◊ ◊ ◊
DJ: Hi Elka! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Elka Ray: Hi DJ. Thanks for your interest. I was born in the UK, grew up mainly in Canada and have spent the last two decades in Vietnam, where I work as a writer, editor, and illustrator. I’m passionate about reading and writing crime fiction.
DJ: What is Saigon Dark about?
Elka: The main character of Saigon Dark is Lily, a divorced American-Vietnamese surgeon who’s recently moved to Ho Chi Minh City with her two young children. When Lily’s baby daughter dies suddenly, she makes the rash decision to steal an abused street child and give this kid her dead daughter’s identity. Dealing with her secret grief, and the ensuing lies, Lily starts to unravel.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Saigon Dark?
Elka: My first child died as a baby. The more I pretended to be fine, the worse I felt. This sparked an interest in grief and trauma, and led me to create the story of Lily, who, following one grief-stricken decision, can’t ever reveal her true feelings.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers will sympathize with them? (aka What makes them compelling?)
Elka: If you like stories about nice people behaving well, Saigon Dark might not be for you. While Lily is trying to do the right thing, she’s an unreliable protagonist – a strong, smart woman who, due to grief, trauma and isolation, makes increasingly questionable choices. Continue reading