Kendra Elliot has sold nearly 3 million books and is a three-time winner of the Daphne du Maurier award for Romantic Suspense. She is also an International Thriller Writers’ finalist and a Romantic Times finalist. She grew up in the lush Pacific Northwest and still lives there with her husband, three daughters, two cats, and a Pomeranian. She’s always been fascinated with forensics, refuses to eat anything green, and loves a strong Mai Tai on the beach on Kauai.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?
I’ve learned that writing is hard work and unless I am extremely disciplined, a book will never get finished. I have to chart out my weekly word goals in relation to my deadline and know how many hours a day I need to be in my chair to hit those goals. If I don’t stay on top of it, I’ll find myself with a week to a deadline and an insane number of words to get through.
How has this helped you as a writer?
It’s helped me write two books a year to stay on top of the demand from my readers. Happy readers buy more books. More books mean I can make my kids’ college tuition payments.
Mac or PC?
PC. My husband writes software for PC. In this house, there is no choice.
Do you use Word or Scrivener?
I switched to Scrivener about five books ago. I’ll never go back. I love the ease of switching between scenes.
Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?
Do you have any writing rituals?
During my writing months, I go to a nearby coffee shop five mornings a week and write for three hours. My goal is to get in 2000 words. If the end of the week rolls around and I don’t have 10,000 words, it means Saturday morning is also spent at the coffee shop.
Do you start by writing or researching first?
Research first…and research all through the middle. I usually research the topic I’m thinking about writing until I have a good grasp of an idea and then try to plot the beginning of the book. After I start writing, I constantly have to stop and look things up. Sometimes I just put XXXXX in the manuscript and move on, making a note to fill it in later.
Favorite spot to write in the winter?
Next to my office heater while wearing my heated slippers my publisher sent me.
Favorite spot to write in the summer?
My coffee shop. It has a covered outdoor patio and overlooks a small lake.
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