Saturday at the Malls!

•December 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Where else would any self-respecting writer be on the Saturday before Christmas? In a bookstore at a mall! Correction–TWO malls! Stop by and say hello–and get some Christmas shopping done! I’ll be at

Books-A-Million! in the Exton Square Mall, Exton PA, Saturday 12/21, 11 AM-1PM (Alissa Grosso, Kit Grindstaff, and Dianne Salerni all from Kid Lit Authors Club will be signing too.)

AND

Barnes and Noble in the Neshaminy Mall, Bensalem, PA, Saturday 21/21, 3PM-5PM (Alissa Grosso, Alison Ashley Formento, Kit Grindstaff, and Jennifer Hubbard.)

Blog tour winding down….

•December 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

…but it’s not over yet! Here’s another guest blog post and giveaway over at Margo Dill’s excellent blog:

http://margodill.com/blog/2013/12/09/watersmeet-trilogy-giveaway/#comments

 

Post on Cynsations!!

•December 7, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’m very proud to say that I have a guest post on Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog, Cynsations! There’s also a giveaway with the post: another chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite and copies of my whole trilogy.

http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/2013/12/guest-post-giveaway-ellen-jensen-abbott.html

Deals and Posts!

•December 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

For the month of December, my fist two books, Watersmeet and The Centaur’s Daughter, are on sale on Amazon with a nice discount. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/b?node=45

In addition, I am a guest blogger on my friend, Jenn Hubbard’s, blog.  I wrote about winter hiking and channeling the fear I felt on one excursion into my books. Here’s the link for that one:

http://writerjenn.livejournal.com/365816.html

Guest blog: “Lost in Book Three”

•November 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Check it out at Dianne Salerni’s blog: http://diannesalerni.blogspot.com/2013/11/lost-in-book-three-ellen-jensen-abbott.html

 

Guest blog on World Building!!

•November 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I posted a guest blog today on Nancy Viau’s blog. It’s a post with tips on world building for young readers. Check it out!!

http://nancyviau.blogspot.com/

The Call of Fantasy

•April 2, 2013 • 2 Comments

Below is a blog post originally posted on the AuthorsNow! website. A reader just asked me about inspiration, and I went back through my files sure that I had done some writing on this before. Here’s what I found!

We all know them—those kids who read fantasy novel after fantasy novel after fantasy novel. I was one of those kids—obsessed with the Chronicles of Narnia. I read my favorite, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, thirteen times. (I have since read it to both of my children—so now I am up to fifteen!) As a fantasy writer today, I have to acknowledge my debt to CS Lewis, and to JRR Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, another of my favorites.

At the same time, Lewis and Tolkien would be the first to acknowledge their debt to much earlier sources, such as Norse mythology. When I set out to write my debut novel, a fantasy called Watersmeet, I too went back to earlier sources: folktales, hero quests, mythology, legend. After all, what are these tales but fantasy stories? Odysseus making his way back to Ithaca—fighting the Cyclopes, Scylla, Charybdis, and the Lotus Eaters. Fantasy! Atlas with the world on his shoulder. Fantasy! Uncle Remus and the Br’er Rabbit stories. Talking animals are definitely fantasy. Scheherezade and the One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Native American stories about Coyote the Trickster. All are fantasy stories. It seems almost as if from the moment language was invented, people were gathering to tell stories about monsters, magic, heroes and power beyond what we could understand.

Fantasy connects with a very deep vein. Even today, when our society is so rational, so technological, so scientific, fantasy sells—and bookstores can be open at midnight for the launch of the seventh Harry Potter book. In fact, I think the call of fantasy is even stronger now because so much mystery and magic is gone from our daily lives. It’s no wonder kids are flocking to the genre.

When I started sending out my first novel—a fantasy—the Harry Potter phenomenon was just starting. An editor read my book and had nice things to say about it, but offered no contract. (Yes, I got what we know in the writing business as a “good rejection.”) One of her comments stuck with me: “Fantasy always sells.” In fact, fantasy has been “selling” for thousands of years. As a fantasy writer today, I feel like I’m adding my own, individual voice to an ancient and ongoing conversation.