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Tonya Duncan Ellis

Author of Sophie Washington: Secret Santa

Tonya, what inspired your book?

The main character in my book is based on my daughter and her little brother, Cole, is based on my two sons. My three children participated in spelling bees growing up, and the first book in my series, Sophie Washington: Queen of the Bee was inspired by my experiences coaching them in the competitions and being a spelling bee judge.

What one thing are you trying to convey in your story?

I’m trying to convey the true Christmas spirit of giving, love and acceptance, and show holiday fun.


What is your writing process?

Writers are either plotters, who put together a detail outline, or “pantsers”, who write off the cuff, or from the seat of their pants. I’m a combination, or “plantser.” I usually make a loose outline, but I don’t always know how a story will end when I start it.


What was the most surprising thing you learned in the process of writing your book?

I was surprised and happy about how many children connected with my characters. It’s exciting  to get letters from readers and see them dressing as Sophie Washington at school, book character days.


What is your favorite part of the book?

My favorite part of Sophie Washington: Secret Santa is when she finds out who her Santa is and they meet up after the big reveal.

What was the biggest obstacle to overcome in writing your book?

Making sure that I sit down and focus and get my daily word count goals in is the biggest obstacle in any of my writing projects. I overcome this by blocking off time early each day to write to make sure I finish my projects.

Any lasting thoughts to your readers.

If you’re interested in writing, read daily, write daily, and use your authentic voice to tell your stories. Reach for the stars!

Where can you purchase Tonya Duncan Ellis books or get more information?, and
Social media links:

Facebook@tonyaellisbooks; Instagram@tonyaellisbooks; Twitter@TonyaDEllis
Reach her for virtual, or in-person appearances on the contact area of her website .

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