I’d like to welcome to the blog Ellie Mack, a terrific writer and all around good sport (something one needs to be to agree to an interview here…you’ll see). Let’s see what’s going on in Ellie’s world.
For my readers who might not have met you yet, tell us a little about yourself and your work, Ellie.
I was born a poor black child – no wait, that was Steve Martin. OK, that probably dated me now didn’t it?
Me, too. The Jerk is a classic. Seriously though, forget your lack of rhythm and tell us more about you.
Let’s see I have a BS in cartography/ geography. ( I studied rocks – they don’t bleed. Both my sisters are nurses and I’m needle-phobic.) Formerly I worked for the US Defense Department as a target analyst – don’t ask. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
I retired to start my second career as a mother. The first one paid well, but the second has some great benefits. Somewhere in there I decided to pursue my own dreams of writing. Shortly after I lost my mind, I think. I’m currently a mortgage loan officer in my day job, world-changing author on the night shift, Lara Croft in my imagination.
I just celebrated my 27th wedding anniversary. ( I was a child bride honestly *fingers crossed) I have two teenage daughters that are gorgeous. I’m a fabulous cook – do you think I’d look like this if I weren’t???
I write humor, romance, erotica, YA, and random things on my blog. I’m defying my age – it’s a lie, I can’t really be that old.
I think we are all older than we’d like to admit; I find it difficult to believe my son is about to turn 18. In preparing for our interview, I read the bio on your blog and you describe yourself as an all or nothing person of extremes. What’s the most extreme thing you’ve ever done?
Most extreme? I’d have to go with natural childbirth of a 9 pounder with no drugs. Yes, you heard me, no drugs. No epidural, just me and the pain. I was more afraid of the needles than the pain. It was a long, long labor, not some quick affair either. Twenty one hours of labor, three hours of pushing. I can’t think of anything else that compares. It’s also my reference point when I feel like wimping out on stuff. Like when I want to quit after ten minutes on the elliptical because it’s ‘too hard’. My Nazi muse kicks in yelling “Oh yeah? You want to quit? You wuss! Just for that you’re going an additional ten minutes added on to the 30.” I hate her at times.
Gulp. I’ve participated in births and just watching was almost too painful for me, the elliptical trainer should be nothing for you. But since you brought up exercise, and by connection, sports, here’s an important question every author should be asked: You’ve been chosen captain of a 3 on 3 basketball team and you have to pick two writers for your team. Who do you choose and why?
First of all who in their right mind chooses a short curvy girl as captain? Hmmm, let’s see. If you’ve read my blog you may have read my interpretations of rules. Soooo . . .
I will choose Martin Reaves and Bruce Blake because well, you’re tall and athletic. We huddle, I tell you the plan. The whistle blows, shoes squeak on the polished floor. I lift my shirt flashing my boobs causing the other team to stare helplessly (Women have such power with these, it’s awesome!) as you and Martin race down court. You shoot, you score! Next play, the bend and snap as Martin goes in for the lay-up!
Two minutes left on the clock, I feign a trip, landing “helplessly” on the court in front of two of the other team’s players. My face flushed, breathing heavy, my chest heaving – You race in for the final basket – we win with two seconds left on the clock.
Women never play fair. We play to win!
I’ve got the height, but I’m only an average basketball player at best. I do like your game plan though; anything that involves bare breasts is alright in my book. Speaking of books: what book have you read that everyone else liked, that you should have liked, but didn’t? Why not?
Hmmm, good question. I don’t know if I can answer that one. I will say however that I’m not one to give into pressure for the latest book. Fifty Shades of Gray? Have no desire to read it. Fanfic gone horribly wrong. The author didn’t even get the BDSM right, from what I’ve heard anyway.
I did a whole series of posts on my blog pertaining to Harry Potter. Ironically, a simple statement that I’d never read it prompted many comments on the blog and my pm’s on Facebook telling me how ridiculous I was. I never read them. At the time I had other things to read, and was thoroughly involved in two series by my favorite authors. Harry was YA kids novels. I sort of missed that whole phenom there. Meanwhile, I was on the edge of my seat with Mackayla Lane and Jericho Barrons as well as following the MacKeltars. Also I was eagerly following Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino in their adventures. There’s only so much a girl can read, right? Oh, and there’s the abyss I fell into following Jamie Frazier and Claire’s antics through time.
