Oct 1, 2014

Follow Me Through This Takeover with Danielle Ellison

We interrupt this normally scheduled Banana-rambling for some fun shenanigans with Danielle Ellison, my friend and author of the upcoming book, FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS. So, without any further adieu, take it away, Danielle!

In exactly 21 days FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS releases.  This is a big deal for me, because this book has been such a huge part of my adult life. To celebrate my release, I am taking over fantastic book blogs twice a week to sharing stories and goodies!  I'm really honored that Hannah let me start with hers! 

Since this is the beginning of the takeover, I want to share my beginning with Neely (my MC) & FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS. Let me set the stage. 

In August 2010, and I lived in the Boston-area and worked as nanny and barista in the Borders cafe. At that time, I had written one book. It was my first attempt; I was almost done with revisions, and I would later learn that you are never "done" with revisions that easily. That book now lives in a closet, but I learned so much from writing number one. This is where all writers start: with a learning book.

Anyway I was working in the cafĂ©, and I was unloading the shipment that came in. I remember that I was off at three and the shipment came at 2:45. Right in the middle of a rush. I was in the back putting the food away because it was frozen, and I was frantic because I knew that my coworker was out there by herself. And I wanted to go home.  I looked up at the clock, and I heard this voice in my head that said "There's never enough time. It signals the end of everything." 

From that moment I was hooked.

When I clocked out I sat in the back room writing as more words came to my head. I wrote on napkins and paper towels and scrap pieces of the paper that were sitting around in the break room. That single line soon became a paragraph and later became what pages. My coworker Marianna came in to the room, and asked what I was doing. She was a writer as well, screenwriter, and I told her it was a story idea then I said, "Let me to read it to you." Her reaction to that scene I read and the questions she asked about it solidified my desire to figure out what the heck the story was about and write it. 

I would spend the next two years writing and rewriting that book before my friend came into the picture. A friend who said a simple sentence that completely change the structure of whole book for me -- and then I would spend more time rewriting it again. And again. The book would go through two titles and eight complete rewrites before it sold -- and then it would go through copious amounts of revisions before it was deemed finished. 

There would be a lot of disappointment along the way. A lot of doubt along the way. A lot of rejection. A lot of, "I love it! The writing is great! But…" from agents. A lot of watching other people get the thing that I dreamed of. But then one day, it would be my day. It would be Neely's day to share her story. 

That happens in 21 days. 

Why am I telling you all this? 

Because every book has a story behind the story. Every person who gets where they want to be goes through a journey. 

I'm sure there are people reading this who feel some of the things I said above -- it's part of the process, part of getting to the goal you want, whatever it is.  Even though I started "trying" to write a book for real in 2009, there's a whole journey to get to that point. I won't recap all of that, but I do want to talk about my journey with FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS and Neely and countdown the days until you get to experience her journey. 

This whole post was my first experience with her. It was the beginning, at least for me, of realizing why I wanted to write books, how hard and rewarding it could be, and what a story could mean to its author, to its readers, and hopefully to you in 21 days. 

This is the beginning to a story that ends in a celebration! 

To join in the celebration, please do one (or all) of these things:


PreOrder A Copy: Amazon | B&N | Your Local Indie | One More Page

Giveaway: Leave a comment here with your email or twitter handle to be entered to win an ARC of STITCHING SNOW by R.C. Lewis.  US only -- and it ends on October 2 at 11:59 PM EST

*tweet about the book (& check out giveaways and other posts) at #followmeSHP 

The truth won't always set you free.

Less than a year ago, Neely Ambrose’s biggest worry was having the freedom to follow a path that wasn't chosen for her.

Less than a year ago, she believed she could trust the Elders who said they had everyone’s best interest at heart and who said they were keeping them safe from the outside.

Sixty days ago, she discovered what they had planned for everyone she loved—and that all of it centered around her.
Now she’s on the run through a dangerous wasteland full of killing machines, secret organizations, and people who want to sell her back to the Elders for their own safety. The whole world outside the Compound is living proof that everything in Neely’s life was a lie manufactured by the Elders, which may even include the boy she loves.

All Neely wants is the truth, but each new piece of it drives her further from what she thought she knew. With only forty days until everyone she loves falls under the Elders’ mind control, Neely must decipher who to trust, what questions to ask, and how to get one step ahead of the Elders, who will do anything to keep their secrets buried.

About Danielle Ellison:
Danielle Ellison spent of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It's probably the reason she can't divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It's also probably the reason she's had so many different zip codes and jobs.

When she’s not writing, Danielle is usually drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. Danielle is also the author of SALT and STORM, a series about a snarky witch without magic. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites. 


  1. Such a great giveaway! My twitter handle is sajdao


    Wishing you the best release day in the history of release days and much success with FMTD:)


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