I had the opportunity to talk to William David Ellis. He’s the author of The Harry Ferguson Chronicles Books 1-4 as well as the new series, Sherlock Holmes: Angels Saints and Sinners. Let’s see what he has to say!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I am not sure when, I first thought of myself as a writer. I just started writing and then it dawned on me, “Hey I am a writer. That’s really cool!”
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Ha! I hope you’re not expecting something organized. I sit down at my computer when I can grab a moment and pound out a few hundred words. I write in short scenes. And I keep a count of my word count. Finishing a scene and meeting a word count goal sort of motivates me to shove forward.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmmm… ahhh.. HMMMM.. well if interesting is a qualifying term, I am afraid I don’t have any. Sorry about that.
What does your family think of your writing?
Where do you think all my reviews come from? (not really) well not too really. At first they just thought I was chasing another butterfly then they saw that other people actually liked my work, and other people who knew books liked my word so that got their attention. The old proverb a prophet is not accepted in their own country has merit.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Just through reviews. I have not developed my relationships with my followers enough to get a lot of feedback. But there have been a few incidences where someone wrote to me and said, “that kept me up all night then I drove to work sleepy and had a wreck, but now that I am in the hospital I can finish the book.
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As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut. That was back when everyone knew all their names.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Gone with the Wind, My mom got mad at me for dog earing it and threw it at me. Hit me in the head and I had to have stitches. OHHHH! you mean a book that I read that had a scene so endearing that I slung snot all over the room. HMMMM.. well the first one huh? Ah.. oh yeah! Harry Harrison’s novel Stars and Stripes Foreverpage 165 -170 all I can say is,”if only” and if you want to know more you will have to get the book.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Why cant you do both?
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Very good point. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
My only author friend is also my editor and she is amazing! She knows just the right word to use, and helps me break through unclear passages. She is a blessing!
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Hurry up. Amazon 2007 don’t miss the date..
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
On my covers and my editor
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Shards of honor, by Lois Bujold first in The Miles Vorkosigan series.
What are you working on now?
Two WIPs one my third Sherlock Holmes novel, and the other the 5th in the series of my Harry Ferguson Chronicles. The first book in that series actually was #1 in its genre for a whole day last year.
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What do you have coming soon?
Ah didn’t I just answer that question? NO? ok you mean what is coming out soon? Well I just had the 4th book in the Harry Ferguson Chronicles, called Rivals, out last month, and the month before that the second in the Sherlock Holmes series came out, called The Long Game
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Oh Goodness. No not really but I do appreciate the opportunity to interact with you and your readership. Thank you very much!
Happy to have you drop by!
One final treat for you, let’s read a little bit from Chapter One of Sherlock Holmes: Angels Saints and Sinners (The Conversion of Sherlock Holmes)
The fog curled from the open drains, covering the wet cobblestone streets. It wrapped around the doors and flowed into the dark courses of the alleyways, making its wandering way up the steps to knock unheard at the door of number 221B Baker Street. Sherlock Holmes paced back and forth in his upstairs apartment unaware of the time. He was thinking, wandering down the narrow lanes of logic, looking for the open door to lead him to the clue that would solve his latest crime.
For weeks a murderer had haunted the hovels of London, slashing his female victims in a horribly precise fashion. He had left messages for the police taunting them, yet the greatest manhunt in the history of London had found no killer. Scotland Yard had been to see Holmes early and persistently, yet he had come up empty-handed. Had he not seen Moriarty perish with his own eyes, Holmes would have sworn this must be his handiwork.
Tobacco smoke draped the room; his pipe had grown hot from the ceaseless flames. Holmes began to perspire and shake. The old irritation, his enemy and seductive friend, was upon him. He had put it off as long as he could. Had Watson been there, he would have protested, but he wasn’t there, so Holmes reached into the drawer and withdrew the case that held the needle with the opium derivative. He flinched as it pierced his skin, and then his mind darkened and wandered.
The rain, ceaseless this time of year, rattled the panes in Holmes’ apartment. As usual he sat in his easy chair smoking his pipe and reading one of the many papers he subscribed to. Dr. Watson, his faithful friend, was also busy cleaning his surgical tools. “I must be getting forgetful.” Watson spoke to himself more than to Holmes. “I’ve left these things in poor condition.”
“That’s not like you,” Holmes muttered through the clenched teeth around his pipe. “Perhaps you’re getting on in years, my friend.”
“Humph!” Watson retorted. “Really, Holmes, your absence of tact speaks nothing for you.”
“Say what, Watson?” Holmes asked, looking across his paper. “I wasn’t really paying attention until I caught the tone of voice. What have I done to perturb your finer sensitivities?”
Watson, knowing the argument was pointless now that Holmes had engaged his full attention, rolled his eyes and turned back to the work of cleaning his tools.
“You really ought to reprimand your nurse. He should have cleaned those tools instead of your having to attend to it.”
“I thought he had, or I had. At any rate, I’m taking care of it now. Blood comes off steel rather nicely. Although I am a little bewildered as to…”
The clear sound of the bell declared a visitor.
“A client!” Watson cried. “Once again they have made their way to your aerie.” Holmes laughed. “I may resemble a hawk with this nose, but really, Watson, Detective Lestrade is probably here to report on the serial killer.”
“Holmes! He hasn’t even made it across the threshold. How can you know?”
Mrs. Hudson, Holmes’ long-suffering housekeeper, rapped on the door and entered at his reply. She was followed just as Holmes had predicted by Detective Lestrade.
Watson shook his head. “You never cease to amaze me.” But he was quickly startled from his reverie by Holmes’ countenance.
“Lestrade, you come with a warrant?”
Detective Lestrade was visibly shaken. “How could you know?”
“Actually, I’m a little slow on this one. I saw you in the reflection of the panes across the street and still see your escorts waiting on the steps. Not to mention that you have your hands in your pockets, and the slight bulge of the official envelope, slightly bigger than most, is evident in your coat pocket. Also, as you ascended the steps, I heard the slight jingle of the chains you use to cuff but don’t regularly carry. So, I assume and really take quite a leap to think… you have come to serve a warrant.”
“As usual, you are right, much to my sorrow. I am sorry, yet relieved in a very mixed way.”
“Excuse me?” Watson queried.
“Dr. Watson, in the name of Her Majesty Queen Victoria…”