Interview with M.T. Ellis, Author of Azrael #crime #thriller @mtellisauthor


M.T. Ellis is a Brisbane/ Lockyer Valley-based author. Her debut crime thriller, Azrael, won Bronze in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Suspense/Thriller Catagory. Her short story, The Ballerina in the Box, was short-listed in the Australian Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction Competition. Two of M.T. Ellis’s stories made it onto a billboard during the Queensland Writers Centre’s 8 Word Story competition.
Her dogs, Opal, Zeus and Matilda, occupy a lot of her time. She would write books about their adventures if she thought people were even half as interested in them as she is.
M.T. Ellis is an Australian Writers’ Centre graduate, freelance writer and journalist. The second novel in her Detective Allira Rose Series will be out on October 1, 2018.
Her latest book is the crime thriller, Azrael.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thanks! I had been looking for an idea for a book for a while and none of the ideas I had come up with were good enough to sustain a whole novel. One night, I had a nightmare about being held captive in an old abandoned house. I wrote the dream down and went from there.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

There are a lot of characters who have their own point-of-view in Azrael so one of the challenging things was to stay in their voice and speak from their POV. It was helpful for me to plan out the scenes as I went. I wrote one or two sentence chapter summaries that included the character’s name and eluded to their emotional state at the time. I moved the summaries around until they were in the right order, then I wrote the scenes. I also went back and made sure the tense and point of view were consistent throughout each chapter. 

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published because I didn’t want to wait for someone else to get my career going. I got my first rejection letter from an agent and thought, why am I waiting to find the one person who will open the door for me when I can do that myself. I’m glad I self-published because my debut novel, Azrael, ended up winning Bronze in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Suspense/Thriller category. I may still try to secure a traditional publishing deal in the future.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I found the amount of work that goes into formatting a book for printing and eBook distribution surprising. It was a steep learning curve for me when I published Azrael because it was my first novel. I hope I can remember everything I learned when I release my next one.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

On October 1, 2018, I will be releasing the second book in my Detective Allira Rose series, Dollhouse. It continues on, twelve years after Azrael, to when Detective Rose’s teenaged daughter is accused of murdering her best friend. Rose can’t tell whether her daughter is telling the truth when she says she didn’t do it.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

I ended up moving to the location where the killer in Azrael held two of his victims captive after the book was released, which is a little creepy.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

Complex characters and the reasons why people do the things they do intrigue me. I’m hoping I was able to show what happened behind the scenes to turn Azrael into a serial killer.

Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Thanks for having me! My advice is, if you want to be an author, start now. Talk to other writers or listen to podcasts like So You Want To Be A Writer to pick up tips about learning the craft and where to find more information to help you.

About the Book:

Title: AZRAEL
Author: M.T. Ellis
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 340
Genre: Crime Thriller

BOOK BLURB:
Emily thought her ordeal was over after she escaped a brutal kidnapping. She’s wrong. He’s coming for her again.

The body Detective Rose is looking at bears a striking resemblance to Emily, a woman who survived a horrific, sexually motivated abduction five years ago. Her fear is confirmed when Emily goes missing again.

When another woman, Grace, is abducted, Detective Rose finds herself doubting the instincts that tell her the disappearance is the result of intimate partner violence. She connects the cases and recruits Grace’s partner, Ethan, to help in the search. Together they must find Grace and Emily before it’s too late.

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