Amazon.com Interviews Ellis Nassour
Amazon.com: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an
author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
Ellis Nassour: I began writing in high school, but it was something I was
interested in from the fifth grade. I continued to write at university on the daily
newspaper and literary magazine. On graduation, I got a job
working for a newspaper and in addition to articles for that paper, I began freelancing.
A.c: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a
strong influence on you or your writing?
E.N.: As a Southerher, I'm ashamed to say that I've never given Faulker
or Grisham their due -- and I went to school in their home towns. But I am a huge fan of
Tennessee Williams. His plays have had a solid influence on me as a playwright also. I am
an avid reader of show business/non-fiction books.
A.c: Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a
day do you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter
or computer)? Do you have a favorite location or time of day (or night) for writing? What
do you do to avoid--or seek!--distractions?
E.N.: Since I was trained at a newspaper in the art of rewrite on
deadline, I find that having a deadline is my best pressure. I usually will find any
excuse NOT to write. However I love the research process and usually
get motivated upon payment of the first part of an advance. I do outlines and proposals to
"sell" a book. For
me, anything can be a distraction.
Amazon.com: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or
similar events? Do you interact with your readers electronically through e-mail or other
E.N.: I have been blessed to have the money (that my publishers never
would spend) and go on several book tours. It's vital to meet the people you want to reach
with your work. I've been amazed that I still hear from "fans" from a 1973 book
on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, Rock Opera:
The Creation of Jesus Christ Superstar and since the publication of my very first
Patsy Cline biography in 1981, I've heard from and maintained contact with numerous
"fans," some via e-mail.