Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Elspeth Grace Hall I currently live in Heanor, Derbyshire with my husband and daughter that is when I am not building a new home on a small farm in Caithness, where I intend to take up the country life rearing geese, chickens, pigs and vegetables. So far I have had 1 book published and am writing 3 more. To support my writing I work with my husband teaching history through costumed interpretation.
See us at work: www.history-survives.weebly.com
I was born in the 80’s to Anglo-Scottish parents and grew up on the banks of the Chesterfield canal. I spent the first 7 years of my married life near the junction of the Nottingham, Cromford and Erewash canals.
I graduated from the Open University in 2014 with a BA Open that covered history, languages and creative writing.
After losing my hearing in 2009 I learnt Sign Language and enjoy writing poetry in both English and Sign Supported English.
Examples of my poetry can be found at: http://www.thesigningpoet.weebly.com
I have also recorded a series of lessons in Sign Supported English on my youtube channel : http://j.mp/TheSigningPoetVideo
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Adventures of Puss-Puss: Puss-Puss the Splash Maker and the Rainbow.
Its the first of a trilogy. Originally I was just going to call it “The Adventures of Puss-Puss vol. 1” but the publisher was worried that it would sound to much like an encyclopaedia, so she came up with the current title.
I was inspired when a cat was abandoned in a plastic bag outside my front door. As I watched her encounter the varied wildlife in our garden i wondered how she would have fared if she had been dumped on the canal bank just down the road.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I eat ready to roll icing as I edit…. In one week I can consume 3 kg of icing!
I tend to get my best ideas just as I’m drifting of to sleep. My husband will often find I’ve crept down stares in my nighty to scribble furiously.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
A.A. Milne, “The Famous Five”, Beatrix Potter, Terry Pratchet
What are you working on now?
The Adventures of Puss-Puss Volumes 2 and 3. A book of Scottish ballads, poems and Waulking songs. (Yes you read that right Waulking is the process of drenching tweed in urine. You need a lot of funny songs to take your mind of the smell…) Also I am translating 15th century Scottish wills for a genealogical project that I shall be co-writing with my husband.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Goodreads.com is a good middle man. I found this and other similar sites through Goodreads, it also put me in touch with a fellow author who now exchanges unfinished manuscripts with me so we can check each others typos. A fresh set of eyes is always good.
But to be honest nothing beats meeting people face to face, I’ve made more sales through direct contact than through review sites. Its just a pity I cant be everywhere at once.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Edit edit edit. If you haven’t spent 20 x the amount of time you did creating on editing you will never get a publisher interested. Also don’t sacrifice your dream to make it fit a certain publishers standard there are so many niche publishers out there keep looking. I spent 2 years sending synopsis after synopsis to Publishers.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Even best sellers get rejected. Rejection is your vitamin x if you cant handle it you were never meant to be a writer.
What are you reading now?
Several children’s books… my daughter is an avid consumer of stories but is to young to read her self . We max out the library card on every visit.
I’m waiting on the arival of Comanche Moon by Simon Web and hope to start Spirit Walk by Charles-de-Lint shortly.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Once the trilogy is out I shall take a short pause to get the farm up and running. Then I shall start a new book on farm life from the animals perspective….. who knows it may turn into a series as well.
What is your favorite book of all time?
The God Whale. It’s a dystopian fantasy that looks at where we will end up as a species if we become over reliant on machines.