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Isabeau Vollhardt

Isabeau Vollhardt

Tell us a little about yourself and your work.
I started writing in grade school; science fiction in college is what made me write more. And then, it’s the characters who make me write more as well. My work life has been varied; for the past 20 years, I have been working as an acupuncturist trained in Chinese Medicine. I also have Reiki III training, and both of these feature in some of my stories.

You’ve got 20 words to sell your latest work. Tempt us.
Atlantis existed. Techonology, genetic experiments, underclass. Mysteries focus on ethics, morals behind crimes familiar now. No accident. History repeats.

elisha bibleWere there any particular parts of the writing/publishing process that you struggled with?
For years, I tried to find a publisher in print. Being a new author, without an agent (and without paying multiple reading fees), that was a no go. I discovered e-books and decided, why not? As much as I like (and I’ve got multiple shelves to prove it) books in print on paper…the democracy and availability of e-books on all platforms, at a much lower price to readers, appealed to me in many ways. Would I still like to be in print on paper? Yes. Meantime, I think e-books have done new authors a great service.

Where do you like to write?
When I’m actually writing, I’m typing at my computer; however, if I need to think out what I’m going to write, if the weather is obliging, I go sit in the garden, watch birds and squirrels, and let the story line tumble around in my brain.

Is there anything you must have in order to write?
Music. Definitely music. I’ve compiled playlists. They’re online under cinnabarswan1 at referencing TheCasebookOfElishaGrey.

What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
Anything by Franz Kafka; anything by Friedrich Nietzsche (I know, it’s not sci-fi); “The Plague” by Albert Camus; “The Waves” by Virginia Woolfe; dystopic science fiction (which everyone needs to read these days) such as Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and yes, even Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. In terms of writing style, not only Franz Kafka, but Thomas Hardy stun me with their turns of phrase and ability to capture in words a visual moment.

What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
Reading is first and foremost, and by that I also mean reading out of one’s comfort zone. Read stuff you don’t understand, and just plow through it as best you can. Being exposed to multiple genres (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry); reading aloud at open readings. Also, key mentors in grade school, junior high, high school, and college. Ironically, or maybe not so ironically, the reason why I majored in Philosophy? I had to write papers all the time the last two years. I wrote more in those classes than in English Composition classes.

What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
That’s a really good question. At first, I would say leaving a legacy, but more than that, I do believe it’s giving people subject matter that will make them think about the world they live in now and change it for the positive. Also, that it will make people realize that “there is nothing new under the sun”. All of this has happened before.

Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
Read as widely as possible.

What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?

If you had a direct line to someone who loves or hates your writing, what would you say?
If you love it, tell me why. If you hate it, tell me why.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Read and write. Carve out time in your life to make that happen.

What does your writing future hold for you?
I have absolutely no idea. Does anyone know what their future holds?

elisha 5How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
I’ve relied, so far, on photographs I’ve taken over the last 20 years. I worked as a typesetter years ago, so I knew how to choose a typeface, and how to ask for layout.

How often do you read? What genre?
I don’t read as much as I used to because I do so much research not only for my writing, but also for my profession (Chinese medicine). However, when I do read, the genre isn’t important to me so much as the subject matter.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.

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