Thursday 23 April 2015

Q & A with Tara Ellis

Forgotten Origins Trilogy, #1
by Tara Ellis

Page Count: 240
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

Sixteen-year-old Alex has always suspected her father’s death wasn’t random, but she never guessed how deep the mystery runs or what it involves. When a rare meteor shower is followed by a highly contagious infection, the people she once knew so well start acting like they have a similar purpose that doesn’t include her. Alex can now only rely on her friend Chris and loyal dog Baxter as she plunges into a strange, new world predestined since ancient times. Wandering the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, deciphering cryptic messages left by her father, desperately searching for a cure-will Alex have the courage and faith to even survive?

Find it on Goodreads

Read It & Reap: November 12, 2015

I LOVE to read. I was one of those kids that was never without a book. Or two...or three. If I had a spare minute, whether in class or on the bus or late at night when I should have been asleep; I was reading.

I also always wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first short story when I was eight on an old typewriter and lots of whiteout (the kind you had to hold in front of the key and re-type to make it cover it).

Finally, at 43, I have accomplished my dreams. Thanks to the Indie platform and I have published six books (so far) and I am absolutely thrilled to be able to connect with other like-minded authors, and especially readers here on Goodreads. That people are reading my stories and enjoying the worlds I am creating exceeds my expectations, and I'm looking forward to where this might take me.

Now...for those that like the more formal blurb: :)

Author Tara Ellis lives in a small town in beautiful Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys the quiet lifestyle with her husband, two teenage kids and several dogs. Having been a firefighter/EMT and working in the medical field for many years, she now teaches CPR and concentrates on family, photography, and writing young adult novels.

Trilogy Box Set: =asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Q & A with Tara Ellis

Q: Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
In the first book, Bloodline, the main characters are Alex, Chris, Jacob, and Baxter. Alex is your typical sixteen-year-old girl, except for that she’s not hung up on herself, and is a bit of a tomboy. Early in the story, she meets up with Chris. He’s an older boy at school that she knew briefly a couple of years before through a youth group, but hasn’t talked to very much recently. While Alex is half Egyptian (this is significant to the story), Chris is three-quarters Native American. He’s a very levelheaded, intelligent guy with big goals after his upcoming graduation. Jacob is Alex’s ten-year-old little brother, and he’s very dear to her. Since their fathers passing two years prior, he’s needed some special attention, and they are quite close. He’s smart for his age, and ends up playing a key role in things. Then…there is Baxter. Baxter is a Golden Retriever, and I have to admit that his part in the whole trilogy is something that evolved as I wrote it, and I absolutely love him. I believe he’s one of the many elements that make the saga unique. (But I don’t want to give too much away!)

Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Mel at has designed all of my novel covers for me. I think she does an amazing job, which is why I keep working with her! I’m in a bit of a unique position, since I am also a photographer. I have provided some of my own images to incorporate into the covers, and it’s helped create what I see in my mind’s eye. Mel has a way of taking my vision and turning it into something even better. My daughter is actually on the cover of Descent, the third book in the trilogy. I couldn’t find a picture of a girl holding an automatic rifle (critical for what I wanted), so I made my own!

Describe your ideal writing spot.
Well, right now I am sitting in my car writing this (waiting while my daughter is at dance class) and this is NOT ideal! What I prefer, and do best in, is a quiet area of my house where I am not easily distracted. When I’m writing a story, I usually get up a bit early, get some coffee, and sit in my front room where there is some nice, natural light. I also burn a candle…because I’m just weird that way. ;) When I was working on the trilogy, I found that playing some relaxation music (no words!) in the background really helped. I haven’t needed that with my kids’ books, maybe because the plots are simpler and I don’t need quite as much concentration. (The trilogy is very complex)

What is the best advice you have been given?
I have been given lots of good advice by other authors over the past couple of years. Aside from the obvious answers (get professional editing and cover designs), I would have to say that it came from another (very successful) indie author. He told me to consistently publish (put out several titles a year) and to be patient. It takes time. (usually) It took him six years and numerous publications before he gained a foothold. Unfortunately, patience is NOT a personality trait that comes naturally to me. But I’m trying.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went back and forth between a doctor and vet (well, and Princess Lea), but one constant was my writing. I wrote my first story when I was about eight, pecking out the words on my parent’s old blue typewriter. I was reading Stephen King by fifth grade and attended my first writer’s conference in fourth. I knew very, very early on, that to see my writing as a published book was a lifelong dream. I started writing my first, full-length novel when I was sixteen. I finally finished it at twenty, but back then, there weren’t any other options other than finding an agent. This meant printing it out on the old dot matrix printer, finding agents through books in print and mailing the full manuscript off. I gave up very quickly. I finally pulled it out of the shoebox last year, dusted it off, and re-wrote it. (I needed a break from the heavy writing of the trilogy) The Mystery of Hollow Inn is dear to me, and I will admit that I cried when I first held the printed novel in my hands. Yes. I have always wanted to be a published author.

What do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I’m old school when it comes to this question. I didn’t even purchase an ereader until after I published Bloodline. I have since downloaded countless books, of course, and read many on it. I believe, however, that there’s nothing that compares to holding a book in your hands. (paperback is easiest) I even like the smell of them. (Is that too weird?

Q:  If you could be any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
Hmmmm. I’ve thought about super powers before, (flying of course!) but I haven’t given that much consideration in regards to supernatural ones. There are some supernatural elements to my trilogy, of course, but the…um…unique abilities gained are attributed more to an alien and viral aspect, vs. supernatural. I think it would be the ability to read another person’s intentions/feelings. I actually have a bit of a gift already, as far as reading people, and sometimes just ‘knowing’ certain things. So I suppose that if I could, I would chose to expand upon that. It would allow for greater empathy, compassion, and protection.

What book are you reading now?
I am in the process of reading three books right now, which isn’t too uncommon for me. In no particular order:
Chains of Prophecy, by Jason P. Crawford
Autumn Moon, by Slade Grayson
Monte Vista Village, by Lynn Lamb

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