Hi Elliot! Welcome on Queer Books Unbound and thanks for agreeing to this interview!
Thanks for having me and happy anniversary! 😀
Ok, let’s start easy. Please tell us about an upcoming book? Anything in the pipeline we can be excited about?
I have a story in the upcoming Welcome to Miskatonic University anthology being put out by Broken Eye Books. The theme of the anthology is cosmic horror in the present day, set at the world’s weirdest university (or one of it’s potential modern satellite campuses). “The Needle’s Eye of Nothingness” will be my first published piece with a trans man main character 🙂 The anthology can be preordered in ebook, paperback, and even hardback.
Do you have a set schedule when you write, or do you write when you feel inspired/got a bit of free time?
Having a set time is (unfortunately) impossible since my dayjob is retail with an unpredictable weekly schedule. But I do my best to make time for writing when I can. Going by inspiration time alone hasn’t been a good aspect of my process long term.
Those who follow you online will have seen that you also do cover art. Do you find it easier to create a cover for your own book(s)? What do you do first: write the book or do the cover art?
It is a little easier to make cover art for my own books because I know the whole story, the characters, the tone of the work. 🙂 Usually I write the book first, though I have had a cover made for Croc Blocked for almost a year now even though the manuscript is only 3/4 done (oops)! Though I do tend to hunt for stock photos for inspiration and cover ideas while I’m drafting.
As a reader is there a book you keep going back to again and again? If so, what draws you back to it? (Also, please tell us the title! ;))
I’m not a rereader usually, but I’ve been hooked on anything having to do with the Cthulhu mythos and other cosmic horror tropes lately. I love seeing the mythos modernized and queered up, especially (and doing it myself!). My favorite collection of Cthulhu inspired stories that I’ve read so far is The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu edited by Paula Guran.
We know you’ve probably been asked this before already, but what do you do when you hit writer’s block? (Also less talked about but just as interesting I think – especially from a readers point of view) ever hit reader’s block? What did you do to get through it?
For writer’s block I try to get into other creative things for a while to give my brain a break. I also knit, paint, and draw. Burnout is real and terrible, as is depression and anxiety – mix for the worst cocktail of life block D: Reader’s block is definitely something I have experienced. Sometimes it’s because I can’t shut my editing/writing brain off and enjoy what I’m reading. Other times nothing I read seems to click for me. I usually play video games for a while or switch to non-fiction (or vice versa) to sort of reset myself.
Elliot Cooper writes speculative fiction featuring queer characters. His novels and novellas come with hopeful and happy endings, though his short fiction runs the gamut of styles and genres. He strives above all to make his readers feel, while also increasing positive representation of LGBTQ characters and their stories.