So many of the authors I interview on my blog are people I have never met but know a bit through social media or their newsletters and books. The author I am thrilled to introduce you to today is actually someone who became my friend first and then an author. Elena Hill has her first story coming out later this month, a romantic suspense included in a novella collection, all set on Sharktooth Island. I think you're going to enjoy getting to know Elena and reading these stories. Be sure to scroll at the way to the bottom for more information.
Elena, congrats on your first published work. What led you to decide to write your first story for publication?
I’ve always been a fan of story. My mother is an author and now publisher. I’ve always pushed her saying ‘it’s not hard. You just gotta put it on the page’. So she essentially told me to give it a try and she’d publish it. I was wrong. The writing process takes much more effort than just throwing words on a page lol. But I enjoyed it and feel it better helps me understand Mom’s plight with words.
I know this is a collection with three other authors, all set on the same island, but 50-75 years apart. How hard was it to make sure your story fit with the other three?
I lucked out and got to be the black sheep. Each time we had planning sessions (zoom calls) nothing was required from me to “fit into the story”. All I had to do was leave a plane carcass in the shoals. ;)
One of your characters is a pilot. Have you ever had any experience behind the cockpit of a plane? What made you decide to give your heroine that job?
I personally have never flown a plane but I spent several months living in the bush of Alaska. Common travel from villages to the “city” was a small 4-seater plane. It was not uncommon for a passenger to sit upfront with the pilot.
When we decided we wanted to do this collection, we agreed we needed a pirate book, a gilded age, a plane crash and a modern day. I volunteered to crash a plane.
In your research for your era, what was one of the neatest facts you uncovered?
I was intrigued by how many women were pioneers in aviation. The formed a group called the “Ninety-Niners” including Amelia Earhart, who I feel we all recognize, as well as Louise Thaden and Florence Klingensmith. My main character is named Louise in honor of Thaden—she won the Bendix trophy in 1936. This was a poplar cross-country air race. Florence is briefly hinted at in my book as being a daredevil in the sky. She was a stunt woman and known for taking risks. She also was the first woman to complete against men in air races, at the time most female pilots only raced against each other. Unfortunately one race she was piloting a GeeBee and the right wing tore from the plane at low altitude not allowing enough time for her to recover or bail with a parachute.
Tell us, if you were stranded on an island like your characters, what are three things you'd want to have with you?
Definitely a weapon both for protection and to hunt. Means of procuring water. And unlike poor Louise (my main character) a working radio or, in current day, a working satellite phone.
Now that you've got one story under your belt, do you think you might do any more in the future?
O boy, that’s a tough one. I’d love to say yes but I don’t know that I can handle the pressure of finishing again, lol.
As a writer, I know I learn something new with each story I write. What is something you learned through this process you think might benefit someone else starting out on his/her own writing career?
Sprints are your friend. Even if you think you are stuck, tell yourself you have 20mins--no distractions, no excuses--your fingers must continue to move (typing) entire time. And remember, crap makes great fertilizer. Some of my best scenes came from sprints that were mediocre but with little extra time—great improvement.
And, as always, I ask all my authors to share one fact about yourself that very few people know.
You know I’m a talker, right? That means I have no secrets and few things are ‘lesser known facts’. But I will say an intriguing fun fact is I’ve lived in both states not part of the main 48. As mentioned above, I did an externship in Alaska for several months during optometry school and I was born in Hawaii.
This was so much fun. Thanks so much for joining us today, and we all look forward to seeing how these stories all tie together with pirates and plane crashes and a cursed island!
Island Mayhem by Elena Hill, Book 3 of Sharktooth Island Novella Collection.
Louise Krause stopped piloting to pursue nursing, but when money got too tight she was forced to give up her dreams and start ferrying around a playboy who managed to excel during the Great Depression. When a routine aerial tour turns south, Louise is unable to save the plane.
After crash landing, the cocky pilot is stranded. She longs to escape an uninhabited island, but her makeshift raft sinks, and she and her companions are in even worse trouble. Can Louise learn to trust her companions in order to survive, or will the island's curse and potential sabotage lead to her demise?
Elena Hill is a Christian, a wife, a dog Mom, and an optometrist. She dabbles with many hobbies including photography, painting and most recently writing. She has been an avid reader and supporter of Christian fiction since a young age but in 2020 took on the title of content editor for Scrivenings Press.
Elena, along with her husband James and fur baby Idgie, currently resides in northeast Arkansas. Her favorite pastime is riding around with family in their side-by-side chasing the sunset, many of her photos display God’s handiwork—varying skyscapes and colors.
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
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