An interview with Will Elliott

This week I interview Will Elliott, author of the highly acclaimed novel The Pilo Family Circus and the recently released Nightfall. We talk about his new book, what it's like having such a highly acclaimed debut novel, and what it's like having schizophrenia.

You can download this episode directly from If you have any questions for Will you can leave them in the comments below, you can email us at, or you can contact us on twitter (@wElliottAuthor and @RyanL1986)


About Will
Will Elliott's debut novel The Pilo Family Circus was published after winning the ABC fiction award, beating 900 entries from across Australia.

Once published, it co-won the Aurealis award for best horror, won the Golden Aurealis for best novel, the Australian Shadows Award, the Ditmar, the Sydney Morning Herald "Best Young Novelist Award" for 2007, and was short-listed for the 2007 International Horror Guild Award, up against, among others, Stephen King.

In 2011 it won the "Best International Book" in the Nocte Awards. At present the book is being made into a play with the Godlight Theatre Company in New York.

His memoir, Strange Places, was published in Australia in May 2009. It was short-listed for the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Following this was Will's visionary fantasy, The Pendulum Trilogy. His standalone comic fantasy Nightfall will follow.

Will was born in Brisbane, Australia.

The awesome song you'll hear at the beginning and end of this podcast is Stealing Horses by Karl Buhre, who you can find on Facebook at and on Youtube at

Our Will Elliott reviews

Nightfall by Will Elliott

Aden awakens naked in a bath tub, knowing only that he is dead. His new world is Nightfall, a place filled with characters bizarre, grotesque and magical: Julius the duke, the monstrous Gorr family, the goddess Muse, Slythe the deadly assassin. On the night Aden awakens, the Forgetting closes in, erasing everything it touches. Aden has little time to discover why this world and its characters seem so familiar to him, and why they call his grandfather the Worldmaker… and he must work out if he is here to save this world, or to help destroy it.

"Yep. Last Friday I became one of those guys. You know? Those guys who tear up at the end of a book? I saw a tiny little tear stain the last page of Nightfall and in the two days since that moment I am still thinking about that ending and the whole experience I just went through. I have read hundreds of books over the years, and a few of them have been emotional, but nothing has even come close to extracting the types of emotions that Will Elliott managed to pull out of me. I can't guarantee you will have the same experience. I can't guarantee you will be as moved as I was by the ending. But there is a chance that this book will resonate with you on every level, and I think it would be a great decision for you to take a chance on this book and see where it goes. " Fantasy Book Review

Read our review

The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott

You have two days to pass your audition. You better pass it, feller. You’re joining the circus. Ain’t that the best news you ever got? Delivered by a trio of psychotic clowns, this ultimatum plunges Jamie into the horrific alternate universe that is the centuries-old Pilo Family Circus, a borderline world between Hell and Earth from which humankind’s greatest tragedies have been perpetrated. Yet in this place—peopled by the gruesome, grotesque, and monstrous—where violence and savagery are the norm, Jamie finds that his worst enemy is himself. When he applies the white face paint, he is transformed into JJ, the most vicious clown of all. And JJ wants Jamie dead!

"The Pilo Family Circus is a bizarre exploration of a fantastical world full of killer clowns, highly strung acrobats, and morbidly depressed people who have been sculpted into freaks. I highly recommend this to horror fans, but also to fantasy fans who are looking for something outside of the box." Fantasy Book Review

Read our review

Inside Out by Will Elliott

Inside Out is the story of Denton, a down-and-out no-hoper who lives with his mother and hits rock bottom one day during a road-rage incident. What should be the lowest moment of his life turns into a moment of revelation when he is rescued by members of the Sect of Bliss. Denton is quickly drawn into their world, mostly thanks to the attractive qualities of Sister Sarah and the persuasive power of the Sect's leader, Daniel Mason. Mason and his sidekick Coolan are initially less than impressed with their new recruit, until they discover Denton has just inherited an enormous amount of money, and doesn't even know about it yet... They have no qualms about getting the money, even if it means getting rid of Denton permanently. But Inside Out is also the story of another group of characters - the people in charge of Denton's mind. Mr Scott, the brisk and orderly man who runs the logic department; DM, the calm enigma creating Denton's dreams; Len, who enjoys inventing nightmares; and Wetpatch, who runs amok with Denton's libido. While the outside Denton is being lured into the cult, those inside Denton are well-aware that something is very wrong ... and they will do whatever it takes to save him.

"Inside Out by Will Elliott is stand-alone novel where a man's brain provides the canvas for a trippy adventure through the world of cults and brainwashing. It is similar in style to his previous release Nightfall, and while it may not have the same emotional impact, the story is more comedic and, in my opinion, far more accessible." Ryan Lawler

Read our review