Tag: author

Interview with Straight from the Library

Interview with Straight from the Library

EXCLUSIVE! Read this exciting interview with Emergence star, Xavier – the Lac Rogue Wildchild!

Interviewer: For people who haven’t read Emergence, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Xavier: My name is Xavier. I pronounce it the same way my mother, who was French-speaking did: Za-vee-eh. But I don’t mind if people say it the Anglo way. I live in Lac Rouge with Stefan, who is my father. It’s just the two of us – my mom took off when I was eight, because she couldn’t take the isolation. At least, that’s why Stefan says she left. I suspect there was more to it than that, but that’s all Stefan is willing to say. I know some people think it’s weird that I call my father by his name, instead of something like Papa or Dad. But that’s how I’ve always referred to him. He says that because he’s an anarchist, he rejects the power dynamics built into names that indicate roles.

Read More Read More

Interview with New In Books

Interview with New In Books

By Grant
In Author Interviews, Mystery, News, Thriller

What can you tell us about your new release, Emergence?

Emergence is a novel of psychological suspense, that many readers report kept them reading long into the night. Great – that’s what these kinds of books are supposed to do. But you may encounter some genre-bending surprises along the way, beyond those woven into the plot. Like women strong enough to take care of themselves without angsting about their pasts, like dogs that are essential players in the story and who behave the way real dogs do, like intricate and unusual relationships, and like moral quandaries that may keep you mulling for quite a while and wanting someone to discuss them with. That’s what I worked to craft for my readers, and what many of them report they’ve experienced: a compelling read that transports them into the wilds of West Quebec, and a lasting and powerful memory of Lac Rouge and the wildchild Xavier they met there, in this dark, but occasionally sun-speckled drama.

Read More Read More

Guest Blog Post – Long and Short Reviews

Guest Blog Post – Long and Short Reviews

Proximity and Touch: In Life, In the Pandemic and In Emergence by Ellie Beals

I have a new puppy – he’s 15 weeks old now, and is doing a lovely job of taking brisk walks around the neighborhood on a loose leash. Many people we encounter on these walks get that soft, mushy “OMG, a puppy!” look on their faces when they see him, and I respond affirmatively when they ask if they can greet him. This is a pandemic puppy – he needs all the input and stimuli I can allow or provide. I keep him on a long leash, and step back and turn my face away, to allow appropriate distance between humans, while he moves forward to greet the new folks. As I watch puppy and humans interact, the way the humans revel in the physical contact seems more pronounced to me than what I’ve witnessed in the past with other puppies. Am I imagining this? I don’t think so. I think the hunger for the tactile exchanges that we used to take for granted are profound. We have all become, or are becoming, pandemic puppies ourselves – constantly attached to invisible leashes that prevent us from interacting with the world the way we want to. The way we need to.

Read More Read More

Guest Blog Post – All the Ups and Down

Guest Blog Post – All the Ups and Down

Me, OJ, & Psychological Suspense

I have had a love-ignorance relationship with football all my life. Despite having a father and husband (a former player himself) who were not only fans, but were extremely knowledgeable about the arcana of this complex sport, I never took the time to master that. Lazy Ellie! The rules still elude me, and I have only the broadest general understanding of the game. But that’s all I need. Because I LOVE watching football for completely different reasons. The extraordinary beauty and power of these athletes transfixed me from the time I was first exposed to them as a child. My abiding memory of how little Ellie perceived her first view of Jim Brown playing, only a day after my dad had introduced me to a wildlife special on the big cats of Africa, was “OMG – some rare humans can also effect the grace and power of wild animals”. (Not in those words of course. But that was the idea.)

Read More Read More

MEDIA COVERAGE – Ottawa Life Magazine

MEDIA COVERAGE – Ottawa Life Magazine

Local author’s debut thrills with dark backwoods drama

Grace Giesbrecht
Posted: March 31, 2021


After fleeing the city with her husband and dogs to their cabin in Quebec as the pandemic set in, Ellie Beals’ started writing. The result was her debut novel, Emergencea quirky Canadian backwoods thriller set in the wilds of the laurentian mountains.

“I wrote Emergence in just three months, after fleeing the pandemic in Ottawa to ride out the storm in our cabin in Quebec.” Beals’ said. Her love for and experience with the backcountry where she wrote her debut, set in the same corner of the wilderness, shines through. So too does her unique background.

