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Interview with William David Ellis

He is an award-winning author and the son of an English teacher, the husband of an English teacher, and the father of an English teacher. Despite them, he occasionally punctuates. He has written fantasy novels and short stories. He writes in East Texas dialect (which covers a multitude of grammatical shortcomings!)

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I am a beekeeper.

Q.2 Do you have any upcoming books?
Yes, two just out, The Long Game, a Sherlock Holmes novel, and Rivals the 4th book in my Harry Ferguson Series.

Q.3 When did you decide to write The Harry Ferguson Chronicles?
I didn’t set out to write a series or even a novel. I started with a short story that kept getting longer and longer and now numbers a quarter of a million words.

Q.4 How do you come up with the name of your books?
I brainstorm, writing down every title idea I have, no matter how hokey, then I start culling them and usually take a phrase from this one and add it to that one until I feel good about it.

Q.5 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Write sooner, and have a book available for Amazon by 2007. Beat the competition into online publishing. Also, I would say change your major to English.

Q.6 How do you select the name of your characters?
Now, this is a neat question. I am about to run out of family members' names, so I may have to actually figure this out. Seriously though, I like names and enjoy savoring them; some flow freely, others don’t. Names seem to fit the character of they do not. So, it is a lot like naming a baby.

Q.7 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have written seven, and my favorite is the next one…

Q.8 How long does it take you to write a book?
Hours or days? And by that, I mean if I could just sit down and write every day all day, it would take about 90 days max. But I have a life and a full-time job, so I can knock out two books a year.

Q.9 What were your feelings when your novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
Wow! They spelled my name wrong! No, not really; I thought this is cool; I hope I can get all the money I put into out of it.

Q.10 What is one stereotype about fantasy writers is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?
I am not sure what the stereotypes are, so it is hard to answer the first question. But I will take a shot at it. I think it might be that they are strange ducks who like making up weird names and creating worlds with names no one else can pronounce. The second question, which stereotype is dead on? Well, hmm... I think they are strange ducks that like making up weird names that no one can pronounce. Except for me, of course, I am the exception to that rule; I didn’t create the world of my characters; I tweaked it where I could improve on it and, truth be told, live in it.

Q.11 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I stick an ink pen in my nose and bob my head a lot. It is not conducive to a great daily word count. Other than that, I don’t think so.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
I was given a great piece of advice about writer’s block. Writer's block is our imagination telling us we made a wrong turn. So, we have to back up to where we didn’t have writer’s block and go from there.

Q.13 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
Jedi, because they are powerful spiritual beings with a purpose and a passion.

Q.14 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
I like the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Why? Because other than a great writer, His main character is flawed but overcomes his inner struggles to push through.

Q.15 How does your family/friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
At first, they didn’t take me seriously; now, with book sales accumulating, they have realized I am a good writer; what can I say? A prophet is not accepted in his own country.

Q.16 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
No deliberately. But intuitively, I think that the plots and character formula are ingrained in me from having read so many great works from not till my childhood. It becomes a part of you.

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write, write, write, and do not give up, write stories you like but also heed the market, and if you have to choose between the two, go with your heart’s desire. You will write from your heart anyway, so tweak it to write what people want but keep it your own.

Q.18 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I don’t know that I have that difficulty, so I have no idea how to answer that question.

Q.19 Who designed your book covers?
A. Anca Gabriela
from BRoseDesignZ, a great artist a pleasure to work with.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
I have always been a reader; I started writing early, I have had several stops and starts along the way. One day I pulled up my big boy boots and published, and the rest is history.

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