Name Ellie Keys
Where are you from Detroit, Michigan
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am a single mother of one. My son is 20 years old. I attended college for five years and have two degrees. One in Psychology and the other is Speech Language Pathology with a minor in English with a Linguistics emphasis. I have been a published author for two years now.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have an upcoming novella included in the Christmas in the City anthology that I am excited about. I will have the next three books in my Norton Sisters series releasing beginning either at the end of the month of the beginning of December.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was 14 years old. I grew up in a very trying household and saw things that a young person shouldn’t have to. I sought refuge in the pages of a book or the use of my pen and paper. Knowing that the reason for my inspiring words comes from a place that was meant for darkness gives me greater purpose.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I didn’t think of myself as a writer until I had a creative writing teacher tell me that I needed to be published. He loved the descriptions that I used in my short story and stated that I should make it a novel. That one I never did make a novel, but I did include it in my book of short stories. It was the first time I felt like someone believed in my skill as a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I kind of answered this in my last response. It was a creative writing teacher. I didn’t do much with it beyond sending a couple works to different companies. It wasn’t until a former co-worker told me about a self-published author she knew that I took the plunge into making my dream a reality.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
No. I’ve never been one that likes to be boxed into anything. I tend to write what I feel and allow the characters to lead me how they will. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Wherever it leads me is how things come to be.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Funnily enough, that’s usually the first thing that comes to me when I have an idea for a story. There’s usually something in the story that triggers the title or vice versa. My character has been the driving force behind the majority of my titles lately.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Each of the novels has a different message. I’ve had readers come back to me with several responses some that I hadn’t expected.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
There are some elements of each story that are based in fact. I’ll have incidents that happen in my own life that I state have to be put into a story just because I couldn’t pass it up.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I have a love of Shakespeare and that study lead me to other works. The works of Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter keep me reading these days. The authors, Danielle Stewart and Ruth Cardello, were the ones that first opened up their virtual arms to me. I still bug Ruth Cardello from time to time so she plays my mentor now.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Wrong Number, Right Guy and will continue to read Jenny Han’s trilogy of the summer I turned pretty.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Elison Grace and Kaden Matthews are new to me. I don’t know how new they are to the book world though. I’m taking my time and trying to read in between works of my own.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
The Norton Sisters series completion as well as my first and probably my only BDSM novel.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
There is a young woman by the name of Ebony McMillan that I adore. I’ve made so many connections knowing her and love her dearly. She is the one that is in my ear screaming for me to keep going.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do. I truly believe it can be. It takes wanting it bad enough and being willing to work as hard as you can to get it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. Chyra’s story was a testament of striving for completion. I’ve never had a book push me the way that story did. I cried so many times when I wrote that story. I also didn’t think that I would ever finish it. The characters kept going. The last scene that I wrote practically shredded me. I love that story.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I needed somewhere to put all of what I was feeling. I remember reading a story and the character wrote in a journal what she was feeling. We’d been learning about poetry in school and I just combined the two.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Lynnia looked to her left and saw a sleeping Dario in front of her. Normally this would be a pleasant thing for her to wake up to. It would mean that she finally got what her heart desired. For as long as she could remember, she had wanted Dario Anderson. He was now and forevermore would always be her modern day Antonio Banderas or Andy Garcia. Those two have always been representative of iconic Latin men.
She couldn’t contain her happiness the day that he’d come up to her in junior high and said “hello”. It was perfect. They’d watched each other from across the room, never taking eyes off one another. It was a wonderful romance movie moment then he ruined it. He’d asked her if he could borrow a mechanical pencil. He went on to ask her to tutor him. She held out for months, waiting for him to ask her to the eighth grade dance, but he didn’t. When his date backed out at the last moment, she was his alternate. He only asked her to go as his “friend” and nothing more.
“He always has been one that was slow on the uptake,” Lynnia said to herself as she came back from the memory.
She lifted her legs to bend them at the knees. Using her feet and hands, she pushed from the back of the couch. When Dario rolled away just enough for her to place her feet at the base of his back, she pushed again, hard. He rolled all the way off the big, comfy couch and hit the floor with a most satisfying thud. He grunted and whined. There was some definite whimpering before he finally sat up.
“Did I just fall off the couch or did you push me?” he asked her, while barely keeping his eyes focused on her face.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Fitting all of the pieces of the puzzle together. I’m trying to break myself out of the habit of writing scenes and not going from chapter to chapter. It’s hard work. I see other scenes as I write a particular scene then I have to get that out. I’m a work in progress. Ha!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author right now is Harper Sloan. I love the alpha men in her stories, but Beck and Dee’s story is the one that kept me coming back for more. I didn’t expect a significant story to come from a background character. She and Sherrilynn Kenyon have been the only ones that have been able to completely surprise me with changing my outlook of a beloved character based on their treatment of a lesser character.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I do travel with the book signings that I’m signed up for. I just returned from Greenville, NC for a signing held there on 10/24. I had a blast. All of my signings are listed on my page: https://www.facebook.com/elrjonesauthor/
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Wycked Ink, Redbird Designs, Alyson Raynes, Donna Sabino and myself have all had a hand in creating my cover art.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of this last book was getting to the end. I had no clue when the end would be. I just kept writing until the story was complete.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I wouldn’t be able to let go of the world that I created so easily. I knew that there was more to be told with the characters. I also learned that I love doing what I do and I’m not letting go of it anytime soon.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
“Write what you know!” It’s my first piece of advice that I give to all of my newbie author friends. The second is “write what you feel”. It does no one a bit of good if the author forces a story. If you are being sent in a different direction with a different story, do NOT fight it. Get all of the other story out of your system then go back to the first story. I’ve learned the hard way that your characters will be relentless if they feel their story needs to be told. Lastly, don’t allow someone else’s opinion to depict how you write or what you choose to write. You will not be able to please everyone, so don’t try.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for being willing to welcome my characters into your lives. I appreciate each person that took a moment to give any of the stories that I’ve written a chance. Thank you so much. There’s more to come.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No. I don’t. I use to get books off a thing called a Book-mobile before I used to get books in the mail from a reading club I’d joined. I read the Nancy Drew series and the Sweet Valley High books. I also owned Rose Petal Place stories.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at some of everything. I have a very goofy nature and a quirky personality. Seeing or reading about a grown man crying completely tears me apart. I bawl like a baby at that.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet Maya Angelou. I would want to hear from her lips words to inspire me to keep striving for the seemingly unattainable.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Wow. That’s kind of a morbid question. Wasn’t expecting that one. Um. “Live life out loud! She did.” It’s something that I started using at the beginning of the year (live life out loud) because I felt like I was silently watching my life pass me by. I didn’t want that for my life and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I love catching up on my favorite show, going to the movies, reading or editing. I’m a home body by nature and tend to stick close to home hanging around family.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My faves are Scandal, Once Upon a Time, Empire, The Flash and the Originals.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite food is chicken or shrimp alfredo with a little splash of red sauce. Colors: purple and orange; Music: changes with my mood. I have eclectic tastes and have all different genres on my phone and computer.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I probably would be working to become a famous singer. I don’t think that I would have been able to deal with the backlash of that particular field. Lol!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
ebook link: http://amzn.com/B00Q1RKLNM
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Ellie-Keys/e/B00SDK18UU
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+EllieKeys/about
Fan/Reading Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/elliekeysreaders/