Interview with Ellen Boyd

When did you first start writing?
This seemed like such a simple question when I first read it. Then I started to formulate my answer . . . and, yeah, it's not as simple as I thought. I guess it kind of depends on what you mean by 'writing'. I started writing poetry when I was about eight years old, with the most difficult task being to find words that rhyme with love and guinea pigs. ;-) Pretty sure my first career aspiration, which just happened to be around the same time period, was to become a veterinarian—no surprise there, I guess. Anyway, poetry was still my writing of choice as a teen (though it was more angsty) but I also wrote short stories which never got finished. Much later in life, I decided to delve into the wonderful world of fanfiction but only as a reader at first. Then I went to film school as a mature student and got a certificate in Screenwriting for Film and Television. It wasn't until a couple years after that that I published my first story on fanfiction (dot) net. Everyone on that site is so lovely and encouraging that I just kept writing stories in various fandoms to the point that sharing my work didn't seem quite so daunting! Don't get me wrong, it still terrifies me, just not as much as it used to. Eventually, I decided to convert one of my film ideas into a short story, which then became a novella, which morphed into a novel. And, so, Pride Be Damned was born.:-) Long answer to such a short question. Sorry. *blush* LoL
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I always say, Dean Koontz inspired me to be an author and Eric Kripke inspired me to be a screenwriter. To be honest, though, becoming an indie author was more a necessity than anything else. But I've really come to love it. However, I am glad that I had help with my first book. Michael Terence Publishing, a small hybrid-indie/traditional publishing company based in the UK expressed an interest and, boy, was I thankful! Because I knew absolutely NOTHING about publishing a book! They gave me tips and advice, as well as took care of the cover art for me (which I love) and the actual formatting, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything because I might not have had the courage to publish Pride Be Damned if they hadn't believed in me and my book! But you can read the full story about that journey on my website, if you like. Anyway, the majority of the marketing (book signings, promotions, etc) fell on my shoulders. Now, let me just say, I am NOT a sales person in any way shape or form. Whether I believe in the product or not, which in this case I totally do, I have a REALLY hard time 'assuming the sale' as they say. I seem all outgoing and gung-ho but that's because I love to laugh and joke around. In normal situations where I have to put my heart on the table, I am SUPER SHY. And come on, let's face it, isn't that exactly what we're doing when we ask someone to read our books? Putting our hearts on the table? Still, the more I learn about this marketing side of things, the more I think I might actually . . . enjoy it. Of course, that might just be wishful thinking. Maybe I'll go full-indie next time. :-)
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Losing myself in the world of my characters! I absolutely love that feeling!
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't know that I have 'fans' perse, but I will say that anyone who takes the time to reach out to me after reading my book holds a very special place in my heart! I'm writing for THEM, after all! I mean, if I had written it for myself, I wouldn't have published it, right? It's all about the readers. Hands down.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on Book 2 of The Toby Garrison Chronicles, while also plugging away at the marketing process for Book 1—'Pride Be Damned'! :-)
Who are your favorite authors?
Dean Koontz. Kaley Rhea. Rhonda Rhea. K. M. Weiland. John Saul. A fabulous combination of talented fiction and non-fiction authors right there!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
We have five fur babies in this house (three cats and two dogs) so there's never a boring moment, let me tell you! lol Other than cuddling and playing with them, I enjoy reading books by my favourite authors, watching my favourite television shows and movies. There's still snow on the ground right now but in the spring, summer, and fall, I love going for long power walks (sometimes with the dogs, sometimes not—because they typically like to mosey which is not conducive to a good workout). Another passion of mine is photography. I take some photos in the winter of course because the snow is beautiful, but more often my photo-taking sessions are in the warmer months. :-)
What is your writing process?
Lots of brainstorming, sometimes alone, sometimes with an author friend of mine because I just love the way her mind works and she loves my characters almost as much as I do! Then I outline (using tips from K.M. Weiland's books), then I try to determine the theme of the story based on the outline. Once I've figured that out, I start fleshing out the story. The brainstorming and outlining is done mostly on paper but also through email, but writing the story is almost exclusively on the computer—unless inspiration hits me when I'm out somewhere, in which case it's done on my phone/notebook/placemat or whatever else happens to be closest at the time of ignition! I also sometimes find it easier to tell myself I'm going to write a short story instead of a novel. This seems to ease the pressure I put on myself. Mind over matter! Then I just let the story evolve from there! Not sure if that makes sense anywhere outside my head but there it is. lol It happened by accident with my first book. And, you know, if it ain't broke don't fix it! Right? :-) Oh, and if I hit a wall that's chock full of writer's block, I usually sit down and watch a TV show or movie in the genre I'm writing to get the right types of voices in my head. The block eventually crumbles into dust and I return to my computer and I'm able to place my characters into perilous situations once again.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Lightning by Dean Koontz. The first book of his that I ever read. It's just plain brilliant. Then again, it's Dean Koontz, so no surprise there! :-)

