What are your writing stages (i.e., outline, storyboard, draft…) And how long does it normally take you to complete a novel?
Honestly my normal process starts with a scene stuck in my head. It stays there for a few days to a few months, and while it’s there it shows up in day-dreams, important meetings, and while I’m in the shower. During this stage I’m generally disorganised, irritable, and have the attention span of a fruitfly on crack. My second stage starts when I finally get desperate enough to sit down at my keyboard and start typing. At that point, I pretty much drop my characters in this scene and write down what they do. A few months to a couple of years later, I have about 100,000 words and I stash that away on my hard drive until I get the time and stamina to edit it.
What is your preferred writing genre? Why?
Definitely sci-fi. My characters have had space travel since I was about six and telling myself stories in my head to keep myself amused on long voyages. I really don’t remember what originally got me started on sci-fi; like most six-year-olds, I went through a stage of wanting to be an astronaut — that may have triggered it.
Which genre do you enjoy reading?
I’m going to say sci-fi, but I also enjoy thrillers, military fiction, fantasy …
Name one author who has inspired you and if you could meet him or her in a casual setting, what would be one question you’d ask?
The author would be Dorothy Dunnett, hands-down. I’d want to ask her where she got her inspiration for the Crawford of Lymond character. The best anti-hero type I’ve ever read, bar none.
What is the title of your latest published work? How did you come up with this title?
The latest published work is called “Fighting Shadows.” I wanted something to evoke the theme of walking wounded, and coming up with it took a lot of internal argument.
Name one place you haven’t been and would like to go. Why?
I want to visit Japan. I’ve been studying various martial arts on and off for over 15 years, a lot of them originating from Japan, and I’d really like to visit some of the areas where they started.
Tell your readers and visitors of EllisonBlackburn.com, something unique about you.
I was born in Gibraltar and grew up on a yacht.
If you were stranded on a desert island with a basket full of one item, what would that item be? What were you doing carrying around a basket of THAT?
Books, I would hope. At least then I’d only be hungry and thirsty rather than hungry and thirsty and bored. And given how much I read, having a basket of books within reach is probably the least unlikely answer I could give 🙂
What do you spend most of your time doing when you are not writing?
I have a full-time job, and beyond that, I read a lot, I entertain my cats a lot, and that pretty much describes my free time.
What is the one aspect about being an author you dislike? What is your favorite?
I dislike the fact that I have to do something else besides write if I want to eat and live indoors. My favourite part – have to be the writing. Sitting on a career mercenary’s shoulder through intrigue, space travel and battles is fantastic.
What are you working on now?
I’m now working on the third in my sci-fi series, “Elemental Affinity.” I’m hoping to get it edited, beautiful, and out to my (very) patient beta readers in April.