Ellie Grace [eeemazing]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I struggled with learning disabilities most of elementary school. I would read something and not really understand what I had just read, but in Fifth grade I read How To Eat Fried Worms. This was the first book that I really understood and our class did small writing activities. My imagination ran wild. This was the first time that I had teachers helping figure out what my brain was trying to communicate. I started to get more ideas, but they were small. In the form of poetry. Then, in my freshman year of high school I started to write short stories. I had a few classmates and family members read those stories. Everyone loved them, but writing didn't take old until senior year of high school when I self published my first book. The book took about two weeks to write and it was over 300 pages. After that I was almost untouchable.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre would have to be fantasy although I enjoy historical fiction as well. My website is www.elliegracenation.weebly.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Before I sit down to write I usually have an idea. My ideas are like movies in my head. So, I'll imagine the movie in my head and I'll see my characters run through the plot like a fast forward movie. I'll see conversations I want them to have, details of characters I want to make sure to describe, locations where it will take place and more. As soon as I'm happy with the imagine I get in my head I take out my Moleskine journal. I write down my plot by hand as well as characters, important conversations, drawings of locations and anything else to help me keep my ideas straight. For character names, I'll usually look online at baby name websites. For names of locations I usually try to make them up off the top of my head or I use a different language to name a place. It can take a few days or a week before I'm actually writing.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Bad stories or stories that are to cliche inspiring my writing. There have been times when I've gone into the bookstore picked up a book that many people have told me I MUST read I will read it. Then, I end up knowing the ending 10 chapters before the end. It's hard as a writer to find books that truly surprise up to the end. So, I get inspired by the books I don't like.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
The basic ingredients of a story is
1. Characters. You can have an amazing plot, but if your readers don't identify or attach themselves to the characters then you've lost them.
2. A Problem. Whether there's a simple problem, a love triangle problem or a denial of a problem there must be some issue to address. Unless you aren't writing fiction.
3. Solution or cliffhanger. The moment you've been building up for since the first word. Either the story ends with the problem solved, or the problem is still open. Figuring this out before you write is key because you want to know as the writer how you'll go about building up to the last page.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I like both first and third for different things. I find myself using first person a lot more than third.
What well known writers do you admire most?
I admire Holly Black. All of the books of hers that I have read haven't been typical. I always want her books to continue forever.
I also admire Caroline Cooney. In middle school I read many of her young adult mysteries. They were never dry and she never repeated herself. In the end I was always satisfied with the endings.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Description is key when making a character believable. As a writer you have to describe what the reader is supposed to see. I've had a lot of off the wall characters. From vampires to drag queens my characters can sometimes surprise you. It always starts as a visual thing. I see my characters in my mind and I dress them how I feel they should and I see how they act in my mind. I take those pictures in my mind and put them in my writing.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Yes. Well, at least my stories because I know my characters personally. I know the story and how it's supposed to sound.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for me. I write because if I don't these ideas take over my brain while I'm awake and while I'm sleeping. I have written a few stories for a few people because of people.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Writing makes me happy. I can start writing a feel like I'm in a whole new world. I get happy when my characters are happy and sad when my characters are sad. In my book, High School Stories, there was a lot of internal conflicts with school life that helped me write that story, but most of the times no.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Yes. I'm a young writer with so much to learn. When people give me feed back I take that use it then and in the future.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Yes, I do. I received an honorable mention for The High School Stories in the London Book Festival.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Nope. Usually the only person I show is my editor when I'm working towards the final draft.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I believe I have found my voice. I think now that I'm just looking for people to hear it.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I don't like wasted time. When I'm writing a story I'm working very hard almost the whole day. I will never write while I'm tired. My writing is never 100% when I'm tired. I almost never leave the house when I'm writing a story. I have a lot of goals for myself, but becoming a bestselling author is the top one for me right now.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I usually have a few snacks, fruit juice, a game of solitaire open on my iPod touch (helps me when I have a moment brain freeze), the television on a show for background noise. Once I'm writing it's hard to get my attention.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I write on my laptop. I used to print frequently because I wanted to hold the paper and put corrections on the page, but was easier to scroll to check facts. Too much paper wasted. Now, I read through as much as I can from my computer until my eyes are sore.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Sometimes I write about things like that on my blog.
What has been your experience with publishers?
I haven't had any experience with publishers because I've been self publishing. I'm not sure whether I will ever go to the traditional ways.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a book about grime music. It's a fictional story. It's going to be a tad gray, but I'm really excited about it.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Start a blog and post them up there. Tell a few of your friends to read it. Or say they aren't by you when you post them. Then you can get honest feed back and you won't feel so shy about it. When I'm shy about showing a story I have to ask myself if I believe in what I've written and if I love it. If I love it and believe it's great than showing people is like playing an instrument for the first time on stage. You might go off tune, but you'll never know your potential if you don't step on that stage.
Fairfax,VA United States