My next guest author, A.D. Ellis, is from a place I used to live for 10 years, Indiana. But I’ll let her tell you more about herself and her fiction! Here’s her official bio and then we’ll get to the interview questions.
A.D. Ellis is an Indiana girl, born and raised. She spends much of her time in central Indiana teaching alternative education in the inner city of Indianapolis, being a mom to two amazing school-aged children, and wondering how she and her husband of almost two decades have managed to not drive each other insane. A lot of her time is also devoted to phone call avoidance and her hatred of cooking.
She loves chocolate, wine, pizza, and naps along with reading and writing romance. These loves don’t leave much time for housework, much to the chagrin of her husband. Who would pick cleaning the house over a nap or a good book? She uses any extra time to increase her fluency in sarcasm.
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
A.D.: At the time of answering these questions, I have 22 books published. Number 23 should be published the end of April. Twenty-four and twenty-five are in the works, and a co-written book will round out at number twenty-six.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
A.D.: I began writing in contemporary romance because it’s what I’d loved reading the most. Thanks to one of my characters in my Torey Hope series (small-town romance), Sawyer, I started reading Male/Male romance so I could write Sawyer’s story true to who he was. From that point, I fell in love with M/M (gay male) romance and all of my books have been in that genre since.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
A.D.: The book I’ll be publishing in April (What Blooms Beneath) has a theme of accepting differences, having an open mind, and loving a person/soul rather than a specific sexuality or gender.
These themes are important in my stories (many of my stories have the same type themes along with being true to yourself, standing up for what is right, growth/change, and being kind) because I feel these themes are something we should all be incorporating into our daily lives.
Kellan considers himself lucky to have an adequate existence on earth where, in the year 2044, common citizens toil under the oppressive thumb of a corrupt and unscrupulous government. Kellan dreams of becoming part of the Department of Paranormal, Supernatural, and Fantasy Sciences, but his application is continually denied because he has no extra-sapien blood. Kellan’s simple reality shifts when Rhône unexpectedly enters his life.
Rhône, living in a camouflaged, underground village, never planned to get involved with an individual from the outer world. When Rhône and Kellan cross paths, there’s no denying the attraction and pull between them. But there’s something else, something more, just beneath the surface.
A hidden world and painful secrets are a potentially complicated blend. However, with Rhône by his side, enlightening details and unexplored powers provide Kellan with an opportunity for deep self-discovery. Will Kellan’s open and accepting heart allow for an extraordinary love to bloom? Or will the vast differences between Kellan and Rhône take root and strangle any hope for a flourishing future?
All of A.D.’s books are available on Amazon and many of them are also on KindleUnlimited.
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
A.D.: Most of my writing/revising is done on my laptop while sitting on the couch or at my desk. Sometimes I take a trip to the local Starbucks to get some words written.
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
A.D.: I need to have at least an hour to write (preferably two hours.) I usually have hot tea by my side and a playlist of music with songs from a variety of decades and genres. I laugh that my playlists could possibly give whiplash as songs switch from one genre to another.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
A.D.: I had recently learned of the self-published option so I challenged myself to do it. A lot of authors helped me with the steps and process. After publishing two books, I joined Romance Writers of America and gained an invaluable group of fellow authors who support each other.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
A.D.: I think writing real-life characters/problems, bringing tough issues to light, snarky characters, and making readers fall so in love with a series that they never want it to end.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
A.D.: I most often have a character and/or situation or problem pop into my head, and then I work out the setting.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
A.D.: I’m a full-time teacher and mom so my writing has to be fit in between those obligations. I often try to write for an hour or so each evening and for 2-3 hours on weekend days.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
A.D.: My April release is a new genre for me. I’ve always written contemporary romance, but I veered from my normal and wrote a fantasy romance. It was scary to dive into a new genre and I had some challenges, but I had a lot of fun writing that story.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?
A.D.: November is NOT a good time for me to write. School obligations, my children’s school events, several birthdays, holidays, and upcoming holidays always seem to take precedence over writing in November.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
A.D.: At the moment of this interview, I’m reading Speak No Evil by J.R. Gray. When this interview posts I’ll likely be reading something from an author buddy or any variety of male/male romance I can get my hands on.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
A.D.: Male/Male (gay male) romance. Usually contemporary but I veer off to paranormal/fantasy and historical from time to time.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
A.D.: I honestly don’t reread books very often.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
A.D.: I switch the genres I read from time to time, but I mainly read the same as what I’m writing. If I’m writing multiple stories, I usually try to make them be a different subgenre so as not to get the characters/settings/situations too similar.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
A.D.: I’ve been writing since the fall of 2013 (published April 2014) but I’ve been teaching for 20 years.
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
A.D.: How much blood, sweat, tears, effort, and money go into our stories, and how harmful it is when some readers download pirated books instead of buying our books so we can continue writing.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
* build your social media presence
* find your “circle” of authors who will support you (joining a reputable writing organization is a great start)
* take constructive criticism to heart
* have your book edited (not by your neighbor or Aunt Sue—unless your neighbor or Aunt Sue are highly qualified and experienced editors)
* have your book formatted (whether by you or someone else—formatting matters!)
* your cover is one of the most important things a reader is going to see…make sure it looks professional (compare it to the covers in your genre)
* stay away from drama, don’t read reviews (or at least not the nasty ones)
* write the story you want to read
* realize early on that your writing won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
A.D.: At the time of this interview, I’m writing a M/M romantic suspense, a M/M contemporary, and a co-written M/M small-town contemporary.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
A.D.: My April release was my first foray into fantasy romance and my current WIP is romantic suspense. I’m pretty open to writing in different romance genres, but I also enjoy the comfort of my tried-and-true contemporary romance.
Thanks for stopping by, A.D.! Very impressive total of books and interesting career so far. Wishing you all the best in the years to come!
Now that fall has officially arrived, I trust you all will find some good books to curl up with and read. Maybe with some spiced apple cider or hot tea? Sounds pretty good to me… Until next time!
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Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.