Author Interview With Elias McClellan

Please introduce yourself and your book(s)

My name is Elias McClellan and I write crime. I have a heist-caper book with the editor now that I hope to have out by summer. I’m hip-deep in revisions on my cop-turned-cartel enforcer book. I’m outlining a third book.

Tell us about the characters and relationships in your stories

My characters are emotionally deficient. They have strong survival and highly-specific social skills necessary for the street life. But those same skills impair their attempts at healthy relationships. They tend to be either impenetrable stone or total door mats. The challenge is to write satisfying (believable) relationships that grow as the characters evolve. 

What lessons could readers learn about real-world relationships from your novel(s)?

Love is a healing emotion if the people are healthy enough to nurture and grow their relationship. The relationship will not save them. My characters grow over the course of the book. If the relationship isn’t healthy and/or doesn’t grow with the characters, they often have hard decisions to make. Another theme is recognizing their own worth. Abuse—physical, emotional, (preying on insecurities) or mental, (manipulation)—is not love and nothing can grow from it.

What real-life relationship experiences, observations or insights have influenced your writing?

I was REAL late to the party. As the high-performing child in a family of business people I covered a lot of grown-up bases at the expense of my own emotional development. As a result I was awkward and my self-esteem was quite low. It took me well into adulthood to sorta sort it all out and insist on relationships that were worth what I put into them. Jim Brown said you have to be honest with yourself or you end up at the end of your life with regrets. When one of the greatest to ever play the game imparts that kind of wisdom, you listen. 

Are there any relationship themes or topics you want to cover in future releases?

My wife and I are from different ethnic backgrounds. Popular media is only now catching up . I really like to see mature depictions of relationships like ours. I also believe that characters (in any type of relationship) should grow either in love or in separation. Too often we see the character’s growth only in terms of their relationship. The relationship should be the icing, not the cake. Also, I like (and try to write) women who do not mistake cruelty as flirting or abuse as something to change. You cannot change an abuse relationship and it is artistic dishonesty to suggest otherwise. As Neil Gaiman said, I like damsels who save themselves. I’m a big fan of “goodbye” in the face of negative relationships.

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