Behind The Pen: with "Ellen Connor" + Giveaway

I love interviews.  But I find the artists behind the stories equally intriguing, and I think they deserve as much limelight as their characters.  So here, instead of a list of questions about the story, the plot, or the characters, I ask authors the same 11 questions about themselves and hopefully get a glimpse behind the pen...

What happens when two authors get together? Why, they join forces and create an apocalyptic world that's a little "28 Days Later"... and a little "9 1/2 weeks" ,of course. Ellen Connor = Ann Aguirre & Carrie Lofty. The pseudonym is a combination of each of their ideas of a bad ass heroine; Ellen Ripley & Sarah Connor. 

The authors are launching their new Dark Age Dawning series tomorrow with the series' first book, Nightfall. The series will fishing up with Midnight, releasing Sept 6th and Daybreak Dec 6th.  If you're a sci-fi/suspense/romance fan, this series might be exactly what you've been waiting for. 

Q1: What is the last book you read?
Carrie: His Wife for One Night by Molly O’Keefe. I try to avoid historical romances when I’m in the middle of a project, so her highly emotional, really well-crafted SuperRomance was a fantastic time.

Ann:  I’m a fast reader, so I tend to glom. I read the Seer series by Linda Joy Singleton recently. The last one was MAGICIAN’S MUSE. I’ve also been reading Tiffany Clare, which means I read SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS recently as well. I’m not 100% sure who I read last. Read the former for a fun YA series. Read the latter for super-sexy historical romance.

Q2: If you were stuck on a desert island, what book would you like to have with you?
Carrie: Can I cheat and say The Complete Works of Shakespeare? Then I’d have reading material for any mood. And lots of it!

Ann:  My Kindle and a solar charger. Mwahahaha!

Q3: What is your favorite swear word?
Carrie: Fuck. Don’t tell my mama.

Ann:  Balls. I can say it front of my kids. And it makes them laugh.

Q4: What is your biggest pet-peeve?
Carrie: People who chew with their mouths open. I’m looking at you, family!

Ann:  People who don’t throw their garbage away. The world is not your trash can!

Q5: What quality do you most like in a man?
Carrie: Patience. With enough patience, he can cope with all of my crazy and he won’t mind me trying to fix his.

Ann: Sense of humor. I can tolerate almost anything so long as the guy by my side is willing to laugh with me. 

Q6: What quality do you most like in a woman?
Carrie: Guts. Women are always underestimated, even among our own gender. It takes a bold chick to burst through that ever-present wall.

Ann:  Resilience. No matter times life punches her in the face, she gets back up. She presses on. She has an indomitable attitude, and she cannot be broken. 

Q7: What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
Carrie: If I weren’t writing, I’d be teaching. I teach on occasion as an author--workshops, conferences and the like--but I know it’s a whole other beast to teach on a regular basis. I’ve always enjoyed it. Part theater. Part altruism.

Ann:  The words all make sense separately, but when you put them together, they become gibberish. Me, not writing? Does. Not. Compute. 

Q8: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Carrie: Bora Bora, with all sorts of sun-slicked cabana boys to tend my every need.

Ann:  I’m pretty happy here, actually. I love Mexico. But I want a beach house.

Q9: What inspires you?
Carrie: Music. When I was younger I played guitar, but I’m glad I never became proficient. I think it would’ve taken the mystery out of it. I know that writing, for example, has taken a great deal of mystery out of reading. As a reader, I don’t approach stories the same way now. But music is still pure for me.

Ann:  Everything. Life, people-watching, movies, music, games, dreams, my kids, my friends, my husband... I’m always taking mental notes. For instance, there’s a guy who lives in my neighborhood--at least I assume he does, because I’ve seen him four times now. He’s got a compelling, gorgeous face and golden skin; he wears long dreadlocks, and he’s sort of scruffy-handsome. He wears low-slung cargo pants and a wife-beater, showing off fantastic shoulders. Two dogs accompany him everywhere, one black, one white. No leashes, but he has complete control over them. They are docile and watchful at this side. I’m impossible curious about this man, but I’ll never talk to him. That would ruin his mystique. Instead, I’ll write a book about him, and he’ll be exactly what I want him to be. My world is pretty magical. 

Q10: If you could be one person (dead or alive) for a day who would you be?
Carrie: I’d be Latin ballroom dancer Anya Garnis. To be that talented, gorgeous, outgoing, and successful, to light up a crowd just with my dancing...that would be incredible!

Ann:  It must be pretty awesome to be Shakira. She sings; she dances. She contributes to humanitarian projects and speaks five languages. 

Q11: Mac or PC?
Carrie: PC. I’m slow to change. But if this thing crashes again, I’ll get much quicker!

Ann:  Mac. I don’t judge those who prefer PCs, unlike some of my Mac brethren, but I find it’s much more stable. I never get blue screens of death. I used to miss gaming on the PC, but since I’ve moved to Xbox 360 for my gaming needs, Mac does it all for me. 

Thank you so much to both Ms. Lofty and Ms. Aguirre for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer my questionnaire.  

And since I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day to stop by and read this post I will be rewarding you with books.  A copy of Nigthfall to be exact. Here's how the giveaway will work:

  • Your comment if your entry
  • If you follow this site your entry will count twice
  • US & CAN only 
  • Contest ends Friday June 10th at 12am (pst)
  • Winner will be announced shortly after that so be sure to come back


  1. Love it!!! I am DYING to read this one so please enter me! And of course, I am already a follower :)

  2. I can not wait to read this series. :)

    Carrie, I am not a fan of people who chew with their mouths open either - ick.

    Ann, I wonder if the guy with the dreads is half as exciting as you'll make him when you write?

    Have a wonderful day ladies.


  3. Oh I want to read this one. This is like the dynamic duo of dystopian! I cannot wait. Fabulous interview!
    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  4. I really enjoyed the interview! This book sounds good, thanks for the giveaway. Looking forward to reading this.

    GFC follower


  5. Enter me! Enter me!! ;)

    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com
    I'm a gfc/twitter follower

  6. Oh, I've been waiting for this book to come out since I heard about it.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    I'm a GFC follower

  7. I'm looking forward to this book. I haven't read any of Ms Lofty's work but I LOVE Aguirre's Sirantha Jax. I'm sure anything Ann's had a hand in writing is fabulous.
    I'm a gfc follower


  8. This book is on my wishlist. Please enter me in the giveaway.
    GFC follower

  9. I read an excerpt from the book awhile back and immediately put it on my wishlist even though I didn't know much about it. I'd love to win a copy.

    Jen at delux dot com

  10. Sounds awesome! Would love to read this one!

    I'm a follower..


  11. Here from Ann's twitter, and now a follower! Great interview, and thanks for hosting a drawing!

    alanajoli at virgilandbeatrice dot com

  12. Oh Jessica! Wonderful interview! And you know this one is soooo on my WANT list. ;) As I do enjoy reading Ann's books. And well, this one sounds amazing. Thanks for the great interview and the wonderful chance to win a copy. :)


  13. I cannot wait to get my hands on this novel! It sounds so good! :) Thanks for the giveaway.

    +1 follower

    Sara M
    sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com