Ellie Masters is a multi-genre writer who writes the stories she loves to read. When not writing, Ellie can be found outside, where her passion for all things outdoor reigns supreme: ATV-ing, scuba diving, hiking, and breathing fresh air are top on her list. As our Author of the Day, Masters tells us all about her novel, Finding Peace, her love for the wide-open ranger of Montana and reveals some of her secret skills.
Finding Peace is about
Dr. Abby Knight, a new family medicine physician, who’s leaving Southern California to relocate to Peace Montana. There she plans to join her uncle’s medical practice. She’s leaving behind an abusive relationship and has no desire to find love. A freak May blizzard, a moose, a pack of wolves, some quirky llamas, and one very determined Montana rancher have other plans in mind.
Tell us more about Dr. Abby Knight - what makes her tick?
She’s fierce, independent, but vulnerable after fleeing an abusive relationship. For now, all she cares about is getting her career started. Dating and love are not even on her radar. While a city girl, she spent her summers growing up in Peace, and for that reason, this move is a little like coming home.
Why did you pick Peace, Montana as the backdrop of your book?
I wanted the wide-open ranges of Montana with its big skies and slower pace of country living. This is a story about coming home, or at least finding a home that’s always been there.
You are a multi-genre author. Why not stick to just one genre?
I have no interest in sticking to one genre, and writing is really about letting the story sweep you away. It’s no different for me as a writer than as a reader. I write erotica and sweet romance. BDSM, rock romance, and romantic suspense are all in my repertoire. The characters have their stories to tell. I think I’m more their muse, and swept away to write their adventures rather than the other way around.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secret skills! Oh, I have a few, but they won’t be secrets if I tell you. So, I won’t say I’m a scuba diver with over 1500 dives under my belt. I won’t say I started out as a rocket scientist until I decided to pursue medicine. Nor will I tell you, I’m a healer, a scientist, and a pleasure seeker. What I will say, is that I write for escape and because the characters demand I bring their lives from my mind to the page.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
The whole ‘Are you a plotter or a panster?’ discussion. I am a panster, most definitely. I have plotted out books before, attempting to keep my characters in narrow lanes of acceptable behavior. They don’t listen to me at all! I am completely at their whim. So, yes, they refuse to do what I plan, but to be honest, they are much more creative and devious than I am. I’m happy to let them take the reins.
Why do Abby and Drake make for such a good couple?
Drake is an Alpha male and a rancher in the West. He’s used to taking what he wants. Abby is a smart intellectual, but she’s a little bit lost and still reeling from an abusive ex. Drake knows how to push and how to give her the space she needs. They are magic on the page!
What books are on your nightstand?
Oh, this is a good one, or maybe not! I have all my books on my nightstand, as well as my journal where I write down plot ideas (you know…those plots no one follows!). I keep my books there, because when company comes over, I don’t need them seeing what it is I’m writing. As for books out in other areas of the house? It’s an eclectic blend of science fiction, fantasy, and romance.
What is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Needing to be perfect. I obsess over revisions, and I’m learning how to let a little of that go. There is always a way to say something better, with more emotional impact, with more expression. It’s hard to hit publish, knowing the revisions are done. Beyond that, I would definitely say marketing. I wish I had known how difficult marketing would be, or how to be better at it. I think every writer struggles with this.
Is there something that compels you to write? And do you find that writing helps you achieve a clarity about yourself or ideas you've been struggling with?
I started writing for my own entertainment. When I lived overseas, we didn’t have television, and I found myself with stories in my head. Maybe that was the crazy speaking? Hmm, is it normal to have voices in your head? I try not to think too much about those questions. But, I write because I really love my stories. My characters are really interesting people and I love sitting down with them to tell their tale. As for clarity, there are bits and pieces of me woven throughout all my stories. I’m not sure if that gives me any clarity, but getting it out definitely relieves some stress.
Do you have any interesting writing habits, what's your average writing day like?
I write when I can, so there is no average writing day. As a doc, I work 60-100 hour work weeks. Any spare moment, I am writing, or thinking about writing. Habits? Hmm, my best sex scenes are written after I’m a glass or two into a good bottle of wine. Does that count? I try to write every day, whether that’s 1000 words or 5000, or more…it’s usually 2-3000 words. Consistency is the key to getting those novels written!
What are you working on right now?
I have four ongoing projects. I have finished revisions on The Starling, a mainstream piece (did I mention writing in multiple genres?) Think what would happen if Dan Brown or David Baladucci wrote a mystery, suspense thriller with a touch of romance. The Starling goes to edits in October and should be releasing first of the year.
Right on it’s heels, I have Heart’s Desire: an Angel Fire Rock Romance, book 2 in my Angel Fire Rock Romance series. It will be heading to edits in November and releasing early spring.
I will be writing in Kindle Worlds, penning a story to Aleatha Romig’s Fidelity World. I’m pretty stoked about that. It will release in April 2018.
The final project I have going on is The Collective, Season II. It’s a crossover series of standalone novels, all intertwined to reveal an overarching plot. Season I completed in July, and we’re anxious to continue the next installment.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My books can be found on my website: www.elliemasters.com.
Readers can follow me on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ellie-masters. Follow me on BookBub and readers will receive updates on new releases and special sales direct to their inbox.
Amazon is a great way to follow me too: https://www.amazon.com/author/elliemasters
I have a newsletter http://eepurl.com/ck2U6f, which I put out quarterly, where I give sneak peeks at my works in progress.
There is also my readers’ group on Facebook: Dark Discussions With Ellie Masters https://www.facebook.com/groups/EllieMasters.TheEdge/
I love popping in there to talk anything and everything writing related, sensual and hot, and even let my readers guide short pieces of my writing. It’s really a lot of fun.