Ellie Douglas, author of Death O Death, The Dead Undone, Fear Inducer, Hounded, Hounded 2, Toxic Desire, and the Dead Awake, it’s lovely to meet you.
It is lovely to meet you as well, Ryan. I thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed by you 🙂
You’ve had seven books published all in the horror genre, and from what I’ve read so far, there is no shortage of gore in your work. What inspires you to write about the truly terrifying?
I have several things that inspire me, and it changes on a day to day basis. It can be something the kids have said and done. It can be from books I’ve read. From movies I’ve watched. From being out and about. There is not one pin pointed thing. It is a combination of everything 🙂 Most of all, I love to deliver something that will want readers to return, something that isn’t found often or at all in other books, so I use that as inspiration too. I also use my own art that I design as a muse to inspire me. I love to terrify. I love to gross people out with cringe worthy, wet your pants kind of gore. So all in all, it really is everything around me that inspires me 🙂
Why do your readers love your work so much?
I offer them things that are not in other books; I’m not afraid to be descriptive and utterly gross. If someone or something is being torn apart, I go in for every microscopic detail. I also focus a great deal on character development. Without great characters, any story told will fall flat. I make my characters as real as you and me. I also do a lot of research to get all the facts correct. I give what readers want.
I understand you are married with kids. What do your family and friends think about your work?
They are supportive and love what I do. My own children are not of an age where they can read the things I write, but they do love supporting me, and there is nothing on earth like the genuine support and love from your own family and friends.
Can you tell me about your volunteer work?
Having children on the autism spectrum has allowed me to be working along side other families with children who are also autistic or have other disabilities. It is truly an eye opener, and one can gain a lot of inspiration, love, and a feeling of joy from helping those that are not able to help themselves.
What is it about volunteering to help autistic children that is satisfying?
For me, it is seeing them achieve their goals, to communicate when they once couldn’t, to see them drawing a simple picture to reading. It is very satisfying when you see and hear an autistic child laughing. To see them grow in a developmental way.
Word has it that you design book covers. Did you design your own books covers?
Yes, I’m a professional cover artist and designed all of my own covers as well as thousands of covers for other authors 🙂
What was your inspiration in the covers you designed?
For my own books, my inspiration was as it is with most authors, to display the books content as a visual, to grab the attention of readers and to tell a story from just a picture. I often will design a book cover for myself before I even start writing. It is a great muse.
You’re from New Zealand, and the majority of my readers are very far from there. Other than having a much smaller population than what we’re used to, are their differences that are cool, interesting, or inspire your work in any way?
Yes, I’m from New Zealand and for me the biggest difference between us and other countries is that everywhere else offers a ton more in the literary world. Here is very little and offers for publication are harder to get into, for example. Horror. What is on offer here for us? Practically nothing. This is not exaggerating either. NZ horror literature is not as available as it is internationally. If one mentions horror, most here would cite Peter Jackson for the movie scenes. But not literature. Sadly. So we seek outside audiences. Because one wouldn’t get a publisher easily in New Zealand, who is willing to publish horror but the readers here, are not only small but are saturated and populated by cooking books, historical dramas, sports and biographies. It quite literally is impossible to break into the literary market for a horror author. Most successes are obtained outside of the New Zealand market. I don’t think there is anything cool, interesting or inspiring me and what I write, here in New Zealand. I get it from outside of New Zealand. Far more on offer outside of this country than there is inside it. The best things here are the beaches; that is of course, my own opinion and others living here will have a different outlook on what they feel is cool, interesting and inspiring 🙂
Would you ever be interested in writing outside of the horror genre. If yes, what would you like to write? If no, why not?
No, I have no interest in writing outside of the horror genre. The reason is, I’m in love with horror and without sounding conceited, I’m good at it. It is something I am very passionate about and wouldn’t give it up for anything.
What is next for Ellie Douglas? Should we be looking for a new book or movie?
This is a good question, and one would need a crystal ball to answer for the most part. I am writing a novel at the moment, and there has been talk of Hounded being made into a movie, but of course, talk is talk, action is action, time will tell, and there is no telling what the future holds.