Tag: Ellie Beals

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.

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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?

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Light in the Dark

Light in the Dark

Last year, I was at an event in Jerusalem. There were tens of thousands of people crushed into the squares and twisted streets of the old city. It was so crowded that movement was almost impossible – this huge throng of humanity was shoulder-to-shoulder and unable to move freely. Amplify my dislike of crowds with my concerns about how perfect these conditions were for a terrorist attack. As I fought my way through this crowd I was not happy, and suspect that very few people were.

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Six Month Pandemic Interlude

Six Month Pandemic Interlude

It has been exactly six months since David and I retreated to the cabin. When we left:

  • koalas were just emerging from the devastated ashes of the Australian outback, their arms extended to anyone who might help them.
  • Fracas, dog of my heart, who was still adjusting to the loss of his left eye, had become slow and uncertain, his joy no longer the palpable force it had been for the previous thirteen years
  • one of my dearest friends, Susan, was moving from the hospital back into the home she loved and shared with her husband.

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Interview with Book Bistro Podcast

Interview with Book Bistro Podcast

I sat down with Shannon and Brooke of Book Bistro Podcast (my first podcast ever!) to discuss Emergence.

Click here to listen to the episode on Anchor.fm, or stream the episode on Apple Podcasts, Breaker FM, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more!

Book Bistro Podcast is a group of passionate readers who love nothing more than sharing our bookish enthusiasm with the world. Join us as we discuss the books, authors, and genres we love.

Interview with Lisa Haselton

Interview with Lisa Haselton

Welcome, Ellie. Please tell us a little bit about yourself:
I grew up in a typical Jewish, suburban household in Baltimore, Maryland. As an active participant in the cultural revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s (read: hippie-chick,) I cultivated my long-standing dislike of the culture in which I’d been raised, and ran away to the hippie haven Canada was then perceived to be. I loved it then, and have loved it ever since.

Professionally, I spent the majority of my professional career as a management consultant in Ottawa, Ontario. Plain language writing, which I’d started to cultivate in university as a rejection of the academic language with which I’d been very successful but found pretentious, was one of my specialities. So finding a “human voice” in writing, which I think is a key factor in the character of Emergence, has been a constant throughout my adult life.

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