Interview with Eleanor Chance, Author of Shades of Brilliance

06 Oct 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Shades of Brilliance?

This is a project I’ve been excited about and researching for several years. As I mention in the author’s note in the book, when I read The Agony and the Ecstasy, by Irving Stone, as a young adult, it sparked a lifelong fascination with the art and history of the Renaissance. From that time on, I planned to write a novel based in that time period. When I read Tracy Chevalier’s The Girl with a Pearl Earring years later, a tale formed in my mind. Shades of Brilliance is the result.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I’ve loved to read since I was very young, and I developed a passion for writing when I was ten years old, but it was a high school English teacher who encouraged me to follow my dream of becoming a published author. While it took many years for me to pursue a full-time writing career, I’ve never regretted it. Writing is my passion, and I feel fortunate to have a profession where I can live that passion every day.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

There are so many that it’s hard to choose, but I would say: 1. The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien (Favorite childhood book.) 2. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier 3. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen 4. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini 5. The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask

If he were alive today, the first guest would definitely be J. R. R. Tolkien since I just can’t read his books too many times, but from among living authors, I would have to say Nora Roberts since she is one of the most prolific authors in history. My first question would be to ask: how can she write so many stories and keep them so fresh while writing in multiple genres? It really is an extraordinary accomplishment!

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love creating the worlds and characters that I envision in my head on paper. The process is thrilling for me, and I wish I could do it every moment of every day.

What is a typical day like for you?

I go for a five or six-mile walk most mornings to get my creative juices flowing, then go home to complete all the usual mundane morning tasks we all have before heading upstairs to my office to write. I average six hours of writing each day, but I’ve had as many as twelve when I was on a deadline.

What scene from Shades of Brilliance was your favorite to write?

I would have to say it was the scene where Maestro Vicente discovers Celeste’s innate artistic genius and discovers what a unique and remarkable person she is. He sees past the fact that she is a woman and a lowly nanny to recognize the person within. Isn’t that what we all wish for in our interactions with others?

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I live by the idea that if I believe in myself, put in the work, and eliminate the words “I can’t” from my vocabulary, I will continue to achieve my dreams and goals.

Eleanor Chance is the author of the new book Shades of Brilliance.

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