William David Ellis - When Dragons Blow Into a Sleepy Texas Town
William David Ellis is a storyteller. And an award winning author. Whether it’s weaving an old narrative into an entertaining and illuminating yarn or fashioning something brand new from wisps of legend, he can tell a story. Other than that, he is the son of an English teacher, the husband of an English teacher, and the father of an English teacher. In spite of them, he occasionally punctuates. He also is a beekeeper, a blackberry farmer, and the faithful guardian a sentient German shepherd. As our Author of the Day, Ellis tells us about his book, The Princess Who Forgot She Was Beautiful.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Princess Who Forgot She Was Beautiful is about.
In a small town in Texas a time stream casts Harry Ferguson and his dragon shifter love Sarah Linscomb into a horrible situation.
He is now an old man and she a child who has no idea she is any more than a six year old. That’s the bottom line.. now here is how it happened.
At his adult daughter’s (the city librarian) insistence the old man tells the only story he knows to a group of children for story time. In so doing he discovers one of the girls knows things about the story she could not possibly know.
As story time continues throughout the summer, the little girl discovers she is the princess, and starts to remember things.
Meanwhile A Satanist hiding behind the cloth of a local clergyman, sacrifices his grandson, unleashing the dark forces of an ancient dragon Harry fought a thousand years before.
The dragon captures Sarah’s grandparents and the children of story time, he wants Sarah the princess to join him as a dragon in exchange for the children’s lives.
Harry fights to free the grandparents and all the children of story time but is forced to surrender and accept execution at the evil dragon’s hands. Right before the final blow falls, Sarah shifts into a dragon and charges the demonized dragon. She has never done that before.. The evil dragon larger and more experienced defeats Sarah and is about to destroy her when her grandfather who has been terribly wounded, in the battle at the library, rises from his brokenness and destroys the evil dragon by blowing the dragon and himself up.
Sarah flees from the battlefield of the library parking lot with Harry in her claws, together they hide out in her grandfather’s barn. Sarah cannot shift back into a human. And Harry doesn’t know how to help her.
Harry's daughter the librarian finds them and after getting to know Sarah in her princess dragon form, convinces her father and Sarah to help the rest of the community . Many of them have suffered the loss of loved ones and had themselves been seduced to the mark of the evil clergy dragon, and need closure.
In the middle of the closure meeting, the barn explodes, Harry runs back into the burning ruin to save one of the children, Sarah follows and covers him and the child with her great dragon wings. The firefighters spray of water and the burning flames combine to once again cast them upon the time stream, where they wind up in a world between worlds, a transitional place. There they rest and heal, Sarah still cannot shift back to human, Harry wonders who destroyed the barn and his friends.
While they rest and heal, The speaker sword ( Harry’s internal friend an ancient sword that counsels him) realizes that the librarian who Harry had adopted as an infant is really his biological daughter who he could not possibly have because he has never been with her mother…a witch.
What inspired you to write about someone and his dragon-shifter love who got caught in time and spit out far from home?
I met an old man in my home town café, who I befriended and on his death bed he told me the story. I had a hard time believing him, until one night there was a knock on the door of our country home. I turned on the porch light and noticed an old cardboard box had been left on the porch. I opened it and... well, the rest is now published on Amazon.
Tell us more about Harry and Sarah - what makes them such a great team?
I don’t know if they do. You see just about the time they finally get together something happens and one or both of them are pulled away. It is heartbreaking and as soon as I find the author of this novel I am going to give him a piece of my mind. Other than that I think the flow together because they love each other in a way that defies selfishness. You see each one of them loves the other one more than they love themselves. Harry has laid down his life for Sarah at least twice, and she has sacrificed her heart for him so that he might be with a woman he has never known. Timelines and DNA are slippery, and Sarah makes a choice to not be with Harry so the daughter Harry loves and actually raised thinking she was only his adopted daughter and not his biological daughter can exist. Sarah lays down her heart and Harry lays down his life, both wind up losing… and hopefully discovering later, (in the series) that Love always finds a way no matter what no matter WHEN.
Why did you pick a sleepy East Texas town as the backdrop for your story?
Ha that is easy to answer. My characters live in Moab ( not the real name of the town where the events actually happened) I eat breakfast with them, go to church with them, and have actually had barbecued Griffin with them. FYI Griffin is wonderful meat especially if they were killed right after shifting from their human form.
You managed to create a creepy atmosphere in parts of the book. How did you pull this off?