If it makes you feel any better, I haven’t read Harry Potter either, but don’t tell your blog followers–I don’t want them posting nasty stuff over here. I have the same excuse for not reading them: there always seemed to be other things to read, and now that I’ve seen all the movies, I don’t feel the need…the need to read. It sounds like you do quite a bit of reading. If you were a character from any book you’ve read or written, who are you most like? Who would you most like to be?
LOL! You ask the tough questions, don’t you?
It’s why I get paid the big bucks.
Most like? I have no idea really. Possibly Georgia Nicholson grown up. My life is like a Carol Burnett show rerun. My comedic tales come from personal experience – seriously. I’m a walking stand up routine. I don’t know if any of your readers would even be interested in them but Louise Rennison has this series of books, all about Georgia Nicholson. The first one is Angus, Thongs, and full frontal snogging. They are YA books and are hysterical. I love humorous books.
Who I would like to be? Lara Croft! I could kick butt and take names, without smudging my eyeliner or lippy, then find the treasure and save the day. Stop over in Paris for a quick lunch before the next hair-raising adventure.
Great! I recently saw there’s a movie version of Angus, Thongs and... on Netflix here in Canada. I’ll watch it with my daughter sometime. What’s your favourite piece you’ve written? Why?
To date, I’d have to say Kiss of the Dragon. It was one of those brilliant flashes of lightning inspirations. There are underlying things within it that I’m curious to see if readers will pick up on. You know, see if they can connect the dots. I tend to make elaborate plot twists. There are no straight rivers in my writer’s mind, but more like a bunch of meandering streams that eventually tie together into the main channel (geography reference there – I can’t help myself, it’s a geek thing.)
I love the characters, they just sort of showed up fully developed begging me to tell their story. Who was I to say no, right?
You write some pretty racy stuff over at Storytime Trysts. What does your family/people you know think about/feel about this?
My kids are under age. They are not allowed to read it. My sister-in-law, and three nieces were avidly following it and begging me for the completed book. I haven’t really shared that information with too many people outside of the writing community. I wrote that as a challenge to myself to improve – ahem – those scenes.
Did you read any of it? What did you think about it?
I read a little bit…it was really good, but I had to stop. I was sitting in a coffee shop at the time and it made me blush, and then it made me…well, stop. I was in the coffee shop because that’s where I like to write. Tell me about your writing habits. Do you have any particular place/times/rituals you engage in?
I get the hubs and kids off to work and school and get my second cup of coffee and fire up the computer. I turn on the computer, check my email, do my mlo job, then stare numbly at the screen for an hour or so. This is usually when I open Facebook. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write – I’m simply not a morning person. Sometime around 8 I go to the gym. By the time I’m back home at 10, I have sufficient blood flow and caffeine to be fully functional.
By 1030 I’m usually writing my blog, and/or my WIP, and/or my Storytime blog, and/or a nonfiction article. I’ve crashed my computer many times for having too many tabs open at one time. It’s an older computer and it’s cantankerous. It’s not broke yet so I still use it.
As to place – I do my best writing sitting in the floor with my laptop on my coffee table. It’s my actual work desk. When I’m sitting in the nice leather chair at the computer desk, you know a real official desk I feel like I should be all businessy, and don’t really tap into the creative parts of my brain.
I’ve also typed in bed, on the sofa, in the car, at the table, and done a lot of handwriting as well. I think best with pen and paper, but I’m learning to shift that to using Scrivener.
Rituals? Well, I take some candles, salt, my black robe, a chicken . . . no. The only ritual is coffee in the morning, my stack of handwritten notes beside me on the floor, tunes playing in the background or in my earbuds, and a stack of reference and research books on the table behind my laptop. Well sometimes I do burn candles, I like vanilla or the apple cinnamon ones.
Sounds like you’ve done it just about everywhere, Ellie (see the clever romance/erotica tie-in there?). I notice that you live in a town called Festus. I’m from the west coast, so I’ve never heard of it. What is Festus like?
