As a little girl, I loved to be holed up in my room creating stories with my Barbie Dolls. There was no subject I didn’t tackle. It was always my dream to write a soap opera. As I grew older, I assumed that dream was just that… a dream.
Born and raised in Southeast Michigan, near Ann Arbor, my mother always instilled in me the importance of reading. There was never a time when I wasn’t going to read, in the process of reading, or just finished reading a book. It was also my mother who, later on in my life, gave me my first romance novel: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. From that moment on, I became a fan of Ms. Jenkins for life and a lover of all things romance.
One night, I had a strange dream about an underground lair, five floors below ground. And it didn’t stop there. I continued to dream of this cast of characters for a whole week. I shared the dream with many people and they all suggested I write a book. My first novel, Basement Level 5: Never Scared, was published in 2012 under L. R. Wright.
I’m living my dream now.
Visit my website: ElleWright.com
1) When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to tell stories. Strangely, though, I never thought it would be in novel form. I’d assumed I would write screenplays. I wanted to create my own soap opera. I loved the idea of watching my work onscreen. It wasn’t until I had a strange dream about a family hiding in a underground bunker that I decided to try and write a book. Once I completed that project, I never stopped writing.
This journey has been amazing! I’ve been blessed to find my literary #tribe, my sisters of the pen and the heart. Being surrounded by fabulous writers who are doing their thing in the industry, challenging norms, and creating fantastic content has helped me to step my game up.
I love my awesome readers! They are so supportive and giving. I wouldn’t be here without them. For that, I’m always grateful.
Also, I love the creative process. I enjoy the characters, the plots, the actual time in front of the computer pulling everything together.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
I write edgy, angsty, and sexy contemporary romance. My stories have a lot of drama, a healthy dose of humor, and sometimes a little scandal! I enjoy writing real, flawed characters of color who are living life on their own terms. Love is the icing on the cake.
Readers can find me…
Subscribe to my newsletter -https://www.subscribepage.com/ellewritesbooks
Follow me on BookBub – @ellewrightauthor
Like my author page – http://www.facebook.com/ellewrightauthor
Follow me on Amazon – https://amzn.to/2N46rTZ
Follow me on Instagram- @lwrightauthor
Follow me on Twitter – @lwrightauthor
If you want to stay in the loop, be sure to join my readers’ group – http://bit.ly/2N01Bax
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on a several different projects. Getting ready to end a series and kick off a new series.
I recently released a short story, One More Drink. It was part of the New Year Bae-Solutions Anthology with some of my awesome lit sisters!!
My latest release is The Way You Love Me! It’s the third book in my Pure Talent Series and I’m super excited to tell Andrew and Paige’s story!
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
When I started this journey, I expected to write one book. I just published my 21st book this month. My being able to sustain a writing career and putting out new work, while working a full-time job and raising a family with my husband is huge for me. I don’t take if for granted.
My goal is to write in different mediums. I hope to finish my first screenplay soon. I want to also segue into other genres, write more thrillers or even a young adult story.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Rejection is part of the process, whether it’s a bad review or a rejection from a publisher. It helps having a support system outside and inside of the book industry. I’ve been able to get encouragement from my writerly sistas and vent to my family and friends. The key is not to let it stop me, to keep going, to keep creating. Everything is not for everybody. I have to tell myself that every day.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I try to write at least one scene/chapter every day. That’s not always possible, but I try. In the beginning, I never outlined my work. Now, I can’t write without a outline. Sometimes, it’s just a few bullet points. Most of the time, it’s a very comprehensive outline. Character outlines are also important to me because my novels are character-driven.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
I don’t believe it’s ever too late to realize any dream. A wise person once told me to “Write the damn book!”. That one piece of advice is always playing in my mind when I’m tired or frustrated. Just write. Don’t write to publish. Write because you have a story to tell.
The industry is ever-changing so it’s important to research before publishing. To me, that is where the hard work comes into play.
8) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
That’s easy. The first book that touched me emotionally was Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. My mother always encouraged me to read, so I’ve always loved books. But this book was the first book that I re-read once I was done. Along the way, plenty of books stayed with me. The first romance I ever read was Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. It is my favorite book and she is my favorite author.
Since I don’t read while I’m writing, I’m not reading anything right now. Which has sadly been the case for the past several years. But I plan to remedy that very soon by reading the entire New Year Bae-Solutions Series.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?
Actually, I do. I had to listen to my own books on audio, and I do read my books before book discussions. I always want to refresh my memory before talking to readers.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing?
The industry is ever-changing. I’m here for it. I think it’s important for new voices to be heard. I enjoy being a hybrid author, publishing my own work and being published by trade publishers.
The calls for publishers to buy more work by black writers are necessary. For years, we’ve been pushed aside, paid less than others, and treated horribly in certain places. It’s awesome to see more of my lit sisters getting major deals. It’s also pretty amazing to see my lit sisters breaking down walls by publishing their own work, creating their own brands, and changing the game by writing genre-bending novels. I’m rooting for everybody trying to pursue their dream. We can all win!
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Writing is therapeutic for me. I’m able to put things on the page that I’ve only ever dreamed about. I’m able to create things I’ve never even thought of before I wrote it. I’ve worked through grief, I’ve celebrated victories, and I’ve used my writing to make decisions, all of it. And it’s helped tremendously.
My characters are my thing. They’re unforgettable, funny, frustrating; real heroes and heroines who are dealing with real issues. I always strive to write characters that make mistakes, who might cuss too much, who might be afraid to take risks. I want readers to have an escape, but I also want my books to be grounded in reality.
I’m where I am as a writer because of hours spent daydreaming, hard work, and perseverance. That alone makes this worthwhile. I always tell my children to keep reaching, to keep striving, to keep pursuing their dreams. It’s my mandate to lead by example. Knowing I’m doing something they can be proud of keeps me going. As long as I can write new books that resonate with readers, I’ll keep doing it. I love it!