Ellie Marney’s Sherlock Holmes-inspired YA series is one of my favourite, and I don’t say that lightly. I’m so pleased to share with you today a little mini-Q&A we did leading up to the release of her brand new standalone romantic crime novel. No Limits publishes in August and I am very excited to get my hands on a copy. If you’re looking for a thrilling read, Ellie is your girl.
You’ve said on your blog the writing process for No Limits was one of the easiest ever, that the characters sort of took over. Tell me more about that, how did it differ to the Every series?
I had a similar experience with Every Word as I had with No Limits – both books seemed incredibly easy to write. This is like a sign from above or something, that I take as ‘this story wants to be written’ – it feels less like you’re running the show, y’know? The characters feel fully developed in your mind, they have their own direction and their own ideas about how things should turn out. I mean, it sounds kinda wanky to say that – ‘oh, I’m just channelling my characters!’ – but honestly some books are just like that! In terms of differences to the Every series: this story felt somewhat older, the perspective of the characters is slightly older (so the characters of Amita and Harris are 18-20yo) and also the themes of the book (drug crime in country towns, domestic violence) are certainly darker and more mature.
What was it like having a whole new set of characters to work with after having crafted Rachel and Mycroft over three books in the Every series?
It was amazing! I love writing Rachel and Mycroft, but it’s really energising to write something new. And I love Harris, as a character – he’s kind of the amalgamation of every bogan country boy I’ve ever known, and his dialogue has an easy flow that makes him a joy to write.
You’re self-publishing No Limits. How has that process been? What’s been the biggest learning curve? What would you recommend for others looking to take the same path?
Learning how to self publish hasn’t been so much a ‘learning curve’ as a direct lift-off from a standing start. It’s been empowering on a lot of levels: I have absolute control over the book, from story to cover to pricing to release, and I can finesse every detail that I feel needs attention. Plus I knew this was the only way I was going to get Harris and Amie out into the world. It’s also been incredibly eye-opening, and taught me a lot both about my own writing process and about the publishing industry in general (and I thought I knew it all after being traditionally published! Uh, no). If you’re thinking about self-publishing, I guess the first thing to remember is it’s a lot of work, but you only need to deal with one thing at a time, so don’t be intimidated – just be methodical, and work through everything as it comes. I make a lot of lists – step one, step two – so I don’t feel like I have to do All The Things all at once! I would also recommend that you read as much as you can about the process before you start – books like The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing and Self-Publishing for Australian Authors have been incredibly useful, and there’s lot of stuff online. Plus, tap into the community! There’s a whole community of folks out there who indie pub, so find your tribe, or make one of your own. I couldn’t have done this without the support of writer friends, and I highly recommend having a support network.
How has the process of self-publishing differed from working with a publisher?
Well, it’s all on you, if you self-publish – if the book is a success, that’s a win, but if it tanks, that’s your responsibility too. I’ve needed to set myself budgets and limits regarding what I can do myself and what I can outsource – like cover design: always get a pro cover designer! – and I’ve had to work out my own production schedule. You’re basically becoming a publisher, so you need to think like one and consider all the details that regular trad pub authors don’t need to worry about. But it’s also fun! And at the end of the day you can say the book is all yours.
What’s next after the release of No Limits?After No Limits, I’ll be prepping for the March 2018 release of my new book with Allen & Unwin – it’s called White Night, and I’m incredibly excited to see it come out into the world. I also have a three-book YA romantic crime series set in a circus, which I will probably release myself next year, and I’m starting to think about what I’ll be writing next! Letting all the ideas swirl around until one floats to the surface is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a writer.
Find out more about No Limits, including how you can buy your copy, here.
Every Breath || Every Word || Every Move || Q&A with Ellie for the release of Every Move