Brandon Ellis grew up on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon in a little town known as Gladstone, where he graduated high school and moved on to college and has two great loves in his life – writing and sports.
After being declared an All State Baseball and All League Basketball player, he obtained his Therapeutic Massage License and became one of the most successful Sports Massage Therapists and teachers in the City of Portland. He’s now creating imaginative worlds of inspiration and art through his books.
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Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The PureLights of Ohm Totem. What was your inspiration for it?
A: That’s a long story, but I’ll make is short. My inspiration was an image in my mind that turned into an entire book series in a matter of seconds. I saw it all play out in my mind. I know, I know. That probably doesn’t make sense, so here goes my short version of how this book started.
It had been a long 10 hour work day. I’d just gotten home from work, dropped my keys off on the counter, then walked down the hallway toward my room. I was just entering my room, carrying my laptop, when I abruptly stopped. There, in my mind, came a single image—a tree in the darkness with snow all around. However, the snow wasn’t from clouds dropping flakes from above. It was from the tree itself, sprinkling snow from its branches and onto the ground. Then, like a movie, an entire story took place in my mind. I saw characters, action scenes, dialogue, and many other things. I quickly wrote down a synopsis of what I could remember, telling myself I’d get to it as soon as possible. When two years went by and I barely had anything, that’s when I started dreaming of the book. I saw ancient and sacred scrolls, more characters, more scenes, etc. I then wrote and wrote and wrote.
As I wrote, I had the help from a friend, one that didn’t know she was helping me. This friend of mine—a very dear and close friend—had a Near Death Experience (an NDE). That’s when someone dies, goes up a tunnel, meets angels/guides, has a conversation, then comes back down into their body. Well, she had one of the longest and most detailed accounts of an NDE ever recorded. So, with all the years I’ve known and been around her, she planted seeds in my mind full of wisdom and insights—things she learned from her NDE. I, in turn, planted those seeds in the books as well, hoping to give those same words of wisdom to the rest of the world, just as she has done throughout her life.
Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.
A: The central figure of my book is a 12 year old girl. When she discovers a portal leading into a new world, she also finds that entering that new world changes her life entirely. Not only changing it mentally and emotionally, but physically as well. All Beings who arrive there—to the world of Ohm Totem—change into their spirit animal, which is something birthed in us the moment were born. Her spirit animal is a skylark, which is one of the most beautiful song birds out there. Figuring out how to fly, why she has strange magic that helps defend her and the tribe that adopts her, and why she is able to sing extraordinary things, start happening to her and everyone around her.
Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?
A: My creative process was interesting. As you read above, I had many dreams that helped me complete this book. I felt my dreams were prodding me on, telling me that what I was writing wasn’t something silly, but something rather important that the world needs to read. At least, that’s how I interpreted it. I simply wrote down what I saw in my dreams and did my best to make an incredible book out of it. I hope I did a good enough job.
The biggest bump in my way was myself. I didn’t know if what I was writing was something absolutely absurd. From the reviews I’ve read from professional reviewers, my book is far from absurd. In fact, one professional reviewer said it was one of the best books she’d ever read.
Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?
A: Action, action, action, coupled with twists and turns. My book starts out a little slow, but by chapter 6, you’re on a fantastic ride in a world of beauty, magic, wisdom, love, and imagination.
Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?
A: I’ve heard many authors do experience this. I didn’t know I did until I was asked this question in another interview. They way I handle it? I simply write, then the jitters go away.
Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?
A: My writing schedule is “when I can.” It’s usually after the kids go to bed and when my awesome partner does her late night job, answering questions about essential oils. She’s a consultant for DoTerra Essential Oil line. Her name is Lotus Hartley, look her up and get healthy real fast! There’s a plug. Oops!
Q: How do you define success?
A: Doing what you love and in the process, lifting people up with you.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?
A: Look at deep withing yourself, because usually a partner is a mirror of you. Are you not supporting him/her in something they love? If so, then watch how things shift when you start supporting them. If that doesn’t work, then simply explain to them about your passion and ask for their support. If they still don’t give it to you, ask them why they don’t support you? Do so in a non-aggressive way. If you do that, then you’ll get a non-aggressive answer. If, still, you don’t find support with your partner, then get the book, “The Four Agreements,” by Don Ruiz. Read it. Absorb it. Use it. If you do, then you’ll learn not to ever take anything personally ever again.
Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?
A: Geeze! Not a bit. I love George Orwell, though I never knew he said that quote. For him, this was a truth. For me, it’s not. I find writing a great stress reliever and a wonderful experience.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
A: Yes, I’ll send a free e-book in kindle (mobi), epub, or pdf to the first fifty people who agree to read my book and post a review on Amazon before July 27th, 2013. Just go to www.thepurelights.com, click on CONTACT, and send me an email if you’re interested.