Creepy? Hey that is no way to talk about the little town where I live. You have quit interviewing and gone to meddling. Keep it up and you will receive a knock at your door… in a moment you least expect, from a direction you are not looking… a dark mist will suddenly coil around your feet, your skin will begin to tingle, and then you will realize you had way to many jalapeno flavored Doritos and the visions are a product of late night Tex Mex. You cannot leave East Texas tacos overnight in the refrigerator. It will hurt you.
The book contains surprises, twists and turns - did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did a lot of it just "happen" along the way?
I try and keep a wet edge as I write. By that I mean I hate planning out every scene beforehand. I believe we have two brains, one of my friends actually does but he doesn’t show up till later, in the series the Haunted prophets, anyway that was a fat rabbit and I chased it. If we use our analytical side only and plan to much out, our subconscious, which is the side of our brain where creativity lives does not have a chance to come out and play. But when we do not plan out everything, the mad genius, our imagination that lies hidden till released, comes out with surprises and delights us with his brilliance.. the trick is learning to use both our logical left brain, and our creative right brain in balance.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have? I can drive a tractor fairly decently, and have been known to tell stories in such a manner that chocolate milk develops a desperate need to launch from an adolescent’s nose. I have two master’s degrees and a store bought Doctorate, I am a honey bee keeper, I raise thornless blackberries, and can thump a Bible with the best of em.
Why did you title this book "The Princess Who Forgot She Was Beautiful"?
Hmm that’s a secret but hopefully one day The Princess will read my books and remember who she is.
This is the first book in a series. Can it be read as a standalone?
LOL you could read it as a standalone, but why would you want to? and if someone does then I failed to capture their attention and I am sorry about that.
How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Each book ends with the main issue? Problem? Adventure? Being resolved… but the ongoing saga/question of do Harry and Sarah ever get together like the North Star promised? well that will be resolved in the last book of the series… I hope.
Do any of your characters take off on their own tangent and refuse to do what you had planned for them?
Only the female characters. Hahahaha.. I mean really? One’s a witch.. hates men been abused by evil men, and then runs into Harry, who invites her to dinner after she has tried to assassinate him and then discovers he prays over his food. She has never met a faithful man of integrity, so quiet naturally when she tells him they have a child together.. She kinda throws a tantrum,( BTW Harry is not wise to the ways of women.) Then there is the fire breathing dragon shifter love of Harry’s life who betrayed him and stabbed him, and left him for a Berber Prince all the while missing Harry so much it was hard to breathe. And have you ever even tried to corral a 175 pound huge white German shepherd that is telepathically gifted and loves to wallow in weeds and fresh doo doo?
How do you force yourself to finish what you're doing before starting the next project when the new idea is nagging at you?
I use a system of rewards.. if I don’t finish a story I don’t know how it comes out. So I am not rewarded with a resolution.. and I can’t even start another story that is dependent on the one I am finishing until I finish it.
Do you have any interesting writing habits, what is an average writing day like for you?
Well I am just starting yoga. So lately I have stretched before writing and then twisted until my toes are on the keyboard. Typing with your toes is difficult, you have to keep your nails trimmed and they are bigger than fingers so you can hit more than one key if you are not careful. My average writing day is combined with my average farm day, so if I have outside chores I do them while it is cool, and when it starts to get hot I come in and write, in the winter I reverse that process. A good day is 1000 words a great day is 2000. that is not edited or refined words, there are misspellings, and gaffs, but at least they have been called out of the darkness and into the light.
What are you working on right now?
Well I assume you don’t want me to say I am answering your interview questions. Which by the way was fun. It gave me an opportunity to consider why I am doing somethings. But if you want to know my next writing project well I am listing the loose ends of the first three books in the Harry Ferguson Series, the third book, called Kisses of my Enemy comes out in October, and the fourth book entitled, Rivals, is where I tie up a lot of plot questions, so I have to list the questions I need to tie up. And I am starting to realize that I cannot keep adding characters or more subplots, I have to stop! Which is going to be difficult for me. I love those subplots and ….oh my I am starting to have delirium tremors …yes this is going to be hard… And resolve some issues. And that is fairly restrictive.. I did not see that coming. But hey my big toe did and that is where my imagination hides out during the summer. So.. hopefully it won’t be all that bad.
Where can our readers get a copy of The Princess Who Forgot She Was Beautiful?
You can find all my books on Amazon. In the third book Kisses of My Enemy, Belle and Harry hook up much to Sarah’s jealous discomfort but she doesn’t have to much to gripe about because she is falling in love with a Berber King. Anyway…. The princess will be in Audio book form by the end of October so please follow me and stay alert for that release.
My Author website is William David Ellis, Author