Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blog Tour Stop: A Thin, Dark Line by Emma Elliott Release Tour

Today we are celebrating the upcoming release 
of Emma Elliott's debut novel, A Thin, Dark Line, and Emma has stopped by for an interview.

My review  of A Thin Dark Line

Welcome to My Fiction Nook, Emma, and thank you for joining us today. Let's start off with the interview.


What inspired you to write A Thin, Dark Line?


I’ve begun writing countless stories over the years but had never finished one before Eloise and Cormac’s story. Even when I sat down and penned the first chapter, I don’t think I truly believed I would ever finish it. Something about the characters resonated with me, though, and I couldn’t stop telling their story. They took up residence in my head and refused to leave me in peace. I think it was around page one hundred in the first draft at which point I realized, ‘I’m writing a novel, and I’m going to finish it.’ All that said, the inspiration for A Thin, Dark Line was perhaps a bit mundane. I’ve always had an emphatic love of books, and when I was a nanny for a young girl, I made it one of my goals to help foster that love in her. It was a Wednesday morning in April, and she and I were at the library for story time. Amidst listening to mothers bribe their children into acceptable behavior, hearing the thin veneer of patience in the librarian’s voice, and tuning out the restlessness of young children, this scene played out in my head of a young woman who feels as if she’s at a crossroads in her life, who is lonely despite the love of her friends, whose life intersects with a man who has always been on the outskirts of society and who is hiding volatile secrets that could destroy everything she knows. That was the germ of the story.


Did you draw on your own life experiences when creating the characters?


I don’t think an author can ever truly separate themselves from their work, so I’m certain some aspects of myself have bled into the story. I have an incredible family who has supported me every step of the way in whatever I’ve chosen in life. A wholesome, almost uncomplicated family would have been easy for me to write, because it’s what I know. But I’ve also always loved those Faulkner-esque tales of how familial ties can be the brutal instrument of betrayal and pain. I grew up watching old westerns with my grandmother, and I’ve always been fascinated by stories of vengeance. Oft times people speak of revenge and justice as if they were a dichotomy, and I wanted to explore just how tangled the two can become. I have a love affair with the written word, and I couldn’t escape from including my obsession with books in the story. I have incredible friends in my life, and I wanted Eloise to have that same network of support. None of the story is autobiographical, though. At least, I didn’t intend for it to be.


Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?


This is such a difficult question. I posed it to a friend, as I wasn’t certain how to answer it, because I don’t know that I could choose a favorite, per se. His suggestion was, “Who did you enjoy writing most?” When I thought about it that way… I’m not certain I can say I enjoyed Saoirse’s story. It was certainly the most wrenching to tell, but I found myself crawling out of bed in the middle of the night—she came to me easier in the dark—to pour her tale onto the pages as she told it to me. I couldn’t get enough of her journal entries. I became as consumed as Eloise with finding out what had happened to this woman who was always drawn back into a desperate, dark world. Like Eloise, I wanted to hate her but found myself admiring her, despite—or perhaps because of—the choices she made.


Who are your favorite authors? What genre(s) do you usually read? 


My favorite book is "The Night Country," by Loren Eiseley. I reread it consistently. It's a collection of archeological/anthropological essays, which sounds dry, but it is a brilliant, poetic pondering of the nature of man. My all-time favorite author would have to be Mary Stewart. I love all of her books: her seamless blending of subtle, classy romance and breathless suspense; the rich descriptiveness of places, so much so that the settings are entities unto themselves; the strong secondary characters. I wrote her a letter once—she's in her nineties now—and she replied with a handwritten note. I have it framed. I read whatever I can get my hands on—mystery, western, thriller, history, romance, anything. Depending on my mood, I generally either want to laugh, want to learn something, or want to be intrigued when I read. Though I will say I can never pass up a good love story.


I was particularly enamored with the two little boys. Did you model them after your own children, or children you know?


I was just as enamored with them, perhaps because I modeled them, in part, after the little girl I was a nanny for, the Elizabeth to whom A Thin, Dark Line is dedicated. Robby gets his precociousness from her, Harmon his intuitiveness. The inquisitiveness, the forthrightness, the unconditional love—I’ve been as lucky as Eloise to have that in my life without having any children of my own.


How soon can we expect your next book? I would love to read more from you.


Thank you! I fully intend to continue to pursue writing. My job takes up much of my time right now; unfortunately, more than writing does, but I have two different projects I’m working on, one of which is related to A Thin, Dark Line.

MFN: Thank you, Emma!!

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You could win an electronic copy of Emma's book by leaving a comment on this post. 

Two winners will be randomly drawn from all unique commenters. Please be sure to be logged in (or leave info on how you can be reached) while commenting, so I can contact you. The contest will run from 8/25/12 through 9/2/12.

Thank you to The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House, publisher of A Thin, Dark Line, who is sponsoring our giveaway.

And thank you, lovely readers, for joining us today!! Leave your thoughts - I love to hear from you!


  1. Emma, congratulations on the release of your first (of many) books! I'm anxious to read this one (but also anxious to read more of that OTHER book you mention that's not related to this one--you left me hanging, woman!).

    You did a beautiful interview and have me anxious to read this. As you know, I'm supposed to be editing, so I am going to give up my late-night Words With Friends games with my readers and use that time to dive into your book.

    I wish all good things for you, Emma! Keep in touch!

    kallypsomasters @

  2. I enjoyed this interview immensely. I so enjoy learning about authors and what inspires them. Thank you for sharing all of with us, Emma Elliot.

    I do love romantic suspense. I am looking forward to diving into a Thin, Dark Line the moment it is released.

  3. Very nice interview. I am buying this book today!

  4. Excellent! I always look for new authors. I love a good suspense. Looking foward to it.


  5. This book sounds interesting, I plan to add it to my list. Thanks for sending it our way, Kally

  6. Thanks for letting me know about this Kally! I love learning about new authors. I really enjoyed your insightfull interview on inspiration and fav characters!

    I hope your book does great, with more to follow!

  7. Great interview and the book sounds like a damn good read. I too love Mary Mum and I always shared her books.
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    Hugs xx


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