Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m an avid reader and writer, and love to cook, garden, travel, and spend time with my sister and her kids. I’ve written over a dozen books, but Regencyland is my first to be published. It’s book one of the Contemporary Reboot Series.
Because I write in several genres, my publisher recommended that I have a pen name for this series, which is Ellie Thornton. (I picked Ellie Thornton because I have two nieces named Ellie and my dad’s surname is Thornton. Also, Mr. Thornton, from North and South, is Dreamy.) My real name is Emily Clark. Aside from cozy mysteries, I also write thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, and dystopian in adult, YA, and middle-grade fiction. (I’m going to have a lot of pen names. Eek!)
I have a dog named Flynn (as in Errol,) and a cat named Weasley (he’s a ginger.)
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called Regencyland: The Bristle Park Murders. It was inspired by an idea I had to put a happy-go-lucky, troublemaker, who happens to be a genius (like Sherlock Holmes) in the roles of some of literature’s most famous brooders. E.g. Mr. Darcy, Edmond Dantes, Mr. Rochester, Dr. Jekyll, etc. And so was born Patrick Daley.
I became obsessed with the idea of seeing how someone who liked to be happy, even if it means causing trouble, would handle the plots of the previously mentioned brooders. It just struck me as funny and interesting. After that, of course, I wanted to create a twist for the famous women of these stories as well, which is why Elizabeth Shea is a police detective.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Yes and no.
I write for a living, which means that every day I’m at my computer. Not so out of the normal there. However, about once every other month, I take ten days to two weeks to write a first draft of a new novel. I’m normally a very healthy eater and love to cook, but during that two-week period, I can’t cook. It’s as if my brain can’t handle doing more than the writing. So, I either have to do some serious food prepping the weekend before I start, or buy instant foods. If I don’t have stuff ready, I’ll often forget to eat, which in turn makes me forgetful (ironic, I know,) and then I get yelled at by my family for not taking care of myself. Haha!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My favorite book is The Giver by Lois Lowry, has been since I was twelve-years-old. It was the first book that really made me think, and it’s imprinted itself on my mind and heart. I just love it.
My favorite series is Lord of the Rings, followed closely by The Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve read both series several times. The themes of light and dark, and good and evil are amazing. And, I must say, that I am a sucker for stories with amazing friendships in them. Platonic love stories. Those are my very favorites.
My favorite author is Louis L’Amour and of his books, at least the ones I’ve read so far (he was amazingly prolific with close to a hundred-fifty books to his name,) my favorite so far is Last of the Breed. I also love Jane Austen and Sherlock Holmes and many of the reimaginings of their stories. Holmes’ crime-solving techniques are the inspiration behind one of my main characters in The Contemporary Reboot Series.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the second book in The Contemporary Reboot Series called Account 1314…. (Yes, there’s an ellipses. The account number is too long to use the whole thing.) It’s a modern-day retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo.
Like Regencyland, it’s a cozy mystery/romance with a police procedural twist. Elizabeth Shea takes the spotlight in the first book, and my main male character (who has to remain nameless here so as not to spoil the first book,) takes the spotlight in the Account 1314…
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My first book has only been out a little over a month, so I’m still learning about different ways to market. I’ve held a couple of contests that helped me to grow my email list and gave me spikes in sales, and when my book was first released I promoted it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well, but really the contests were the most helpful to date.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Rejection isn’t the end of the world. I swear, it isn’t. Learn to let it roll off you, learn to take it with a grain of salt, learn to bounce back quickly, and whatever other cliches you can think of. If someone doesn’t like your book, they’re not your audience. That’s it. Period. There are 7.6 billion people on this planet–you have an audience out there. Honest.
Don’t give up! If you have a story inside you, get it out. It’s incredibly freeing. Also, it helps with the insomnia. (Bonus!)
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” -Stephen King.
What are you reading now?
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have the rest of The Contemporary Reboot Series to finish in 2018, but I also hope to release a non-fiction about the business side of being an author. Creatives know how to be creative, but being a successful author requires a business brain that often feels so out of reach. I hope to be able to help make that aspect of being an author easier for my fellow left-brainers.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
My scriptures, The Giver, a Louis L’Amour book I haven’t read yet, and The Martian because it seems appropriate. I get to bring books (yay!) but only four (boo!).
Author Websites and Profiles
Ellie Thornton Amazon Profile