Q&A With Elaine Roth
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Q&A With Elaine Roth
Today I finished reading an early copy of The Midnight Garden by Elaine Roth. The book has magic, themes of grief, learning to let go and a second chance at love. If you don’t have an early copy of The Midnight Garden, you should preorder the book now. On top of being an author Elaine is a Pilates instructor, and New Jersey based writer, whose work has appeared in Refinery29, Well +Good, Insider, HuffPost, and Scary Mommy among many others.
Q: For the readers of the blog who haven’t read The Midnight Garden, would you please share a little bit about the book and where you had gotten the idea for the book?
A: The Midnight Garden is about grief, second chances, and believing that there is something infinite and magical about the universe. It’s the story of Hope and Will, two people who know grief, who know what it’s like to be outsiders, and who know what it’s like to watch their lives fall apart. Together, they have to find the courage to rebuild.
The idea for The Midnight Garden stemmed from my own search for, and ultimate discovery of, magic and for a connection to something infinite, and I knew I wanted to write about a widow’s journey—though not my journey so that I could keep some space from the character.
Q: How long did it take for you to write The Midnight Garden?
A: This book took me about a year to write. The first draft looked very different from this final version. I think the only part of the book that really didn’t change, even in a small way, was Hope. Her heart and soul were always the spark of this story.
Q: When did you know that being an author was what you were called to do in life?
A: I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to be a writer. I think that means I knew I wanted to be an author from the moment I learned to read. I’m so grateful I get to do this.
Q: Who were/are your biggest supporters of your writing talent and goals?
A: I’m lucky because I have a lot of supporters. My husband, Matt, was my biggest supporter. He believed in me from the moment I said I wanted to try to write a book—before I’d even written a word. My family, Matt’s family, my friends have all been so supportive—and so many have happily read draft after draft to provide feedback and constructive criticism. And of course, my two kids are my biggest supporters. One of my favorite core memories is the way they screamed and jumped and celebrated the day my first ARCs arrived.
Q: What is it like having your work appear in Refinery29, Well +Good, Insider, HuffPost, and Scary Mommy? What’s your advice to people wanting to pitch articles to those publications?
A: It’s still surreal to know that millions of people have read my writing, and that so often my writing resonates with other moms and widows. I love getting messages from people who’ve read my writing and who feel seen or a little less alone in their grief because of what they read.
My advice to people who want to pitch—read/learn how to pitch (Estelle Erasmus is a great resource), understand what the publication is looking for and the kind of articles they do and don’t publish to avoid wasting your time and the editor’s time, always be polite in your exchanges, and don’t give up.
Q: Are you writing book 2 right now? If so can you reveal any details?
A: I am writing my next book! I’m very, very excited about it! It’s a little early to reveal details, but what I can share is that there will definitely be a little magic in the mundane ☺
Q: Where is your favorite spot to sit down and plot, write and edit your work?
A: I wish I had a great answer to this—something like a cozy spot at a coffee shop. The reality is entirely unglamorous. As a solo mom, my writing is always done either before sunrise, in which case I write in bed with a coffee, or it’s done in my car, in between chauffeuring my kids to and from activities.
Q: What lessons do you hope readers take away from reading The Midnight Garden?
A: I hope readers walk away from The Midnight Garden believing that there is a little magic in the world, if they choose to look for it. I hope they walk away understanding that there’s no right way to “do grief” and that love is limitless.