Interview with Lily Ennis

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Life is short. I didn't want hundreds of rejection letters from major publishing houses just because they'd already filled their quota for my genre. Poor old Jane Austen suffered 16 years of rejection before she finally broke through. I have tenacity, but not that much. Becoming an indie author puts me in control of my own deadlines and schedules. It does not mean that I skimp on the important things like having my books reviewed and edited. In the beginning of my writing process I use my reading friends as a sounding board for overall assessment purposes. If they love something, hate something or think I can change something I listen. These people represent the reading public. I take on board their comments very carefully. As an indie author I do not rely on one person's idea of what the market wants out of my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's a toss up between the research and writing the first draft. I love discovering the true events that surround the story I have developed. The context is supremely important. If I can learn history this way (and I do just by being an avid reader) then I know my readers will also learn something.

Writing the first draft is fun; massive fun. The story flows out of my head, down my arm and out to my pencil as if I am living the story. It is fast paced and furious. I don't wordsmith at this stage. I just get down the story.

These are my two favourite parts to writing. The harder parts are everything else.
What do your fans mean to you?
Absolutely everything. Imagine hiding myself away for hours, weeks, months on end to produce what I think is a great story and in the end no one is going to read it. Could never work. I can walk down the street in my town and someone who has read my books will come up to me and say ,'Hey, I love your books. When is there another?'. Nothing can beat that for an author.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a follow up of Mary's life post Scarlet Runner. It is taking me on an adventure that I dreamed of perhaps twenty years ago. I had this idea in my head way back then but was never sure if it would eventuate. Thanks to the book Scarlet Runner I have created a character in Mary that is so true to life to me that she is the heroine in the book I'm working on.
Who are your favorite authors?
Philip Gregory for Shantaram. Simon Winchester and Jon Krauker.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I can't wait to see how Mary will deal with her present dilemma. Life is such an adventure for an author.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a second degree black belt in karate and I love Scottish Country Dancing. I play a little music too. My home life is purr-fect with five furry moggies and a sulphur crested cockatoo.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I use the Smashwords promo where other books are listed under a book. You know the sort - people who bought this book also bought...
What is your writing process?
My research accounts for about a year. It's mostly about context. Once I am happy that I can put my head inside the space I've created then the characters take form.

The writing of the first draft will take three to four months, writing every day if possible. I am lucky that I have many hours alone to write. I also have a studio. In addition to that I have a special bush retreat only twenty minutes drive from home where I am guaranteed solitude.

The second draft will take a month.

Then the process of getting someone else to read it and me getting it back to alter will go on until people can't find anything that needs my attention. The word smithing is painstakingly slow during this time, with just about every sentence being changed.

Then it's off to an editor.
How do you approach cover design?
I am careful to convey the depth of the story on the cover. I do not want to mislead my readers. My novels have tended to be from a feminine point of view in a masculine world. I hope my covers have conveyed that.
Published 2014-06-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

EarthFlight Two: Dragon's Quest
Price: Free! Words: 13,310. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
The second EarthFlight book sees Dragon and his pilot, Wabbit, soaring across the dimensions in search of Dragon's clan - if only he could remember what they looked like. The book contains three more adventures. Wabbit unwittingly gets them into some sticky situations but as always, Dragon's wise counsel and Wabbit's hare-brained schemes ensures a happy ending for all involved; for now.
Scarlet Runner
Price: Free! Words: 81,640. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand, Fiction » Romance » Historical
The 1912 Waihi Strike tested the resolve of the worker, the town and the government. None could have forseen its devastating effects or the tragedy that would propel the strike into the annals of history. The story follows Archie and Mary struggling to find love against a turbulent industrial dispute. Battles were fought and lost, love won and lost, men died. The strike was never called off.
Seaton's War
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 82,960. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: September 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
War comes to Seaton when a Japanese submarine beaches on its shore. When the prisoners are incarcerated Kitty sees her chance to do something for the war effort. She meets Dr. Robert Anderson who is engaged in secretive work and with whom she falls in love. But who's side is he on? Pacific war, secret liaisons, the spy game and the quest for liberation in Europe weave through Kitty's story.
EarthFlight One: A Dragon's Adventure
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 10,340. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
Dragon and his pilot Wabbit discover new lands as they fly between the forgotten dimension, the uncharted dimension and sometimes Earth. At various stops they encounter sticky situations which divert them from their true quest: to find Dragon's clan.
Fire in the Mountain
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 114,960. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Set against the backdrop of an erupting volcano in New Zealand, Lana wrestles with her recent grief, for survival, and her future with a man whose past she was once part of. Woven through her narrative is Alfred's story and the theft of war medals, and which Lana finds herself enmeshed in, further threatening her life. Follow Lana as she tries to extricate herself from the mountain and her past.