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An Interview with Ellis Logan

One of the nicest distributors my publisher works with is Smashwords — here is a great interview they did with me, where you can find out all sorts of new things about my writing process!

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? One of the first stories I ever wrote was about a cat whose house flooded when he cried, and he had to build a boat and rescue himself. I was 7. My parents were in a business meeting and I was supposed to stay quiet for several hours in the back of the huge conference room where they could see me. It was the 1980’s, we didn’t have tablets back then to play on, so I asked a secretary for some paper and pens, and started writing and drawing.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
One of the first stories I ever wrote was about a cat whose house flooded when he cried, and he had to build a boat and rescue himself. I was 7. My parents were in a business meeting and I was supposed to stay quiet for several hours in the back of the huge conference room where they could see me. It was the 1980’s, we didn’t have tablets back then to play on, so I asked a secretary for some paper and pens, and started writing and drawing.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I was a child, I started writing stories to entertain myself. Later, I wrote stories that helped me work through things in my mind. Now, when I write, it’s a conversation with the characters. I never planned to get into writing paranormal fantasy or scifi. I never dreamed of writing a whole series. That kind of scope was totally beyond me. Then, one day I woke up and the words were in my head, circling around and around until I got them onto paper. My characters speak to me. When I sleep, they’re in my dreams. Now, if I go more than a couple days without writing, I feel twitchy and restless. Writing is a release. It’s ecstatic. The process itself is the joy.

Describe your desk
Since I was a kid I always worked on my bed or in a comfy chair. I’m most comfortable in a half-lotus position, so I have a large swivel chair that allows me to watch wildlife and birds outside the windows by my desk. The desk itself is an old, dark wood secretary. Instead of stationary in the little cubbies, I have notes, pens, crystals. I don’t get distracted easily, so the desk is in the middle of the house near the kitchen and living room where I can be near the family while I work.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a lot of time with my family doing outdoor activities like swimming, skiing, hiking. I love to cook and try out new recipes. People always ask me if I do parkour like Siri: No, but I wish I did! I live vicariously through my son, who knows all the moves. I try to do some yoga, skiing or boxing every day to balance the hours I sit at the desk writing or on the sofa reading.

How do you approach cover design?
My publisher, Earth Lodge, has a great design team. It’s pretty awful when a book cover doesn’t look anything like the character description or just feels out of step with the message of the book. I love what Earth Lodge has done, everything they come up with is amazing. The designer always reads the books, and they nail the cover each time.

What are you working on next?
Right now I am working on ideas for the third book in my Post Magic series. It’s a really fun series, a lot more intricate than my earlier works, with many threads and arcs running through it. It’s exciting coming up with new avenues to explore, and Post Magic has SO much potential since its literally a whole new world.

Who are your favorite authors?
I grew up obsessed with the classics — Dostoevsky, Homer, Hugo. For their humor and quirks, I loved everything by Tom Robbins and Kurt Vonnegut. Lately, I am really loving Meghan Ciana Doidge, Cassandra Clare and Vera Nazarian.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Well, I have to get up because I have kids! But I love my life, really. My work is great and I love my family. Every day something new and exciting happens, whether it’s on paper or in real life. We moved states last year and every day still feels like a vacation. If anyone reading this is contemplating making a big change, I would say “Go for it!” Change is scary, but the end result can be truly magical.

What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. I am so grateful to my fans. When my first book hit a bestseller list, I couldn’t believe it. I was so surprised when that happened. I love writing the books — the fact that people love reading them is a blessing.

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love writing, but the whole submission process for publication was pretty daunting. I applied to agents and a few publishing houses and each one had different requirements for what they wanted me to send. So not only was it scary, it was really time consuming. Then I stumbled upon Earth Lodge and I saw how easy they made their process. And I liked their message — most of their books are holistic and inspirational. They were just starting up a new fantasy division. So I sent in my manuscript for “Shades of Valhalla,” and they loved it! I’m really happy with the job they’ve done promoting the book and getting it out there to readers on so many platforms. Smashwords has been a big part of that, so thanks!