Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Lois Henderson, one of BookPleasures.com's reviewers, welcomes as our guest Kiwi author, Ellie Douglas, currently author of four fast-moving books, as well as creative cover designer and entrepreneur in her own right.
Lois: Good day Ellie, and thanks so much for participating in our interview. You write in two fairly distinct genres―horror, and erotic psychological thrillers (although the latter can also be seen as horror-inspiring). In which genre do you prefer to write, and why?
Ellie: Horror, and because it is what I’m drawn to.
Lois: What motivated you to start writing an erotic psychological thriller?
Ellie: It started off as a romance novel, which I wasn’t into at all. So I turned it around and made it a thriller, horror, psychological all rolled into one.
Lois: Romance novels are also not my favorite genre―I reckon you get to a certain age, and your appetite becomes quite jaded. Being a born and bred Kiwi, why did you choose to base Toxic Desire (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; ISBN-10: 1540313956; ISBN-13: 978-1540313959) in California?
Ellie: Because New Zealand doesn’t have specific traits like those of America. The location required it to be in America. Another two of my books are also set in America, but my next two books are set in New Zealand.
Lois: Your main female protagonist, Annabelle Worthington, brings famed director Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise to mind. Did the movie influence you in any way? What other influences have there been on your work?
Ellie: No, I’d say ‘Thelma and Louise’ wasn’t an influence. If I had to pick an influence, it would probably be more like ‘Hannibal’ and ‘Sybil’, in a very twisted sense.
Lois: Annabelle is fixated on the physical and sexual abuse that she suffered as a young girl at the hands of her brutal and sadistic father. What in your own background gave rise to the development of such a character?
Ellie: None. This story was purely based on my imagination.
Lois: Ivy wishes to wreak vengeance on all “cheating bastards.” Once again, what in your own background gave rise to the development of such a character?
Ellie: Well, okay, this could be answered in the earlier question, too. Having been cheated on while I was pregnant could be evoked as a distant memory, partially leading to the book, but not subconsciously―it perhaps gave me better insight into how a woman feels to be cheated on.
Lois: Your stance is really becoming clearer―thanks so much for sharing that with us, and I’m so sorry for the circumstances that gave rise to such insight, although it has clearly made you a more thoughtful writer. While your lead female character has a very strong, warped persona, your male characters largely play the role of the underdog. Please explain your lead character’s apparent misandry.
Ellie: In my life, I don’t have any personal dislikes towards men. I just happened to create a character with mental illness that was abused so badly that she sought revenge.
Lois: You appear to be able to describe with alacrity and ease the flaying of a live animal. What kind of emotions are you trying to elicit from your audience with such descriptions?
Ellie: Fear and to be grossed out, but mostly fear.
Lois: Clearly, doing research is extremely important to you. Can you please explain how you set about doing your research?
Ellie: My research is, yes, extremely important. I rely heavily on google, talking to others with similar characteristics, and spending time studying books on the particular subject, and watching documentaries, as well as visiting hospitals or whatever the research is about. A lot of time goes into my research.
Lois: Who do you conceive your target audience to be?
Ellie: Those who love horror and who are aged 18 and above.
Lois: Feedback is critical to one’s development as a writer. Could you please give an overview of what kind of feedback you’ve had in relation to Toxic Desire so far.
Ellie: It has all been very positive.
Lois: Thank you so much, Ellie, for granting me this opportunity to interview you. Your writing certainly is interesting, and its fast-paced nature definitely goes for easy (though not always very comfortable) reading. Might I take this opportunity to wish you well for the future, and may you write many, many more books, as well as shorter fiction.
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