Tuesday, August 29, 2006

An Interview with Freya's Bower Author M.E. Ellis

It's Tuesday, so once again I'm chatting with a Freya's Bower author. My guest today is M.E. Ellis, author of the soon-to-be-released CHARADE, as well as PERVALISM, QUITS, and GAROU MOON, all available from Wild Child Publishing, FB's sister publication.

Amanda: Welcome M.E. Tell us something about yourself.

M.E.: Well, apart from being a nut job, I’ve been blessed in my life to have given birth to five children. Not many people can say they’ve fulfilled all of their dreams, but having the kids, a supportive husband, and being a writer, I’ve realised nearly everything I ever wanted. My last dream is to go to Africa with the Red Cross and raise money for the starving—to hold a child who lost its family and let them know someone cares.

I’m a hermit, a homebody. I have few friends, keep to myself, and live for my family. I think a lot—about life, the world, everything. I have so much compassion for those suffering—be it health, wars, disability—that I sometimes feel I could burst with the emotion of it.

Amanda: Well, that emotion definitely comes through in your writing. PERVALISM, QUITS and GAROU MOON were all very dark and CHARADE looks about the exact opposite. Was it difficult to make such a huge switch?

M.E.: With my horror novels, which I tend to lean more towards, I can transfer my upset at the disasters in the world and it gives me an outlet. Every time someone suffers by another’s hand, I can kill a character in my book. Within the pages of these books are murders and abuse, yet it is my way of controlling the feelings inside that surface when I hear about unjust occurrences.

I also faced one of my worst fears with Pervalism. Writing about a man who kills people and abducts a child purged a phobia so horrific that I am able to let my children go outside to play without that manic fear I possessed before. With Quits I let go of my old self and embraced the new, and GAROU MOON has instances from my past in it that I needed to place on the page to help me move on.

CHARADE is basically me. Shirley, the main character, is what my life is like on a daily basis, though I did embellish some parts! It’s a fun book, one that took a while to write as I have to have a certain mood and muse to write humour so that it doesn’t appear forced. I had CHARADE in a file for a year before it finally became complete. My horror gets written in a matter of weeks. So yes, it is difficult to make the switch.

Amanda: You can write your horrors in a matter of weeks? Wow. Color me impressed. Where do you find your inspirations?

M.E.: Life. People watching. A word or sentence sets off a whole novel. I sit down to begin and the book writes itself. I wonder where it all comes from, as stabbing or maiming someone in real life is so far removed from who I am, that I disturb myself upon read back. I have accepted now though, that it is not me or my personality on the page, but my subconscious. I write horrible scenes, ones that while writing them don’t faze me, as I go into a strange zone, but reading it afterwards I sit in shock.

I’m a jolly mother of five, who, when picking up her children from school appears such a nice old stick. I think if those mothers read my books they would steer clear of me and not let their children come here for tea.

Amanda: LOL! Probably. What do you like about writing for small presses, like Freya's Bower or Wild Child?

M.E.: The editing process and knowing your book will be published quicker than a print one would. The family atmosphere, encouragement and belief that you can do this, and keep doing it.

Amanda: Who are your favorite authors, and why?

M.E.: Thomas Harris. His Lechter series was stunning.
Michael Connelly. The ease of the read and the thriller plots keep me turning the pages.
Sarah Salway. Brightens my day, makes me laugh.
Zinnia Hope. Makes me think and takes me into a new world every time.

Amanda: A lot of us are big Z fans these days. What a find for FB! She's a major talent. So, do you have a favorite genre to read or write?

M.E.: To read and write, thrillers and horror. The more sinister the better! I love being creeped out, and creeping people out!

Amanda: Hmmm...maybe those mothers you mentioned should watch out. Just kidding! What are you reading at the moment?

M.E.: Lynda La Plante – Above Suspicion.

Amanda: What are you working on right now?

M.E.: A psychological horror called Five Pyramids. It’s one of those books with three stories running through it, yet they all interweave. When I do get the urge to write it, I enjoy it. Sadly, because it is so complex, I’ve veered away from it lately. This is the novel I plan to pitch to agents, so help me God.


Thanks for stopping by, M.E.! And thanks, especially, for being so flexible with the scheduling. :)

Speaking of horror stories, what do we all think about that creep John Mark Karr? Evidently, no charges are being pressed, because the DNA evidence does not match, but what kind of sicko studies the case so intently that he is able to learn the details intimately and then makes a false confession?

OK, OK, I know. False confessions are nothing new. Of the 183 death row inmates exonerated by DNA evidence prior to execution (Barry Scheck and the Innocence Project are my heroes...seriously), several cases have involved false confessions. But what do you think causes a false confession?

It's a fascinating subject, but one for another day. Gotta run and get some work done so I can justify the fact that they pay me. Adios!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:05 AM :: 11 comments

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