Today’s Guest Author is the lovely Keelan Ellis. Today is the release day for her MM Romance novel –Misinformation.
Ethan Daniels, host of a popular conservative cable news program, has never thought of his bisexuality as a problem, though he has never acted on his attraction to men. Since his divorce, that desire has become more acute. When he meets Charlie Woods, his daughter’s first-grade teacher, they have an instant spark, but Ethan hesitates to act. His contract is up for renewal, there are already rumors swirling about him because of a brief encounter from his past, and the last thing his employers want is for one of their stars to come out publicly.
Charlie avoids romantic entanglements because he prefers living on his own terms. He keeps love and sex completely separate, never seeing anyone more than a few times. Hooking up with a closeted celebrity like Ethan seems safe from emotional involvement, even if they have to keep their fledgling relationship secret.
The last thing they expect is to fall in love, but their strong mutual attraction moves them both to make changes neither of them thought they wanted or needed.
Keelan Ellis is an east coast girl for life, a progressive, a lover of music and musicians, a mother of two very challenging girls, a loyal though sometimes thoughtless friend, a slacker, a dreamer and a bad influence. She likes true crime podcasts, great television and expensive craft cocktails made by hipsters in silly vests.
Also by Keelan Ellis:
I’ll Still Be There (Unfinished Business Book #1) Amazon Global Link
Anywhere You Go (Unfinished Business Book#2) Amazon Global Link
Can’t Stand the Heat Amazon Global Link
Mug Shots Amazon Global Link
Social Media Links:
INTERVIEW WITH A.O. CHIKA
Q: This is probably not the right way to start an interview but I’m curious. Ever experimented with a woman (^_~)? (You really don’t have to answer that) LOL. Yeah, I’ve done threesomes. I’ve found that it’s not something that does a whole lot for me, but I’m glad to have had the experience anyway.
Q: The sex scenes were explicit, how did you write that without blushing, what’s the secret? And don’t say Yaoi because I hoard that shit and yet I still can’t image writing that many ‘cocks’ in one page. Who says I don’t blush? Honestly, I do get a little self-conscious at times. The main thing I worry about is being too repetitive. I watch porn for inspiration, even though I’m not really a porn consumer normally.
Q: Will Josh and Roland get their own story? Even if it’s a novella please＼(＾▽＾)／ ? Yes! That’s in the planning stages. I have a couple of other projects that I’m focusing on at the moment, but it’s going to happen.
Q: Your first book involved the paranormal, and now you’ve released a contemporary romance. What do you consider to be your primary genre? I don’t think I have one. All genres interest me, and I am open to writing in almost all of them. There is probably one or two that I could rule out–don’t expect any regency novels from me–but everything else is fair game. I’d especially like to write a true horror novel some day.
Q: What has been different in your experiences of these two book releases? With the first book, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t have an online presence in my pen name, and I was basically clueless about every single thing. Total blind flailing. I was just excited to have my book out there. It didn’t sell very well, but it was generally well-reviewed, and at the time that was enough to make me happy. This time, I have expectations. This book is going to have a wider appeal, and I have a lot better idea what to do and what not to do. It’s important to me to write things that I believe are good, and reviews can still either make my day or bum me out for hours, but I’d also like to sell some copies.
Q: What are some specific examples of the way that your experiences have influenced your writing? Sometimes it’s small things. In my novella Anywhere You Go, there’s a conversation about how people from New Jersey think their pizza is superior to all other pizza. This comes directly from my experience of being a transplant to New Jersey and being married to a Jersey boy.
“I’ll be down in a minute,” Travis said, “And definitely pizza. I don’t trust the sushi around here.”
I don’t know what sushi is, but I’d bet the pizza’s no great shakes either. Back in Newark, you knew what you were getting when you ordered a pie.
“Jesus Christ, even ghosts from New Jersey can’t shut up about their stupid pie.”
Other times, it’s something much larger. One of the characters in Misinformation has a mom who came out as a lesbian after her divorce. That’s an experience from my own life, although I was much older than the character was when he had that experience.
Q: What would you tell your 18-year-old self if you could? Probably some version of “get your head out of your ass.” I wasted a lot of time and made a lot of decisions for reasons I knew were stupid even as I was making them. Also, I would tell me that I was beautiful because I had no idea. Like a lot of young women, all I could ever see were my flaws.
Q: How did you get started writing m/m?
I started with fan fiction, like a lot of other m/m authors. I had read some slash fic here and there, but when I found a fandom and a pairing that really spoke to me, I knew I wanted to do some writing in it. I don’t write fanfic anymore because I don’t have time, but sometimes when I’m stressed and frustrated with my writing, I think about chucking everything and just going back to fan fiction. I had a lot of fun with it, met some great people, and wrote some pretty decent stories. I built confidence, improved my writing, and most of all opened up my creativity.
Q: You mentioned slash fanfiction drawing you into writing MM Romance, what fandoms do you love? One of my earlier favorites for reading was Merlin. It’s pretty adorable. I like Hannibal a lot. My main fandom and the only one I’ve ever written in was Justified. I met some great people in that fandom. It’s perfect for fan fiction because there’s so much to expand on. It’s also a tiny fandom, which I like.
Q: What are your favorite MM Books? I’m a big fan of Avon Gale. I liked her first book a lot, and I was surprised to find that I liked her hockey books as well, even though I know nothing about the sport. I also think Brandon Witt is a wonderful writer. Angel Martinez writes some really entertaining stuff in the sci-fi/paranormal realm.
