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INTERVIEW: Elin Eriksen Says There’s a Technical Side to Good Writing




Welcome to the Tuesday Author Interview with Christina Boyd for the Who, What, When, Where, and Why.


A few years back, I received an early manuscript of Norwegian author Elin Eriksen's Viking Pride and Prejudice variation Veni Vidi Vicious. I thought it was sexy and imaginative and her storytelling witty and her prose diverting. I was surprised to learn that English is not her first language, too. Ever since, I've followed her on social media and have been impressed with the varied backlist of novels she has written.


CHRISTINA: Why did you choose the publishing path you chose: self-publish vs. traditional?

 

ELIN: I sent my first book to a publisher, and they were positive about publishing it. However, the plot was very controversial, and I chose self-publishing instead. Not only did I kill Jane Bennet in the first scene, but I also portrayed an adulterous Darcy. I was concerned that I would face slaughter in the reviews, and that made me choose to publish independently. If I was going down, I did not want the additional responsibility of dragging someone else down with me.

 


black and white cover of couple in embrace
AUDIOBOOK cover of Veni Vidi Vicious, narrated by Harray Frost

CHRISTINA: That's really remarkable that you pulled out because you didn't want the publisher to take a hit. One doesn't often come across that on this side of publishing. Well done, you.


What is your current project or latest release?

 

ELIN: Brother Dearest (published March 19) is a Pride and Prejudice variation novella with a prior meeting between our dear couple (Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy) and an altered Ramsgate event. Also, I am writing a new and complex murder mystery with French spies and an early understanding between our dear couple. I am hoping to release Good Men are Scarce in the autumn. And I have my first audiobook coming soon, hopefully in May. My Viking variation, Veni Vidi Vicious, is being narrated by the talented Harry Frost, and he is doing a fabulous job. He nailed Viking Darcy!

 

CHRISTINA: Harry Frost! He's a favorite of mine. I can't wait to hear his Viking Darcy.


Which of your own novels is your favorite?

 

ELIN: This is a difficult question to answer because I have several favorites for different reasons. I believe Master of Puppets and The Shadows of Absence are my best-written books, but Wistfully Beautiful and Veni Vidi Vicious are my favorites because the premises are closest to my heart.

 

CHRISTINA: What makes you get up in the morning? What do you love?

 

pink fluffy clouds at dawn through the window, computer in the foreground
Daybreak with Elin

ELIN: I am a lark, not a night owl, and I usually wake between five and six a.m. To be outside in relatively untouched nature is my favorite occupation. I am the happiest when I am alone in an open mountain landscape. I love to hike alone but also with my husband and a couple of my nieces and their families. I also enjoy many creative occupations, whether it is cooking something new in the kitchen, gardening, knitting, embroidering, or writing. I also love to dive into the fictional world of a good book.

 

CHRISTINA: Me too. I think you and I would be great friends in real life.


Do you listen to music while writing? Do you make up Playlists for your books?

ELIN: Music plays a large part in my writing. I have made playlists for some of my books, and many of them have titles from a particular song. Still Waters, Unforgivable, Where Love Resides, and Master of Puppets for example. But mainly, I use it to put myself in a certain mood to write something emotional or romantic. To me, music is emotions, and Can You Feel My Heart by Bring Me the Horizon is my current go-to for dramatic scenes and the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven for the emotional scenes.


CHRISTINA: Interesting. I can't write or edit with music. I need it quiet. But I love to read with music as background.


What’s more difficult to write? A love scene or a love letter or something else?

 

ELIN: I am typically a dramatic writer, in stark contrast to my shy personality. I find it difficult to write the happily-ever-after when the conflict has been resolved and manage to keep it interesting enough for the reader to continue reading.

 

CHRISTINA: Best advice for new writers:

 

ELIN: Get beta readers, a professional editor, and a proofreader. The editor is non-negotiable. It doesn’t matter if you are a renowned English teacher or know someone who is. An editor does so much more than just fix the grammatical errors. I personally find the lack of editing disrespectful to the readers. Make your product the best it can be, and hire a professional editor is my best advice.

 

You should also read books or talk to other authors about how to build a plot, how to introduce/develop your characters, remove unnecessary repetitions, details, sidetracks, and descriptions. Research how to write in deep point-of view. There is a technical side to good writing, and it pays off to do the work.

 

In my humble opinion, the only unpardonable trait a book can have is be boring. Make sure you have a hook at the beginning. Engage the reader by creating a main character to root for or an exciting plot to figure out the result of.

 

CHRISTINA: You know I can't refute any of that. Great advice.


So far, what is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

 

ELIN: My name was mentioned as an author the panel would recommend to new JAFF (Jane Austen fanfiction) readers at the 2023 in-person JAFF get-together. I was gobsmacked because there are so many phenomenal JAFF authors who are much better writers than me. It is a memory I cherish.

 

CHRISTINA: I think it would be great to see you on a panel. Don't sell yourself short. You are a terrific storyteller.


What are you reading now?

 

ELIN: I am re-reading Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell. It is one of my all-time favorites. For research, I am also reading Regency Spies by Sue Wilkes.

 

CHRISTINA: Pemberley Ranch is a favorite of mine, too.


Favorite contemporary author:

 

ELIN: Sue Barr is my favorite author. Her books are tremendously engaging, inventive, and deliciously emotional. I prefer fast-paced over slow-burners, and her books capture my attention in an iron grip from start to finish.


CHRISTINA: Sue Barr is an imaginative writer.


I am so happy you had time for our interview, especially with all the projects you have coming together. I look forward to the audiobook with Harry Frost. Many thanks for your candor.



smiling woman with dirty blonde hair and blue eyes
Elin Eriksen, author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elin Eriksen is a Norwegian author of Austenesque dramas, a proud mother of four children, a grandmother, and happily married to her own Mr. Darcy.


 She has exchanged chemical analysis of explosives and pharmaceuticals to stay at home with her children and write chaste and sometimes steamy, dramatic stories from the Regency era, Viking era, and modern era, taking great liberties with the characters and the plot of Pride and Prejudice. You can find Elin via Amazon author page.

 



8 Comments


What a lovely interview, Christina and Elin. It’s been great to see Elin become a published author after first encountering her in Sophia Rose’s TBR Goodreads group some years ago. Can’t wait for Harry Frost’s performance of Veni, Vidi, Vicious and will certainly be saving a credit for that. And another one for Pemberley Ranch when that’s available, too.


P. S. The Darcy on the cover above is totally gorgeous!

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Thank you for stopping by. I am all anticipation for the audiobook with Harry Frost’s narration of Darcy as a Viking!

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Guest
Mar 26

Wonderful review, ladies! I have loved everything of Elin's I have read! 💙

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She is such a talented storyteller!

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Terrific interview! I would love to meet up with the two of you for tea some day.

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Too fun!

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Great interview! I'm so impressed with Elin's prolific and creative output, not to mention her facility with a language that is not her first! Thank you both for sharing these great thoughts about writing and JAFF!

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Totally agree.

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