Welcome to Author Spotlights on Mondays! My guest this week is Indiana author A.D. Ellis. She's sharing a look at her Torey Hope series and giving away a e-book to one lucky commenter! Winner receives her choice of For Nicky, A Torey Hope Novel Book 1; Because of Beckett, A Torey Hope Novel Book 2; Christmas in Torey Hope, A Novella (release date Nov 19). Title will be sent directly to the winner's @Kindle.com address.
Elizabeth Decker views herself as shy, totally average, and pretty much insignificant. She’s nothing special, at least not compared to her little sister, Audrey. Elizabeth is content with her plain and lonely future; she’s too insecure to contemplate a relationship thanks to her sister. Audrey is a bombshell and uses this to get what she wants. She’s a girl who will stop at nothing to control anyone and everything around her. She craves power and doesn’t care if she has to hurt Elizabeth to get it.
Nathaniel Morgan has spent his whole life fighting for his twin brother, Nicholas. Somewhere along the way, he lost himself. Now he’s just getting by. He’s devoted to his family, but emotionally detached from the women he burns through like wildfire. He has no plans of getting into something as complicated and committed as a “relationship”.
Nicholas Morgan has placed the new librarian, Miss Elizabeth, on a pedestal and is begging her to meet his twin brother, Nathaniel. Elizabeth and Nathaniel agree to meet, for Nicky. Both are caught off-guard when unexpected sparks fly between them. This was not in their plans. Will Nathaniel and Elizabeth be able to escape a past that still plagues them? Or, will the past, suspicions, and insecurities come between them one too many times?
**This is a contemporary new adult romance. It should only be read by ages 18+ due to adult themes and situations. This book is a stand-alone but should be read before book 2 in the series.
Buy Link: bit.ly/NickyAmazon
Because of Becket bit.ly/BeckettAmazon
A Christmas in Torey Hope Novella bit.ly/ChristmasAmazon
Me: What inspired you to write your first book?
A.D.: I got a Kindle for Christmas in 2012 and I was amazed and thrilled with all of the ebooks available! I quickly found so many great indie authors to read. About this time my friend and hair stylist, Jodie, was also finding great indie books and she started telling me I should write a book. That idea grew in my mind for a while and I started seeing story inspiration all around me.
For Nicky, A Torey Hope Novel Book 1 was born from me watching a sibling pair at church. One of the siblings had special needs and I was fascinated by the love and devotion from the brother. I started wondering if that brother felt burdened or guilty; I wondered what a story about those siblings would look like.
Being a teacher, I see kids being made fun of daily and I work hard to stand up for them and also to teach others to stand up for them. I also focus on helping the offenders understand and maybe learn some empathy for those they are making fun of. Bullying is very real and very hurtful.
Me: Do you see writing as a career?
A.D.: Some days, those particularly rough days as a teacher, I’d LOVE to make this a A.D.: career. Then I have a great day at school and realize just how much I’d miss teaching. However, if I could make this a career, I would feel incredibly blessed and I think I would really enjoy having more time to write and focus on being an author.
Right now I sort of have the best of both worlds; I can write on breaks from school while still getting to spend days with my students. Teaching and writing are very similar; good days and bad days, rewarding moments and depressing moments, days when it’s all you can see yourself doing and days you’re ready to throw in the towel. I look at myself as being lucky to be able to do both for now and I feel blessed that I won’t ever be bored with either profession.
Me: This book is the first in a series. Do you prefer to write single title or series? Why?
A.D.: This book is the first in A Torey Hope Novel series. The series starts with For Nicky, A Torey Hope Novel Book 1 and Because of Beckett, A Torey Hope Novel Book 2. My brand new Christmas in Torey Hope, A Novella is coming on November 19. Loving Josie, A Torey Hope Novel Book 3 (projected release date early 2015) will round out the series.
I started writing For Nicky as a single title. About halfway through I realized that one of the characters (the bitchy sister everyone loves to hate, Audrey) needed her own story so I decided to write Because of Beckett.
A Christmas in Torey Hope link: bit.ly/ChristmasAmazon
Me: Give us some insight into your main character. What makes him/her special?
