It’s author Ellis Logan on my blog today, she is the author of the Inner Origins series. You can visit her website at www.ellisloganbooks.com
1) Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
I grew up in New England, the north-eastern part of the United States, and I’m an avid skier and hiker. I’ve lived and travelled all over the world, but nothing really compared to the lush green countryside of New England, so I moved back here to start a family. I love the peace and quiet of the hills where I live. It’s a great place to be a writer.
2) Tell us about your ‘Inner Origins’ series.
‘Inner Origins’ is a paranormal fantasy that takes you deep into the world of the fae through the eyes of Siri Alvarsson, a young woman who has no idea how powerful she really is. She’s spent her life moving from town to town with her mother, never knowing her father. As the first book progresses, she learns that both her parents are actually fae warriors and that her own special gifts and powers are just starting to awaken. Suddenly, she’s thrust into a world full of visions and danger where the forces of Light and Dark are at war, the lives of all of humanity are at stake, and she has some big choices to make. I don’t want to give away too much, but the series combines mythology from around the world, especially Celtic and Norse, with hollow earth theory. There is magic, telepathy, and a lot of action — Siri is an accomplished martial artist and parkour enthusiast, having trained with her mother from early childhood. And, of course, there is love. I kept the romance and language clean so it’s suitable for young adult readers, too.
3) How did you end up writing books?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a young child, but I had put aside my dreams of writing novels when I started working and having a family. Then one day I woke up with the first few lines for a book and its title (Shades of Valhalla) rolling around in my head. All day the words just kept going around and around in my head on a loop. Finally, I wrote everything down, the first few pages of the book. Then I forgot about it. Nine months later I opened up the file on my computer again. The words drew me in right away, and I started typing, wrapping up the first chapter and completing an outline for the first book that same day. After that, I wrote every day, the words just poured out of me. The first draft was finished in less than two months, and I’ve been writing daily ever since.
4) How did you publish your first book?
A friend told me about Earth Lodge (www.earthlodgebooks.com), a small local press that was accepting submissions to launch their new fiction division, so I decided to give it a shot and submit ‘Shades of Valhalla’. They loved it, and signed me on right away to publish the whole series.
5) How do you market your books?
Right now I am focusing mainly on finishing Siri’s story. Earth Lodge does quite a bit of marketing online, and I try to keep an active presence on Facebook and Twitter. The second book in the series, ‘Fates of Midgard’, comes out on May 21st. My publisher and I talked it over and we decided to offer ‘Shades of Valhalla’ as a free e-book this month to draw people into the series, which so far is working really well. There’s also a really great website called IfList.com that allows you to create a dream movie cast for your story, and gives fans a whole new way to have fun visualizing your characters coming to life.
6) Was there anybody in your family or friends who supported your desire to write?
My family is extremely supportive. My youngest is obsessed with book-making and wants to be an author like me (as well as a dancer, a veterinarian, an astronaut and a doctor.) My husband is wonderful and never complains when I stay up late writing. Which is great, because I do a lot of writing in bed on my laptop! My parents, too, they never made a fuss when I went away to school to study literature. They always said that being well-read and able to write well could be the cornerstones to any successful career, in any field. Without that support, I would never be where I am today.
7) Do you think it’s difficult now to stand out in the indie world than, say, five years back? Or do you think it just depends on the writer?
There are certainly a lot of new authors out in the world these days, although I imagine that it still remains proportionate to the general population of readers. I think it’s an amazing and wonderful thing that anyone can self-publish and get their books out to readers now. Amazon and Smashwords are great platforms. It can be hard to get noticed, but remember that twenty years ago it was nearly impossible to get an agent or have your manuscript read by a publisher, and you had to be willing to withstand a lot of rejection, not to mention spend a lot of time and money mailing out manuscripts. Now, it’s so much easier. I actually know several people who had book contracts with larger publishing houses for decades, and now they self-publish everything. My publisher and other friends who write all say the same thing: the more books you have out there, the more your content will sell. Each new book helps sell the other ones. So it’s important to keep writing. Don’t lose heart if your first book doesn’t get noticed. Keep at it.
8) Do you remember the first book that absolutely blew you away?
I’ve always been a prolific reader, diving into Greek philosophy and European classics while I was still in middle school, reading a book or two every day. When I was 16, I became absolutely obsessed with ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Dostoevsky. I think I’ve read it more than thirty times.
9) Who are your favorite writers?
Dostoevsky, of course. Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Victor Hugo, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nikolai Gogol. In the paranormal fantasy genre, I love Meghan Ciana Doidge, Melissa Haag, and Vera Nazarian’s ‘Atlantis Grail’ series. And the whole family follows Rick Riordan’s books — we listen to them in the car all the time. I love non-fiction, too, and find quantum physics totally fascinating.
10) Tell us about your upcoming book.
‘Fates of Midgard’ is the second book in the ‘Inner Origins’ series and it takes you much deeper into the world of the Fae. We catch up with Siri in Valhalla, the central city of Aeden hidden deep inside the earth, where she’s been training in fae fighting techniques with her mentor, Amber Slaight. At this point, Siri’s new relationship is still a pretty rocky, and she’s learning how to get along with a large group of friends — something she’s never had before, since she always moved so much growing up. The Dark is amping up their world-domination game and there are some really harrowing moments for Siri and the gang. Not everyone makes it through the book unscathed. I’m working on ‘Gifts of Aeden’ right now and the story is amazing me as it unfolds. Every question fans have had so far gets answered in this book, and the world changes in ways you’d never imagine.
11) What’s the best thing about writing?
As I type, I am right there in Siri’s world with her. I cry when she’s frustrated, I laugh when something funny happens. It’s like going on vacation. If I don’t write, the ideas just keep coming and building up inside my head. Writing is a release, a joyful expression of the natural creativity of the soul.
12) Anything you would like to add?
For anyone who is really serious about becoming a writer, before you send your book to publishers or throw it up online for sale, find some beta readers for your book. Earth Lodge has provided me with a fantastic group of beta readers. These are real, regular people who read the story before it goes through its final editing process, catching plot holes, asking questions, and giving invaluable feedback. Beta readers can be friends you know, or strangers you’ve reached out to online. Personally, I find a combination of both works well for me. My beta readers have caught mistakes that my editors have missed, and given me ideas for other books in the series. I love my beta readers! Anyone can be a beta reader. I occasionally put out the call through my mailing list and on facebook – just sign up for my newsletter through my website, www.ellisloganbooks.com, or follow me on Facebook (facebook.com/ellisloganbooks) or Twitter (@EllisLoganBooks)
A. J. Chaudhury is a young author from India writing mostly in the fantasy genre. His historical low fantasy short “A Song of Blood” releases shortly. Click here to download his fantasy novella “The Drabird” for free.