WELCOME ELLA DURHAM
Ella Durham was born and raised in Sunderland, England and following a long career in the UK’s Department of Works and Pensions, she moved to Spain and worked for three years in an abused animal sanctuary in the Costa del Sol, caring for over 125 cats and kittens. Now retired, she resides in a small Spanish village in the Malaga province of Andalucia with her husband. Durham’s passion for creative writing started when she was just eight years old and since retiring, she has won a fiction writing competition, something which spurred her on to finally concentrate on her writing; she’s already working on her next murder-mystery novel, this time setting the action in Spain. Durham is the resident short story writer for two Spanish magazines.
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Q&A with Ella Durham
-Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Most of my writing comes from personal experiences, memories from my past or just pure imagination but sometimes they are my own interpretation of other people’s experiences where I question, what could have brought that about or what if that happened to me?-Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I begin by deciding on what the message or theme of the story shall be. For example a good moral tale, a funny twist in the tale, a heart-warming feeling, something strange to get the reader thinking or a shock! I like to sketch out the bare bones of the story and then build it up, so that it works towards a natural ending or conclusion. I find creating the characters first helps me to define what the interaction between them shall be and how they will end up as ‘goodies’ or baddies’! Sounds complicated but it isn’t really.-Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
My ideas and story’s development usually come to me at night, while I’m in bed. That’s when my mind whirrs and I often feel like jumping up to the computer to scribble it all down but instead I rely on a shorthand notebook in my bedside cabinet. I like to write every day if possible, usually in the early afternoons. Sometimes I can hit the keys for four or five hours without realising the time ticking away, then other days I can only manage half an hour. It all depends on my mood and energy levels. I like to have a coffee at my elbow mid afternoon, and if I’m being really naughty, a cold Fino sherry to sip at once the sun has gone down beyond the yard-arm.-Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
Writing is my passionate hobby and an outlet for my vivid imagination (my husband says.) Otherwise, I love cooking. I spend huge amounts of time poring over cookery books and trying out different recipes from all over the world. I make my own bread, naans, pittas breads, crumpets, tarts and pastries as well as jam, marmalades, chutneys and fruit curds. Each year I also marinate and produce batches of green and black olives which my Spanish neighbours kindly give me freshly harvested from their groves. Delicious! I also enjoy walking with my husband and our two rescued dogs. Swimming in our pool during the hot weather keeps me cool and of course I love reading and watching TV. I also thoroughly enjoy our village’s colourful fiestas which bring out the spirit of the Spanish way of life here.-Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favourite authors are
Harlen Coben, Mary Higgins Clark, Alex Barclay, Linwood Barclay and Jane Austin.-What are you reading now?
I am reading, ‘Caught’ by Harlen Coben
-Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
Yes, I am working on my next novel. Another murder mystery, this time set in Spain under the working title of “No Sleep Till Dawn”. With the same lead character as Ebony Blood, this time Greg Williams now reconciled with his family, takes his family to Spain for a fresh start and bumps into an old flame. Her wild step daughter, Donna, hangs around with a bad crowd and the step mother is unable to tame her. Donna disappears during the town’s annual Feria and because he is fluent in Spanish and the Spanish police have little to go on, Greg is asked to help in the search for her. When a girl’s body is discovered , it is up to Greg to break the devastating news to her parents and reveal the even more shocking news that he knows who the murderer is.
-Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
If Ebony Blood was a movie, I would cast
Brad Pitt as Greg Williams
Jennifer Anniston as his wife, Trish.
John Altman as Tony
Kevin Whately as DI. Willard
Larry Lamb as Ramsay
-Would you rather read or watch TV/movie?
The Spanish dish, Baked Sea Bream and Poor Man’s potatoes
I love a cold, dry Fino sherry
ABOUT THE BOOK
Murder in the Scottish Borders throws a brothers’ ill-fated fishing trip off course and their own dark secrets risk being exposed.
“Fishing for the truth can be murder.”
With their personal lives in tatters, and in a last-ditch attempt to salvage the brotherly bond they once shared, Greg and Tony Williams embark upon a fishing trip to the Scottish Borders. No sooner than they arrive, the brothers learn that the police are investigating a gruesome murder and are on the hunt for a fugitive. The news further fuels Tony’s agitated behaviour, intensifying the brothers’ volatile relationship. The pair begin to argue uncontrollably and, ignoring a local’s advice to avoid the notorious stretch of river known as Ebony Blood, they set off into the unknown. Then Tony reels in a headless corpse from the murky waters; shortly afterwards he disappears.
As the body count in this quiet Scottish town starts to rise, the police target Tony as a potential suspect and an official search is launched in order to track him down. Desperate to find his brother before the police do and to prove his innocence, Greg takes up an offer of help from Marie Frazer, a local barmaid, but quickly becomes suspicious of her actions. Following a confrontation, Marie confesses to having known Tony previously and reveals the secrets that threaten to shatter their relationship forever. With Tony still nowhere to be seen, it will fall to Greg to solve the mysterious chain of events himself, whilst struggling to come to terms with the truth of Tony’s double-life, a horror all of its own which is unraveling before him. Greg must enter a dark world of murder, drug crimes and revenge, and face his own personal demons in order to save his brother, that is, if he still wants to.
Ebony Blood is the debut novel from Ella Durham and explores the poisonous effect of hidden jealousies, deep resentments and envy within family relationships. The book looks at how, through adversity and trial, the brothers are able to learn about themselves and move forward. Set in the town of Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders, where she spent a week’s vacation in 1989, Ella Durham draws on her personal memories to craft a bleak and unsettling thriller about the power of secrets.
Genre: murder mystery
Ebook published by Ant Press
Paperback published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: August 4, 2013
Number of Pages: Ebook 225 pages, paperback 250
ASIN (for ebook): B00EB1LVK2
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