Author Page: Derek Elkins

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Derek Elkins' Biography

Derek Elkins was born in Independence, Missouri, home of Harry Truman and Mr. and Mrs. Elkins. †He still lives in the area with his lovely wife Wendi and five children. †When he's not writing novels, short stories, screen plays and stage plays, he enjoys a good nap.

Derek is the first place winner of the Athanatos Christian Ministry 2012 Novel Contest for his book "Life Unworthy of Life".

Author Interview

Why do you write?

I write for several reasons. One, Iím a reader and I love to find out how a certain storyís gonna end. There are plenty of stories where I have no clue. Itís exciting to see how things play out. Also, a characteristic I inherited from my God: I like to create things. Yes, I have a pride and worth issue. Writing, even if sales arenít the best right now, definitely fills my self-worth bucket. Finally, I write because God tells me to write sometimes. He has a message that he wants me to share through a particular story and it becomes imperative that the message be told.

How would you describe your writing ďmethodĒ?

I write best like I was writing a term paper. I like to gather all the pertinent facts, organize them, then kinda lay them all out. When I write, I like to note down certain scenes, character descriptions or ideas I have about the story. Then I kinda order the ideas without numbering them and off I go. Iíd have to say, though, that each story has a different genesis. I may just have a basic idea for a story and start writing, hoping that the ideas will come, or Iíll spend a good amount of time researching first before I set anything down on paper. It just depends on the story.

Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Carve out time and write even when you donít want to write. You know what traps me the most is video games and movies. Okay, or anything. Some days writing is like going to my job. Yeah, Iíd rather be a home, but if I donít work, the bills donít get paid. Same thing for writing. If I immerse myself in entertainment, or wait for my ďmuseĒ to arrive, the writing will just not get done. So, the question remains, do I want to be a writer, or do I want to be a regular guy that wishes he was a writer? The old axiom is true: Writers write, posers pose. Donít be a poser. Oh, and stick with it in the face of overwhelming odds and letís go do some good.

Which of your creations has brought you the most joy?

Iíd have to say, of all my creations, my children have brought me the most joy. As for writing, I still love my first book I ever wrote. I took the idea of writing a story for my kids and wrote something I know would make them laugh. It was called, ďThe Trouble with BricksĒ. I tried to write a chapter every week or twice a week or whatever and I would read the chapters as I wrote them to my kids at night. I still like reading the book now cause it makes me laugh and I enjoy a book that makes me laugh.

Which creation has brought me the most heartache?

There are so many. I wrote about seven full length screenplays which went absolutely nowhere. I regret them because I know that a few are really good but without an ďinĒ they will never be considered unless I decide to make them. My first published book, ďLife Unworthy of LifeĒ was a bit of a disappointment in that I had such huge hopes for it. I thought, ďCrud, it made first place in a contest. Itís going to have huge sales and this is it: my ticket away from the 9-5 and into my career as a full-time writer.Ē Obviously, that hasnít happened yet, but Iím not giving up hope. I remember that itís all in Godís timing and not mine. So, itís not necessarily the book that I was disappointed in, but the expectations that I saddled the book with. Iíve learned since then just to write for the sake of the story and when or if God allows me to become a full-time writer, which I am now anyway, then the work really begins. I donít know if I can imagine being forced to write to put food on the table.

Is there anything you'd like to say?

Write what youíd like to readÖunless, of course, God tells you to write something, then, by all means, write that. I like to think of some of my writing as a ministry. Of course, thereís some of my writing thatís just entertainment. But Iíve always been fond of entertainment too, so thatís not bad. I like to think that if I get stranded on a deserted island that Iíd be able to keep myself occupied by writing and then reading and re-reading the stories Iíd write. So, what Iím trying to say is write for yourself and if you happen to make it big, then go with that.