Author Interview: Elliot Cooper

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Hello, readers! Today we’re pleased to bring queer speculative fiction author Elliot Cooper to your eyeballs. Elliot is part of a writers group with Lina and I, and we absolutely love his work. We think you will, too.

Elliot Cooper’s most recent release is a re-release of The Clockwork Menagerie, which was originally published by NineStar Press in 2016. He even created the cover himself! It won the SFR Galaxy Award for Most Dapper Hero in 2017.

The Clockwork Menagerie CoverAutosmith Clement Dyer wants to create his life-like, mechanical animals in peace. He’s tired of being badgered about selling his business to his long-time rival and former lover, Duke Goodwin. He also craves appreciation for his living works of art.

Unfortunately, not all of Clement’s clients see his clockwork creations the way he does, and a prominent but dissatisfied customer threatens to sink his struggling business into the ground.

Goodreads

 

I think this romance between two queer men will be right up your alleys, readers. You can pick up a copy on Amazon, and read for free on Kindle Unlimited!

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

“You can’t edit a blank page.” This is one I learned during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It’s helped me whenever I get temporarily stuck on little details—I’ll remember I can fix it in edits later, but I can’t fix words I haven’t written.

 

What’s your favorite emoji?

XD

 

Have you always wanted to be writer or is this a recent development in your life?

I’ve always wanted to be a professional author of some sort (or at least since I first started writing my own stories at a young age). Even when I had big dreams of being a paleontologist or an SR-71 pilot, I still wanted to also be a published author.

 

What was your last five star read? What made it a five star read?

Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton. This trope heavy wild west romance had it all! Heart, laughs, action, and a wonderful cast of secondary characters. I love stories that have a range of tones and can elicit a variety of emotions, especially when they have a great romantic arc and happy ending 🙂

 

What do you do to break out of writing slumps?

Don’t give up. Keep trying to break through. Even if the first few attempts don’t work (especially when anxiety and depression get in the mix), I’ll try new things until something works. Every time is different for me, usually, which makes it difficult to get back on track. But remembering I’m always able to come back to it is a big help, too.

 

Is your writing process the same for each book? What differences did you notice in each book?

My process is usually: brainstorm, figure out the “before” picture of the characters’ lives so I can know what picture to paint and how to set the stage for the reader, figure out the inciting incident and the end game, then write chronologically and figure out the rest as I go. Sometimes I’ll end up going back and adding significantly more to a story after the fact—anything from a few paragraphs to a scene to entire chapters.

I think the biggest differences between each story is the pace at which I write them. Some stories are written over the course of a few days or a week in back to back sessions. (Junk Mage and Stowaway were like that!) Others take months or years to fully form, due to needing to work out plot issues or just life getting in the way.

 

What’s the first book you remember falling in love with?

The first book I remember absolutely loving was actually a series: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. In elementary school I was fascinated with the creepy stories and illustrations. I’d read them over and over again. Which wasn’t exactly the best thing for a kid who was prone to vivid nightmares and was terrified of the dark XD

 

What do you like to do when you aren’t reading, writing or editing?

Right now I’m very into acrylic painting and playing video games with my spouse (or watching SFF series and movies with him). I’m also a huge fan of listening to real play tabletop RPG podcasts like Major Spoilers: Critical Hit (D&D 4e), Cthulhu and Friends (Call of Cthulhu), and The Adventure Zone (D&D 5e). It’s great when the retail stars align and I can actually play D&D 5e with my local group, too.

 

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