I loved interviewing Author Ellie James for one of my pages that I admin at!! :D It was so much fun so I wanted to share it here too... Just incase anyone missed it! ;)
So here it is! The interview with Ellie James author of Midnight Dragonfly Series!!! :D
So here it is! The interview with Ellie James author of Midnight Dragonfly Series!!! :D
1) Did you always know if you wanted to be an author?
Yes J I’ve been concocting stories as long as I can remember. I think I wrote my first fan-fic before I was five! I would fall in love with characters and not want their stories to end, so I’d keep them going. It wasn’t just fan fic, though. I had my own creations, such as the saga of a family of monsters, followed by star-crossed cats. Then came a girl named Jacquie and her terrifying flight through a sinister swamp, with a mysterious guy racing to help her. I had no choice but to write the stories down. It was the only way to get them to leave me alone. In middle school and high school I was always the girl writing little poems (and even songs!) for my friends, usually about something romantic, and something dangerous! Being a Louisiana native, my stories always took on a mystical feel, featuring ghosts and danger and all sorts of things that couldn’t be explained, and always, always a healthy dose of star-crossed lovers.
2) What/who inspired you to write?
Growing up I was a big Nancy Drew buff, but the first book I remember touching me on a deeper level Island of the Blue Dolphins. Then came my love affair with Judy Blue (and the forbidden Rosemary Rogers novels I found between my mother’s mattresses!) After that there’s a huge gap before Stephen King and Michael Creighton took over. And with each genre I discovered, the place inside of me that was always spinning stories of my own grew stronger and more insistent. The more I read, the more I wrote.
When it was time to pick a major for college, I remember asking what I could major in that would involve writing. My mother suggested journalism, so journalism it was. Of course, writing obituaries for my news-ed class wasn’t quite the scintillating endeavor I had in mind, but everyone has to start somewhere, you know?
More recently, I’m crazy inspired by JJ Abrams, creator of Alias, Lost, and Fringe. History + Mysteries + The Unexplained + Possibility + Boy/Girl = My Perfect Recipe.
3) For the ones who do not know about the Midnight Dragonfly series.. What is the series about?
The Midnight Dragonfly books are a series of romantic YA thrillers following the visions of teenage psychic Trinity Monsour in New Orleans. Glimpses. That’s all she sees. Shadowy premonitions flickering through her dreams. Some terrify: a girl screaming, a knife lifting, a body in the grass. But others--the dark, tortured eyes and the shattering kiss, the promise of forever--whisper to her soul. They come without warning. They come without detail. But they always mean the same thing: The clock is ticking, and only Trinity can stop it.
4) What was the inspiration for the story?
It was one of those bizarre, unplanned things. A few years ago I wasn’t getting much sleep and woke up one early one morning from one of the most incredibly detailed, vivid dreams I’d ever had. I’d more than just seen a group of teen sneak into an old abandoned mansion--I’d been with them. I’d gazed into the darkness, and smelled the decay. I’d felt the fear, and the crazy blast of excitement at the prospect of a game of truth or dare. My heart was still racing when I woke up. The images lingered. I kept thinking about what I’d seen, and from the questions came: What happened next? What if one of the teens was a psychic? What if she saw something…something bad? What if she had a premonition? What if what she saw actually happened? What if no one believed her, or at least, no one but the last guy she should let herself begin to fall for?
As I answered those questions, the Midnight Dragonfly books were born!
5) Is there a story behind every book cover?
The main story behind the covers is the dragonfly necklace featured on each. Since the books reflect Trinity’s story, each cover contains an image of her (and I absolutely love how beautiful they are!) And since the stories are as much about her coming into her own as they are about solving mysteries, the decision was made to create covers that evoked a vibe of self-discovery, rather than the mystery plot aspect. As a side-note, my UK publisher has gone the other direction, emphasizing the mystery rather than the emotional journey. Check it out:
About the dragonfly… On the cover of each book is an amulet, a beautiful necklace with a dragonfly pendant. The dragonfly (and the pendant) plays a significant role in the story, which is why it’s featured so prominently on the covers. While writing the first book Shattered Dreams, I needed Trinity to receive a talisman that belonged to her mother, and the image of a dragonfly popped into my mind. I began researching dragonflies and was blown away at how mystical they are, in particular how they represented existing in two realms at the same time--and dreaming. For my teenage psychic, who communicates with The Universe through her dreams, this was PERFECT. A lot of this is explored in the third book, Fragile Darkness, particularly a Native American legend about what dragonflies really are J
6) Did you ever have a writer's block while writing?
Um…yeah. Kinda. But I hate to call it writer’s block. It’s more like the absence of words or inability to make a decision. What will happen is I’ll reach a point in the story (more often, incidentally, the beginning than any other place), and suddenly, even though I KNOW the story, know it inside out, I can’t find the right words to get what I’m seeing and feeling in my mind onto paper.
