Q&A with Jennifer Ellision & Over Raging Tides Giveaway

Over Raging Tides (Lady Pirates, #1)

by Jennifer Ellision
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure

The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by many rules, but chief among them is this: they do not allow men on board.
That’s a rule that quartermaster Grace Porter is willing to break when a shipwrecked young nobleman offers her information of an omniscient map, stolen from his warship by an enemy vessel. Until now, the map was only the stuff of legend… but with its help, Grace may finally be able to hunt down the Mordgris, the sea monsters who stole her mother away from her.
Unfortunately, some members of her crew have other plans…
To find the map and face the Mordgris, Grace will have to confront her past, put the Luck between warring nations, and uncover treachery aboard the ship. And ultimately, her revenge and the destruction of the Mordgris will come at a hefty price: the betrayal of her crew.
Grace promised them they wouldn’t regret this.
She just isn’t sure that she won’t.



1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?


2. What would you say inspired you to write it? ?

I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl one day and was hit with the realization that Keira Knightley’s character is the only key female role in the film. This irritated me, but also sparked the idea of an all-female pirate crew.

3. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ?

Multiple times. The only way I know of to cure writer’s block is to push through it and keep writing. I sometimes think of this as the NaNoWriMo method because, in the first draft, it’s more about getting the words down than worrying over their quality. That’s what revisions and edits are for. If I’m blocked on a particular scene, I’ll skip over to a different one and come back to the tough one later. If it’s just writing in general that’s proving difficult, I’ll boot up the program Write Or Die, which forces you to continue writing—or hear an obnoxious noise… some settings will even go so far as to start deleting words if you stop too long!

4. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? ?
Hmmm…probably my debut novel, Threats of Sky and Sea. I worked on it off and on for about three years. And if you consider the entire series to be one project, then we can say that I worked on it for about six years! ^_^;

5. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way? ?

I suppose a bit. No drastic changes to my personality or anything like that, but I used to be a book blogger myself, which I stopped doing largely because I had limited free time. What time used to go to book blogging is usually devoted to “author business” now.

6. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ?

There were a few times, yes. I suffered a few crises of confidence, but was bolstered by friends and family consistently asking ‘how the writing was going,’ so I grit my teeth and pushed through. Plus, writing is the only career that I can see myself having long-term; that won’t happen by abandoning a work every time that it gets hard.

7. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ?

My day-to-day life varies. I have a part-time gig in an office doing administrative work, so Monday through Thursday, I work around that. I’ll work on “author business” either in the morning before I go in, or in the afternoons and evenings… most likely in the evening, as I try to go to the gym most weekday afternoons.

8. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect? ?

Ah, bad reviews. To be frank, I avoid reading my reviews entirely as they tend to be crippling for me. If I read something bad about my work, I’ll waste weeks thinking about how I could have fixed the problem, worrying that my current project suffers from the same issues, and ultimately getting nothing done. I’d advise other authors to find critique partners and editors that they trust to make their books the best they can. But once the book is out in the world, don’t read your reviews.

9. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?

Yes! Grace’s story is a planned duology and there may be even more to come in the Lady Pirates world in the future. In the next book, readers can expect things to pick up about where they left off, with Grace teaming up with some unexpected allies and encountering revelations about herself that she never could have anticipated.

10. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ?

After the Lady Pirates series concludes, I’ll most likely turn to a paranormal young adult series that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while. Tentatively called the Halfers series, the story will center on a girl who can communicate with the dead.

11. What made you decide to go the self-pub way? ?

My decision to self-pub boils down to two factors: impatience and control. I was watching the journey of other young adult authors who had recently decided to self-publish and saw how much quicker their books were able to be released—the impatience factor. I had a bit of interest in traditional publishing spheres from agents and small presses, but I pulled the requested materials and decided to go it on my own. I also saw how those other authors were able to have more input on their covers, decide on their own marketing plans, etc. I liked the idea of being more hands-on with my book’s journey.

12. What would you say was the toughest part? ?

Marketing was, and continues to be, the toughest part of self-publishing for me. The industry is always changing. What works one day may not work the next.

13. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting? ?

For all of the above, yes indeed!

14. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros? ?

As I mentioned, I was following a few other authors’ journeys into self-publishing. I found my editor, formatter, and first cover artist through them. But I wanted a different look for the Lady Pirates series than for Elementals: The Threats of Sky and Sea series. A few cover reveals with illustrated covers had recently caught my eye, so I looked up the artist (Jenny of Seedlings Design Studio), found more examples of her work and contacted her for her rates.

15. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’? ?
That varies from work to work. For Threats of Sky and Sea, it was about three years. For the subsequent books in that series, around one year. For Over Raging Tides, it’s been about a year and a half.

16. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with? ?

The novels in my Elementals: The Threats of Sky and Sea series are distributed widely on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Kobo, and iBooks. I wanted to be able to reach the most readers for my first series. Over Raging Tides is initially going to be an Amazon exclusive as I experiment with that to see how it does.

17. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change? ?

I’d change one thing: I’d wait to publish Threats of Sky and Sea until I had the rest of the series ready to publish. This would have really cut down the time between my releases and I think the Amazon algorithms would have been far more favorable to me.

Full Disclosure:

18. If you could choose to be someone else for just one day, it would be… ?

J.K. Rowling. I just want to know how her brain works!

19. Your oldest memory is… ?

Nothing exciting… I was probably about two or three years old and laying in my crib. I reached through the bars and touched the yellow walls of the bedroom I shared with my baby brother.

20. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at… ?

Erm… procrastinating? ^_^;

21. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ?

Social situations where I don’t know anyone.

22. Your favorite part of a date is… ?

Ha! Okay, for a first date, probably (hopefully?) the food. First dates are hit or miss for me, filled with awkwardness and nerves, but if nothing else, we hopefully went somewhere to eat something delicious. When in a relationship, it’s getting a little dressed up with my partner and enjoying each other’s company.

23. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book… ?

The first person that comes to mind is Anna from Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss. I feel like our personalities would mesh well and we’d be able to be fast friends.

24. You were/are a hardcore fan of… ?

Ohhhh my gosh. In my pre-teen years, I was a diehard *NSYNC and Justin Timberlake fan. This means that every assignment I had in English class was dedicated to them, so I wrote odes and sonnets to the band. My friends and I decorated a Christmas tree with handmade *NSYNC ornaments and cut Justin’s head out of a magazine for the “star.” I still remember what Justin’s favorite color was (baby blue) and what his favorite word was (crunk).

I also have a deep and enduring love for Sailor Moon, which I used to (and occasionally still do) write fanfiction for.

25. The awesomest thing in your life is… ?

My loved ones.


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Author Bio & Links:

Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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