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Interview with Ellie A. Goss

Ellie A. Goss

She lives and works nestled between the Tarkine Forest and the Cradle Mt National Park in Tasmania. She was first published in 2016, a folklore children's creation tale, The Bunyip's Bath, and has gone on to establish a writing portfolio that includes further children's books; Mermaid Spell and A Touch Eldritch as well as contributions in magazines, anthologies, and ezines across genres.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I love the charm of old buildings especially churches, western and otherwise, and I have always been downright curious about floorplans and layouts, I often spot a house and just want to walk through it to see.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
Good question, I have several works in progress, with several others in the submission piles of publishers, big and small. They include picture books with dragons and a girl named Lydia and feature strongly with concepts of acceptance and transitioning through emotional states.

My indie works include two full-length short story books with fairytales, myths, and legends, for adult and child markets respectfully and include some previously published works. Timeline 6 months to 2 years for my next book but I have just had contributions published: a short story with zine Enchanted Conversations and a short story in the anthology, Ideas Are Like Rabbits.

Q.3 What made you write Mermaid Spell?
I told my granddaughter I would write her a book with Mermaids that has a magic spell as she was going through a phase of asking her mother regularly for Mermaid Spells.

Q.4 What actually goes on when author and illustrator meet?
I have not met one on a project yet, instead, I send concept illustrations and I provide ideas and my own illustrations to be tweaked; with the Mermaid Spell, the cover page for example and the night scene are both close to my own originals.

Q.5 What do you love most about writing stories for children?
There are no boundaries, everything can be real plus I have an audience even when a story idea does not go further than the couch or beyond a tale whilst on a walk.

Q.6 Why do you think it is important for children to develop a love of reading?
I think it is not only a love of reading but of storytelling that is important for children. Reading is a wonderful grounding for life and a foundation for learning while storytelling is something else, it expands on reading into areas of creativity, expression, and forms connections.

Q.7 What’s your writing schedule while you’re working?
When I am "writer" working, it is daily, just like many other jobs it involves several sessions a day but can stretch into the night if the stars are aligning with a story or section. I also set an annual submissions goal which I have followed now for some years, I also include the goal of an event for attendance too.

Q.8 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
Published there are four of my own; The Bunyip's Bath, Mermaid Spell, Single Leaf Maiden, and A Touch Eldritch but I also have short stories in; Scary Snippets; Family edition, Scary Snippets; Siblings edition, A Guide to Useless Sidekicks Anthology ed 518 Publishing, Ideas Are Like Rabbits. It is difficult to choose a favorite as they each have something I enjoy about them, a connection, to a place, people, or my funnybone.

Q.9 Which children’s book most inspired you as a child?
I read so many books including many of my mother’s books, Anne of Green Gables the entire series, Little Women, and the subsequent books, books that I won at Sunday School like Secret Garden. I was also a big fan of reading everything by an author that I would discover which led me to read many works by Enid Blyton, The Secret Seven and the Famous Five, as well as Colin Theile. I think they have all journeyed with me. I favored the Hobbit but recall Treasure Island as my first true chapter book at 8 years.

Q.10 How do you select the name of your characters?
Oh to count the ways, I don't really have a set method. Sometimes the name will just feel right, sometimes I will leave it open until the right name comes to me or I might search google. Sometimes I will know the name of a character before I have even started the story.

Q.11 Do you have any advice for aspiring children’s book authors?
Take the time to learn a bit about the industry; competitions & awards, writer’s groups, and organizations write and challenge yourself while having fun. Writing is often just a part of what is required for a children's book author, including the social fun bits like events, storytime with children’s groups, and meeting new, interesting, and talented people.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Yes, and I have two main methods. 
1. Go for a long walk.
2. Do some writing practice on a different piece - search the open submissions piles and write to a topic or theme that someone else has set for a while.

Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
Yes I read the book reviews, its good for feedback, besides as I mentioned I submit a lot of works each year which includes rejection letters/emails, so I have gotten used to it - that said I always remind myself that, what one person does not like another one will and to allow room for that person to feel the way they do and it's ok.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
Um - I don't know.

Q.15 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
Editors - The Bunyip's Bath, received great feedback from the Xlibris editor and that really encouraged me. Since then, I have had mixed responses from both family and friends but I am contacted several times a year about some of my earlier publications. In addition, I sub to magazines, anthologies and ezines and am a regular contributor to ezine Enchanted Conversations.

Q.16 How will you describe your life before and after getting published?
Before - Unpublished.
After - wanting to be published again and again!

Q.17 What three things readers should expect from your books?
Don't expect the same thing twice from me, sometimes I write children, others soft horror and well you get the idea. I do have a bit of an old English tendency in my writing style which comes out more and more in lengthier stories. There will be more to come!

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. Charles Dickenson
or maybe Dan Brown, I have joked a few times that if Dan Brown were to do specialty tours, I would be all in. There have been so many amazing people that have gone before us, from the ordinary friar with quill and ink, to emperors that changed the world, people filled with convictions, compassion, and humanity. It would take me far too long to weigh up this one to decide; JRR Tolkien, David Attenborough, Robin Williams, Karl Marx, or Germaine Greer.

Q.19 What is your favorite book (apart from children's ones) and why?
Not a fair question, I love fantasy and historical, and well a bit of everything else so a favorite is just one - where does the Hobbit sit? Recent reads have included Circe and The Dictionary of Lost Words as well as the trilogy The Discovery of Witches these just about sum me up, they have all the elements I love in a book (psst I didn't mind Fifty Shades either). It is in the details; these were well-researched novels that contained elements of truth that provided a depth of imagery and connection with unique characters (not all shiny and perfect).

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
Already I can say, I wish I had known of this or that so that my stories could shine a little brighter - be noticed a little more. But I have been surprised and pleasantly so with some of the unexpected outcomes; the first time I realized the library held copies of my books, having a growing publishing portfolio beyond books, being invited to be a part of book week at the schools, and writers’ events. And now that I know a little more, I am setting new goals all the time!

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