Monday, January 23, 2017

Authors To Watch: Ray Ellis, author of 'Kracken'

Ray was ordained into the ministry in March of 1989 and was sworn in as a uniformed police officer in April of that same year. He began writing in the fall of 1991, although like many before him, it had been his lifelong dream to be a writer. He completed his first manuscript, a science fantasy, in late 1999, but it was his fifth book published.

His first three books published was an inspirational mystery series, Nate Richards Mysteries, which was followed by a paranormal short story called “I”. Ray drew from his almost 30 years experience working in law enforcement to create the world of his mystery thrillers and from the same three decades in ministry to integrate the principals and truths of the Christian Gospel throughout all his stories . In his career, he worked as a jail deputy in a maximum-security facility in Orange County, California before being transferred to street patrol. While working in Orange County he also served as the captain of the department’s Martial Arts stunt and demonstration team.

In June of 1997, Ray transferred to Idaho, where he continued to work as a police officer, serving in patrol, then as a sex-crime investigator, and finally as a SRO, School Resource Officer. Being a pastor and a police officer, Ray offers a unique view of the human experience, binding the two worlds to tell his stories from his own distinctive perspective.

Since releasing his first book, Ray has been selected as Top 50 Author for the state of Idaho, a Top 10 Author and the ACFW Author of the Year for the State of Idaho. He has also served as the president of the IWL: Idaho Writer’s League from 2001-2003, and as president of Idahope, a Christian Author’s Writers Group.

He is currently working on the second installment of the Dawn of Destiny Series: Shadow of the Serpent, the follow up to KRACKEN.


Author: Ray Ellis
Publisher: NCC Publishing LLC
Pages: 367
Genre: Inspirational Science Fiction

The year is 135 New Reckoning. A Godless world is rebuilding itself.

When a stranger from Mike Stone’s past appears on his doorstep, his ordinary life is suddenly and violently destroyed. Mike’s past has come back to haunt him. Now with his family attacked and his home destroyed, Mike finds himself running for his life through a jungle-planet filled with terrors and a monster known only as the Kracken.

In the midst of the chaos, Ted Waters launches his plan for domination. In a post-apocalyptic world, Waters sets himself up as the sole leader of the emerging world government. Using children as slaves, he mines a new narcotic used to subdue the people’s will.

Kracken, the story of two men, two opinions and two bases of power set on a collision path. When the two collide, Mike finds himself confronted by the God he thought he left behind.

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Tell us a little about yourself. 

I am a 50-year-old veteran of almost 30 years law enforcement service, a prior US Marine, and an ordained Christian minister. I have five books published, three mysteries, a paranormal thriller and my science fantasy thriller, KRACKEN. I’ve been married to the same woman for over 33 years, have three grown children and one grand…and being a new grandfather is by far my greatest thrill to date.

When did you begin writing? 

I began writing as a child, creating my first manuscript when in the fifth-grade. But I didn’t began writing seriously until the early 90’s.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write? 

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…I’m a pantser. Is there any other type? No, seriously. I begin with an idea: I know where the story will begin and where it will end, but the journey is what fascinates me. All along the way, I do some plotting—a strategy I began to implore as I’ve gotten older—and I find that it has enhanced my writing experience.

As far as when and where I like to write, I love writing in the early morning hours…a quiet house, a cup of coffee and nothing in front of me but time, is for me, the best. I have an office at home and use it when I need to get away from everybody, but on those quiet mornings, the kitchen table is a little bit of paradise.

Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

Yes, KRACKEN: Dawn of Destiny, is my latest release and is a science-fantasy thriller. The story deals with the unveiling and rising of the Anti-Christ and those caught up in its wake and struggling against it. The battle ensues from a small core of believers are forced to fight back for survival. The wrath of the anti-Christ is poured out, but he is not ready to reveal his true nature to the public who still sees him as its hero.

How did you get the idea for the book? 

The idea came to me as I watched former president Bill Clinton in his quest for greatness. His efforts were repeatedly defeated as he pushed for the next great thing. The more I thought about it—the idea of a man trying to create a legacy of greatness—the more the image of my antagonist, Ted Waters, coalesced. From that came the question, ‘What would it finally look like when the true anti-Christ comes on scene—I am not equating President Bill Clinton with being the anti-Christ—and how would society react to the arrival of the man-of-sin?’.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why? 

In my psychological thriller, “I” is a character that is simply identified by that personal pronoun. I like this character most of all my characters because s/he represents the reader best of all. What I mean is, this character captures what I think represents the pain, joys, and frustrations from the human creature…the human experience and then plays that back for the reader to examine. In some ways, “I” represents me best.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? 

The hardest part of writing KRACKEN: Dawn of Destiny was interweaving elements of science-fantasy with the truth of scripture. Creating a fictional planet and setting it in the real universe while not allowing any of that to conflict with what Christianity teaches.

Which authors have inspired your writing? 

As I consider the authors who have had the greatest impact on me, two names rise to the top by far. I favor C.S Lewis because of the complexity of his characters and the world settings; and I like Francine Rivers because of the real life reflections with which she endues her characters. Miss Rivers has a way of capturing the human experience in all its fragility and strength and revealing its underbelly while not becoming pornographic or gratuitous.

What projects are you currently working on? 

Currently, I am working on the second installment of the Dawn of Destiny series, Shadow of the Serpent, which find our crew of rebels still on the run and Ted Waters securing his position of power in the various seats of government on the planet. Hopefully it will be ready by late summer or early fall 2017.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors? 

Love it! You’ve got to love the writing process and beyond that believe in yourself. When you, as a writer, have a dream in your heart don’t allow the negative voices around you to snuff out your dream.

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