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Thursday, August 14, 2014

3 questions for: Tray Ellis

Have you ever re-read a book until it fell apart? (YA reading level or above) Which book and why?
No, but that would only be because I’ve always been extra diligent to be kind to my books.  I want them to last so that I can always go back and read them again.  The book I’ve read the most often, though, and would probably have fallen apart if it hadn’t been a hardcover was A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  It’s always been a fascinating, captivating read for me, and even now, as an adult, I often pull strength from it, and the strength of the main character, Sara Crewe, to soldier on even when things seem darkest and the most impossible.  It has been a book I often give as a gift to the children of friends and family.

Have you ever gone someplace or done something exclusively as research for a story? Where/what?
 All the time!  In fact, when I feel the least like going somewhere, usually after I have been invited, this is often the reason that motivates me to leave my cozy little home and go in search of adventure. It doesn’t have to be a distant, unknown location, sometimes the most unknown places are those closest by.  Just spending time with people doing something out of my skill set, even if it might seem nothing but the most ordinary of events to them, can be the source of much useful knowledge.

What was the best piece of writing advice you've gotten?
 Write it now, it’s always easier to edit something that’s there than something that isn’t.  I’ve always found this to be true.  Creating something from nothing is the hardest first step.  Editing it later, when even just one sentence is there, is much easier.  Writing is supposed to be a process, and it very rarely flows out perfectly the first time, so there shouldn’t be any worry about if it is ‘good’ or not.  It won’t be good if it isn’t even there.

How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings
On the day of Molly and Irving’s wedding the usual hiccups and snags happen, but Irving’s best man, chemistry professor Everett Donnelly, is there to smooth them over, keep everyone organized, and make last minute adjustments based on the lists he keeps. If only he weren’t distracted and reeling from his strong attraction to Molly’s brother, police officer Jake Mountbatten, whom Everett first met at the rehearsal dinner.

In between boutonnière crises and wedding photos, the two men have ample opportunities to catch each other’s eye, but the obligations of the wedding interrupt them time and again. Finally, all the speeches and traditional activities are over, and Everett finds Jake to see if they can make a little romance of their own.


Liz A. said...

That's interesting--doing ordinary things out of your comfort zone as "research". That's an excellent idea.

Tray Ellis said...

Thank you! Doing something new can be rewarding but it can also be scary.