Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Author Interview: Sean Ellis

Welcome to my blog Sean, tell everyone a bit about yourself.
Thanks for having me, Theresa. Well, let’s see. I’m originally from the Oregon Coast, a place I will always think of as home, but somehow I wound up in Phoenix, which I am discovering is a great place to be a writer. Maybe because there’s not much else to do. I recently finished my Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources science, which is something I’m very passionate about, but don’t really care to write about much.

What I do like to write is action-adventure. My books are loaded with action, and if you like James Rollins or Clive Cussler, or just want to read the literary equivalent of an Indiana Jones movie, you’d probably like my novels. I recently edited an anthology based on the classic short story The Most Dangerous Game, and lately I’ve been working with thriller author Jeremy Robinson to do a series of novellas based on characters from his Chess Team series, and that has done a lot to get me some new readers.

Has writing always been a passion of yours, or did you discover it at a later age?
For me writing and reading are closely tied. I’ve always liked a certain kind of story, and at a certain point, you start to think “We need more stories like that, so I’m going to come up with something.” The first story I wrote was in the fourth grade; something about a little bear cub foiling kidnappers and going on a grand adventure.
I first got the idea of wanting to be a professional writer when I got interested in Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels, mostly because the author bio talked about how Cussler spent his free time looking for shipwrecks and lost gold mines. That sounded so cool; write adventure novels, have real-life adventures…perfect! I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
But that first novel didn’t come along until about ten years ago when I wrote what I hoped would be an installment in the Indiana Jones novel series. It didn’t work out quite as planned, but I did get an education in what it means to be a “real” professional author.

Do you outline or write as you go?
I usually start with a pretty detailed outline of what will happen in the first few chapters, and a lot less detail for the rest of the story. As I go along, I start fleshing those later chapters out a bit. I almost never just sit down and write without a plan. That said, I don’t necessarily stick to the plan.

What inspires you?
I guess the honest answer would be “action movies.” I love watching movies with lots of stunts, chases, and explosions. I’m a very visual writer, and I can see the action playing out like a movie in my head. That probably comes from watching a lot of movies.
On a deeper level, it’s that love of mystery and adventure. The world has gotten so small because of technology, and there’s not much left to explore. So writing stories about fictional adventures gives me a chance to go exploring in my imagination.

Do you get inspired by a certain element?
My impulse is to say fire, since I like explosions (and I’m an Aries), but I think I feel much more of a connection to water. I particularly love the ocean. I love surfing, and some of my favorite adventure stories involve SCUBA diving (on my list of things to do).

Do you listen to music or multitask while writing?
I’d probably have to say “multitask.” I’m not a very disciplined writer, but as it starts to represent more of my income, that’s changing. I don’t really have any rituals; I write when I can, which is often amidst a lot of other activity. In the past, there have been times when I could just put the headphones on, but I’m not sure how much of an influence that was.

And last, but certainly not least tell us a little bit about your current literary ventures.
I'm currently working on book three of my pulp inspired series The Adventures of Dodge Dalton, and also the Jeremy Robinson novella I mentioned Callsign: King 2

Contact Info
Thanks again for talking with me. I hope everyone can visit my woefully-in-need of an update website and my Amazon author page: I’m also on Facebook: and Twitter @thrillersean

Stay tuned for my other two interviews being posted tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Sean Ellis has been a favorite writer of mine for about a year now and he's rapidly moving onto my Must Read list. Always good to read an interview with him and get further insight into how he writes such action-packed stories.