Interview with Elaine Calloway

kobo_No Grits No Glory_HighRezTell us about your current series.

My Southern Ghosts Series is kicking into gear! The books are part romantic suspense, part humor, part mystery. The main characters are those who have the ability to see and hear ghosts. Sometimes this is a great thing, other times not so much. The Southern ghosts (who were all murdered in some form or fashion) must convince the living to help bring the killer to justice. This sets each book in motion, and the characters must make choices that will determine the fate of everyone involved.

The first two books are available now and I planning for ten books in the series. Book One, No Grits No Glory, is set in Savannah, Georgia. Book Two, Ticket to Die, is set near the Gulf Coast of Alabama. Readers seem to love the spooky element combined with the humor. That’s one consistent thing about the South—humor is everywhere!

What is your favorite part of writing?

When the character completely takes over and talks so fast, I can’t type enough to keep up. I suppose other writers might call this being “in the zone” but whatever it is, the feeling is blissful and I love days when I can attain it! I also love it when a character will surprise me, and things will suddenly come together at the end in a way I never could have predicted. Our characters are real and exist with their own demands inside our heads.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

When the characters don’t talk to me. Just like there are days when characters gab on nonstop, there are days when they remain silent for sport. Writing on those days is like pulling teeth, but eventually I get it done.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

I love self-publishing. It’s a great time to be a writer and be able to go directly to the audience—readers—and not have to be blocked by the middleman of New York publishing. That being said, I always stress the importance of hiring a professional graphic designer to do my covers and a content/copy editor to read/critique the manuscript.

Before self-publishing existed, I was a frustrated writer. I would hear back from agents and editors on how much they loved my stories. They just didn’t know quite how to market them, or they’d just bought something in the same genre. I always seemed so close to getting a contract, and sometimes being inches away from one’s goal is more frustrating than ever. When self-publishing came to be “the new normal” it’s given me the chance to finally get my books in the hands of readers. That has been a fantastic opportunity.

Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? Why?

I’m one who tends to avoid the genre I write in. Not sure why. Partly because I spend so much time trying to develop the characters, I don’t want anything muddying the waters. But I also love reading some things like thrillers and true crime that I don’t think I have the “voice” to write. Dennis Lehane, who writes crime novels, is one of my favorites but he’s not in my genre at all.

box_set_cover_alleyesWhat do you have planned for the future?

My immediate plans are to continue my Southern Ghosts Series. There will be ten books total, and only two of them have released thus far but readers are loving them which is great! So I will continue with Southern ghosts for a while, then perhaps think of a new series.

I plan to write one more book for my Elemental Clan Series before closing that series out. There are some offshoots I could easily write based on that series, but it may be a year or two before those are released.

I also have an idea for a 10-episode serial to release around the holiday season. I’m not sure if it will happen this year or next, but I like the idea of holiday-themed things and would like to try releasing an episode each week to see how readers respond.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?   

Hearing back from readers, telling me how much they enjoyed the story. How it kept them laughing and crying on a day when they were snowed in with no place they could go. How my settings are so vivid, the person thinks he has been right there. I had a blind reader tell me that once. I think that was the best comment I received.

taupe_textExcerpt from latest release, TICKET TO DIE:

Amanda Moss clutched the red amulet dangling around her neck as the Welcome to Alabama sign ushered her and her boyfriend, Jake, into the Heart of Dixie state. Notwithstanding the South’s humid reputation, an icy chill shot down her spine.

She shut her eyes tight. Breathed deep. This eerie, cold feeling had happened before. Fate never changed despite her wishes. Our family has always been different, dear. Why do you insist on hiding who you are? Her aunt’s age-old words echoed in her mind, taunted her with the truth.

“You okay?” Jake asked.

Amanda opened her eyes. No need to let Jake see her odd behavior. Not again.

“I’m fine. How much further?”

They’d left Athens, Georgia, at 8:00 a.m. and had taken back roads to enter Alabama on Interstate 10 near the Gulf Coast. Now the clock said 3:00 p.m. Her calves twitched and cramped from being in the car so long. If only she could snap her fingers and they’d magically be transported to Abandon, Alabama, in the blink of an eye.

Sadly, that desirable talent had been gifted to her aunt Anzhela, even though Amanda would gladly trade in an instant. Her own gift—if anyone could call seeing and hearing the dead a gift—kept her up nights, haunted her dreams, prevented a normal life.

Jake, the ultimate engineer, scanned every gauge on his Honda Civic dash with an analytical eye. “About an hour. Do you need to stop? There may not be much at the park.”

“We aren’t going to the inn first?”

She coughed, trying to swallow the growing knot at the back of her throat. Of course he wanted to see Zephyr Land first. The man wasn’t the type to waste daylight.

The old amusement park—now abandoned—had some kind of roller coaster enigma that he needed to research for his upcoming publication, one that would push him ahead of his colleagues for a department promotion at the University of Georgia. While he studied the coaster, she planned to log and photograph the wear and tear of the Victorian carousel for her apprenticeship entry. The ideal trip for both of them to get to know each other better while furthering their careers. She longed for a career that allowed her artistic development, an outlet for the vivid colors her mind painted. Carousels told stories…she could help restore their designs and preserve their tales.

Buy Links:

Southern Ghosts Series:

Book 1: No Grits No Glory

Book 2: Ticket to Die

The Elemental Clan Series Box Set:



Amazon bestselling author Elaine Calloway grew up in New Orleans with a love of cemeteries, gothic architecture and all things paranormal. She is currently writing The Southern Ghosts series and also continues to write the Elemental Clan series, and she has more ideas for new series and offshoots of existing ones. When she’s not writing (when is that?) she enjoys photography, binge watching great shows on Netflix, and spending time with family and friends. Connect with her online at

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