Thursday, December 17, 2009

Interview with Aspiring Author C.J. Ellison Come Take A Look!

Joining us today is C.J. Ellison! She'll be telling us about her book in progress and a little about what it's like trying to get published and finding an agent. She'll also tell us more info on her book and where we can find her at. So without further ado let's get to the Q&A....

*So tell us what made you decide that you wanted to become a published author?
I didn't decide it per se, so much as it was a pipe dream. I started writing this past February to distract myself from things in my life I couldn't change and before I knew it I had a 1/3 of the book done and wondered if anyone would want to read it.

That curiosity culminated in my reaching out to readers via the Internet. Those readers inspired me to finish my book and made me think it may just be good enough to get published.

*Have you had the idea for Vampire Vacation sitting around for a while or is it just something that came to you one day and you knew that you had to write this story down?
Kind of a combination of both, really. I've loved reading everything in the Urban Fantasy genre for ages - way before it officially had a 'genre'. I love mysteries, adventure, intrigue, romantic sub-plots - you name it!

But at the same time, I noticed a trend of when I picked a book there became certain things I no longer liked to read. True crime and horror appealed to me when I was younger, but once I had kids they became things that gave me nightmares. Romance - historical, regency, contemporary (all flavors) - stopped appealing when I passed my mid-20's and I no longer wanted a man to "save me."

I wanted a heroine who didn't need her partner, but wanted him in her life. A woman strong enough to stand on her own and take life by the throat. I loved the idea of creating my own world and the inherent sexiness of the vampire story called out to me. I had some inklings of how to start a book and where I would set my story, but nothing really came together until I decided to write.

*I like to ask this question to gives some insight...Were you imaginative as a child? Were you a daydreamer?

Yes on both questions. I've been heavily involved with art most of my life. It was expected as I was growing up that I would pursue a career in art.. Reality reared it's ugly head and I realized how hard it would be to make a living at it.

Now it's a hobby and I apply it in a most unusual way - home improvement projects. It's scary (and rewarding) some of the things I've learned to build over the years.

As for the day dreaming - well, the teenage years were exceptionally hard on me. I was teased and picked on growing up and that didn't lend itself to a strong sense of self-confidence in high school.. Books were my place to escape to and daydreaming within their pages became my salvation.

*How has the journey been for you in trying to find a publishing house? Has it been worth it?

So far things have been a whirlwind. I've entered contests and sent out queries. I've had agent pitch sessions and impromptu ones with editors that want to read my book. The hardest thing so far has been in finding an agent.

I've proven there is an interest in reading this style of book and have worked to develop a following. But so far the agents haven't wanted to take a chance on my work and I've started to pursue publishers without one.

We'll find out in January if Dorchester decides V V makes the cut in their recent contest -- where right now the book has made Fan Favorite and a spot in the Final Five.
The journey to get published has been one filled with numerous ups and downs. Has it been worth it? Well, I think I'll be better prepared to answer that six months after my book has been released and we can see where it is on the charts ;-)

*Tell us a little about Vampire Vacation.

My true inspiration behind V V was hot monogamy. Like I said before, I love this genre and read a ton of it. I was sick and tired of reading books where the kick-butt heroine saves the day again only to bungle the relationship by the next book. If half of all marriages winds up in divorce what does that leave the happily married people to read?

Why hasn't anyone seen the really hard thing in life is not in finding love but in keeping it? True intimacy, the type depicted in my sex scenes, does not come early in a relationship. It takes time to culminate and grow.

Okay - aside from the hot monogamy, let me get back to the book - a married couple run a vacation spot for vampires in Alaska. The wife is a vampire and the husband is her human mate of sixty-five years. The premise of the book is they try to solve a murder without alerting their randy undead clients.

The whole story is from the female vampire's point of view and I make the journey through her eyes funny and fast paced.

*Any idea if you will continue this story as a series? Is that something that you're interested in doing?
I've already started the second book - titled The Hunt and have notes on the third, Big Game, and the fourth as well. I would love to keep writing these characters indefinitely if there is a market for them. I had an absolute blast creating the first book!

*Last but not least give us the info on where we can find out more about you and your book! Websites? Fan pages? Twitter? Blog?

Kris, you've been incredible to showcase my blog, conduct this interview and offer to read my novel. Thank you! As you know, my book isn't out yet and won't be until later 2010 if I'm lucky. But with help like yours I'm sure we'll have info soon!

Interested parties can learn more about the status of publication on my website,, read more about my journey to publication on my personal blog or if you're on facebook you're welcome to stop by my fanpage and say hello,

Thanks again for having me and you honor me in your interest. Wishing you the best success with your blog!

C.J. I'd like to take the time to thank you for stopping by the blog, answering questions, and letting me have the opportunity to review you book. I'll be crossing my fingers for you and watching the bookshelves!


  1. Yay!! You've got a special place in my heart right now, Kris. Hopefully, in the very near future, I'll be able to offer some autographed copies for you to give away to readers.

    How cool would that be?

  2. whow that was a good interview. I am happy to have read it. C.J. Ellisson i wish you all the luck in the world. Kris thank you for showing the interview. It was great.

  3. Awesome interview! I love reading stuff on aspiring authors (as I am currently one too). I'll definitely have to check this story out. Hopefully one day soon, I'll be able to buy it in stores.

  4. Good interview, I hope I will be able to read Vampire Vacation soon in publication you deserve it.

  5. Thanks everyone for stopping by to check out C.J.!

  6. Yeah, You Rock C.J.! Can't wait to see VV on the bookshelves so I can buy my own copy! Debi :D

  7. Hi :)
    Thank you for sharing here today CJ. I enjoyed learning about her writing process and Vampire Vacation.
    Merry Christmas,

  8. Great interview. She seems like such a nice person.

  9. Wooo, i like the interview and cant wait to read the book! Good job!!

  10. All the best, CJ! I will keep my fingers crossed for your book (and the series!) to get published really soon. Can't wait to see it in the bookstores and libraries!
    Angela @

  11. Excellent interview with C.J., Kris. "Vampire Vacation" is well-plotted and excellently paced. I actually loved reading it (and this from a guy whose characters hunt down and kill vampires).

    Thanks for the interesting insights. For your readers, if they want more of C.J., she started a new blog made up of five aspiring writers, including herself (well, four writers and a hack named G.M. Smith).

    Check it out at