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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Interview with Ellen Whyte, aka AJ Adams & Storm Chase

My first official interview is with Ellen Whyte, who writes as AJ Adams and Storm Chase. She was kind enough to answer all the questions I threw at her, many of which I'm posting here. (The remainder will be posted in my Newsletter. Be sure to SIGN UP so you can read them all.)

Without further ado, the interview follows:

KCBooks: Tell us about you in a nutshell. What makes you tick as a writer?

Ellen Whyte: I start off quite organised, writing a three or four line plot idea.  Then I flesh it out, which takes me a day or so, and it’s all neat and tidy with events and chapter divisions. 

Then the characters begin to breathe.  

I think I’ve got it sussed, because I’ve got that detailed outline, right?  It’s all tidy and it works, right?  But then the characters take over and before I know it my lovely outline is in smithereens and my characters are rampaging all over the place. 

At that point I’m loving it because the story starts to write itself.  Very often I don’t know what will happen next, so it’s an adventure.

That’s what I love about writing. It’s romance and adventure.

KCB: Pets – What do you have? Which is your favorite? If you could have any pet on the planet which would you have, and why?
EW: I am ruled by two cats, Target and Guido.  They are kampung kuching, which means village cats in Malay. It means they are street moggies, rescue cats who are now spoilt home kitties.

Target is a drama cat. He’s constantly in trouble, up to trouble or causing trouble.  When he’s not doing something wicked, he’s at my side - clicking the escape key and changing the language on my keyboard.

Guido is relaxed. He’s absolutely huge, more a tiger than a cat, and it’s current ambition to climb the tree in the garden.  He’s not getting very far and he’s hinting that he’d like me to help him up.  I’m not because I don’t want to have to call the fire brigade to get him back down again!

KCB: Describe a typical day in your life.

EW: I get up around 630AM and I start with a coffee and checking my book sales (I know!)  I go through my Facebook private messages, catch up with friends and do my book promos.

By that time it’s usually about 730AM. Then I write for an hour or sometimes two.

Around 9AM or 10AM I start work (day job) writing for newspapers or magazines.  At the moment I’m also starting a new business, as a counselling psychologist, so I’m doing paperwork, writing proposals, seeing clients and so on.

At about 5PM I go downstairs and start dinner.  I love to cook so that’s fun.  Tom comes home around then, so we catch up on the gossip and we hang out for a while - him catching up on news and me writing.

We eat between 6PM and 8PM.  We watch old TV series, binge watching really, because the mindlessness helps us unwind.  We usually talk through it and if Tom’s got a yen to watch sports (he’s got a thing for baseball) I write. (all sport bores me to tears within two seconds)

After 8PM I write.  I stop around 10PM - 11PM and sometimes it’s a bit later. 

We go out twice a week, hitting our local pub around 5PM.  We’re home by 8PM latest and then I go to sleep early, but usually after writing an hour. Sometimes two.

KCB: Describe your ideal vacation—if money were no object and you had no obstacles holding you back...

EW: I would love to spend time in a small walled villa with it’s own pool.  Anywhere really: Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia. I’m looking for peace and tranquility. I want to spend the whole day just being - with Target, Guido and Tom (the non-furry companion).  But at night I’d like to go out and see people. So probably Bali or Siem Reap or somewhere a bit touristy.

KCB: If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would you go and why?

EW: If I had a teleporter, I’d spend most of my time in Malaysia because it’s my home and I love it.  But I’d go to Spain for weekends so I could go see my mum.  Also, I sometimes miss fresh, cold air, Spanish food, Spanish wine and just being in a non-tropical place so probably I’d spend some time in Spain during the spring and autumn too.

Also, I miss Fay, one of my best friends.  We see each other just once a year, so it would be nice to be in the same continent again.

KCB: How do you find balance between work, family, and writing?

EW: Hahahahahaha! Brilliant!  You’ve seen my typical day so you know I spend most of my time working.

I write during the day, when I watch television at night, when I’m in the hairdresser, when I’m waiting for someone to come to a meeting - I work about 14 hours a day, every day.

It’s unsustainable but having spent the last three years studying part time, I have to get back to work so 2016 is just crazy.  Hopefully that balance thing will kick in next year!

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to see the answers to these questions:

What inspires you to write strong female characters?

If you could lump all your books in a single genre, what would you call it?

What is your favorite food? Describe it so we want to eat it, too.

About the author
AJ Adams is a Scottish-Dutch author currently living in Malaysia. In her regular life she is a columnist and feature writer. She works from home, where she is closely snoopervised by cats, Target and Guido.

Stalker links:
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/AJ-Adams/e/B00PTL6BNK
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2883330.A_J_Adams
FB https://www.facebook.com/ewhyte
Twitter https://twitter.com/KatzTalesTweets
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/Author_AJAdams/

The Bonus by AJ Adams
My first AJ Adams novel and one of my favourites! It’s unusual but Chloe and Kyle are unusual people.

Beast by AJ Adams
If you like darkish romance, and don’t mind a bit of kidnapping and rape, this is the story for you!

The Degas Girl by AJ Adams
Zachary is not nice and neither is Serenity.  Together though, they are dynamic.

Songbird by AJ Adams
What I love about this is that Arturo is a monster but he’s also thoroughly human. I’d love to meet him for dinner - as long as Solitaire isn’t cooking.

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