Interrogation—Elaine Ash

Who: Elaine Ash

What: She edits career authors as well as emerging talent. BESTSELLER METRICS is her first how-to book. It’s also a patent-pending software in development for the publishing industry.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

As a fiction writer, you have published short stories, novelettes and novels. What was the inspiration to write BESTSELLER METRICS?

The inspiration came from editing novels for many years. I saw the same problems affecting novelists who were working incredibly hard to get published. Ten years ago I thought Oh, I’ll come across a book that talks about those issues one of these days. But no matter how hard I searched, that book never came along. A year or so ago I realized that if I didn’t do it myself, it wasn’t going to get done. So I got busy.

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Interrogation: Anonymous-9

A-9Cactus 2Who: Anonymous-9

What: Anonymous-9’s work has won awards from The House of Crime and Mystery, Spinetingler Magazine, and has been publisher-nominated for Thriller and Derringer Awards. Her hardboiled short story TRIANGULATION appeared in the debut issue of THE BIG CLICK alongside Tom Piccirilli and Ken Bruen. She has book deals with Blasted Heath (Scotland), New Pulp Press, Down & Out Books, and Uncanny Books. Anonymous-9 is the pen name of book editor Elaine Ash, who has no affiliation with the “Anonymous” group. Elaine’s latest book project is the untold story of legendary playwright Tennessee Williams and Mia Phoebus (now 93 years old), who shared a house the summer of 1940. The work of Elaine Ash and Anonymous-9 is almost schizophrenically different.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Your novel, HARD BITE, was recommended to me by several different writers and I was blown away when I read it. How did you come up with such an original concept?

I’d like to thank those writers. Who were they? It was by design. Competition in crime writing is fierce. Yet there’s a lot of pressure to conform to genre, to hit certain marks. I wanted to set fire to the curtains and blow the place up. Only stylistically, though. I strictly adhere to three-act HardBitestructure, and pay a lot of attention to pace. To get read you have to write something enjoyable that readers can relate to. Or at least vicariously thrill to, even if they can’t relate. Benoit Lelievre over at Dead End Follies in Montreal, Canada did an excellent job of examining the core elements of BITE HARDER in this light. T. Jefferson Parker said (among other things), “…from the opening line on, [HARD BITE] challenges and confronts, attacks and confounds.” That says it right there. Anonymous-9 doesn’t write “safe.”

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