Today in the Library we have Ellie Gray, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into their life as an author.
You are very welcome, Ellie, please introduce yourself:
I’m 45 years old and live in East Yorkshire with my partner, David, two children and various pets. I currently work full time in local government but would love to be able to give up the day job and write full-time.
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
I’ve always been an avid reader and my favourite Christmas and birthday presents as a child were books. I still enjoy reading and try to read as much as I can, but sometimes it’s a struggle to fit everything in. I have an eclectic taste in genres, reading everything from non-fiction books about Ancient Egypt (about which I have something of an obsession), biographies, horror, crime, fantasy, literary and, of course, contemporary romance.
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
I’m fortunate to be published by the rather fantastic Tirgearr Publishers.
Which genre do you write in and why?
I write contemporary romance, erring on the sweet side. I love writing about the emotional conflict between two characters, exploring what makes them tick but always with the certain knowledge that we’re going to get a happy ending. We don’t always get that in real life so I think it is nice to escape into a world where the happy ever after is assured.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
I’m not sure, really. As I said, I read a lot when I was younger and, as I progressed into my teens I read a lot of romance novels, including Mills & Boon, Jilly Cooper, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Barbara Erskine.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
Not particularly, I don’t think. Although I do tend to set my novels in Yorkshire, where I live.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
When I get an idea for my next book, or the character suddenly appears in my head, and trying to build a full-length, interesting novel around that idea or character. Sometimes, it can take a while for the full story to appear and to make sure that everything that happens to the characters happens for a reason and works to drive the story forward.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
I’m not a morning person, in any sense of the word! And, as I work full-time, I try to keep weekday evenings free to spend time with my family which means I tend to write mostly on a weekend – usually late morning and into the afternoon. When I’m pushed and working on edits, etc., I write in the early evenings as well.
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
The best thing about being an author is having someone read your work and really enjoy it, and having readers really connect with your characters – who are very real to authors. The worst thing, for me, is trying to fit in writing, which I love, around the normal everyday life and feeling guilty that I may not be spending enough time with my family. They are very understanding though!
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I enjoy social media – both for personal and my professional writing use. It helps to keep me connected with friends who have moved away, re-connect with friends I haven’t spoken to for years because they’ve moved to another country, etc. I’ve also met some wonderful and supportive people who are also writers through social media – it’s such a wonderful community. I mostly use Facebook and Twitter but also enjoy building boards on Pinterest and have tried to get to grips with Instagram.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
Well, the day job is in local government but if I could have any job I wanted, other than an author, I would love to be an archaeologist.
It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?
Gosh, that’s a tough one. I think I would read ‘Still Life with Crows’ by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – my favourite of their Agent Pendergast series.
Please tell us about your latest published work.
Following the recent death of her father, and in need of both a job and somewhere to live, Kiya takes a housekeeping job on the spur of the moment. She soon finds herself living in a beautiful but neglected mansion, working for a strange and reclusive man.
St. John is a man scarred by the past, both physically and emotionally, and is determined to live out his life alone. They are two very different people, drawn to each other almost against their will, but can Kiya convince St. John that he is not the monster he believes himself to be?
If you would like to know more about Ellie and her work check out the links below: