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Interview with Ellie Douglas   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with Ellie Douglas. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself.


Douglas Author PicMy name is Ellie Douglas, I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and have a wonderful hubby who earns enough so I can stay at home with the kids and write my novels 🙂 I have four ankle-biting horrors, twin girls and two boys, I scored the lottery with them 🙂


At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I wanted to be a writer from a young, very young age. I wrote my first story when I was 15 but I didn’t do anything with it. Then many years later I picked writing back up and haven’t put it down since. No intentions of stopping at all.


I don’t think real writers can ever turn off the tap. Tell us about your writing process.

My writing process is a little, well, lets just say eccentric. I write when I want, and when the mood strikes. I could be laying in bed struggling to sleep. So I get up and write. I could be at the beach and the mood strikes so I start writing. I have no outlines or plots that I work from, I start at the beginning and build from there, even I don’t know what the ending will be until I finish the novel.


What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

Horror for both reading it and writing it.


What are you passionate about?

My family are what I am most passionate about.


What is something you cannot live without?

My kids


When you are not writing, what do you do?

Douglas hounded1smaller.pngI like to read, a lot. I also love watching TV shows. I’m a also a big fan of movies. I also create book covers, professionally. So when not writing I can be found doing those other things and, of course, spending time with my kids 🙂


Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?



Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

A few places, sometimes I get them from the book covers I create, sometimes I get them from movies and/or other books. Mostly I get them from just ideas that rush through my head like a steam train out of control.


What sort of research do you do for your novels?

I do a lot of research, location — weapons, clothing, interior design, exterior …. Every novel I have ever written has been thoroughly researched. I even had to research psychology and doctors, phobias and other mental illnesses.


If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I’d say be afraid, of being grossed out and scared. It is my aim to do just that 🙂


Do you have a special place where you write?

Not really, I do tend to sway more towards, writing in my lounge. Kicking back on my lazy-boy, extending my legs and using my laptop.


Douglas Zombie Dogs

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

I guess if you call Zombies a theme as I have a tendency to write more about them than other themes.


Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Douglas Coloring BookCharacter driven, because I believe building the ultimate character to give the reader the joy of knowing someone that isn’t real yet feels very real and realistic at the same time is gold.



Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

I am a discovery writer, why? It is just how I prefer to write, no real explanation to why, sorry. It is what it is 🙂



I totally understand. What’s the fun of knowing what’s coming next … even if you are the writer. I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

First, thank God, it is summer. I’d have my laptop. I’d have movies and books, far too many to list specific titles, but they are all horrors.


What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want readers to be scared. I want them to be grossed out. I want them to feel excitement and to fall in love with the characters. To travel with the characters both good and evil, to experience what my characters do through the eyes of the readers.


What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Mostly impatience and the flexibility of being self-published. That need to get my story out now, instead of a year after it has been finished.


There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

Neither, because neither of those are true. Traditional publishing will always be there, and self-publishing will as well. That is what I believe, hey I could be totally wrong, ignorant to believe what I do, it is what it is though 🙂


What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

The greatest advantage is to have what you worked hard on, to be on the market for sale straight after it is finished.


Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?


Not a great deal really. If you sell the rights to your book you could be underselling yourself. Keeping the rights to your book and nominating the prices you wish to sell, are the things you can’t get if you are traditionally published. But being traditionally published has its perks too. It would be nice to experience both so I could answer this properly.


With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

Yes, it is increasingly difficult to be seen. The only way I know how to increase visibility is to constantly advertise. Promotion is the best advice I could give to any author, both self-published and traditionally. Word of mouth is top of course. But overall it is pumping out the links to the books you have on a continuous basis. Remember you are competing with millions of other authors. So it is even harder to be seen. Don’t be discouraged. Keep on going 🙂



Who designed your book cover/s?

I designed my own book covers. I do it professional as my regular job.


Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?


Yes they can, provided you have a good editor and beta readers, not family members and not friends. But professionally paid services that will polish your book to it’s highest. They don’t come cheap, so save before you even finish writing a book. Save hard. But, it is vital that you hire a professional editor. And a proof reader.


Do you belong to a writer’s cooperative? Describe your experience with that.


No I don’t. Not yet, but one day soon I will.



