Feb. 13, 2014: Join me for a blog talk with Shaman Elizabeth Herrera about her book, Shaman Stone Soup. Elizabeth shares her knowledge of the shamanic path and the miracles that happened along the way.
Aug. 22, 2013: Into the Land of Snows is listed on Amazon’s bestseller’s list: #50 in Children’s Asian fiction. http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/155785011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_7_last#3
May 2013- Lovely blog review: http://tom8pie.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/book-review-ellis-nelsons-into-the-land-of-snows/
NOV. 2012: Wonderful review at the blog bookpeeps. http://bookpeeps.org/2012/11/17/into-the-land-of-snows-a-novel-by-ellis-nelson/
OCT. 2012: All the way from Edinburgh, Katharine Griffiths interviews me on writing young adult novels and the influence of Buddhism on my work. http://wp.me/p2Jcvv-4v
SEP. 2012: Nice blog review: http://fakename2.wordpress.com/tag/into-the-land-of-snows/
JUN. 2012: INTERVIEW AT AUTHOR BETH FEHLBAUM’S BLOG.
FEATURED AT http://www.boysread.org blog. Thursday, May 10, 2012 Into The Land of Snows
A troubled, sixteen year old Blake travels to Base Camp on Mt. Everest to spend time with his physician father. When a deadly avalanche occurs, Dad is forced to rethink things and sends Blake off the mountain. Now accompanied by a Sherpa guide, and in possession of a mysterious camera, Blake undertakes a journey which will challenge everything he believes. In the magical Himalayas, he will be forever changed by what he experiences.
This very cool adventure story is by Ellis Nelson. Ellis has worked as an Air Force officer, government contractor, and teacher. She has had an interest in Buddhism since childhood. Currently, she lives in the Denver area with her husband.
FIRST AUTHOR INTERVIEW, (Feb. 24, 2012) http://www.joramsey.com blog
Have you ever based a character on someone you know? If so, did you tell them? If not, is there someone in your life you’d like to base a character on?
My immediate family is very supportive. I always let them know what I’m working on. It’s really impossible for me not to talk about anything I’m researching, so over the years they’ve learned a lot about areas they probably would never have been exposed to. With outsiders, I find there is a general lack of knowledge about what it means to be a writer. So a lot of people don’t know how to respond or what to expect. People who genuinely love books usually are interested and will ask questions. It’s nice to share with those who really want to learn about the process of writing or the process of publication.
Tell us about your latest book.
Into the Land of Snows is an adventure novel set in the high Himalayas of Nepal. The main character, an American teenager named Blake, is sent to Base Camp on Mt. Everest to be with his father who is working as the team doctor for a group of mountain climbers. Blake’s parents are divorced and after Blake gets in trouble at home, his parents think some time with Dad might be needed. A short time after his arrival, an avalanche forces Dad to reconsider and for safety sake, he sends Blake off the mountain with a Sherpa guide. Before Blake leaves, a Sherpa boy gives Blake an old camera as a token of friendship. Turns out this camera may be the one carried by George Mallory in his 1924 attempt on Everest. Blake holds in his hands the possible solution to the biggest climbing mystery ever. Did Mallory make it to the top? Will the camera prove it finally? The problem is that Blake is on the trail and the magical Himalayas hold many other adventures for him. His whole idea of reality and what is real will be challenged and tested. Is the Mallory mystery then, just a means to an end?
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever traveled to?
With a husband who spent twenty years in the Air Force, I’ve certainly had the opportunity to travel and live in many places in the US. But I’d have to say that when we went abroad to Scotland, I really had a good exposure to a sense of history that I never had in the US. Walking around medieval castles and battlefields, seeing ancient metal works and tapestries, viewing the earliest printing of The Canterbury Tales, all grounds you firmly in old world history. I really like exotic and old locations so all this really appealed to me.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever set a story in?
This is a hard question because I’m drawn to the exotic. I guess I’d say that my current book (Into the Land of Snows) is probably the most interesting in that the reader is truly immersed in the magic and mystery of the Himalaya region and its culture. But I’ve also set stories in Africa, the Netherlands, and Victorian England. Each location is intriguing and compelling in its own way.
How do you come up with the ideas for your stories?
My stories always come from things I’m interested in. For me, writing has become a way of learning, processing, and integrating information. My books in many ways follow my own personal and spiritual development. It’s taken me years to see this and understand it. Externally, I’ve pulled ideas from my daily life, what I see in the media, and things I’m reading about.
What genre are most of your stories? Why did you choose that genre?
I bounce back and forth between writing middle grade novels and young adult. What I’m starting to see is that all my books pose questions about our existence in the material world. Namely, is the material world all we’ve got? Scientific materialism is the prevailing philosophy in the United States at this time. It imposes a very limited way of living one’s life and I’m constantly asking my readers to open their minds and expand their worldview. As we push into new frontiers it’s going to be imperative that young people be able to adapt, grow, and change. I think if anything, I’m trying to get readers to ask the big questions and then go looking for their own answers. So really, any genre which allows me do this becomes an acceptable vehicle.
Which author have you always wanted to meet and why?
Oftentimes, I want to meet the author whose book I’m currently reading. I read about as much non-fiction as fiction, so these authors come from a wide variety of disciplines and they’d be pretty obscure to most people. But when we’re talking about fiction and young adult fiction, I’ve been thinking I’d really like to sit and have a cup of tea with David Almond (Skellig, Kit’s Wilderness, Clay). I might have to meet him at a pub and the drink of choice might not be tea, but still, the conversation would be good. David Almond writes magical realism and I think I do too. Only I might be in a subcategory called mystical realism.