7) What did you do to get over it?
Over the years, I’ve developed a couple of methods to get the words flowing again. First of all, I abandon my office and my laptop. That is CRITICAL. I get physical paper and a pencil with an eraser (not a pen) and I go downstairs to the sofa or maybe even outside. Sometimes I go for a walk (or, um, sweep!). Regardless, once I’ve changed the venue, I start asking questions. Of myself: What’s wrong? Why isn’t this working? Of the characters: What’s going on? What are you thinking? What are you upset about? What would you change, if you could? I literally write these questions down, and answer them. Usually, whatever is causing the block will emerge through this process. Sometimes it has to do with plot: I had the characters turn right instead of left, keep a secret, etc. Sometimes I have to go back and adjust a previous scene (or two or three or more!) before I can fully move forward. Other times, it’s more to do with a characters actions and reactions.
As an example in Fragile Darkness, there is a scene where Trinity is meeting a mysterious new guy, Will, at a location that has incredible significance to Trinity. In the first draft, Trinity selected the meeting spot, but when I actually wrote the scene, it fell so much flatter than what I was envisioning/wanting. This is one of those “I went for a walk” situations, where I was about a mile from my house when I realized I constructed the scene wrong. Trinity wasn’t the one who selected the location, Will was. Suddenly, everything flew together, and all the drama and emotion and intensity I’d been aiming for materialized as Trinity arrived, unknowingly, at this very significant place to her.
Bottom line: change of venue, change of mode, paper, pencil, an eraser, and one pretty harsh interrogation of myself and my characters!
8) If the series were to be made into movie(s) Who would you like to play which character? Leighton Meester and Taylor Kitsch
This is something I’ve thought about (dreamed about?!?) from time to time. And it’s funny, but when I let my mind wander that direction, I always end up seeing a TV series, instead. The city of New Orleans, the two shops, one artistic and the other New Age, Trinity and Dylan and Victoria, the musicians Deuce and Trey, Aunt Sara and Julian…oiy. The possibilities are endless! Anyone know a good producer????
As for casting, for me it comes down to the eyes. I know a character by their eyes…and after extensive searching, I’d have to recommend Leighton Meester as Trinity and Taylor Kitsch as Dylan. Leighton has such a strong, tough vibe about her, and Taylor just oozes dangerous sensuality J
9) What is the best advice you've ever recieved?
Ah, great question! I’d have to say the best advice I ever received is the advice I now most often give: Believe in yourself. Never give up. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. You are the captain of your own ship, the author of your own story, the star of your own life. You get to decide how your life is going to play, nobody else. If you have a dream, don’t follow it—chase it. A goal, you need to work toward it. On my desk is a plaque that reads, “You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” and I try my best to live by those words. You have to believe in yourself and follow your dreams. It’s the only way they can come true.
10) What message would you give to your fans?
One of the most incredible aspects of writing the Midnight Dragonfly series is all the awesome people I’ve met along the way. The readers and bloggers have been incredible. I feel like I’ve stepped into a whole new world, where I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to share my stories. The biggest thing I’d like to say to my readers is…thank you. From the bottom of my heart and the horizons of my imagination…thank you for being so welcoming!
1) Party or Read?
2) Dogs or Cats?
3) Ice cream or Cookies?
4) Superpowers or Plain Jane?
5) Crowded Cities or Laidback Countrysides?
6) Horror or Romance?
7)Tea or Coffee?
8) Books or Movies?
9) Would you rather Be a hero or the villan?
10) Good Guys or Bad Guys?
Depends upon what for J J J
11) Cool or Geeky?
Sometimes geeky can be cool…
About Ellie James
Most people who know Ellie think she’s your nice, average wife and mom of two little kids. They see someone who does all that normal stuff, like grocery shopping, going to soccer games, and somehow always forgetting to get the house cleaned and laundry done.
What they don't know is that more often than not, this LSU J-School alum is somewhere far, far away, deeply embroiled in solving a riddle or puzzle or crime, testing the limits of possibility, exploring the unexplained, and holding her breath while two people fall in love.
Regardless of which world Ellie’s in, she loves rain and wind and thunder and lightning; the first warm kiss of spring and the first cool whisper of fall; family, friends, and animals; dreams and happy endings; Lost and Fringe; Arcade Fire and Dave Matthews, and last but not least…warm gooey chocolate chip cookies.
You can follow Ellie on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Midnight-Dragonfly-Books-by-Ellie-James/154988421236309
Her next book, FRAGILE DARKNESS, is available from Griffin Teen November 27, 2012.
Ooh and there's a giveaway going on! Everyone who pre-orders Fragile Darkness and sends their reciept to Ellie will stand a chance to get a signed bookplate and a temporary tattoo!! :D Go go go enter!! :D
Till later! Take Care!