Where do readers find you and your books?   Hounded (Amazon) YouTube Channel Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Instagram Twitter

I See Dead-ish People   8 comments

The Open Book Blog Hop is seeing dead people this week. Zombies are the new western, don’t you know? They’re everywhere on television, movies and manga.

What do my fellow authors think of this ghoulish literary trend?

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I LOVE The Walking Dead, Brad loves I-Zombie and we both watch Z-Nation, but not really for the zombies. DJ Qualls could carry this show if it was just him and a microphone. The others are there simply for the occasional zombie slaughter.

I love good acting and good story telling (duh, I’m a writer!) and The Walking Dead delivers on both. The series has never really been about zombies. They are just the surrounding crisis that threatens the community, which is the focus of the story. It could be a storm, a plague or a nuclear attack causing the breakdown of society. It just happens to be zombies. I’d love the show without the zombies. Actually, I did love the focus of the show without the zombies. Think of any show you’ve ever watched where there was a microcosm of surviving humanity surrounded by a world-gone-toes-up and you know what I mean.

In creating the post-apocalyptic world of the series, the writers have focused on the living and how they survive within a world gone mad. They touch on issues that have resonance with me. For example, government was not up to the task of dealing with a world where 90% of the population has died, but refused to stop moving and so, government is pretty much gone. The few who survive are either insane meglomaniacs like the Governor or incompetant talkers like the Senator in the Safe Zone.

For me, that is a topic I love because — as regular readers of my blog know — I don’t really think the government works all that well and I wonder if perhaps we could do without it. I don’t think the government is going away anytime soon, so it would be a little silly to write a novel asking “what if”. But if you write a novel … or a great television drama … that uses a doomsday scenario to do away with government … well, now you can explore than topic and take it to its logical conclusions and explore some alternatives that might present themselves.

Meanwhile, on The Walking Dead, life goes on and a small group of creative survivors finds ways to live by seeking shelter and always keeping an eye out for when they need to exit. They find moments to live, love and laugh as they form a new family that can take in other members, or just as easily, bristle at the first sign of attack. It’s a new cultural dynamic where the weak or the stupid do not survive, but the strong can carry a baby through hell on earth.

We’ve seen faith dealt with as a strength (Hershel) and as a weakness (Gabriel) in the series and as a Christian, I appreciate the effort because I know from personal experience that faith rests on humans and humans come in all shapes, sizes and levels of character.

Early in the show, the standard was established that the group did not kill the living, but that moral disappeared when the living tried to kill them. How very human of them! We’re always a season behind because we watch on Netflix (and I don’t care if you spoil the future for me — bring it on! I’ll still watch), but I think the reappearance of Morgan in the last episode we viewed will ignite a discussion of the living versus the dead and hopefully bring Rick full circle, but I also know bad guys who use zombies as weapons are on the horizon.

The “world gone crazy” premise for literature opens up a whole plethora of topics that you simply can’t do as well in a “normal universe” book/movie/television series. Although I don’t see myself writing zombie fiction any time soon, I am definitely tapping into that vibe with the Transformation Project. Turn the world on its head and there are subjects that somehow become “okay” and “normal” that would seem strained and manipulated in a standard-life story. In our world today, we are surrounded by people who carry the scars of war and we almost always treat these people as either objects of fear or objects of pity, but in a post-apocalyptic scenario, they carry their scars proudly, as evidence that they have survived. And, that’s just one example.

So, I love well-done zombie shows, but I have to say … if they remake Night of the Living Dead for the 14th time, I’m going to go Zelda on someone.


PJ MacLayne is a Colorado-based author who writes romantic suspense. You might even get non-romance reader like me to read a romance if you include an AR-15 in the mix. You can find PJ herself here.


Posted January 11, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Stay Tuned for the Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Featured Image -- 8696This week’s topic is dead people. You might have noticed … they’re everywhere.

What do you think about that? The authors of the Open Book Blog Hop weigh in.



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Posted January 10, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Am I Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?   4 comments

Are you?

Well, okay, I’m not actually expecting a real zombie apocalypse. I’m thinking it’s more likely to be a second Great Depression, second Civil War, second American Revolution ….

Basically, I think the world’s going to hell in a fruit basket and it’s past time to start preparing for it.

What about you? And, how do you prepare for a zombie apocalypse? Or even just the natural consequences of loading too much straw on the camel’s back?


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