Q&A with author Tom Elliott


Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you?
“Grapes of Wrath” hands down. John Steinbeck’s characters brought to life a sad chapter in the lives of the Americans affected by circumstances they could not control – the “dust bowl.” His narratives of the 1930s – economic distress of families, prejudice (against the “okies”), people displaced from the land dear to them and forced on the road - ring true today in modern America. I grew up in the Florida Everglades winter farming region, where the lives of the migrant workers parallel the plight of the Joad family of “Grapes.” The great Edward R. Murrow drew this parallel in spectacular fashion with his “Harvest of Shame” telecast on CBS-TV.

Who is your favourite author and why?
Daniel Silva. His stories of Gabriel Allon, an assassin for the Israeli Mossad intelligence service, weave fiction and historical fact into incredible action narratives. And his description of the European settings in which Allon principally operates puts you there by Gabriel’s side as he dispatches the bad guys. Interestingly, this skilled assassin’s day job is as an expert restorer of classic works of art – Van Gogh, Titian, etc. – which adds further texture to the stories.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
Northern Lights by Nora Roberts. The view of a small, red single-engine airplane against a huge mountain captures the grandeur of Alaska. But maybe my selection is influenced by the fact I am a private pilot who would love to fly those routes but cannot because I am no longer medically certified to fly.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Steinbeck (see above), Daniel Silva, Nelson DeMille, David Baldacci, and John Grisham, because I love their novels.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Authors who write with skill and insight.

Where is your favourite place to write?
In my home office, but my computer goes on the road with me.

What is your favourite film that was based on a book?
The Bourne Identity, starring Matt Damon. Wonderful acting and an engaging story line. Based on a novel by the great late Robert Ludlam.

What is your book about?
The setting is the winter-farming region of the Florida Everglades on the eastern short of the great Lake Okeechobee. This is a little-known area of Florida, even for those who live nearby on Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Charles Lockhart, Chief of Police of the small town of Lakepoint in that Everglades area during the mid-1950s, embarks on a relentless search to solve a 10-year-old crime in which two prominent young men of the community were killed. The case is based on an actual double murder in the Everglades that remains unsolved to this day. In unraveling the case, the Chief reveals the distinctive deep-south culture of a part of Florida that is starkly different from the glamorous societies on both coasts only a short distance away. As the he moves to solve the crime, the Chief must also deal with the murder of a black man, something not considered significant in the segregated society of the time. The plot takes twists and turns through the Everglades, the “gold coast,” the State Capital, and the Big Cypress swamp. The solution to both crimes brings the Chief into searing conflict with the community’s leaders and townspeople. The novel introduces numerous unique characters, including the rugged “Glades pioneers” and Billy Coyote, a Seminole Indian and friend of Chief Lockhart’s since they were teenagers.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the main characters?

Chris Cooper would be ideal as Chief Lockhart.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.

I spent 40 years as a communications official for Fortune 500 companies. My most interesting assignment was conducting the media relations for RCA’s role in the space program, including the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
My area of Connecticut is both a major ”bedroom community” for the commuters who work in New York City and a significant business center in its own right. At one time, the region ranked third in the number of corporate headquarters located in the U.S, but that might have changed given all the mergers that have occurred.

Ebook or paperback?
Lakepoint is available in paperback from Amazon.com and also in Amazon’s Kindle e-book.

Favourite food?
Being a southerner, barbeque of any kind – beef, pork or chicken.

Sporty or couch potato?
I work out every day, tend our garden, and spend the rest of the time writing so I’m definitely not a couch potato.

Cook or be cooked for?
Cooked for by my wife, Kay, a superb cook, except when we’re having barbeque.

Link to your website:

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Tom! You certainly have an interesting background!


  1. Awesome interview, Suzy! Thanks for introducing us to Tom.

    Just so you know, I launched a giveaway today! :)

  2. Great interview! I live in Florida and wasn't aware of the Everglades murder. The novel sounds intriguing.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Thanks for stopping by, David and Medeia!!


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