Let me introduce to you Author Eli Summers of The Winter Experience. This is a romance unlike any other in this Emerging Writer Interview Series and you should check it out! He is a born writer and we can expect so much more from him. Support this writer by reading his free chapter and be on the look out for the other books in his series.
Why don’t you first tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in a small city in the middle of Saskatchewan, Canada. Most people won't even know where it is, even some Canadians won't. I had a lot of time to myself, reading was something I picked up early on in life and you could usually find me somewhere in the playground or at home with an open book in my hand. As I grew up, this love for literature just grew, I was reading a book or two every week. Right now in life, I'm still very much into reading and writing, but I find myself having less time with my "adult" responsibilities. One day, I'll be able to read all I want, when I retire haha.
Did you always possess a passion for writing? When did you have the epiphany that you actually wanted to publish your work?
I didn't actually really think about writing until I was seventeen. I had written a few poems for school and a few short stories here and there but I never really thought about actually writing until later on. I was just reading all these works by famous authors and I thought to myself "What if I wrote a book?" That's where my first ever novel spawned out of, a mix of my love for reading and my favourite television show, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer". I had been thinking of publishing my books for a while, but one of my good friends (and now my manager) actually gave me the push I needed and I am so glad I did. Self-publishing had given my work a voice it needed and I don't think I'll ever go traditional.
I swear you’re a born writer! I can tell you have a passion for this. Where do you think you want your career to go?
Well, thank you very much! My passion is intense, I love writing, I love being creative. I hope one day I'll be as famous as J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. Even if that doesn't happen, knowing I have a few good readers is all I need. My passion for writing doesn't stop at the fact I want to be famous, if one person reads my work, I am happy over the moon! I guess only time will tell what happens with my career.
What made you want to share your writing on Wattpad? Do you suggest it to other writers?
I started on wattpad a few years back just for fun. I published my first ever novel there (Which, is being rewritten now and is not available.) People seemed to take a liking to it, so I continued to work on writing and posting on there. I would suggest it to anyone, but not just Wattpad. Writers need a whole bunch of different platforms to gain followers and fans, I suggest authors, new and old join any writing website they can. The more exposure the better. A few sites to check out would be Wattpad, Quotev and Tablo.
The love and loss of a young man is the short version of it. The Winter Experience is a whole bunch of different things, it's about meeting that first love, the electricity you feel when you first touch to that amazing relationship you form when you're truly in love. It's about growing up, it's about finding friends and love. It's so many different things rolled into one.
Where did this idea come from?
It's a mixture of my life and movies I've watched over the years. Some of it is inspired by my first ever true love, James. We had this amazing relationship where everyone around us could just see the love we felt for each other. I wrote a short story titled "When You're Gone" about him as well, but this book just gave it a whole new light. It's been almost a decade since he's been out of my life, but it was great to write this book and remember what we had all those years back.
It may be a personal question, but what made you focus on homosexual romance? Was there any particular reason?
I am gay, that's why I choose to write homosexual romances. But in my eyes, I don't see them as there own genre. I see it as a romance, as a book about love. Instead of having the main characters be a man and a woman, it just happens to be two men. I find it very difficult to write heterosexual romances because I don't think that way in life, so I don't think I would be able to. Plus, the world needs more gay love, let's be honest here.
What kind of research did you do for your book?
*Laughs* I didn't need to do any research, I've lived this book. The only thing I did was use a name generator to think of a good first name for my characters.
Who are your favourite characters and why?
This is always a weird question for me to be asked, but such a popular one. It's extremely, and I mean extremely hard for an author to pick someone who is their favourite character in their books. Every single character I write is like a child of mine, brought out from the nooks and crannies of my mind and put onto paper. Choosing between then is almost like a mother picking her favourite child, which should be difficult for her if not impossible. I love all of the characters in the book in their own way, but if you were to force me to choose my favourites, I would have to say Morgan Winters, Jenny Winters and Mattie Hawkins. They all represent different facets of my personality and who I am.
What is you favourite scene and why?
I think my favourite scene is something I didn't quite plan out entirely. It was the part when Morgan and Mattie wake up from the night before in Morgan's car. I envisioned the entire scene through the eyes of Mattie, who is absolutely adorable. He's such a nerd and it's just amazing. I'm not ashamed to say I have woken up with another man several times in the back of his car or my car. Car cuddles can be amazing, or horrible.
What overarching themes have you explored?
This book isn't some complex novel where there are several themes throughout the book. It's not in-depth and really thought provoking, I am just being honest. This book is just about finding love and what it takes to keep that love, even if sometimes it doesn't work out in the end. Maybe later on in one of my books, I'll have an overarching theme or two, but this book is just about light-hearted romance, my favourite kind of book!
Get a free copy of The Winter Experience by going the page for the book on smashwords and using the coupon code "MM95J" at checkout. This coupon expires on September 1, 2015
Some things are planned with great detail, down to the expressions on my characters faces and then some things are not planned at all. I don't know if you would consider what I do a process, I just most of the time go with the flow. Sometimes I will write down everything I want to happen in the books and sometimes I just start writing, hoping for the best. I'm a mess, I know.
You have self—published your novel, how did you find that experience?
It's an emotional rollercoaster. You need to be prepared for the possibility nobody downloads or buys your book. Nobody should every assume they will become famous from self-publishing their books, that's not how it should be at all. If you love writing, and you keep on writing and self-publishing your books, eventually people will start coming your way. You just need to be patient and write for yourself.
What kind of commentary have you received about your book?
Most of the comments on this book have been positive, but like all things in the art world, not everyone is going to like what you do. I try not to let the negative comments bring me down, because for every "This book sucks!" comments, you may get several "I love your book, thanks for writing it" comments. All commentary is welcome for my books, without constructive criticism, I could never improve my art.
What can we expect with the other parts to the series? Any hints?
The Summer Experience, which is the second book is also available for purchase on most ebook website. Right now, I am working on the third instalment, which is called "The Fall Experience". This book shifts from following Mattie as a main characters and follows the life of Mattie's little nephew (who might not be so little any more). Let's just say there is a lot of twists and turns, a lot of different aspects of this book that I will touch on. Mathew has a voice of his own and he's taking me for a ride with each and every chapter.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me! You book sounds touching and I think that it will strike a chord with everyone. Everyone wants to be loved and everyone yearns to be accepted, you explore universal truths. I really wish you success in your series and I hope one day you will be able to live your dream of being a full time writer!
If you want to know more about Eli and watch the evolution of his writing career you can follow him on:
· Website: http://www.elisummers.com
· Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/EliSummers
· Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Eli_S_Author
· Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/elisummers
As a special offer to all those reading this interview (and also to yourself, Shelly!) you can get a free copy of The Winter Experience by going the page for the book on smashwords and using the coupon code "MM95J" at checkout. This coupon expires on September 1, 2015. You can get to the book page here.