Author on the Couch: Rayn Ellis


This week’s Author on the Couch is…

Rayn Ellis

 

*GIVEAWAY* Rayn is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one person who tells her their favorite love song of all time.

 

Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.

Rayn: I had been “writing” as a CPA in the corporate world for years (think accounting briefs, which are like legal briefs but without lawyers), but writing fiction never, ever, ever crossed my mind. Then I signed up for the 3-day Novel Contest, which is like a mini-NaNoWriMo over Labour Day weekend—just for fun, a personal dare. By the time that weekend was done, I was hooked, hooked, hooked! And what I wrote that weekend became the basis for my 2016 Golden Heart© Finalist novel, Soul Song. That one weekend changed the entire direction of my life.

Enter to win a $25 #Amazon Gift Card from #AuthorontheCouch @Rayn_Ellis Click To Tweet

Me: What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?

Rayn: Curiosity. I love the mystery of where a story comes from, how it twists and turns and forms into something a writer can express, and ultimately, birth into the world. I can sit at the computer or pick up a pen, and just see what happens.

 

Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?

Rayn: I love words. That might not make sense because you would think that a writer should love words, but I love them to obsession. So I fuss and pause and wait and change this or change that to get the perfect cadence on the page. All that makes me a really, really slow writer.

 

Me: What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?

Rayn: I finalled in the 2016 Golden Heart with my very first novel, Soul Song. I had the announcement day off from my day job. Not expecting to final at all, I turned off my phone the night before, planning a long, lazy sleep-in the next day. So I rolled out of bed around 10 am and my intuition was yelling at me to check my phone. I had 3 voicemails from the RWA with “news about my entry.” I was shaking so bad that it took me another 20 minutes to call them back and when they told me I had finalled, I burst into tears because it was my birthday that day. That was one amazing birthday present!

 

Me: What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened? How did you get over it?

Rayn: I had a very bad case of what I call “GH Finalist hangover.” After my big GH Final and the 2016 RWA conference, my inner critic now had a new phrase to terrorize me with “That isn’t GH worthy, is it?” Every time I sat at my computer, I froze. I couldn’t get anything on the page. And my dream of being a published author, well, wobbled. I didn’t write for a few months, and then I found this Neil Gaiman quote, “A writer has to convince themselves that their first draft doesn’t matter.” That quote, and a lot of heart-to-hearts with my Writing BFF, put it all into perspective: I write because I am a writer, a lover of story. And writer’s write. So I sat my butt in the chair and wrote, no matter what my inner critic said, and finished the first draft of my second novel, Starlight.

I write because I am a writer, a lover of story. @Rayn_Ellis #AmWriting #AuthorontheCouch Click To Tweet

 

Me: Which of your characters are you most like? Why?

Rayn: Every writer will tell you that they’re a little bit like all their characters. And I would have to agree. But what I find really fascinating is when I have written a character who I think I have nothing in common with and then months later I will catch myself and think, “OMG, that is what JB would have said” or “That is what Lauren would have done.” And then I wonder what came first: me influencing the character or the character influencing me?

I wonder what came first:me influencing the character or the character influencing me? @Rayn_Ellis… Click To Tweet

Me: What’s your writer’s mantra? Why does that mantra speak to you?

Rayn: I didn’t have a writer’s mantra until very recently. I was in a Yes to Success seminar with Success Guru, Debra Poneman, when she said, “Rejection is God’s protection.” I nearly hit the floor. It was a complete mind flip for me on how to feel about pass letters. Now it’s all about Divine Timing for me—no longer “if I’ll publish,” but “when I publish.”

“Rejection is God’s protection.”-->Debra Poneman @Rayn_Ellis #AmWriting #AuthorontheCouch Click To Tweet

Me: What do you collect? Why? What personal meaning does this item have for you?

Rayn: Mood rings. I absolutely adore them, have since I was a kid. I’ve got them in all shapes and sizes. They remind me of magic and the power of being playful in my life. And my inner child loves it when I’m in some high-flying, corporate meeting and a colleague gets this odd look on his or her face trying to figure out what the heck is up with my jewelry.

 

Me: Tell me about your Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Women’s Fiction novel Soul Song.

Rayn: 

After ex-Stepford wife Lauren Waittes lands the receptionist position at Holt’s Music Inc., she can finally start rebuilding her shattered life, away from the FBI, her fugitive ex-husband and his Bernie Madoff-esque scandal. Once the infamous darling of Seattle’s front page news, she just wants to put it all behind her for a life that is safe, secure, and, most of all, anonymous.  A solid and stable plan…

That takes a sexy left turn when she meets Joel Sherin, the best Blues guitarist in the biz, and the brainchild behind SMASHRecords, Seattle’s hottest new independent label. Music revves Joel’s engine, but it’s women that provide the fuel. And he likes them hot, fast, and temporary. Until he locks lips with hesitant, conservative Lauren.

Recruited to help on SMASH’s inaugural tour, the sultry power of the Blues heals Lauren’s broken spirit. And the sizzling passion of uber-talented Joel unlocks her soul. That is, until her connection to the multi-million dollar fraud is revealed in some no name, backwater town. Will Joel believe in Lauren’s innocence? Or will he turn his back and run?

 

Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your newest release. Why do you love this paragraph? What makes it special to you?

Rayn: 

I love these paragraphs because for me they capture the power of music to soothe us, to bring us peace on the days when we need it most.

Down-home soul laced Jimmy B’s silky baritone so much so that Lauren swore she sat south of the Mason-Dixon. Settling deeper into her chair, she sipped her wine. She’d heard the Blues before but not like this—stripped bare—only the voice, the words, the guitar. The gritty, grinding Electric Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan, this was not. This was the Acoustic Blues—soft, clean, pure.

“—My life just ain’t worth living, not since you let me go.”

Halfway through the song, Lauren’s tension melted. She took a deep breath and then another, inhaling the sweetness of the nearby magnolias, heady in the warm evening air. And the longer she listened to the music, the more the icy cage around her softened. David’s betrayal, his disappearance—all the drama falling away.

“—Until you find your way back home, the Blues is all I know.”

 


 

You can find Rayn here:

Website: http://www.raynellis.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rayn_Ellis

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/raynellisauthor/

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43 comments to “Author on the Couch: Rayn Ellis”

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  1. Samantha Martin - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    Garth Brooks is by far still my fav singer and my fav song is : Till you turn back to me again

  2. Eileen Boyce - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    Color My World by Chicago!!!

  3. Eileen Boyce - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    Color My World by Chicago.

  4. Shelby Terwell - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    Picking one song is so hard, but I’m gonna go with Angels Fall by Breaking Benjamin!

  5. Juanita May - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    Wow, just one? Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd if I had to pick just one.

  6. Patricia Green - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    I don’t have a favorite song. My daughters argue with me all the time because they don’t believe I can’t have favorites. There are just too many things to enjoy in this world. I don’t have a favorite anything. I like more than one song, more than one color, animal, flower, etc. If I have to pick one song, I guess I would pick Keeper of the Stars because it was one of our wedding songs. I do love that song.

  7. christine weary - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    Hi Amanda Whitely my favorite song is believe from cher

  8. Julie Terry - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    My favorite song of all time is You give love a bad name by Bon Jovi. The reason Why? because when my oldest daughter was around 3 years old she started to sing it and it was the sweetest thing ever. She still to this day (she is 12 now) loves that song and sings it all the time.

  9. amanda whitley - Oct 25, 2017 Reply

    my wedding song is my favorite song of all time.. god blessed the broken road by rascal flats, close second is somebody to love by queen

  10. Alyson McLayne - Oct 20, 2017 Reply

    Hi Rayn! Wow—l so love the quote Rejection is God’s Protection. I believe more and more in divine timing as I get older and that really rang true with me! Favourite song? I’ll have to go with Sarah and say “Take Me To Church” as well as “Hallelujah”. Can’t get enough of either one.

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 20, 2017 Reply

      Hi Alyson! Another of my super talented 2016 GH sisters! We had so much fun on that plane ride to 2016 RWA. I still giggle when I think about it! Oh yeah, I’ve always believed in Divine Timing, and never needed to as much as I do now that I am writing.

      Hallelujah..Cohen is such a poet. And I have to say, if you have never heard it Jon Bon Jovi’s version is actually quite kick ass! It’s on my Twitter feed today, just for you!

      Hugs and much love to you on the recent release of Highland Promise, your debut Scottish Highlander Romance! Hugs Hugs Hugs!

  11. Heather Gnau - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    My favorite song is Mirrors by Justin Timberlake my bf and I haf been dating long distance for a long time (I moved in this summer) but I heard that song and something clicked in me that this was the man I was going to spend forever with. That was 2 years ago we’ll be together 4 years christmas.

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Oh Heather! What an awesome song choice! JT is the man, right? His songs always have the most amazing groove. And isn’t is amazing how much music defines those profound and special moments in our lives? Even the small moments that turn into the big moments? Have a beautiful and honey-snuggling night with your bf! Thanks a bunch for popping in to share with us tonight. And congrats on your HEA!

  12. Darlene Carroll - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    Like books… There are so many love songs to choose from that all capture ones heart. do I go with the sing my hubby and I choose for our wedding – Unchained Melody – Everly Brothers or my current favourite because it encapsulates love – Perfect by Ed Sheeran. both are spectacular songs with depth and meaning. So hard too choose!

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Darlene, Unchained Melody – another true classic – that’s a hard one to beat. But Ed Sheeran….Oh yeah…I love this line from that song: “I never knew you were the someone waiting for me.” Love kind of sneaks up on us sometimes like that, hey? Both choices are going on my Love Song playlist! So glad you stopped by and shared your faves with us!

  13. Paula Millhouse - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    That message that rejection is God’s protection really moved me. Best of luck with your writing!
    My favorite song is My Sweet Lord by George Harrison.

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Paula, I’m so glad you liked the mantra. I had the same reaction the first time I heard it. And OH! Your song choice is a true classic and I get goose bumps every time I hear it. Harrison was such a true heart. Thanks so much for the good wishes, right back at you! Have a truly beautiful evening wherever you are!

  14. Paula Millhouse - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    That message that rejection is God’s protection really moved me. Best of luck with your writing!

  15. Gabrielle - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    I’m so happy that you’ve killed off that hangover and you’re back writing your beautiful stories–and I’m with you on the power of music to soothe. My favorite love song, the one that grabs at my throat, is The Way We Were. But for less angsty songs, it’s Elvis’s The Next Step Is Love. Pure romantic cheese backed up by a great rhythm section, horns and strings. There’s something about those 70s arrangements that gets me every time. I also can’t get enough of the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack, especially when I think of Hawkeye telling Cora “Stay alive! I *will* find you!” ::swoon::

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Gabi! So great of you to stop in! I knew you’d have some awesome tune choices. And no surprise that you have a thing for 70s love songs. 🙂 And Barbara? Isn’t she just amazing! I can listen to her sing ANYTHING! But you are right, this is a brilliant song. And you know what? I have never heard that Elvis song. Seriously!

      …And for those of you that might not know, Gabi was the Contemporary category GH winner in my 2016 GH year, and she deserved that win, speaking of beautiful stories!

      Hugs, honey…have a lovely day in Aus!

  16. Lori Byrd - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    The first time ever I saw your face is my favorite love song.

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Lori! Oh such a great song choice! That was one of my very favorite songs growing up. It just gets me right in the heart. Oh I can’t wait to add that to my love song playlist! Have a blessed night wherever you are, and thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. Hugs!

  17. Melonie - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    Hey fellow Mermaid! Oh my gosh, you are so right about the “GH hangover” – but you are also right that rejection is a stepping stone – each one part of the process (a sometimes painful process, to be sure!) – changing “if” to “when” is a great mindset!

    Wow – pick my most favorite song? That’s a really really tough thing to do, there are so many I love, so many that hold special meaning…hm…a song that always (almost always) puts me in a better mood is Groove Is In the Heart by Deee-lite. And just about anything by Jack Johnson will have me ready to relax and chill out, when my oldest daughter was a baby, sometimes the only way too get her to calm down during the “witching hour” (around 5/6pm when she’d get super fussy) was to dance with her on my shoulder in the kitchen to Jack Johnson. Songs like Bubble Toes, Flake, and Fortunate Fool.

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hey Hey Mermaid sister Melonie! Great to have you here with us! Groove is in the Heart is SUCH an awesome tune! It will get me up dancing every single time. “Sing it baby” Great choice! And I have so many friends who have told me the same thing about their little ones and Jack Johnson. He’s like a baby whisperer! Have a truly awesome night!

  18. Amy DeLuca - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    Great interview!! And I LOVE your mantra Rayn. I do believe that, hard as it is in the moment. Congratulations on your awesome GH final and best of luck with your new book!

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Amy! Glad you liked the mantra…me too! I agree that it can be heard to believe that sometimes, but the words really do help, as we know. :):) And thanks for the good wishes! Have a wonderful, wonderful evening!

  19. Jenny - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    Yes! There is finally a name for this directionless spiral: “GH Finalist Hangover”. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this; it helps to know I’m not the only one.

    Favorite love song: For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her by Simon & Garfunkle. He sings about a mystical dream of a lovely woman, and when he wakes up, she’s laying there next to him in bed, his real life love. Le sigh…

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Wow! I thought I was the only one that had a GH Hangover. We need to start a support group! LOL!

      OMG! That song! I have the most amazing memories of a lovely Frat Boy in Boston, and that being our song. Thanks so much for reminding me of it! **swoons**

      So great that you stopped by to say hi! And for reminding me of that lovely song…which I am going to go download again right NOW!

  20. Shelly Chalmers - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    Hi Rayn! Great post. I love your quote that “Rejection is God’s protection” because yes, some opportunities, no matter how much we think we want them, really aren’t us – but fortunately the universe knows that for us. 🙂 And GH hangover? SUPER common, but your entry made it, and it deserved to be. Love the exerpt you shared, and wishing you all the best in your career. I’ve counted myself so fortunate to have met you at the 2016 conference, and you deserve all the good the world has in-store for you.

    Favorite song? “Mad World” by Gary Jules. Kind of depressing? Yes, but I love the sound of it. For getting upbeat, “Elevation” by U2. And I know, you asked for 1 favorite – guess I don’t follow rules well. 😉

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      ***Waves** Hi Shelly! So great to have you stop by! I too am truly blessed to have met you at 2016 Nationals. I’ll never forget the awesome convo we had by the train tracks! You taught me so much about perseverance that day. Something every writer needs.

      Oh, and your song choice…so melodic and melancholy but I absolutely adore it! It’s one of my faves too. And don’t worry about providing more than one awesome song, I love those that color outside the lines. :):) Hugs for an awesome night!

  21. TRACEY AMEY - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    I love what you shared from the “Yes to success” seminar! It’s so hard to trust to the “powers that be” and keep on your journey. Here’s to believing to Divine timing!

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Oh my darling writing soul sister! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi today! You know were so instrumental in getting me through that rough patch, right? Love you to bits! So….favorite love song?? Come on, share! Smooches!

  22. Sarah - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    One of my favorite songs is Take Me to Church by Hozier

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Sarah, Hozier…They are a “new to me” band. I will defo have to check them out! I love getting recommendations of new music to try on. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your music faves!

  23. Latifa Morrisette - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    It’s hard to pick my favorite song because I have so many but I would say Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Oh I do love a little Taylor myself. I sure like the video for Look What You Made Me Do! Thanks for stopping in and have a terrific day!

  24. bn100 - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    not sure

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      It can be hard to pick a favorite, right?? There are so many great love songs out there…If you think of one later, make sure to come back and share with us. ‘kay?? Have a super awesome day!

  25. Judy Wagner - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    I’m not normally a fan of country music but this story has me intrigued and rethinking my music choices!

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Judy, so glad to hear you are intrigued! And there is nothing better than finding a new musical genre to sink your teeth into! Thanks for coming and joining in the chat! Do you have a favorite love song you can share with us? I’m going to build a playlist of all the titles everyone on the chat gives me today. :):)

  26. Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    Thanks Abbie for inviting me onto the Couch today! What a great way to start a lovely day!

  27. Reese - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

    I’ll probably think of 100 different options to answer this as soon as I hit send, but right now, the one song that burst into my mind when I read the question? Come What May, from the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack.
    So lovely and powerful.

    • Rayn Ellis - Oct 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Reese! That is a fabulous choice of love song!! “…like I’ve never seen the sky before…” Love those lyrics… I am so adding this to my weekend movie list! Haven’t watched it in a while…great love story. Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!

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