Q: What did you like to read as a kid? I’m in my forties, so there wasn’t much of a Young Adult market around when I was growing up. I went from Judy Blume to Stephen King in the space of a year or so. I also loved to read my dad’s mystery paperbacks that he had stacks of all around the house. My parents had a big bookshelf full of classics as well, so I read Salinger, Orwell, Vonnegut. They had a beautiful set of Poe stories that I adored. I would read just about anything at that age–genre fiction, literary fiction, Flowers in the Attic. I just wanted to be told a story.
Q: What were you like in school? I was a nerd who thought I was secretly cool. I didn’t find my crowd until about halfway through high school, but when I did they were pretty much all like that. My best friend in high school is my best friend to this day, and I don’t know that we’ve changed all that much. I’m not sure we were ever as cool as we thought we were, though.
Q: What are some of your favorite books? If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Jane Eyre. I’ve read it more times than probably any other book. I also love The Stand, despite some problematic things about it. I love Rule of the Bone, by Russell Banks. It’s a great coming of age story.
Q: You have a thirteen-year-old daughter. What are some of the differences and similarities between her coming of age experience and yours? I was her age in the 1980s. The world is a completely different place, but thirteen-year-old girls haven’t changed all that much. It’s fun to see her developing these obsessive crushes on celebrities. It’s both cringeworthy and hilarious. Of course, her main crushes are YouTube stars, while mine were actors and musicians.
It’s great to see the openness and acceptance that her generation shows towards people’s differences. It’s hard to explain what things were like for the gay community thirty years ago because she can’t really comprehend it. It was a complicated time because increased visibility and the fight for civil rights was happening at the same time as AIDS. The further we get from the 1980s, the more I think it was a bizarre time to be coming of age. Everything was changing.
Q: Your first book was released one year ago. What have you learned about being a writer since then? I’m now a lot more conscious of having an attention-grabbing first chapter. I’ve gotten better at letting a story unfold, rather than trying to tell people everything before they get to the actual story. Aside from the craft, though, the main thing I’ve learned is that the only way to finish a book is to keep writing it. Breaks are never good for me. Sometimes I absolutely need one, but it always throws me off track. It’s like going to the gym.
Q: Do you have any regrets about your first book? There are things I would have done differently/better. That’s just the learning process. On the whole, I’m happy with it. It’s an odd little book, and that suits me. I don’t ever want to be predictable.
Q: What do you wish someone had told you before you got into writing? I actually think I went into it with my eyes open. It would have been nice to have someone to hold my hand through the practical stuff—marketing, in particular. I was never sure if I was doing enough, too much, the wrong stuff. It’s a little overwhelming.
Q: What did you learn from publishing your first book that would forever remain with you? It was a real lesson in humility. I loved my first book. My friends loved my first book. Of the few people who reviewed, it, some of them loved my book. But it didn’t sell. And of course, some people didn’t like it. That’s just the way it goes. I had to do a lot of getting over myself.
Q: So far, you’ve gone the traditional publishing route. Do you have any plans to self-publish? Yes. That’s definitely a goal. I’m working (slowly) on a co-writing project with a friend, and my hope is that it will be my first foray into self-pub. I need a friend along on it because otherwise it’s too scary.
Q: What drew you into writing for Dreamspinner Press? It’s hard to remember at this point. It’s probably just that they’re the biggest, so I’d heard of them. I didn’t do much research before I submitted to them. I’ve been pretty happy with them, but I’m always curious about other publishers.
Q: Is Misinformation based on any real people or situations? There are no characters in Misinformation that are based on actual people. The network is very clearly a stand-in for Fox News. There’s no point in being coy about that. I called it ECHO News, which I like because it calls to mind the echo chamber of partisan cable networks. It stands for “Ethical, Consistent, Honest and Outspoken,” although I don’t think I managed to work that into the book. I use it on some of my merch though. There is an on-air personality on Fox who was sort of the germ of the inspiration for this book, but it’s not him. It was just the result of thinking about the position that guy finds himself in.
Q: Are you interested in politics? Yes, intensely. I grew up in a household that took politics and public policy very seriously. Every Sunday, I sat with my dad in the living room and watched what I used to call the “argument shows.” The most educational part of that was listening to him react to those shows and explain things when I didn’t understand them.
Q: What else do you have coming up? Wayward Ink Press is publishing the first book in my Paul Solomon detective series, some time later this year. I don’t have anything resembling a tentative date yet, but I’m incredibly excited for people to get to know Paul.
Q: What is your writing schedule like? I’m the worst with schedules. Every time I make one for myself, it just stresses me out. It’s something I dislike about myself, and I wish very much I could make a schedule and stick to it.
Q: Tell us about what you’re currently working on. I submitted a story to a Dreamspinner anthology some time ago. I got a decline for the anthology, but they asked if I’d be interested in expanding it because they felt there was a lot more story to be told. I completely agreed with that assessment, and for once I was really glad to get a rejection. That story and those characters hadn’t left my mind since I wrote it in January, and I knew I wanted to do more with them. I don’t want to give a whole lot away, but it’s about another topic that’s very close to my heart. It’s about music and musicians, and about the ways we deceive ourselves into settling for less than we deserve.
Q: Any advice for upcoming Authors? Never try to write something you wouldn’t want to read yourself.