VBT– Sparks The Matchmaker by Russell Elkins. Interview

16 Dec
Russell, thank you for stopping by my blog. Tell us what’s a day in the life of author Russell Elkins.
Being an author doesn’t make enough to pay the mortgage, so, like most authors, I have a day job. I own a dental lab, which means that I make teeth (veneers, gold crowns, etc.). I usually wake up about an hour before the rest of the family and get busy as fast as I can. I’ve found that I work most productively if I have an incentive, and the incentive that works best for me is time writing. I love to write. So, the faster I work on teeth, the more time I get to write. It works perfectly. On a normal day, I’m home by 5:30. Time with my two kids (2 and 3 years old) until they go to bed. Then some one-on-one time with my beautiful wife to finish the day.
I get easily distracted therefore when I write I need complete silence, door closed. The only person allowed in my office is Bella, my dog. When you write do you need complete silence around you or noise?
You and I are exactly the same. I need it quiet. Music is the biggest creativity killer for me. I’m a musician as well as a writer, so as soon as a note is played, my mind gets taken over. The only ones allowed with me are my two dogs- my boxer, Bogey, at my side, and my dachshund, Mulligan, at my feet. I have two locations for where I make teeth- a workshop at home, and one at a dental office. I do almost all of my writing in one of those two locations, depending on where I can have it quiet.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
My wife made herself a t-shirt that said “My man is an author” and one for my little son that said “My Daddy is an author” and they showed up to my softball game with them on the day the book was scheduled to come out (my daughter wasn’t born yet). After the game, I came home to find my house full of friends. It was a fun surprise party my wife put together. The kicker was that there was a problem with the printing company and the release got delayed a week, so it ended up being a pre-release party. It was still a lot of fun.
What hobbies do you have?
Softball. Disc golf. But most of all I love to play guitar and sing. That’s my favorite hobby. I have three brothers, and we have a band together. We play in restaurants and bars two or three times a month. That’s my weekend alter ego. It’s funny, because I’m such a showoff ham up on stage, but in real life I’m pretty reserved and mellow.
I‘m not identifying myself with any of my characters, yet each one of them has a part of me. Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Which one and why?
Not all of my characters have some of me in them, but they all are based on people I know. Crazy roommate, Richie, is the spitting image of a roommate I had in college. Greg and Marie (the two mentally handicapped people in the story) are two people I worked with in college. The main character is mostly me. That’s my chance to make fun of myself and drag myself through the mud with all the drama I put him through. I guess that makes me a masochist.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 
 Just write it! Don’t worry about that first draft. Just get the whole story down, then you can worry about how much work it needs AFTER you get that first draft done. And don’t be afraid to completely overhaul that first draft.
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? What has been the best component?
Toughest criticism has come with my non-fiction stuff. I write a lot of books about our journey with adoption, and people aren’t always nice when they respond. 99% of people are supportive of those books, but the people who aren’t (believe it or not, there are a lot of people who are anti-adoption) don’t attack my writing style, they attack my character. I’d be lying if I said that stuff doesn’t hurt. Criticism about my fiction stuff usually rolls off my back. The way I see it, there are all kinds of writing styles, and not everyone is going to like the same authors. It’s that way with all art forms. If someone doesn’t like my writing style, that’s okay. Some people like Country, others like Heavy Metal.
The best boost has been the awards I’ve gotten for both my adoption books and fiction, including Sparks the Matchmaker being selected as one of the top ten fiction books written in my home state (Idaho) in 2013.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
 ebooks ebooks ebooks. I read too many books at one time and I like to have them with me at all times. I read according to my mood, always having something fiction, spiritual, educational, and whatever else I feel like.
What projects are you working on and when should we expect another release?
My job is such that some months are super-busy, and others slow. October was slower, so I wrote a whole novel just in October. That book should come out probably early summer. If I had to compare that one to something, I’d say it fits along with books like the Hunger Games, which is very different from the book on this tour, which is a romantic comedy.
I also have a short book on adoption that should be out in January and another adoption. And I’ve recently started laying out the framework for the follow up book to the one on this tour, the running title right now is Sparks’ Dating Game. I’d hope for lat next summer with that one.
In a few words what is this story about.
Ollie is the kind of guy that you laugh at and root for at the same time. His girlfriend waits till he’s down on one knee with a ring before she dumps him. He wants to get his life back on track, which is where Sparks comes in. Sparks has a special ability, which could help Ollie get the girl, but he’s so much of a pest that Ollie can never really tell if Sparks is helping him or just jerking him around.
Thank you Russell and good luck with your novels!

Author Russell Elkins


Russell Elkins has become a leading expert on open adoption through first-hand experience that he now shares in Open Adoption, Open Heart. Russell regularly contributes to Adoption.com. He also writes his own blog at russellelkins.com to educate others in the struggles and beauties of open adoption.

Russell has always been a family man at heart, looking forward to the day when he could be a husband and a father. It took him a little while, but eventually his eyes locked onto a beautiful blonde, and he has never looked away. Russell and Jammie were married in 2004. They had the same goals for their home and didn’t want to wait too long before starting their family. However, filling their home quickly with children wasn’t in the cards, and they found themselves weighing their options to overcome problems with infertility. Their lives changed dramatically the day they decided to adopt.

Russell and Jammie have adopted two beautiful children, Ira and Hazel, and have embraced their role as parents through open adoption. Both are actively engaged in the adoption community by communicating through social media, taking part in discussion panels, and writing songs about adoption.

Russell was born on Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1977. Along with his five siblings, he and his military family moved around a lot, living in eight different houses by the time he left for college at age 17. Although his family moved away from Fallon, Nevada, just a few months after he moved out, he still considers that little oasis in the desert to be his childhood hometown.

Even after leaving home, Russell always stayed close to his family. He shared an apartment with each of his three brothers at different times during his college career. They formed a band together back in the 1990s and still perform on a regular basis under the name of the Invisible Swordsmen.

After nearly a decade of college and changing his major a few times, Russell received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He later graduated from Ameritech College where he learned the trade of being a dental lab technician. Russell now owns and operates Elkins Dental Lab located in Meridian, Idaho.

One Response to “VBT– Sparks The Matchmaker by Russell Elkins. Interview”


  1. Blog Tour Sign Ups: Sparks the Matchmaker by Russell Elkins - January 3, 2014

    […] LOVE. WITHOUT YOU – Interview […]

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