Read More Read More

Guest Post Blog – Fabulous and Brunette

Guest Post Blog – Fabulous and Brunette

Fierce Women: Empathy Vs. Pity

When I was a little girl, my favorite game was Make Believe – essentially a child’s version of role-playing.  A persuasive child, I was able to convince my playmates that there was a better choice than those on the usual Make Believe menu of doctors and nurses, cowboys and Indians, or mommy, daddy & me.  My better choice was a family drama that featured one prominent character: the troubled teenaged daughter. I don’t know how I became aware of this stereotype when I was so young, but assume that I encountered it in television or movies, and as an emergent histrionic personality, was drawn to the dramatic possibilities written into this type of family drama.

So is it a surprise that years later, I became a legendarily Troubled Teenager?  I think not. This speaks to the power of archetypes, whether they’re drawn from real life or from any of the media with which we’re constantly bombarded.  For those of us who are readers, the archetypes we absorb unknowingly can have a tremendous influence on our identities – including, and perhaps most particularly about what makes for an appealing woman. Many writers over many decades have recognized this and shaped female protagonists from Jo March (Little Women) to Nancy Drew, to Hermoine (Harry Potter) to help girls recognize strength and independence as desirable qualities for girls. But I wonder to what extent that kind of early indoctrination stands up to a steady and very different archetype that may subtly invade and pervade our adult reading?

Read More Read More

Guest Blog Post – Becoming Extraordinary

Guest Blog Post – Becoming Extraordinary

A Sort of Well-Behaved Minor Character

In my books I usually have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. I’m always curious as to whether other authors experience this, so I asked Ellie Beals if she had such a character in her novel, Emergence? And if she didn’t, I wanted to know how she got the characters in her head to behave so well!

Here is her fascinating answer.

I have been a chronic over-planner and over-preparer all my life.  I waited an obscenely long time to start work on a novel, because I so dreaded what I anticipated to be the long and grueling planning process required before I could actually WRITE.  And then one day, I said:  What if?  What if I don’t do that?  What if I just sit down and start writing?

And that’s what I did.  My plan at the outset was this simple:  I knew that:

Read More Read More

Guest Blog Post – Westveil Publishing

Guest Blog Post – Westveil Publishing

Which characters in Emergence were easier to write, the humans or the dogs? – Or, what’s love got to do with it?

Long before you can hope to write well, you have to be able to SEE well – to observe your subjects, or characters like your subjects, well and truly, in order to be able to describe them convincingly to your readers. I am a dog-trainer, and in the dog-training world the paramount phrase that constantly recurs is: “Read your dog”. You have no hope of being successful in this field if you are not able to understand what your dog is telling you.

Of course, dogs have no words. Which is not to say that their communicative abilities are limited. They speak with their bodies, and for those who have learned it, canine body language is as richly nuanced as any message you receive from a human. And it is vastly easier to read, because given the dog’s absence of ego, you don’t have to triumph over and through attempts at repression, concealment, obfuscation and even deceit, which ego so often superimposes over the messages that humans transmit. For those attuned to canine communication, the amount you can read, simply from watching the action of a dog’s butt, as it quivers with joy, tenses in fear or anticipation, moves nervously as the tail fast-twitches from side-to-side, or goes up in the air telegraphing fun as the dog produces a play-bow, is exquisite. How often I’ve approached humans, wishing our bottoms were similarly communicative, so I’d know if the person I’m approaching is indeed, feeling approachable.

Read More Read More

Guest Blog Post – Andi’s Book Reviews

Guest Blog Post – Andi’s Book Reviews

What does dog training have to do with becoming an author? Ellie Beals, author of Emergence, is going to tell us all about it in a special guest post today. You can also check out an excerpt from her book before you download your own copy. Be sure to also follow the rest of the tour to get to know her even better, adding your own comments and questions along the way. Best of luck in the giveaway!

My Journey to Becoming an Author: Thank you, Dog-Training

If you’ve read my novel Emergence, you’ll know that Cass Harwood, one of my protagonists, is a management consultant who is also a dog-trainer. As a successful mangement consultant, she is a chronic over-preparer, whose foundation of preparation allows her to put aside whatever script she’s created in order to successfully improvise. The same thing is true of her as an obedience competitor. This creative friction between the two poles of performance readiness (no preparation vs. obsessive planning) is an undercurrent throughout Emergence.

Read More Read More

Ellie’s Book Review – Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

Ellie’s Book Review – Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

A Perfect Marriage

I am an avid reader of non-fiction studies about dogs, and about the relationship between dogs and people. Inside of a Dog, by Alexandra Horowitz has been for me, the most rewarding and enjoyable such book I’ve read, because of the way it spans the divide between the lyric and anecdotal love story (like Merle’s Door) and the scientific treatise (say, anything by Konrad Lorenz).

Read More Read More