Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hello Readers, My name is Ellwyn Autumn. I am a children and fantasy writer. I’ve written a middle-grade novel called Chris Kringles Cops The First Mission, a novella about Captain Hook that tells his side of the story, and I’ve started a picture book series titled The Kamyla Chung Series.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
Each book has it’s own story and reason for being written.
Chris Kringle’s Cops was inspired by my son. When he was little I used to tell him and his friends I was an agent for Santa’s Secret Service. Then an image of a an elf wearing a black trench coat popped into my head with the name Agent 12-25.
Captain Hook: Villain or Victim? came to me when I was teaching Pre-K Head Start. I was reading The True Story of the Three Little Pigs to my class and thought it would be fun to write a story about Hook’s side of the story in the Peter Pan saga.
The Kamyla Chung Series is a growing collection of books based on the difficulties young children deal with everyday. I hope to give a voice to the struggles youngsters deal with both in and out of the classroom.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
Books, music, life, pictures, people
How do you deal with creative block?
I listen to music, look at fantasy pictures and read.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Not finding a great editor.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Titles: Make it sound catchy, something you’d want to read if you saw it on a bookshelf.
Covers: Research artists and view different book covers before choosing what you want.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I appreciate all feedback. Of course I like the positive reviews but I also pay attention to any negative ones I receive. They’re helpful to improving my craft. I appreciate the time readers take to leave a review of any kind. It means a lot.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I’ve gotten more organized with my marketing materials.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Seeing my words in print and the illustrations of my characters. They live inside my head for so long, it’s a real treat to see them brought to life on paper.
Finding mistakes in a completed copy. As an independent author, I am responsible for making sure everything looks good before it goes to print. Yes, I hire incredible people but it’s ultimately up to me to make sure my product meets the high standards I set for myself.
The Most Surprising:
Marketing is very challenging. It’s a whole other skill set that I’m working on.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I would say it’s a balance.
Initially, I write my stories for myself. Yes, I keep readers in mind but I have to write the story I’m trying to tell first. After the first draft, I’ll go through it again and again to mold it into a story others will find enjoyable.
But, when I write for my blogs I’m always thinking about those who read it. On Lemon Drop Literary, I write for parents, teachers and students, so I strive to publish things that are relevant, helpful and educational. For Ellwyn Autumn, I focus on helping other Indie Authors spread the word about their writing and their books.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
For me, everything. Creativity is rooted in emotion, without it I wouldn’t be able to write. While writing, I draw on my past experiences that have made me the person I am today. Chris Kringle’s Cops, is about Santa and his elves, but it’s also about a young girl named, Patty Pringle, dealing with the untimely death of her mother. I used the pain of losing my father to communicate Patty’s anguish and confusion.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Surround yourself with things that inspire you: music, movies, nature, books, people. Whatever works for you. Inspiration fuels creativity.
What are your plans for future books?
I have so many. I’d like to finish the Chris Kringle’s Cop’s Series. I’ve written a novel for 7-10 years olds about a little girl and a fairy, and I just wrote the first draft of another picture book about a fish.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m a huge fantasy geek.
I like polka-dots.
My favorite color changes with my mood.
Thanks so much for inviting me to interview. It was fun!