A.D.: Well, the “main” characters as far as the romantic love story are Nate Morgan and Libby Decker. They are great characters. Nate has a history of just losing himself in sex and fighting anyone and everyone who bothers his brother, Nicky. Libby is super sweet but she’s been mistreated by her sister, Audrey, almost her whole life. Their love story is sweet and hot and I absolutely love them together.
But the other “main” character, Nicky, is the story’s namesake and he’s just so easy to love. Nicky is Nate’s twin brother. He was born with some special needs; he speaks his mind, even though his mind remains somewhat childlike in many ways. He’s a dear brother and a dear friend. Much of what Nate, Libby, (and later, even Audrey) do is all “for Nicky”.
Me: Is there a message in your novel you hope to convey to your readers?
A.D.: When I started this book, I didn’t have a message. When I finished the story, I didn’t think, “Wow, I hope the readers get this message.” But, 99% of my readers report feeling touched by the messages this story conveys. There are a lot of facets of love being explored in this story, in fact in the whole series. In For Nicky, we also learn about the positive and negative power of our words, the importance of standing up for others, and how doing what’s right is really hard sometimes.
Me: I love a good conflict. What draws your main characters to each other and keeps them apart?
A.D.: Nate and Libby only agree to meet “for Nicky” but they immediately feel drawn to each other even though they are an unlikely match based on their pasts. They are pushed apart by bitch of a sister; they are pushed apart by misunderstanding (which makes the reader so frustrated but it’s a very real-life type misunderstanding and helps to reiterate the importance of communication in a relationship); and they are pushed apart by the healing and growth they both go through. In the end, will what drew them together in the first place be enough to keep them together?
Me: How did you come up with the title?
A.D.: That was the easiest part, honestly. As soon as I had the story in my head, I kept having little scenes playing through my head and the phrase “for Nicky” kept popping up. I had the title long before I had the whole story.
Me: What’s your favorite sub-genre (contemporary, sci-fi, etc.) to write? To read?
A.D.: As a reader, I love contemporary romance. I also enjoy a good western/rancher romance. I like some new adult here and there. I know erotica is big and I have been known to read it from time to time, but it’s not my go-to sub-genre.
As a writer, it made sense to me that I’d start with contemporary romance. I NEVER in a million years thought I’d say this, but I’m dabbling a little bit with a paranormal twist in book 3 (coming soon!) I say NEVER because I don’t have a history of much paranormal romance in my reading repertoire. But, book 3 naturally lent itself to the paranormal twist so I let it take off. Once I realized the twist would be categorized as paranormal my first reaction was NO WAY! I sure never saw that one coming!
Me: I usually get plot ideas in the shower and while driving. When/where does inspiration strike you?
A.D.: It must be a writer thing! I come up with ideas in the shower, while driving, and while running. I also get ideas while just people watching, like at church.
Me: What new stories are you working on?
A.D.: At the time of this interview, I’m about halfway through Loving Josie, A Torey Hope Novel Book 3. I also have about 7 story ideas on the back burner. The next step will be to decide which one to start on next! I want to write unique and interesting stories; I love when readers tell me that my books aren’t the same-old tired storyline they are used to reading.
A.D. had always dreamed of being a teacher. She earned her degree in Elementary Education from Indiana State University in 1999 and her Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan in 2003. A.D. has been teaching in the inner city of Indianapolis for 15 years. While she’s taught several different grades, fourth grade is where she’s spent the most time; a move to third grade alternative education is on the horizon though. A.D. loves teaching fractions, variables, probability, and graphing in Math. She loves almost all aspects of English Language Arts. Figurative language, theme, making predictions, drawing conclusions, inference, context clues, making writing come to life, A.D. loves it all! Her students may not be as on board with that excitement.
A.D. met her husband in college in 1996 and they married in June of 2000. She lives in a south side suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and two school-aged children. When she’s not reading or writing with music blaring, she can be found shopping at thrift stores, reading to her children, and running.
A.D. had always pondered the idea of writing a book, but until recently it was a far off dream. In today’s age of independently published authors, A.D. decided to take a chance and try her hand at writing. She has learned so much during this journey and is having a world of fun with it.
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/ADEllisAuthorAmazon
Thanks for stopping by, and remember to comment by midnight (EST) on Wednesday, November 19, for a chance to win a copy of one of A.D.'s books!
Romance...With A Kick!