q: Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g., lighting a candle before you write, meditating before you write, going for a walk to get ideas)
A: I don’t really. If I’m feeling particularly stuck, I’ll go for a walk or garden for a little. I’ll have a lot of ideas come to me when I’m making candles and, of course, it’s when I’m covered in wax and can’t write it down or use my computer.
Q: How much research do you do, and how long do you spend on research for one book?
A: I think this is a slippery slope. To each their own, but I think doing your research while you’re writing is the best way. Otherwise, I think you can get hung up on ideas and never get around to writing. That being said, it depends on the topic! For my more historical pieces, I’ve spent a solid two days if not more (in total) researching sites, mythology, and demographics.
Q: Do you have any specific authors or books that you've learned from on your writing journey?
A: Totally! I know my list will always grow, but I can definitely name a few off the top of my head: A.G. Howard, R.A. Salvatore, C.S. Lewis, Neil Gaiman, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Grace Draven. They’re all brilliant writers and who I owe so many thanks to for their inspiration and also offering me great escapes.
Q: How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
A: I used to pants (for those of you who don’t know . . . this means I have a general idea in my head, but just let it all flow out every time I sit down). That used to work for me, but I didn’t have so many voices or ideas rolling around in my head. I also wasn’t running a collective then either. Now? If I tried to pants, the hot garbage that would fly from my fingers would scare me into hiding and I’d never come out. I *must* plot now and I’m better for it. Although, truth be told, Brenna copy-edited a pantsed story from me recently and I’m not a recluse—yet!
Q: What’s your number one tip for tackling imposter syndrome?
A: Write like no one is ever going to read it but just write it. Your story is valid and so are you. Surround yourself with an amazing core group of supporters. Make sure they’re readers, non-readers, and writers. You’ll always have someone you can rely on that way.
Q: What is your go-to snack and/or drink while writing?
A: I don’t snack. But I drink copious amounts of coffee . . . usually coconut iced coffee. Or a mocha iced coffee.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I’m currently working on two projects. One is the sequel to a first draft and the other is a steampunk novella!
If you'd like to follow Elle on her writing journey or find out more about her stories, this is where you can find her:
Facebook: Elle Beaumont Books
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