27 December 2012

Ellie James Tour: Interview

Shattered Dreams (Midnight Dragonfly, #1)Shattered Dreams by Ellie James
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late.

Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.

Meet The Author:

Ellie James believes in dreams, destiny, and possibility. A native of south Louisiana, she grew up immersed in legend, surrounded by history and drenched in mystery. She penned her first work of fiction at six, turning to suspense three years later with Jacquie and the Swamp. Even before graduating from the LSU Manship School of Journalism, Ellie always had a tragic poem, tender story, or intriguing mystery for her friends, a trait that has continued as her fascination with danger, adventure, love, and the unexplained has grown.

Ellie now splits her time between exploring story worlds and creating her own adventures with her husband and their two children.


P: How long have you wanted to be an author? 
E: Always. Forever. I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I think I wrote my first fan-fic before I was five!  I would fall in love with characters and not want their stories to end, so I’d keep them going. It wasn’t just fan-fic, though. I had my own creations, such as the saga of a family of monsters, followed by star-crossed cats.  Then came a girl named Jacquie and her terrifying flight through a sinister swamp, with a mysterious guy racing to help her. I had no choice but to write the stories down. It was the only way to get them to leave me alone. In middle school and high school I was always the girl writing little poems (and even songs!) for my friends, usually about something romantic, and something dangerous!  Being a Louisiana native, my stories always took on a mystical feel, featuring ghosts and danger and all sorts of things that couldn’t be explained, and always, always a healthy dose of star-crossed lovers. 

P: What was your inspiration for the Midnight Dragonfly series? 
E: It was one of those bizarre, unplanned things. A few years ago I wasn’t getting much sleep and woke up one early one morning from one of the most incredibly detailed, vivid dreams I’d ever had. I’d more than just seen a group of teen sneak into an old abandoned mansion--I’d been with them.  I’d gazed into the darkness, and smelled the decay. I’d felt the fear, and the crazy blast of excitement at the prospect of a game of truth or dare.  My heart was still racing when I woke up. The images lingered. I kept thinking about what I’d seen, and from the questions came: What happened next? What if one of the teens was a psychic? What if she saw something…something bad? What if she had a premonition? What if what she saw actually happened?  What if no one believed her, or at least, no one but the last guy she should let herself begin to fall for?

As I answered those questions, the Midnight Dragonfly books were born! 

P: What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 
E: Oh-h-h-h, I could do an entire interview on this!!!!  But for now, let me give a one-word answer: BELIEVE.  You have to believe. In yourself. Your story. Your dreams. Your vision. Everything. If you don’t believe, no one else will. But if YOU believe, that’s when magic happens. 

Each of us has stories to tell, and only you can tell them. The writing life can be incredibly hard. You spend tons of time alone, creating, and then you toss your creation out to the rest of the world, to see what they think. Some will love it, some won’t. That can take a toll of your confidence and your dream. But I have a plaque across from my desk that reads, “You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” and I essentially live by those words. You have to believe in yourself and follow your dreams. It’s the only way they’ll come true. 

Oh….and one more thing, and this is important: write what you love—what intrigues you, fascinates, terrifies you, melts you, etc.  That way you’ll always be excited about diving into your story world

P: Do you have a favorite place to write? 
E: Believe it or not…no! I do most of my writing at my laptop, but it doesn’t really matter where my laptop is—my office, the kitchen table, the library, sometimes even my neighbor’s couch (when they’re at work and my house is too noisy!)

Where I tend to have preferences (quirks?) is more about how. All brainstorming occurs with a pad and pencil—always. I cannot brainstorm at the computer. Raw, fresh writing, however, happens at the computer. If/when I get stuck on a scene, a character, motivation, etc., then I leave the (sterile environment of the) computer and return to my pad and pencil. I interview myself. I interview my characters. Sometimes I rant a bit. And I write it all down, as if I’m an interrogator. I write and I write and I write, until finally that breakthrough happens—and it always does. THEN, I return to the computer. Every morning I edit my work from the day before, via the computer, but once I finish the manuscript and sit down to edit, that has to be hard copy with a bright purple pen, on the sofa. I think there’s just something different cognitively about holding a pen in your hand versus tapping keys!!

Oh, I’ve also been known to whip out my phone and make oodles of voice recordings while I’m driving. For some reason, walking, running, driving (and even, get this, sweeping), trigger all kinds of great snippets of dialog or description!!  And if I don’t capture them while they’re there, they (sadly) vanish.

P: What can we expect from you in the future? 
E: Presently I’m working on a new project, which is transitioning between germination and full blossom. It started with a simple, one sentence, “What if” idea, and from there it’s spinning into something that leaves me kinda breathless. It’s too early to say anything, but I can promise you my favorite concoction: action, adventure, mystery, and romance, plus a healthy does of the Unexplained!

And this picture…..this is the only hint I can give you 

Thanks for stopping by everybody! and again I'm very sorry that this is going up so late. I've been having some technical difficulties lately. 

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