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JK Ellem on The Table Read

Written by JK Ellem

www.jkellem.com

The natural beauty, rolling hills and picturesque rural backdrop of Washington County, Maryland is the location of the books in the Ravenwood Series starting with Book 1 in the series, my Amazon #1 UK & US bestselling thriller, Mill Point Road.

Washington County

I was on vacation driving through the Washington County countryside and fell in love with the scenery, the landscape, and the towns. But a wrong turn led me down a back road and I was lost.  I rounded a bend trying to find my way back to the main road when I happened upon a row of exclusive houses perched high on a ridge in the distance. 

Mill Point Road, inspiration for JK Ellem on The Table Read
Mill Point Road

Immediately, my writer’s imagination kicked into gear.  I pulled over, got out of my rental car, and took a few photos of what was to become the genesis of my mystery and suspense thriller, Mill Point Road, and continuing with books two and three in the Ravenwood Series.  I wasn’t looking for any ideas for this book, it just happened. But I had nothing, just a few photos and a street sign.

Inspired by what I saw, I then spent the next few days in and around Boonsboro and Hagerstown, scouting locations, taking more photos, and making copious notes. At one point I was standing on the side of the road in a drainage ditch near Beaver Creek, taking photos, thinking to myself this would be a great location to dump a body.  I certainly got a few strange looks from passers-by.

Gated Communities

I have always been fascinated by gated communities.  There is this misconception that if we surround ourselves with high walls, security gates and surveillance cameras that we will be safe. But it can be an illusion, a false sense of being untouchable. There is a fragile divide between believing that you are far removed and insulated from the perils of crime and the outside world, and the fact that inside such communities, danger and mayhem can touch you at any moment.

Mill Point Road by JK Ellem on The Table Read

Mill Point Road is very much about a group of five women, how they interact and their view of the world from behind the walls around them. Throw in a serial killer who is also terrorizing the local area and you have a recipe for a page-turning, edge of your seat thriller. 

While the town of Ravenswood and the gated community of Mill Point Road do not exist, a lot of the actual landmarks and points of interest in Washington County are described in the series.  Hagerstown, Williamsport, and Boonsboro feature heavily.

The #1 Writing Tool

My Writing Style

I’m very much an immersive writer.  I have to experience places, locations, towns, and streets, to be on the ground if I’m going to actually write about them in my thrillers.  I can’t just sit at my computer desk staring at Google Maps, imagining what a place is like.  I have to be there, and it adds a certain authenticity to my stories.”

Another example, Hidden Justice, one of the books from the No Justice Series is set on Long Island, where I spent a week doing the same; researching the local area and finding the perfect location to dump victims. I want to transport my readers, to pick them up and drop them right into the story. I want them to step in my characters footsteps, to experience the sights, sounds and feel of the locations as though they are really there.

My Characters

I get a lot of my inspiration and story ideas from ordinary people being thrust into extraordinary circumstances and how they react, especially strong, determined female characters.  Most of the main characters in all my novels are strong, independent women.   I like to write fiction that have multiple layers and multiple plot lines that culminate at the end of the story in an unpredictable way, leaving the reader wanting more. 

One of my favorite actors is Sigourney Weaver. Her role as Ellen Ripley was the genesis of everything that followed on the screen, in books and in the media for women. There’s a little bit of Ripley in all my female characters.

Books by JK Ellem on The Table Read

Writer’s Life

My goal as an author is to receive fantastic feedback from my readers and I am happy when I know I have brought entertainment, excitement, fear, thrills, danger, suspense, happiness, and sadness to the lives of millions of people worldwide by giving them a way to escape from reality for just a few precious moments of their day.

Find more from JK Ellem

Readers can find me here:

Interview on The Table Read: https://thetableread.co.uk/author-interview-jk-ellem-ravenwood/

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