Please introduce yourself and your book(s)
Hello! My name is Alexander Elliott, an indie author living in the USA’s upper Midwest. When I’m not busy writing, you’ll find me reading, cooking, giving to charity, or keeping up with my family. I love chocolate, insist on sending birthday cards, and consider myself an old-school Star Trek fan.
So far, I have published ten novels in several genres–all available on Amazon. I’m probably best known for Gladstone Shifters, an M/M paranormal wolf shifter series. I also have a science fiction series, Galactic Neighborhood; a medieval dragon fantasy, Rise of the Draman; a bear shifter romance, Bear Creek Christmas; and a contemporary gay romance, Green’s Thumb.
One of my story-writing goals is to avoid using overused tropes or character elements. After reading some truly awful mashups by various authors, I began crafting my own novels, thinking, “I can write a better story than this!” So, I did. For instance, shifter romances are a dime a dozen these days, but I added unique elements, making the stories familiar, yet fresh. I love changing things up to make them mine and, hopefully, unforgettable to my readers.
Tell us about the characters and relationships in your stories
My characters are looking for the same things: acceptance, unconditional love, and fidelity – whether human or shifter. They are in it for the long haul, even if it takes a while to find the right person. I feature relationships that underscore commitment and monogamy, with happy-ever-afters. Why? Because that’s what most people want and rarely ever find in real life. If experiencing it vicariously for a few hours while reading my story brings pleasure and satisfaction, then we have shared something special.
What lessons could readers learn about real-world relationships from your novel(s)?
Acceptance of flaws and shortcomings, ours and theirs, is crucial to any lasting relationship. Commitment means hard work, sacrifice, and daily forgiveness. If you aren’t willing to put in that kind of effort, it’s better to remain single or unattached.
Outside of romance, I champion the concept of found family as powerful and freeing. Our genes initially bind us together, but as adults, we are free to form other ties that may supplement (or even replace) an undesirable or dangerous family history. And, it makes for relatable and memorable characters.
What real-life relationship experiences, observations or insights have influenced your writing?
I come from a large family of eleven siblings, yet I grew up feeling unloved and adrift. It wasn’t until I divorced and came out in my mid-forties that I began to live authentically, and it’s been quite a ride. My religious faith also greatly influences my writing, though I will be the first to say that the church has failed miserably in its treatment of the LGBT community. Lastly, I have a strong desire to right wrongs and make certain the bad guys receive their comeuppance in my stories (since real life often fails in this regard).
Are there any relationship themes or topics you want to cover in future releases?
One thing I’d like to do is explore romantic relationships within a science fiction story. Let’s just say that there are many possibilities in space, especially when you bring humans in contact with alien beings, worlds, and customs!
My files are chock-full of story ideas: fairytale re-tellings, realistic male pregnancy, interstellar relations, silver romances, and novelized love songs to name a few. I doubt I will live long enough to write even a small portion of them, but it will be fun trying.