Conversations with the Bookless: Kim Elliott

You can read the full introduction to the series here. In short The Conversations with the Bookless series is designed to raise the profile of and increase the exposure of some of the emerging writers we knew were out there.

In this installment we talk to Kim Elliott.

After the jump check out the full interview.

For the introduction to the series go here.

Where are you, right now, as you’re writing these answers?

Sitting in a stiff leather chair, typing frantically on an ergonomic keyboard. I live in the middle of Soho, London. If I look outside, I can see the soft red glow from the working girls’ windows.

Who are your influences and what is your unlikeliest influence?

I’ve learnt a lot from Bret Easton Ellis – taking the reader from the seductive to the sickening in few lines. Unlikeliest? Probably Charles Bukowski. While I don’t get drunk every night, I’m a strong believer of pouring everything onto the page in a wild fit and only reading it back in the cold light of the next day.

Why do you write?

Because I like finding a wound and then poking it with a sharp stick until I get a reaction. I also like telling stories and it’s easier to write fiction than become a compulsive liar.

What issues or ideas about fiction have been foremost in your mind of late?

Lately, I’m obsessed with refining my work, reducing sentences until only the essential elements are contained. While I’m not producing the staccato sentences of James Ellroy, I do like to reread each line and ask myself – is every word here working for its place?

When did you start writing and what prompted you to do so?

I read a lot of adult books as a child. That probably didn’t help. I read everything straight, as I had no concept of irony or sarcasm. I was one sour kid. I started writing when I ran out of books in our house.

What do you most value in the fiction you love?

The way the right words in the right order can captivate anyone. I’ve just started reading Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn – about a detective with Tourette Syndrome. I cannot put it down. That’s the sign of a good book – in any genre. I just found out it’s being adapted into a film written and directed by Ed Norton.

How would you describe your style?

Dirty, dark, destructive. Like a punch in the face from someone you love.

Where can readers check out some of your work?

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished a novel – Junked. About a threesome that goes wrong when a sexual humiliation video winds up online. One of the parties involved decides to take her revenge on the remaining two.

Now that’s wrapped, I’m planning a collection of shorts under the working title Personal. The stories all open with a personal ad and then break down into the secrets behind the advert.

How do you plan to rectify your booklessness?

Keep writing. Get better. Obey my agent.

Kim Elliott is a freelance writer and novelist living in Soho, London. Before launching her writing career, Kim considered becoming a gymnast, a mechanic and a gynaecologist, but put all other aspirations aside when she found out just how pleasurable writing could be.

Despite claiming to be a keen environmentalist, Kim is willing to sacrifice trees everywhere to fuel her addiction to books. She can often be found in Foyles, the largest bookshop in the country, buying up fiction like it’s going out of fashion and claiming it’s all in the name of research.

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Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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  1. I’ve enjoyed this interview with Kim and the other “Bookless.” It’s a fascinating way to profile hardworking writers that may not have a “book” just yet but are certainly worth some attention! Best wishes to Kim for JUNKED and PERSONAL.

  2. Good job on picking up on Kim, she’s an incredibly gifted writer and definitely one to watch!

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