Hunting the ever elusive Inspiration

Today someone asked me where I get my inspiration, where my ideas comes from, where I find the words. I thought about it and finally realised where it comes from. It doesn’t come at all. I usually stumble over it while looking at something else.

I read and, when time allows, I do a lot of it. I watch a range of different tv shows and films. Sometimes a child in class will give me an idea or something someone says gives me an idea. The video games the Hubster plays sometimes give me an image I play with.

My moods and emotions often fuel me. I use my pain and my joy, my frustrations and stress, my euphoria and general contentment. Whenever my baby moves or kicks, I am flooded with love and then panic.

I daydream and often these dreams unravel and create interesting possibilities that I explore later on. My nightmares, vivid and twisted, provide food for my monsters.

Music, either in the background or full emersion, paints pictures in my head which I make use of.

I take pleasure in good food, friends and company. I love thunderstorms and perfect summer days. I love the countryside and mountains, seas and walled gardens. I go to museums, castles and galleries. I have a wide circle of friends. I dance with my husband.

So in answer to the question, I get my inspiration from throwing myself into life, even when it’s scary and especially when it’s hard.

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Review me please!

I realise I am making myself vulnerable here, but if you’ve read ‘Cruelty’, I would love some honest and constructive reviews on Amazon, Goodreads etc.

Constructive reviews help authors realise what works and doesn’t work for their audience and therefore can help the structure of any works that follow.

I realise that I may open myself up to negative stuff, that some people who have bought it may hate it, that it wasn’t their cup of tea etc. but I still welcome constructive criticism from those people. If you’ve bought my book, I want your opinion.

If you’re up for that and you’re not sure how to go about it, some tips from your friendly neighbourhood English teacher:

1. Say why you bought the book
2. What was your overall opinion?
3. What you thought of the overall plot.
4. Favourite/least favourite character or part (without spoilers)
5. If you would recommend it and, if so, to whom.
6. Star rating.

And if you’ll indulge me:

What not to do:
Author bashing. If you don’t like the story, that’s fine. If you don’t like what someone’s written, that’s also fine but personal attacks don’t help anyone. Don’t make comments about the author or make assumptions about their character, lifestyle, morality etc. based on what you’ve read. Authors of fiction make stuff up for a living, based on their own reading and experiences. Very often there’s a difference between what they put in their fiction and what they believe in as ordinary, tax-paying, people.

So, please review me. I genuinely welcome all comments.

Ellen. Xox

Book birthday and second scan.

Last weekend was amazing. I am one lucky and truly blessed lady. On Friday 27th Feb, we had the second scan. The sonographer was amazing, talking us through everything she was doing and why. Our little Peanut is growing as they should and everything seems to be going well. I have another scan at 28 weeks. We also found out the gender but as family want it be a surprise, you’ll just have to wait until July.

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The first image we got was of a little fist coming up to punch at the sonographer as she pushed the wand down. Fiesty little thing. Can’t imagine where they get that from. (Knows exactly where it comes from)

On the 28th, it was my book birthday! I’d had the books for the better part of a week and half of them were pre-orders. I’ve sold every single one of them, bar four pre-orders that still have to clear. But before I get to the launch itself, the most amazing thing happened on Friday evening. I’m still buzzing from seeing Peanut, Adam’s tidied the house after I went back to work and a knock comes at the door. I open it and standing on my doorstep is my best friend of 16 years. I had no idea that Julie was coming. She and Adam had arranged it and kept it secret that she was coming over for my launch.

I am not ashamed to say I burst into tears. I love Julie. We have been through everything, good and bad together and to have her at my side at the fruition of a life long dream means more to me than I could ever adequately express (somewhat ironic).

On Friday night, we made some chocolate and guiness cakes to serve at the halfway point after my first reading and then we just talked about baby stuff for a while.

On Saturday, I woke up early despite the fact the launch wasn’t until 2. I gathered up the books, the posters that Adam had had made for me, and the cakes and refreshments. My friend Stacey was amazing too; as we don’t drive, she popped up to help us load and carry stuff down. She and Julie took charge of refreshments during the break, when I would be signing books.  They also set up the signing table and the chairs as pregnant me is not allowed to lift things.

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Signing table

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Julie and me

I have to say thank you to Father David Morris who let me have the Church hall for free, means that we make more money from these direct sales, and he has been really supportive as we drew closer to the launch.

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Amazing friends from dayjob

The launch itself was amazing. I was really touched to have some many friends, and a few new faces, come to support me. My editor, the amazingly talented Joanne Hall (side promotion: buy her series, ‘The Art of Forgetting’, buy it, buy it, BUY IT!) came from Bristol with some people and she’d bought cakes from Amanda at Cakes Galore which were cameo cupcakes, like my front cover. They were delicious!

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I was nervous about reading passages, as I’ve only done one public reading before but once I got into it, my voice got more Irish and I became more confident. I talked about my influences before I started reading and people seemed to really respond to what I was reading. Everyone took part in the raffle for one of the posters (signed of course) and I sold 15 books. And I didn’t mess up and sign my real name instead of my pen name.

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Poster

It really was an amazing weekend and I already have some awesome reviews on Amazon and Goodreads Reviews. People at my day job have been awesomely supportive and have either bought one of my copies or Kindle versions. I am very blessed and very happy. Especially as my book is the first thing that comes up when you search for Cruelty. I hope everyone who has bought it enjoys and recommends it.

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Here are some other photos:

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