Ever been to hell? Yeah, just outside of that past nowhere. Small town USA. I live across from a horse farm, I have to drive fifteen minutes to get to the grocery store. It’s scenic, rolling hills of the Ozark Plateau, normally lush green woods but we are currently in a drought. It’s located south of St. Louis ( I know, people are like Festus? Where in the world is Festus?) along the Mississippi River. I’ve been to the West Coast, it’s nicer. I’ve been to the East Coast, it’s nicer as well. Trust me the Mississippi river cannot compare to any ocean. Think redneck America and you’re getting close. Gee, is it obvious that I want to move from here?
Festus is an unusual name for a town. What is the strangest place name you’ve ever encountered?
Festus was originally called Tanglefoot. It was a one saloon town along the Camino Real back in the wagon days. The town was renamed because of bar fights and shootings – true story. They picked the name from the Bible. Festus was a Roman official.
Other strange names? There’s a town by Lake of the Ozarks called Roach. You have to wonder, do they have a bug problem or a weed problem? On the way to Panama City we drove past a town called Wank. That ones pretty funny! More locally there’s a little town – population like 500 called Ware. It’s on Y highway, just past lake Wen. Think about it, it will hit you in 5, 4, 3 . . yeah.
That’s a good one. The strangest I’ve heard is a place in the province of Alberta called Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump. Gotta love those Albertans. Here’s a classic interview questions for you: You’re trapped on an island and you can have 3 non-writing items and one food item. What would they be?
Mmm, chocolate. I’m a chocoholic myself. I once tried to stop eating it and made it about a month before my family performed an intervention. Apparently I was a little grumpy without it, so they baked me a big, rich chocolate cake with chocolate icing and made me eat it. That was a good day. If you could live one day of your life over and over again like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, what day would it be?
Honestly I’ve got no answer for this one. Can’t think of any day I’d want to live over and over. Possibly a few I’d like a do over, or like to undo. Oh wait, a day that I won a cash prize! I won $500.00 If I repeated that day over and over again, just think of the bank account I’d have after a year!
$500 would be good, but that chocolate cake would tempt me. Okay, last question then I’ll let you get back to writing: If you had the choice, would you rather be sucked dry by a vampire, have your brains eaten by zombies, or have a werewolf shred you to pieces? Why?
If the zombie ate my brains, then I would become a mindless zombie, without a brain. A stupid zombie. I’d rather be Alice. Alice kicks zombie butt. Can I choose Alice as an option?
Who’s the vampire? Is it Erik Northman? How long will he take to suck me dry? Can I set the time? Can I have him stretch it out over a very long time? Take just a little each day over say two, or three months? Is he going to make me a vamp or just kill me? You know in some vampire stories the vampires toy with their food like a cat before closing in for the kill. Maybe my vampire wants to keep me around for a while before the kill.
Werewolf – is it Alcide? If it’s Alcide I’ll choose this one. As long as I don’t end up looking like the female version of Werewolf in London, a decaying mess in my human form. How long is Alcide going to take to ravish, I mean tear me to shreds? At what point do I lose consciousness from the ravaging? Is it one of the werewolves from Underworld? How long before I transform? Will I gain superhuman strength like they do?
I could write some pretty heated scenes with these prompts, you know that? Can I use these?
Geez, I thought that was a question about choosing an unpleasant death, but it seems to have gotten you excited, Ellie. I think maybe the vampire/werewolf/zombie books I read and the ones you read may fall into different genres, despite their similarities. It’s the little differences that make us unique. When I think vampires, I think horror; you think sex. It’s probably a good thing it worked out that way…I don’t type well enough with one hand to write erotica.
Thanks so much to Ellie Mack for playing along. Ellie, you’re welcome to stop by and post anytime. And let me know whenever you’re up for some 3-on-3 basketball–I’d be happy to be on your team.
About Ellie Mack
Ellie Mack lives in a small town near St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a BS in geography/cartography. She has worked for Department of Defense, county government, as a substitute teacher, and various other jobs. Her hobbies include reading, bicycling, playing Tombraider, and Dance games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and Zumba. Between being a mother to two teenage girls, a wife, homemaker, and a mortgage loan officer, Ellie writes paranormal romances.
Ellie’s first erotica piece is appearing on http://storytimetrysts.blogspot.com/
Ellie’s blog can be found at: http://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/passion-2/