Interview with Ellery Donner

Who are your favorite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut is definitely the first that comes to mind; something about the surreality of his plots combined with simple prose has always enchanted me. Other favorites would include Margaret Atwood, with balanced characters and a seemingly fair view of human interactions, and Alfred Jarry, notable for writing the screenplay Ubu Roi and being an incompetent shithead in the name of art.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The threat of punishment.
What is your writing process?
I come up with an idea, write it down, let it stew for a year or more, change it constantly, make a few failed attempts at writing it, and then power through it in a dangerously short amount of time, hating the finished product but unable to determine what could be wrong with it until someone else reads it and points out the obvious.
What do you read for pleasure?
If we mean "guilty pleasure", then reviews of terrible pieces of media. I love seeing things ripped apart bit-by-bit. Which includes my own work, but of course nobody's ever bothered to do that...
Describe your desk
Light brownish, made of wood and cheap glue, lots of unknown stains.
When did you first start writing?
When I was in the first grade. I've always had a knack for violent, degrading nonsense; the thing I remember most is a short story about a dog who gets eaten my some monster that makes horrible puns as it rips the dog apart.

Which makes me sound like a sociopath, now that I think about it, but I promise I love dogs. I don't think I could bear to write about a dog getting its paw stepped on, let alone having its blood drained for ketchup... what the fuck was I thinking?
What's the story behind your latest book?
I saw a post from r/incels--a subreddit for people who blame the world for the fact that they can't get laid--where the guy said that he wanted to buy a sex slave, use her up, then buy a new sex slave and shoot the old one in front of her, telling her he'd do the same to her someday if she didn't do everything he said.

Now, your average incel is a 14-40 something white male living almost exclusively off of chicken tenders and Mountain Dew; the likelihood that one of these chucklefucks could possibly aim a gun straight, let alone gather the willpower to claim someone's life, is about as high as the likelihood I won't slip a self-depreciating joke into a conversation. So that got me thinking about a guy holding his dad's old hunting rifle to some girl's head, shaking, about to piss himself, when the new slave rolls her eyes and takes the gun from him, showing him how to do it properly.

From there, I had to figure out how that situation would even occur--prisoners are auctioned off as sex slaves in the near future, since the whole incel identity is a fairly recent invention that'll hopefully die out--and developed a few other storylines to intertwine it with. The incel's storyline concerned a man owning female slaves, whereas the socialite's storyline had a man owning male slaves, the divorcee was a woman owning male slaves, and the activist was a woman owning female slaves.

Once I got all the plotting done with, though, it became apparent that a single plot would've taken up multiple books on its own, and so I went with the plot I liked best, that of the socialite's.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of breaking into the mainstream publishing industry.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
What are you working on next?
It's going to be finishing the Liberty For The Just series and then starting on the supplementary material for the main universe of the next novel.
Published 2018-02-26.
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