Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Guest Post: Ellie Garratt


So happy to have Ellie Garratt guest post today. She's the author of Passing Time, an anthology of nine very spooky and haunting stories.

Finding Luna Black is the fourth story in Passing Time, and it happens to be the only vampire story. So here's Ellie's take on writing this great tale...

Finding Luna Black
Thank you for hosting me, Jay. I’m thrilled to be visiting with you and your readers today.

I’ve only written one vampire story. It’s not that I don’t like vampire stories – it’s just not my first choice. However, in late spring of 2010 I noticed a submission call for Pill Hill Press’s Fem-fangs anthology. The theme was simple – stories with strong female characters that allow readers to delve into the alluring lore of female vampires – and it immediately appealed to me. On top of the theme, I have to admit the cover seduced me.

The problem was I couldn’t think of a story. Like most of my writing problems, I pushed it to the back recesses of my mind and worked on other projects, hoping a solution would present itself in the not so distant future. A few weeks later one of the national newspapers featured vampires in their 10 Things You May Not Know column. In it they stated on average 417 people a year takes out vampire or werewolf insurance. As soon as I read it, I knew I had my story ‘what if’. What if a woman who doesn’t believe in vampires is seduced by an insurance payout? Two weeks later Luna Black, with a strong female protagonist and female vampire was submitted and accepted for publication.

I learnt two key things from this experience – given time a solution to a problem almost always appears and passing time doing activities other than writing can often lead to the most unexpected story ideas. In my case, reading the newspaper.

Where did your most unexpected story idea come from? What non-writing activities have inspired you?
Book Blurb
Nine dark fiction stories that may just give you nightmares.

A man lives to regret Passing Time. A father will do anything to save his son in Expiration Date. An author finds out her worst nightmare is back in The Devil’s Song. A woman gets more than the claim fee when she takes out vampire insurance in Luna Black.

In Dining in Hell, the Death Valley Diner becomes the wrong place to stop.

A serial killer wants to add another file to his collection in The Vegas Screamer. In Eating Mr. Bone, an undertaker could meet an unfortunate end. A con man meets his first ghost in Land of the Free. And will truth finally be set free in The Letter?


Book Links
About The Author
A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror, meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time is her first eBook collection and contains nine previously published stories. Her science fiction collection Taking Time will be published later in the year.

Author Links


23 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Vampire and werewolf insurance? What an inspiration!

Carol Kilgore said...

I love how inspiration comes, Ellie. For me, I never know when or where or what it will be. But when it hits...wow!

Hi, Jay!

Emily R. King said...

Insurance on vampires and werewolves is hilarious. Do they do zombie, too? Fun post, Ellie! Thanks for sharing your inspiration.

Melanie Schulz said...

I love when stories are birthed with what if questions.

Ellie Garratt said...

Alex - it was!

Carol - that's why I always carry a pen and notepad.

Emily - I hadn't thought about zombie insurance. I bet they do, though.

Melanie - I love the way you put it when you said birthed!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Isn't it strange where ideas spring?

Jessie Humphries said...

Is that picture of the girl in the space helmet the author? Uh, that is a cool author picture if so! :)

Tammy Theriault said...

Love ellie! She has an awesome warped and humorous mind!

Mr. Shife said...

Thanks Jay for introducing me to Ellie Garratt. It always great to hear where a writer's inspiration comes from and glad you are doing what you love, Ellie. Hope all is well Jay.

Pk Hrezo said...

Yay for Ellie! I do so love her cover!

Jay Noel said...

I love funny stories about how authors get inspired. I think it's interesting how dreams often seem to be a great source.

Other times, it can be a strange headline like it was for Ellie!

Matthew MacNish said...

Vampire insurance? Now there's something you don't hear about every day.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

The idea of werewolf and vampire insurance is absolutely hysterical. It's right up there with the companies charging to take care of people's pets after they're taken in the rapture. Anything to make a buck.

Ellie's book sounds awesome. I've been reading so much about it, I had to buy it last night.

Jay Noel said...

Matthew: In college there was an idea for a fundraiser to sell "Spook Insurance" during Halloween. Yeah, didn't happen.

Susan: I'm looking forward to reading it too. Just gotta have the time to sit down.

nutschell said...

ooh all the stories sound so intriguing. Vampire insurance? Now that I'd like to find out more about!
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Melissa Bradley said...

I have to get my hands on these stories. Thanks for spotlighting this, Jay. :)

Jay Noel said...

nutty:I wonder what the deductible is.

Melissa: I hope you do!

DEZMOND said...

she has nice bookcovers!

M Pax said...

Great to see Ellie everywhere. Go woman!

Love your idea for the insurance. I get a lot of ideas from TV, Scientific American, and Sky & Telescope.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

Um, I think vampires ARE insurance salesmen.

Mr. Shife said...

Hey Jay.

Milo James Fowler said...

Great post -- so glad to see Ellie's collection get the publicity it deserves!

The Desert Rocks said...

Does Allstate carry it? LOL

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