An interview with the author of children's books such as Noah's Mark, The Seedling Heart and adult novels such as Parallel, Lilac Hill, and The Dusty Road. Christy Elkins publishes with Silver Knight and her books are available through many outlets.
I’ve been many things; a photographer, insurance agent, accountant, among others, but my latest role is home maker, and I must say I’ve never been happier.
When did you become an author? How did it develop, and what was your inspiration?
I began writing when I was a young child. I had a knack for “BS” as some might say. It came in quite handy when I didn’t have time to finish book reports assigned. However, becoming a published author came much later. I had to move to a separate state, away from my older children and I thought I might go mad from missing them. I wrote my first book (a children’s collection of poetry), to keep my sanity as well as pass the time until I could see them again.
Of course most books are trial and error, at the beginning. However, my first two books were written in long hand, because I didn’t own a computer. Once I became technologically advanced, I was over eager and published my first book without editing it. YIKES…is all I have to say about that. (Editors are worth their weight in gold, no doubt.)
What do you think your impact has been among members of your audience? Your community?
I can’t say that I recognize my impact on anyone in particular or on the community, but I have been very blessed by opportunities afforded me. Because of my career choice, I have been able to be a part of some beautifully, rewarding projects, such as “Noah’s Mark” and“For the Love of Zazell”. Both are works that I helped co-create and both benefit charitable organizations for children.
I have read some of the reviews of your books and would say your readers definitely enjoy your books. What would you have liked to do with your work if there was more time, money, wider support, funding, staff, etc.
Reach a broader audience. I don’t have any delusions of being famous or rich, nor do I desire either one, but there is nothing more rewarding in a writing career than having readers. People who take the time to read your work and then tell you, “Hey that was great; I want more!”
Where do you see yourself in the coming years? Will Christy Elkins remain or transform within the book world or move on to something else?
Probably, fluffier with more wrinkles…age she’s a sneakin’ up on me. As far as professionally, I think writing is just in my blood. I will do this until the good Lord takes my breath away. I have so many stories on the backburner right now, just waiting to be finished, and as my children grow, I hope to find more time to dedicate to my work. Even as I mature I think my writing can only do the same. Grow and become better and better with experience.
As a writer, what and who are your influences? Where do you get your ideas?
Everything. Sometimes, I feel like a humongous sponge, (maybe I can blame my weight on that alone). Every person I meet, every situation I encounter develops me as a person and ads richness and fullness to my stories. The more believable and relatable a story is the more enjoyable and likable it is to a reader.
I also have some extremely crazy dreams and am fortunate enough to have encountered some pretty amazing writers, who have taught me some tricks of the trade, either by accident or instruction ally. My dear friend, the very talented Maria Hammarblad, has really encouraged, motivated and baby sat me through some of my writing. I can also add that I learned a great deal of technique from reading The Mound, by…oh, what was that lady's name? Oh yes, the remarkable Marilyn Hudson and her fascinating son Cullan Hudson.
Readers often like to find authors similar in tone, subject, or style to another. Who would most enjoy your work: readers of Stoker, Lovecraft, Shelley, King, Koonz, etc?
Awww this is a brilliant questions with a cloudy answer. I have so much trouble even identifying the genre of my books that I can’t possibly take a stab at who I might be like. I know my children’s work is heavily influenced by the brilliant Shel Silverstein. He was my all-time favorite when I was a child.
My grown up reads are so different even from each other that I couldn’t possibly fathom an answer, but I can list some of my favorite author’s and maybe that could shine a little light on my style. I really enjoy Mary Higgins Clark, Neal Shustermann, Suzanne Collins, Maria Hammarblad, Steven King, L.L. Bartlett, and Nancy Thayer, (to name a few).
When you write, do you require a special place, quiet, mood music, a favorite chair or sweater, etc.?
Time. I think that is my biggest requirement. I do enjoy a little background music and it is very mood specific. I think I listened to two songs the entire time I wrote “Parallel”, “Sweet Jane” by the Cowboy Junkies & “Fade into You” by Mazzy Star. I think I nearly drove my husband batty.
Who is Christy? How similar are the two personas of author and Christy Elkins ? In the real world, do you like sports or other pursuits? On any given day where would someone find you and what would you be doing?
Christy Elkins is a very down to earth, yet sometimes quite disturbed person. I am hardest on myself, both with work and just naturally. I laugh easily, love deeply and try really hard to do what is right, most often to spite myself.
I think I am a home body, but it’s because I have such an amazing family and am so satisfied by life, that there isn’t anywhere else I would rather be. I love hanging out with my kids, my husband, our friends and family, (we host a lot of cookouts). I also enjoy fishing but I don’t hunt…watching something die just hurts my heart.
What is the next big thing on your personal and professional agenda?
Personally: Just to relax, be accepting of myself and really take the time to enjoy being home. (We just moved back to Oklahoma from Texas).
Professionally: Finishing a project! I have probably a stack of at least five books just waiting to be born. I would love to make that happen for at least one of them this year.
Also, Silver Knight Publishing is releasing “Unchanged” very soon, (sometimes this summer hopefully). It is an exciting Science-Fiction but not in the spaceship sense, more of a medical sci-fi, but it is full of action and diverse characters. I am very excited and hope it is well received by readers.
Author Christy Elkins has a growing body of work and a fan base that is hungry for more from this down to earth but highly creative woman. If you haven't read one of her books, I encourage you to do so and soon. Her titles include works for children and books for the adult reader. Don't put off the enjoyable things of life!
Marilyn A. Hudson, author of The Bones of Summer and The Mound.