It’s time for another author interview! I’d like to give a big welcome to Elizabeth Crowens. Thank you, Elizabeth, for taking the time to chat to me. Please sit down, get comfortable and let’s begin.
About Elizabeth Crowens
Elizabeth Crowens is the pen name author of SILENT MERIDIAN, book one in the Time Traveler Professor series, an alternate history/ “spooky steampunk” novel. She has published a variety of non-fiction articles. Recently she won an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s fiction short story contest for Emerging Writers.
A 15-year veteran of the film industry in Hollywood, she’s also an alumnus of Algonkian workshops and the Gotham Writer’s Workshop and a member of the Horror Writers Association. An active Sherlockian, she’s lectured on Arthur Conan Doyle, belongs to several Sherlockian groups, and is an independent scholar on Eastern and Western mysticism and Jungian psychology. A blackbelt in martial arts, she’s lived in Japan. Currently, she lives in New York City.
What’s the name of your new book?
Tell us a bit about your book
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is obsessed with a legendary red book. Its peculiar stories have come to life, and rumors claim that it has rewritten its own endings. Convinced that possessing this book will help him write his ever-popular Sherlock Holmes stories, he takes on an unlikely partner, John Patrick Scott, known to most as a concert musician and paranormal investigator. Although in his humble opinion, Scott considers himself more of an ethereal archeologist and a time traveler professor.
Together they explore lost worlds and excavate realms beyond the knowledge of historians when they go back in time to find it. But everything backfires, and their friendship is tested to the limits. Both discover that karmic ties and unconscionable crimes have followed them like ghosts from the past, wreaking havoc on the present and possibly the future.
SILENT MERIDIAN reveals the alternate histories of Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and other luminaries in the secret diaries of a new kind of Doctor Watson, John Patrick Scott, in an X Files for the 19th century.
If there was a film or TV adaptation of your book, who would you like to see play your characters?
I already formed my own film production company, Atomic Alchemist Productions, anticipating getting a book-to-film deal. Hugh Jackman would play Arthur Conan Doyle. Robert Sheehan, a twenty-five-year-old Irish actor, would be cast as John Patrick Scott. This would be a breakout role and the chance of a lifetime for him. I have my eyes on Edward Norton as H.G. Wells, or possibly Russell Crowe. Finn—definitely Matt Smith, who played Doctor Who. For Aliskiya Lleullne, Amanda Seyfried, and she has worked with Jackman in Les Miserables. I’d like to see Sasha Baron Cohen portray Francois Poincare. Haven’t yet made any choices for Harry Houdini, Wendell Mackenzie, Whit, or Sophia Poincare.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
The names of the famous people such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini and H.G. Wells. The names are important.
Give us an insight into your main character. What makes them unique?
He’s a Victorian concert pianist with a touch of Harry Potter in this character.
Where do your ideas come from?
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Too expensive to make a book trailer. I’d have to hire an actor and film it in Scotland.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Getting this book published. It’s unique and cross-genre and was many years in the making with umpteen revisions.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Probably on my fifth book in the series, with at least two or three films out in the series and very happy about it. I expect at least 5-7 books in the Time Traveler Professor series. I’m also writing a contemporary thriller/mystery series with a female protagonist.
Have you always liked to write?
As a child I was more involved in a variety of visual arts and performing arts. I wrote on and off.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Persistence. Keep doing it, and learn the craft. If I had known more of the basic craft skills beforehand, I could’ve saved a lot of time.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Write, direct and produce films.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
So far all of the reviews have been positive and spot-on.
What is your best marketing tip?
Juggle your time. It’s a struggle.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Sales and self-promotion.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Pornography. Aside from that, probably sports.
Do you have a favourite conference / convention that you like to attend? What is it?
The World Fantasy Convention.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?
Maybe one that needs a lot of fact checking to complete accurately.
How long does it usually take you to write the first draft of a book?
Can’t really answer that. The first draft of Silent Meridian took two years. However, there were many drafts beyond that before I was able to submit it.
What are you working on now?
Two projects: A Pocketful of Lodestones, the sequel to Silent Meridian and Memoirs of an American Butterfly, a psychological thriller that takes place in 1983.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
The sequel to Silent Meridian will follow all of the characters into the First World War. Memoirs of an American Butterfly is a psychological thriller: Gone Girl (Guy) meets Lost in Translation.
Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
My best work is done in the wee hours of the night.
How has your environment or upbringing impacted your writing?
I probably rebelled against my parents, because they never read or had books in the house.
Describe what your ideal writing space looks like.
When I get my dream flat in London and another residence in Edinburgh, those will be my ideal spaces in addition to my space in New York.
Why should a potential reader buy your book(s)?
There’s a secret and hidden message in my book. Those who read it should be able to experience some of its magical effect.
What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your book?
Victorian beliefs about ghosts and life after death.
What’s something you’re really good at that few people know about?
I know a lot about Eastern and Western mysticism. I don’t talk about that to too many people.
What’s an interesting fact about your book?
A lot of it is based on true events despite all the fictionalization.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
That’s just how the cookie crumbled with the genre my story was in.
Where did your love of books come from?
I’ve always loved a good story, but I collect antiquarian books.
How long have you been writing?
On and off for over 40 years.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To have gotten my Ph.D. in Jungian Psychology and not have wasted my time and money with a fancy art and design school.
What would the main character in your book have to say about you?
Don’t screw up. You still have a chance.
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
No day job except self-marketing and promoting my book and writing career.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
No doubt about it, John Patrick Scott, my protagonist. I get so much into his character and into his skin when I’m writing that sometimes I can’t shake off the feeling when I’m away from the computer. Sometimes it’s scary to look into the mirror.
Are your characters based on real people, are they imaginary or a combination of both?
Combination of both.
When you’re writing, do you listen to music or do you need silence?
Generally I need silence, but occasionally I need classical music.
Who are your favourite authors, and why?
Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, (love those Victorians), J.K. Rowling, and Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl was a page turner.)
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Not getting distracted with day-to-day dilemmas such as medical billing mistakes, bank errors, computer problems, etc.
Available formats: paperback and ebook, with audiobook coming soon