Discover How Author Mark Elvy Starts His Day
Hint: He starts his day super early and drinks a ton of tea!
This week, I thought I would do something a little different.
I got in touch with a friend of mine, Mark Elvy, a prolific author who has written and published six children's books.
I know Mark is an early riser — so I was keen to ask him a few questions regarding his morning schedule and why he finds it beneficial to start his day early.
Here’s what I asked him, and here’s what he said…
Please tell us a bit about your writing and publishing?
Hi Craig, firstly thanks for the interview, it’s always nice to talk books!
I remember the first book I read as a youngster many years ago – Willard Price ‘Amazon Adventure’ (quickly grabs the calculator to check on how many years ago!) and the impact it had on me and I’ve read almost every day since because of that fabulous first book.
So one day, bored and at a loose end and always having this wish to write a book, I grabbed a pen, notebook and large bottle of Tipex (other brands are available), a large mug of tea and a plate of ginger nuts, and decided to write a bestseller. How hard could it be, I mean I’d read hundreds of books over the years!
I wanted to write a humorous time travel adventure book about my two pets and their magic time travelling suitcase.
So how hard was it?
Hard, very hard.
But not just the writing part, it’s also finding consistency in the writing style, researching the facts and trying to let the story flow. Making time available to write is also crucial, even those days when you want a lay in, it’s cold and dark outside, or there’s something on the TV you want to watch, or that great book you started is calling your name to pick it up and finish it!
You’ve got to get in the writing groove, set time aside to work (an hour before work in the morning and an hour or two in the evening, weekends when I’m not out and about selling the books at craft fairs etc…) but as long as the kettle is on and I have plenty of tea and biscuits, a bit of quiet radio in the background, I’m normally okay.
Oh, and turn your phone off or leave it another room, way too distracting…
The book was eventually finished, proofread and sent to agents.
Yay, happy days!
However, I guess in hindsight it was no surprise when the literary agents didn’t break my door down in their haste at getting their hands on my fabulous manuscript, as every writing magazine I’ve ever read will tell you it’s incredibly hard getting noticed — unless you’re a famous actor, footballer or TV star.
That’s why I eventually chose to go down the self-publishing route.
What's the typical time you wake up in a morning?
5am every day. But I take a cup of tea back upstairs and wake up slowly, trying to get the brain cogs to work, planning the next hour or so my writing schedule, and eventually start writing about 6am to 7:30am, then off to work.
What helps you get motivated in a morning?
Tea (there’s definitely a trend here with my tea intake) and the excitement of wondering what path the story your working on is going to take you. Because with all the best will in the world and plenty of planning, I always find my characters take over whilst I’ve been asleep and have steered the book in a slightly different direction from what I originally planned.
Everyone works differently, but I always allow the story to change direction mid story if it feels right. Some writers would shudder at the thought of this.
Do you plan your day ahead?
I always try to plan ahead, but see comments above as things do change.
I suggest that you make notes as soon as an idea pings up in your head, use your phone notes, post-its, scrap paper, even the back of your hand, but when that idea is there, grab it and hold on — don’t let it slip through your grasp.
Do you like to write in a morning?
I prefer writing in the morning for sure. My brain is fresh, whereas the evening is a lot harder, especially after a busy day at work.
What book are you working on at the moment?
Book seven in the Fluke and Tash series – ‘Space Adventure’. But this has taken a back seat recently as I’ve began working on my audiobooks.
I’ve built my own recording booth in my spare room, a hinged timber frame construction with heavy duty sound blankets. I’ve also bought a decent microphone and researched the best recording software (Audacity for me, it’s very user friendly and free!).
How can people read/listen to your books?
Please visit my website www.flukeandtash.com — where you’ll find information on each of my books, and links to purchase them in audiobook, Kindle or paperback formats via Amazon.
My website is still a work in progress and more links and information will be added soon.
How can people get in touch with you?
You can get in touch via my website and send me a message, I always try to reply to messages as soon as I can.
Facebook: Fluke and Tash Publishing
Amazon author page: Mark Elvy
It’s been fantastic answering these questions, so thank you for the invitation and if anybody has any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch and happy reading!
Don’t forget – “The adventure of a lifetime starts with the turn of a page…”
I want to say a BIG thank you to Mark for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions. It’s much appreciated.
Please check out Mark's books and definitely reach out to him if you have any questions around fiction writing, self-publishing… or tea drinking!
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