Sunday, January 17, 2016

Author Interview: Ellie Firestone | New Year New Books 2016 Blog Tour

Hello, everyone! Today on the blog we have an interview with Ellie Firestone, the author of the children's book "Super Sporty 8: The Attack of the Pegasi." You can buy "Super Sporty 8" on Amazon (US link...UK link). It's a 12,000 word, Children's Sci-fi novel.
"Sporty and her best friend, Harley, are two young horses who play basketball for Horsecitty's professional team called the Shorthorns. They're also superheroes.
In this adventure, Horsecitty's skies are visited by an unusual sight -- a flock of real live pegasi! From the start, it's clear that they're nothing but trouble -- not only can they shoot lasers from their eyes, but they're led by one of Sporty and Harley's old enemies: the evil Tombulus Mako. Hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered, Sporty and Harley must solve the mysteries of the pegasi and defeat their army before they lay waste to all of Horsecitty ... and the world!
If you like horses, if you like superheroes, if you like adventure and aliens, then you'll love Super Sporty and the rest of the Horsecitty gang."


Ama et Bemma: Where are you from
Ellie Firestone: I've lived in England all my life, so I suppose you'd say that's where I'm from. However, I'm half Texan (that's different to American, y'all!) so I spend a lot of time in the States as well.
A: What are your current projects?
E: I'm working on the ninth book in my Super Sporty series, and I'm also working on a YA urban fantasy-ish novel called the Dreamon.
A: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
E: I like to think not, because I spent ages trying to get it just right. Of course, if I really want to change something, I can just upload a different file to CreateSpace. You gotta love Amazon sometimes.
A: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 
E: When I get THE BLOCK. The only way I can get out of it is to sit down and force myself to think my way out of whatever situation I've gotten my characters into. And sometimes, the only way to fix things is to delete the last thirty pages and start again.
A: Who designed the covers? 
E: I did :) Cover design has been a massive learning curve for me. I used to just draw pictures, scan them in, and stick words over the top (unsurprisingly, it looked absolutely terrible), but I've since read up on the ins and outs of a good cover and nowadays I can put together something that looks pretty decent.
A: Do you have any advice for other writers? 
E: When it comes time to edit your book, try reading the whole thing out loud. You'd be surprised how many mistakes you catch that way
A: We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist(s)? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?
E: In my Super Sporty series, the protagonist is a superhero horse named Sporty. Sporty is actually a real horse, who lives in Texas, and I go to see her sometimes (her owner is even kind enough to let me ride her occasionally!). As far as I know, the real Sporty can't fly. But you never know…
A: Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from? 
E: I'm not really sure. My mother read to me a lot when I was little, but have a theory that a love of reading and writing is inherent in my nature.
A: How long have you been writing? 
E:: Since forever, it seems! I started writing before I could physically hold a pen. Instead, I dictated to my mother, and she wrote my stories down. This would have been when I was about three or four. I still occasionally find one of my old stories tucked away in a box somewhere, or underneath someone's bed.
A: How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing? 
E: I think ebooks are certainly here to stay, but they will never replace print books. Both formats are brilliant, but for different reasons. Same with traditional and indie publishing. Traditional publishing certainly produces some brilliant books, and you can be sure of a certain standard of quality, but its nature means that a lot of great books get rejected, and the percentage of royalties for authors are low. Indie publishing gives authors the lion's share of the royalties, allows a lot more creative control, and also produces some great books, but it also produces a lot of, shall we say, rubbish. I think either form of publishing is a great way to produce a book (but a vanity press is a terrible idea, no matter how you slice it).
A: What process did you go through to get your book published?
E: I decided to self-publish the Super Sporty series, because I wanted to have complete creative control of it. Specifically, the illustrations and design were very important to me, and I felt that it would be better if I did them myself instead of letting a publisher or illustrator do it for me (I'm a bit of a control freak). The actual publishing started off when my computer-geek dad figuring out how to format a book for Kindle, and it just went from there.
A: What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
E: The subject matter, I think. Super Sporty is about superhero horses who play basketball, eat pizza, and fight evil aliens in order to save the world. And one of them has a pet iguana.
A: What are some ways in which you promote your work?  Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
E: I blog extensively, and I'm also pretty active on Twitter and Goodreads. These things do take time away from my writing (especially when I go to post a tweet, and instead end up reading the entire feed for a funny hashtag, or get sidetracked on some writer's website). I think that social media can definitely be useful, though, and it often helps me to blow off a bit of steam after an intense writing session.
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Ellie, thank you for being a part of the New Year New Books Tour! Also, dear reader, you can join in on the fun of the tour as well! Enter the giveaway below, leave a comment or two, and check out the other tour hosts through this link!
Learn more about Ellie on her blog and follow her on her social media! Instagram! Twitter! Goodreads! Pinterest!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, I have so much on my queue for this blog!
I have two more posts for the Dear Writer series, two more posts for this book tour, 4 reviews to put up, and a personal post about being in graduate school. That's about two months worth of content! Wowzers. I am currently backed up in my reviews and i'm booked all the way through mid-June (wow, just wow). I have open spots for my editing and author services programs. I am also looking into hosting a bigger free tour in the summer! I always update my sidebar with the giveaways i'm hosting, the book I am currently reading and the book I just finished. Be on the lookout for more amazing stuff from this blog! Is there anything you would like to see done on Ama et Bemma? Did you enjoy this interview? Let me know!

Peace, Love and Blessings

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