Turtles in the Road by Rhonda Rhea and Kaley Faith Rhea. This book is so well written. It's a sweet, clean romantic comedy. Not usually my cup of tea but I read it anyway. And wow! It's so good!

Fear Nothing, Seize the Night, Odd Thomas (the entire Odd Thomas series, to be honest). All by Dean Koontz. Are you sensing a pattern here? lol My writing isn't nearly as good as his. I mean, not even a little bit. But I like to think it's in the same vein. I love writing suspense with drama and humour, a story that hopefully keeps the reader guessing. Dean Koontz is sort of the pinnacle that I aim towards with my writing. I've got a LONG way to go before I even come close but it's at least something to shoot for, you know?
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Google. Kobo. Kindle. Amazon. And now Smashwords. :-) I also hear about good books from my family and friends. Links shared on Facebook and Twitter. I happened upon one series quite by accident when I was researching tags to use for Pride Be Damned.

The series is called the Ashkettle Boys, written by A.M. Goetz. I really enjoyed this series. There is some bad language in them, though. The cursing becomes a bit more frequent with the third or fourth books—although, the fourth is technically a prequel to #4. Really good books, you just need to be able to either handle the cursing or edit it out internally as you read it like I did because by the time it got bad enough that I would have usually put it down, I was already addicted to the characters and needing to know what happened. :-)

There was another book that a good friend suggested to me because I'd mentioned to her about my research on tags—I'm really not good at the whole tag methodology but I think I'm improving! lol Anyway, that book is called Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin. Not for little kids by any means but the violence is more or less referred to after the fact and there's nothing really graphic, which was my initial concern. The mother was a bit frustrating at times, and the book seemed to end a little abruptly but, all in all, it was a good book.

Has anyone else noticed that I've been giving really long answers? Sorry if I'm boring any of you. lol
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote and completed was actually a screenplay. A spec script for the series Supernatural that I wrote while I was in film school. A fanfic-screenplay, if you will. :-) It placed third in an international screenwriting competition, so that was kinda cool. ;-)
Published 2018-04-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Good Samaritan—The Toby Garrison Chronicles, Book Two
Series: The Toby Garrison Chronicles. Pre-release—available September 15, 2018. Price: $2.99 USD. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
After his Uncle Jake agrees to one final mission for the US Army, Toby is forced to live with his Aunt Amy, Uncle Clayton, and their 13-year-old son, Asher until Jake is able to return. But Toby's new family may not be as squeaky clean as they appear—and this temporary living arrangement may turn out to be permanent when Jake is suddenly listed as MIA.
Pride Be Damned—The Toby Garrison Chronicles, Book One
Series: The Toby Garrison Chronicles. Price: Free! Words: 67,010. Language: Canadian English. Published: April 7, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Thriller and Suspense
“Fifteen-year-old Toby Garrison blames himself for the car accident that took his mother's life three months ago. When his dad goes missing, the pompous small-town sheriff refuses to do anything about it! When two thugs attack Toby in his sleep, he doesn't know who to turn to! Enter Jake, the Special Forces uncle Toby barely knows. Can Toby trust this self-proclaimed black sheep of the family?"