Ellen Read


I was born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. I have always enjoyed reading, even from a young age. Books took me into a world of wonder and enjoyment that the real world could never quite provide. As an only child, I made up stories about fairies and little people in other worlds. When I was eighteen, I started writing my first book. Several novels followed, which are now in the proverbial bottom drawer, and will probably never see the light of day.

Then some of my other interests took over – dance, music and musical theatre. I was a ballroom dancing teacher for many years and also worked in Performing Arts administration. I thoroughly enjoyed singing in choirs and I was on the Management Committee of North Queensland Opera & Music Theatre, and the Australian Concerto & Vocal Competition. As a founding member of the Performing Arts Historical Society Townsville (PAHST), my involvement continues, despite my return to writing. However, all the years I worked on shows and in the performing arts area, my writing unfortunately faded into the distance, although my longing to write never diminished. I am thrilled that I have now returned to my writing.

Reading still remains one of my favourite things to do. My other passion is photography. I love to photograph flowers, landscapes and architecture. My website features many of my photos.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born and grew up in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. I was an only child, quiet and shy, and I think this contributed to the development of my imagination. I can’t remember a time that I never loved reading but I also created whole worlds in my imagination filled with fairies and giants, princesses and goblins. It seems strange when I think of it now that I didn’t write these stories down - I just sat quietly and created my own little worlds.

It didn’t occur to me when I was in my early teens that I could aspire to be a writer. I had always wanted to be a doctor, to help people but there weren’t any career guidance people in Townsville in those days to help.

I learned ballroom dancing when I was thirteen and it was there I met my future husband. We married when I was eighteen and we both turned professional ballroom dancers and worked in the studio owned by our teachers. A few years later, when they retired, we took over the studio for the next twenty years.

Coinciding with the years we taught ballroom dancing, I joined a choir. One choir led to two and this second choir led me into musical theatre. I enjoyed over twenty wonderful years onstage, backstage and then working on shows, publicity and administration.

A recent move to Brisbane, Queensland, has had another profound effect on my life. Although I have left behind most of my music and musical theatre involvement, I find I now have time to get back to my writing.
When did you first start writing?
The seeds were planted when I was fourteen and went on a history trip to an old gold mining town west of Townsville. It was a veritable ghost town. I absolutely loved it! Visits to the School of Arts to look through old records of the town and to the cemetery, with gravestones that told stories of infant deaths, mining accidents and other scourges of frontier life, brought the place alive for me. I knew then that one day I’d write a story about it.

I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen. I followed this with a collection of twenty short stories, and some poetry. When I eventually wrote the novel set in the goldfields, a literary agent in London took me on as a client and an offer from a publisher followed. However, the offer fell through when the publisher merged with another international company. After that I became so involved in the performing arts, I had little time for writing.

I started writing for the second time before our move to Brisbane. I was working on revising my last novel but when we were actually packing and moving I needed something smaller in scale to write. I took one of my earlier short stories and completely rewrote it. This story is Love The Gift.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Ellen Read online


Love The Gift
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 23,660. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome
(4.00 from 1 review)
Can a woman who’s been dead for 100 years help Mark overcome the grief of his mother’s death and find the woman he’s always loved? Mark visits his friend Beth at her family home and occupies the room that belonged to Beth’s ancestor, Charlotte, who died in 1905. When he steps into her walled garden, he’s shocked that Charlotte is there to greet him. Is it a dream, or is it really happening?