Author Interview with Cendrine Marrouat & David Ellis
1) Hi! Let me start off with the basics. What are your Author names; use your Pen names if you have them.
Cendrine Marrouat & David Ellis.
2) What is your genre and what drew you to it?
Cendrine Marrouat: I am a multi-genre author. I write poetry, short stories, and flash fiction, including my own genre called the Flashku. I just love challenging myself! I believe that getting out of your comfort zone is the most important creativity booster in the world.
David Ellis: I am also a multi-genre author. My primary focus is found poetry, specializing in romantic and inspirational genres, along with writing humour as well. I am drawn to these genres because of how they stir me emotionally when I write them and more importantly, how they are all extremely positive, feel-good emotional vibes that improve the quality of our lives!
3) What inspired you to become a writer?
Cendrine Marrouat: My first poems were born from a desire to express bottled-up emotions that needed out. But I quickly decided that it would be more rewarding to try and inspire the world rather than contributing to its negativity.
David Ellis: When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure fantasy books and I even made my own hand crafted attempt at one. In my twenties, I wrote a ton of spoof song lyrics (Weird Al Yankovic was a very big influence on me), which ended up becoming subconscious practice for poetry later in life, as people often said my lyrics were poetry without music. I have always been fascinated by language and literature, so I guess I must have been born a writer. However, I only ever really felt like I came into my own particular style later in life when I realized that it was my true calling and what satisfies the longing in my soul.
4) What is the hardest challenge in being a writer?
Cendrine Marrouat: I would say that it is the isolation that one may feel at times. Being a writer (or artist in general) can be a very lonely pursuit. Non-writers rarely understand that.
David Ellis: I would agree with Cendrine and would also add that there are a lot of things that are going to get in your way, slow you down or try to prevent you from expressing your creativity in life. This can be exhausting and cause many people to quit, especially when they struggle to make a living from it. One of the ways you can overcome this is to write with passion and an audience in mind to at least give yourself a chance of being considered commercially in the future.
If on the other hand all you ever want to do is write/create only for yourself, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You just have to accept that your audience and reach will be limited but at the very least you are doing what you have always wanted to do, which I think is the most important thing in life.
5) What is the most important bit of information you would want to tell a person interested in publishing a book?
Cendrine Marrouat: If you want to publish a book, do it. But do it well. Take the time to educate yourself, ask questions, and most importantly, don’t cut corners.
However, a warning. If you think that writing and publishing a book is hard, wait until you have to market it. That’s when the real challenge starts.
David Ellis: If you definitely want to publish a book, then make sure you have a strong core/foundation for the project including a beginning, middle, end, index, bio, etc. You should plan it meticulously, read up on the subject, make sure that your work has been edited/proofread properly, that you have a decent title in mind and beautiful artwork available for the cover, whether you design it yourself or pay for a professional cover to be made.
The actual process of publishing is not as daunting as you may think (especially when you use template tools provided by Amazon or D2D for example) but you must be prepared to market yourself a lot, otherwise you will publish and will not see any sales at all. As Cendrine mentions, the hardest part starts after you have published the book, welcome to the wonderful world of marketing yourself!
6) Pick five books that are must-reads in your mind.
Cendrine Marrouat: The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran), The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Jesus the Son of Man (Kahlil Gibran), and Jonathan Livingstone Seagull (Richard Bach).
David Ellis: The Complete Poetic Works of Edagar Allan Poe, anything by Terry Pratchett but especially the Discworld novels, anything by Neil Gaiman but especially The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Artemis Fowl series and The Princess Bride (the book is perfect, the film even more so, which is unusual for a book!)
7) What is your preferred method of reading a book? (Audio, paperback, hardcover, or eBook)
Cendrine Marrouat: I have always preferred print books. When it comes to written works, I especially enjoy paperbacks. But for visual art, nothing beats hardcovers.
With that said, print books have become very expensive. So, I often end up borrowing ebooks from my local library. This is great because authors get paid for loans as well.
