Welcome to this week's A Cup of Conversation with Ellen Read, the author of The Dragon Sleeps - an historical murder mystery romance novel, and Love The Gift - an eBook Novella, a time slip romance, a story to heal grief. Ellen was born in Queensland, Australia. She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, poetry. She particularly loves history and stories of ancient myths and legends. Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Victoria Holt, the latter of whom wrote gothic mystery/romances, have influenced her own work. Other interests include photography, music and musical theatre and dance. Ellen was a ballroom dancing teacher for many years and has also worked in Performing Arts administration.
I love a good murder mystery read and I'm a big fan of Agatha Christie! So hold on tight and let’s venture forth to find out who’s influenced her writing style and whether she’s a pantser or a plotter as she plans her next murder!
1. When did you start writing creatively?
I started to write seriously when I was eighteen. I decided I wanted to write a novel. I’d written before then and always made stories up since I was quite young. I wrote several novels at that time. Then I became involved in the performing arts area and I didn’t write as much because working on shows is very demanding.
2. Which author has most influenced your own writing style?
There are a few authors that have influenced me. I’ve always loved Agatha Christie. In my teens and early twenties, I read a lot of Edgar Allan Poe’s work. Also Victoria Holt, who wrote Gothic mysteries. Kate Morton is an author I love. When I look at these authors, I think it’s no wonder I write historical murder mysteries.
3. Are any of the characters in your novel/s based on yourself?
None are solely based on me. However, I suppose there’s a little of me in some characters. Alexandra would be the closest, although she is more adventurous than I am.
4. What are you working on at the moment/what’s next?
I’m working on the second Thornton mystery. It has an entirely new mystery but still follows the lives of the main characters from The Dragon Sleeps. It will have a new title too under the banner of The Thornton Mysteries. I’ve already started some research for the third book in the series.
5. Where do you write and do you have a writing routine?
I always write at my desktop computer, unless I’m away from home and then I’ll use a laptop. I prefer to write in the morning and early afternoon. I find that a more productive time for me.
6. What’s your favourtite go-to snack when writing?
I don’t snack at my desk while I’m writing. I’m too absorbed in my writing. I might have a break to stretch my legs and grab a chocolate - my biggest weakness - but I don’t sit down with food.
7. Is there any aspect of the writer’s life you least enjoy and why?
The thing I least enjoy is marketing my book. It is very difficult when you’re an Indie author without a publishing house behind you. It’s very time consuming. I’m pleased that when I worked in the performing arts, I used to do marketing, so that helps a little. However, it’s a lot different to marketing a book.
8. Sum up your most recent novel in 6 words.
Historical murder mystery with some romance.
9. Are you a planner or a pantser?
I’m a mixture of both. I plan a rough outline, and start with at least the beginning and the ending. I make a lot of research notes and I make notes on the characters. Because the mystery in The Dragon Sleeps and my WIP spans three generations, I do family trees. So, I do a lot of preparation. I also like to visit the location in which the book is set. All that being done, once I start to write, I see where it takes me.
10. What’s on your current to-do list?
Finish editing. Publish my WIP before Christmas.
Thank you Ellen for sharing your writing journey and books with us and to you too for joining us and if you would like to connect with Ellen her social media links can be found below as well as her Amazon links to her books too. Till next time, happy writing and reading!
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Amazon link to books: