MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ELLWYN AUTUMN
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hello, Amy and Amy’s Readers! Let’s Take A Literary Journey Together!
My name is Ellwyn Autumn. Thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you. The genres my books fall under are fantasy and children’s fiction.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My most recent book, Captain Hook: Villain or VIctim?, came to me several years ago. While I was teaching, I used to read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs to my class. I always enjoyed hearing the wolf’s side of the story and thought it would be fun to do the same with Captain Hook.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always loved fantasy, so that’s been a part of me since I was young.
As for children’s books, after reading them for over 20 years to my own children and students , I noticed a need for more bi-racial characters and stories that touched on difficult topics young children face everyday.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
For Captain Hook: VIllain or VIctim?, I read the original Peter Pan novel by J.M. Barrie. I wanted to stay as accurate as possible to the original tale when I told Hook’s story.
Can you tell me about your Series?
My picture book series, The Kamyla Chung Series, stars a kindergartener named, Kamyla Chung.
In a heartfelt way, the books empower children to become their own self-advocates. The stories are written to resonate with adults and the children they’re reading to.
This personal connection prompts meaningful conversations on difficult subjects children face everyday, which in turn fosters problem-solving tactics for viable solutions.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
That one is hard to answer. They are both dear to me for different reasons. But, Kamyla Chung and the Classroom Bully fills a need for positive social interaction in classrooms.
As a former teacher, I know teachers and school counselors need tools to properly instruct students on bullying prevention. Books are a great way to introduce a sensitive topic in a non-threatening way. So, I’d have to say that one is my favorite.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I drew on my 20 years in the classroom. During my career, I met many children who suffered from abuse and neglect. I saw the consequences of these traumas and want to give a voice to these children through a character that is relatable.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I drew on my own experiences. However, I did write several articles on bullying to reinforce my message and as additional resources for educators and parents.
Was it always meant to become a series?
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Presently, my main focus is on marketing. As a writer, you must use social media to help spread the word about your books and create relationships with readers and reviewers.
I’m sending out queries to book bloggers and reading tons of articles on the how to successfully market a book. I’m also taking online courses to improve my knowledge on the subject.
I have a little writing corner in my basement where I read and write all day. I have a calendar with daily writing goals written on it. It’s been helping me stay organized and on track.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Captain Hook: Villain or Victim? was just released in February, so I won’t have another one out until next year. I have a few stories that I would like to publish, so I’m having trouble deciding which one to do next.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Names are very important to me and yes they do have meanings. Each character’s name is chosen for a different reason: sometimes it’s based on their perosnality, other times it’s because the name just fits.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere, my life experiences, the news, people I meet, conversations I have or overhear, music, dreams. I never know when inspiration will stirke but it’s always exciting when it does.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
At the moment no. I’ve experimented with many over the years: High-Fantasy, YA Paranormal Romance, Modern Fiction, Poetry, Non-Fiction. These writings haven’t all been published but I filed them away for future use.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Composing a satisfying ending to a story.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I think book trailers are a wonderful tool. I have two book trailers, one for The Kamyla Chung Series and another for Captain Hook: Villain or Victim?
I had so much fun making them. They’re on my Youtube Channel. Here’s the link if you’d like to watch them.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My middle-grade novel, Chris Kringle’s Cops The First Mission, was a Finalist in The 2016 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Creating characters and worlds for them to live in.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Writing more books to a wider audience.
Have you always liked to write?
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Read, write, repeat. Join a writer’s group and be willing to accept constructive ctisitism. Serious writers will give honest critiques to help you improve your craft.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Open a school for witchcraft and wizardry.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews and respond. If someone is taking the time to read my book and write a review, I feel it’s important for me to acknowledge and thank them for their effort.
You have to take the good with the bad. Bad reviews are part of the process of reader engagement.
If a reader is giving their honest opinion in an objective way, I will take it as a lesson.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
It’s very hard to find a large number of honest reviews.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
I’m so glad you asked. This is a story I’ve started for, Coffee House Writers, the online publication I write for. It began as a “Story Starter” on my blog and has evolved.
Let me set the scene. There’s a great tree with a mighty helix of branches caught in the weft of the sun’s glow. A wooden door is built into the trunk. It’s the perfect fairytale setting. Here’s the link to the picture.
A Meeting With Mr. Shirley Tims
Ah, hello there. Are you the one asking who lives here? Well, I’m happy to say that I do, Mr. Shirley Tims, Keeper and Composer of the Maps of the Great Realms, at your service.
A wonderful little spot isn’t it? Don’t you love how the great roots keep groping forward? They grow about two feet every year. It’s widely rumored in Fawnwood my tree house has the best roots in the forest. They’re perfect for storing my favorite ale and other valuables I’d rather not mention.
How long have I lived here did you ask? Oh, about 200 years now. Wonderful neighborhood. Not much changes around here, except for the leaves on my roof.
I hate to dash off in the middle of our talk. You seem like the perfect conversationalist but my dear nephew, Simpson, is on his way. He and his friends are off on a merry adventure to search for The Fountain of Fair Fortune. And I have the map he requires getting there.
Drop by anytime. I really enjoy company. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find that map before he arrives.
Where did your love of books come from?
I’m not sure. It’s just always been a part of me.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I have many, so I’ll just name a few.
Favorite Authors: J.K Rowling, Katherine Applegate, Lloyd Alexander, and Jan Brett.
Favorite Books: The Harry Potter Series, The Hunger Games Series, Gingerbread Baby, The Prydain Series, and Wishtree.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Agent 12-25 because he’s the coolest elf at the North Pole.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. When I’m excited about a new project I have lots of energy but when I get to a difficult scene it drains me.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I just try to be myself and wite about things that are important to me. Hopefully, it will resonate with readers. I write stories I’d like to read.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’m in a writer’s group with a talented bunch of people. Their feedback and suggestions have been invaluable.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Facebook: Ellwyn Autumn M.Ed Children & YA Author
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you, Amy and Readers, for having me.