David Ellis: I myself prefer print books over ebooks to give my eyes a rest from constant screen work on the computer. I enjoy the feel of a book in my hands. However, I would say that I am very enamoured with audiobooks that are well narrated and expressed/performed beautifully , particularly if they are read by an author who you know has a distinct writing style. To me, audiobooks create an additional dimension and are a much more relaxing way to digest a book, since it is going in through your ears and not your eyes, the experience is completely different. It’s like music to your ears but with the added bonus of being able to use your imagination at the same time as well.
8) If you had to write in any other genre, what would that be and why?
Cendrine Marrouat: I already do. I am an artist and multi-genre author. I have (co-)created six poetry forms and a form of mini-flash fiction called the Flashku. You can read about them all here: https://creativeramblings.com/forms/. I believe that creativity cannot last if you do not challenge yourself regularly. One of the leading causes of writer’s block is the fear of getting out of your comfort zone.
David Ellis: I think that I would be keen to learn how to write movie screenplays and video game scripts due to their unique storytelling mediums. I am already a huge movie buff and I would very much like to give back to the communities that have entertained me so much in my free time!
9) What is one book that is currently on your To-Be-Read list?
Cendrine Marrouat: There are so many books on my TBR list! But one I look forward to reading is The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars by Daniel Beer. I am a history buff.
David Ellis: Likewise, I have so many that I want to read, it really is endless! My brother bought me a paperback copy of Be Water, My Friend: The True Teachings of Bruce Lee for my birthday last year, so I really want to read that very soon before I hit my next birthday!
10) What is your best book memory?
Cendrine Marrouat: I do not remember not reading. I grew up in a family of book lovers. My parents had a huge library of science and history books and magazines, as well as the entire Encyclopedia Universalis collection.
One of my best memories was when they gifted me my first book about space. The images were so beautiful! I could not stop touching the paper and wondering if the Earth was the only inhabited planet in the universe. I think I was 6 or 7.
David Ellis: I think my best book memories began with comic books. As a child, I liked to collect stamps and coins, which then moved on to a passion for comic book collecting. I would do this by visiting “boot sales” and fairs where the public were selling them, along with other goods. I would mostly buy Judge Dredd and Spiderman. I found the stories to be completely unique and fascinating, especially the way that they were forced to deal with their everyday problems that seemed very real and relatable, despite them being set in fantastical worlds. I think what also drew mein to reading comic books was their parallel visual storyboarding nature to films.
I would get caught up in the action and excitement, while learning important life lessons from the situations that took place on the page. I also think that they are an excellent way to get people to read longer works by encouraging them to read comic books, since they serve as a gentle introduction to getting used to reading and then gravitating on to full novels afterwards.
11) What time of day do you prefer to read?
Cendrine Marrouat: I find evenings to be perfect for creativity and relaxation. I read at least an hour before going to bed every night.
David Ellis: I would definitely say late evening for me. With my regular day job, along with chores, marketing and other distractions, reading is an important priority in my life but can usually only be slotted in at the very end of the day. I have a night owl personality, so reading very late at night does not bother me and will give me a peaceful sleep knowing that I am enriching my brain before bed! :)
12) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.
Cendrine Marrouat: Our latest book is titled A Particle of You: Love Poetry. This collection of poems explores how love can fundamentally shape and change you, how it can feed your innermost muses/desires, and ultimately how it can define you as a person, if you fully embrace it.
David Ellis: Since Cendrine has drawn attention to our latest book release, I would also like to highlight another release where we collaborated together. Rhythm Flourishing is a collection of Kindku and Sixku poems that are inspirational in nature and are jam packed full of positivity/upliftment. Cendrine & I invented the Kindku, while she invented the Sixku. Both have their roots in haiku poetry, Sixku has a visual element and Kindku is inspired by found poetry. The book is very unique and we think you will love its outlook and themes.
We also have a variety of other new writing forms that we have created, the details of which can be found here:
Link: An Introduction to the Flashku, Hemingku, Kindku, Pareiku, Sepigram, Sixku, and Vardhaku
13) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?
Cendrine Marrouat: https://creativeramblings.com
David Ellis: https://toofulltowrite.com
Auroras & Blossoms: https://abpositiveart.com
14) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/haiku_shack Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/haikushack YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/cendrinemarrouat