In The Spotlight – Author Rosslyn Elliot

Hi Guys!! It seems like such a long time ago since I posted an author interview. I am one who loves my romance, as you all probably should know by now 😉 Historical novels are also ones that I enjoy, and my book review on Fairer Than Morning portrays that. I was so intrigued and saddened by the history, and I really wanted to know what inspired Rosslyn to write it. So, below you will find an author bio and an interview … enjoy 😀

About Rosslyn…Rosslyn Elliott
As the child of a career military man, Rosslyn Elliott lived in four states and two foreign countries before she graduated from high school. She attended Yale University, where she earned her BA in English and Theater Studies. After five years working first in corporate New York City, then as a schoolteacher, she entered the Ph.D. program at Emory University and finished her dissertation in 2006.

Her study of American literature spurred her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She has won awards for both her fiction and non-fiction writing, including two prestigious Carol Awards and the 2011 Lime Award for Fairer than Morning and the 2006 Lore Metzger Prize for her dissertation. Fairer than Morning was selected as one of Lifeway Fiction’s Ten Favorite Reads for 2011.

Rosslyn lives with her husband and daughter in the southern United States, where they enjoy working with horses and pampering their dogs.

1) I read the Historical Note at the back of your book Fairer Than Morning and found the correlations between the facts and fiction really enlightening. It also made me sad to know that people were actually treated like Will Hanby. What inspired you to use this history?
When I was living in Westerville, Ohio, I went to visit the Hanby House museum and was immediately swept away by the history of the Hanby family. I felt called to tell their story. In fact, I was really surprised that no one had told it in a novel yet!
2) What is the one thing you enjoy the most about writing?
The most rewarding aspect of writing is knowing that my work may help someone, somewhere, to feel stronger, or braver, or even just to forget troubles for a while. I like helping people.
Fairer_than_Morning3) What sort of music do you like to listen to and what artists do you recommend?
I am going to be very square here and VERY historical. Though I have eclectic taste in music and enjoy some examples of almost every musical genre, I most like to listen to classical music and folk-influenced music. Like many authors, I’m a person who feels very deeply and I often find that I need music to be a calming or diverting influence rather than more stress or loudness. So, if anyone wants a classical recommendation, my favorite is Mozart. Ha ha! And if anyone wants an Irish traditional recommendation, I’m partial to Cherish the Ladies.
4) If you could see any of your characters in a Hollywood movie, who can you envision acting as them?
I’ve always thought Natalie Portman would make a perfect Ann Miller. She has just the blend of gentility and intelligence I imagined in Ann. For Will Hanby… wow, that’s hard. He has to be dark-haired. He has to be tough to survive, but underneath the grime is a gentleman who cleans up nicely. He also has to be willing to be very skinny at the start of the movie  when Will is not getting enough to eat, so maybe I’d pick a young Robert Downey Jr.. I think he’s one of the actors who is good at losing weight and regaining it!
5) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I was blessed to travel quite a bit as a girl. I would love to take my daughter back to Britain, which was my favorite foreign place and contains a lot of precious girlhood memories for me.
6) What are your fears?
I’m afraid of heights. I don’t feel bad getting up on a ladder, but I don’t like being on really high floors of buildings. Anything over the 5th or 6th floor gives me the creeps. I’ll do it, but I don’t like it much. I’m also not fond of plane flight.
7) Do you have a favourite food: dessert and main?
My favorite main course is steak or sushi. I love desserts and I’m not sure I can pick one! Of course, I love rich chocolate, but I also like tiramisu and a great fruit pie.
8) How do you like to spend your free time?
I’m very overscheduled and need to cut back, but that’s a mom’s life! My free time activity almost always has some work or mothering purpose, so it’s not exactly free. I’m trying to get better about that.
9) 5 interesting facts about yourself are:
a) I coach a team who does gymnastics on horseback. It’s called equestrian vaulting. (That sounds very interesting and I can imagine that would be lots of fun!!)Lovlier than Daylight
b) Even though I write historical fiction, fantasy was my first love as a child. I’m a huge Tolkien fan.
c) I attended nine schools before I graduated from high school.
d) I am partly color-blind, which is an extremely rare trait in women. Fortunately, it’s only certain shades of red and green.
e) I will dance in public if I ever really feel like it. My daughter lives in fear that I will dance in the grocery store. (haha that’s so cool 😛 )
10) What are your favourite movies?
I’ll name a few that I’ve really liked: Shadowlands, Sense and Sensibility, Babe.
11) Are you able to play any instruments? Are there any that you wish you could play?
I played clarinet when I was younger. I’m now teaching myself to play the Irish tin whistle, and I find the clarinet experience helpful.
12) How did you discover your passion for writing?
I wrote a poem when I was about six and read it to an adult dinner party, who applauded. That was a neat moment. My passion for writing is a passion for the power of words that is linked to my love of reading.
13) Are there any TV shows that have you ‘hooked’? (I know I’m obsessed with NCIS at the moment…)
I don’t get much time to watch TV, but I am a big fan of Longmire, the show about the Western sheriff. A friend recommended it to me because Sheriff Longmire is a really good man, in contrast to many of the anti-heroes on TV these days. I love the way he picks up garbage off the streets. Literally. 🙂
14) What is your favourite time of the year?
It depends where I’m living. Now that I live in the deep South, it may be spring. It’s so beautiful when the buds come out on the trees.
15) Do you have a favourite bible verse, or one that greatly moves you?
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.
16) What is your favourite childhood memory? (if too personal, you don’t have to answer it!)
Most of my best memories involve playing with my twin sister. We loved to play fairies and to make our plastic horses talk. We also liked dueling with our plastic swords. We were interesting kids, to say the least! We still have a strong relationship and we just took a vacation together with our daughters.

Rosslyn is a beautiful person and I can’t wait to read her other books. Be sure to visit her blog: and website:, where I love to look around!! Visit and you’ll know why….

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