Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
In four separate divisions of the Arts and Entertainment industry do I contribute creatively: music, movies, art, and literature. In the music industry, I serve as a multi-genre songwriter; in the motion picture industry, I contribute as a casting director and film production assistant; in the art world, I moonlight as a professional art model; and in the field of literature, I produce the written word by way of professional book reviews and through works of nonfiction. Reviews by Cat Ellington: The Complete Anthology, Vol. 1 is my very first release.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Reviews by Cat Ellington: The Complete Anthology, Vol. 1. In the context of its main title, Reviews by Cat Ellington was inspired by the original WordPress weblog of the same name. Now defunct, the online journal had been home to the hundreds of literary examinations that will now feature in the Complete Anthology series.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Yes, I tend to write in title case, a habit of mine that most people would consider to be quite unusual. Such a style of writing has been all I’ve known for over thirty years, what considering that I’m a songwriter. Because of that craft, I have, for far too long, been in the habit of writing in titles. However, I strive to control the “supposedly annoying” habit in the literary branch of my career—composing only in sentence case.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Roger Ebert, Stephen King (my Maine man), Iceberg Slim, John Grisham, Carl Hiaasen, and Jackie Collins. Ebert inspires me in the review writing process, King inspires me in the classic suspense process, Slim inspires me in the unfiltered process, Hiaasen inspires me in the humor process, and Collins inspires me in the contemporary layout process.
What are you working on now?
Reviews by Cat Ellington: The Complete Anthology, Vol. 2, and The Making of Dual Mania: Filmmaking Chicago Style, which I am co-authoring with Joseph Strickland and B.J. Patterson.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
The Boutique Domain (my award-winning official website), and The Review Period with Cat Ellington, a new blog that I established in the wake of the old weblog’s departure. My literary works have been graced with their very own pages at each location. And my public is made aware of their availability via said locations. Those external sites through which members of the general public can be made privy to my written works of literature include Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Oh, absolutely. First, there is no such thing as “writer’s block,” that’s just a code term for anxiety. Sit down, brew a pot of coffee or a cup of tea, relax, clear your mind, meditate for a minute or two, and the words will come. Writers write. That’s why they’re called writers. The gift is already in them. They just need to guard their minds against all forms of anxiety. Second, don’t withdraw your true nature, let it run free. Sometimes, we as writers are so busy trying to be perfect, to get the words just right, that we trip ourselves up. There is absolutely no need for that. Let the Spirit guide you and before you know it, your tale—regardless of its genre—will be told. Let the Spirit guide you, always, in the creative process. And you’ll do fine.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
(Laughs) Oh, Lord, where do I start? Well, over the span of my creative life, I have been the grateful recipient of some very wise advice from any number of people, including relatives, educators, friends, strangers, and fellow creatives alike. But perhaps the best advice that I’ve been blessed to receive was that pertaining to maintaining creative control. No one creative artist wants someone else controlling his or her vision—at least not where I come from, which is the creative avenue of independence. Men and women in the creative arts should be free to express themselves, creatively, without interference from those who are without honor where having talent is concerned. An artist should be allowed to create his or her art without any fear of offending someone else—especially not someone else devoid of talent and creativity. It is not my intention to sound like an Arts and Entertainment industry elitist here, but the truth must be spoken.
What are you reading now?
A lot of thrillers, horror, urban fiction, erotica, and some cozy mysteries—but not all at the same time, of course. The singular novel that I am currently reading is J159 by Renee Logan.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Reviews by Cat Ellington: The Complete Anthology, Vol. 3.
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?
Uncollected Stories by Stephen King; God Don’t Like Haters by Jordan Belcher; Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen; and The Broker by John Grisham.