Please give a welcome to author M.A. Ellis! She'll tell us about her latest release, a little about herself and a peek into her future.
1. Tell us about your newest release.
NOT QUITE VANILLA is a sweet little tale of light bondage….and chocolate! I was finally able to blend a headstrong heroine with a man who realizes he’s been given the golden nugget of information that will allow him to break through her defenses. In this case, it’s learning that she’s has a secret yearning to be submissive in the bedroom.
It takes place in the hero’s gourmet kitchen with the heroine on her knees, handcuffed to the hanging pot rack while he does all sorts of torturously erotic things to her. Warning all….don’t try this at home unless all cooking vessels have been removed from the rack. I will not be held responsible for injuries resulting from flying All-Clad when the rack starts a rockin’.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading, so I think it was always in the back of my mind, especially when I migrated from Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes into the romance genre. I would say the real bug hit in 1987. I wrote a historical romance…a long one…when my twins were two years old. It took a year and I subbed it to New York and got a very lovely four page hand-written rejection letter. At the time, I just couldn’t revise a 100,000 word story, juggle temper tantrums and watch ongoing episodes of the Ninja Turtles. I filed it away and forgotten until I went back to college in 1998 and started taking writing classes. I had a great professor who was very encouraging. In fact, it was an erotic poem I wrote for my portfolio that put me on the path toward writing hotter romance.
4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?
As for character traits-- I moved a lot as a corporate wife and met hundreds of people in different locales. Each little corner of the country has its own specific originality and I draw on that. Livelihoods--I usually pick ones that I would have loved as a vocation: baker, pastry chef, airbrush artist, bartender….a lot around food and beverage, apparently. I have a sequel I want to do with a secondary character who is a tattoo artist. And I just finished one with a jewelry designer. Information-- I’m forever cutting out articles and putting them in my ‘magical binder’ as my daughter calls it. There’s tons of stuff in there I’ll probably never use…but sometimes one little tidbit of random trivia is all it takes for a full story.
5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I practice, a loud, possible character dialogue quite frequently. I know immediately if it sounds stupid just by the cadence. More than a few family members have walked in on me doing that. I figure as long as I don’t have a crazed look in my eye, no one will speed dial an intervention team.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I write really strong male point of view. I get a lot of feedback about that fact. Someone asked if I grew up surrounded by brothers since my “Hot Hendersons” series at Ellora’s Cave is comprised of six gorgeous siblings who love to verbally spar. I only have one brother. But I contribute the ability to write authentic manliness to the fact I’m a big sports fan and have many guy friends…and I actually listen when they’re ‘bro-ing’ it up. It’s educational, to say the least.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
I belonged to RWA until recently and those chapters are so beneficial for aspiring writers. And I’ve mentioned that university professor who challenged us to write something different for our final portfolio. He made the dream seem as if it could become a reality. But the ultimate influence was my former husband who encouraged me to pursue the dream…to get out there and not be afraid to start writing again.
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
My ex, to this day, continues to promote my work to all and any, which is truly touching since when he urged me to ‘write’ he didn’t realize I was going to try my hand at erotic romance. He was a bit shocked, but is awesomely supportive. My twins are now in their mid-twenties so my son shows his support via his computer genius and technical design and my daughter is, quite simply, my biggest promoter.
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I love to bake and cook, which is obviously reflected in my stories. When I have a writer’s block, I go into full pastry mode. It’s doesn’t do a whole lot for my waistline, but it usually breaks through the wall. Sometimes it only takes a batch of brownies, other times it five dozen biscotti. You just never know. I’m a huge football fan and I love to fish. I spend the majority of my time in Florida now, so there are tons of water activities to be found….if I can force myself away from the keyboard. And I’m a pretty decent bowler.
10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
As far as releases, there will be one in August from Ellora’s Cave entitled “Filigree and Fantasy” about a jewelry maker who does an internship in Macedonia, a country renowned for its filigree work, and meets a sexy hero who is torn between his attraction to her and his duty to his family, some of whom are shape shifters. I’m also working on my final two brothers, the twins Sam and Matt, for my “Hot Henderson” series, and another Older Woman/Younger Man story. I love writing those….go figure.
You can visit her web site at www.maellisromance.com
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