Monday, 17 December 2012

Author Interview - Russell Elkins



Russell Elkins 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 movedaway 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. He and his family now live in the Boise, Idaho area.

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. Years of struggling with infertility left Russell and Jammie with a decision to make and their lives changed dramatically when 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 also writes a weekly post for Adoption.com and contributes regularly to Adoption Voices Magazine.


Where were you born and where do you call home? I come from a military family- born on Andrews Air Force Base in the Washington DC area- then we moved to Charleston, SC, then to Fallbrook, CA (near San Diego), then to Fallon, NV. Fallon is where my family lived when I graduated high school and left for college. Even when we weren't moving from town to town, we seemed to be moving to different houses, so adding in the different college apartments and such, by the time I hit 30 years old, I had claimed more than 30 houses and apartments as my home address. And guess what! I HATE HATE HATE to move. My wife and I bought a house here in the Boise, ID area and we've been in it for 6 years, the longest I've ever lived under the same roof.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say? Open Adoption, Open Heart: An Adoptive Father's Inspiring Journey. Adoption is very different than before. Most adoptions now are like ours- with biological parents staying in contact and playing a role. This book is our crazy roller coaster of a ride story, with all the beautiful and nail biting moments of the process.

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series? Yes. I have already finished the third draft of the follow up book, which continues the story of our first adoption and tells the story of our second. The birth mother from our first adoption plays an amazing role in our family still (she's from the other side of the country). We faced lots of similar things, but lots of very different trials with our second adoption because the birth parents are local, both still playing a loving and awesome role in our family. The follow up book will be out early 2013.

What or who inspired you to write?  And how long have you been writing?When my grandpa turned 90, everyone threw him a surprise party. There were tables set up with all the things he'd done throughout his life- everything from paintings, wood carvings, buildings he'd designed as an engineer/architect, and one table of a few books he'd written. I said to myself, "When my life is coming to a close, I hope to have such concrete examples of things I've accomplished."
That being said, I've always loved to write, although the format has changed a lot. I've written so much poetry I could fill volumes, but almost all of those are for my personal journals. I've written more than 50 songs with my brothers (we've been playing together since we were kids). When I finally graduated from college, I finally had time to spend on what I wanted to do, one of those things being writing.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover? I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one because so many people like the "look, feel, and smell" of a print copy, but I'm an ebook man. I like to jump from one book to another, and I'm usually reading 3 or 4 books at a time- reading one chapter of something inspirational to ponder for the day, then a chapter of something educational (on writing, etc.), then time with a novel I'm into. Also, since I still work a lot at my small business, I love the option of having my Kindle read to me. It's a little robotic, but I'm used to it and LOVE that feature while I'm working.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version? Most recently was Twilight. My wife read that book all through the night, but for me it was just too girly. The movie kept the story going without spending so much time on how drop dead gorgeous the blood sucker was.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)? Hooked by Les Edgerton (educational book about writing), Journeys On the Edge: Living a Life that Matters by Walt Hampton (inspirational/self improvement), Winter Sparrow by Estevan Vega (a novel)- all of them ebook

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing? I call it the "ready, set, go" approach. Basically, when I was learning to write, I would spend way too much time in one spot trying to get it just right before moving on to the next part. That made it so my transitions were choppy and the movement wasn't smooth. When I decide what I'm going to write about and just go go go, I find those wrinkles are smoother. Sure, it creates other problems, but they're easier to fix and that's what rewrites are for. Just get all the ideas out there and worry about fixing it later.

List 3 of your all time favorite books? I'm a sucker for the Harry Potter series. Angela's Ashes knocked my socks off- especially the audiobook read by the author. And #3 I'll say Duma Key by Stephen King was outstanding.

List 3 of your all time favorite movies? We'll go with Happy Gilmore, The Godfather series, and The Lord of the Rings Series.



Links



Open Adoption, Open Heart

The world of adoption has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. No longer do biological parents have to say goodbye to their child forever. They now have more options when deciding the type of adoption to pursue, such as open adoption. Open adoption creates the opportunity for a special relationship between biological parents, the adoptive parents, and the child.

 Open Adoption, Open Heart is an inspiring and true story, which takes the reader deeper into the feelings and emotions experienced by adoptive parents. As you read this incredible story, you will experience the joys, difficulties, and amazing victories facing adoptive couples. Russell and his wife, Jammie, invite you to share in their inspiring and heartwarming journey.



Purchase


Book Trailer:




From the Author: While my book's primary audience was thought to be those hoping to adopt, close to half of the books I've sold are simply people who want to read about our story and how adoption is different now than it used to be- and they have not adopted nor do they plan to adopt.

Tour Schedule




Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash from Author Russell Elkins
Ends 12/23/12
Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Blog Tour Schedule: http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2012/10/open-heart-open-adoption-blog-tour.html


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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