Ellis, Ron(ald Walter) 1941-
ELLIS, Ron(ald Walter) 1941-
PERSONAL: Born September 12, 1941, in Southport, England; son of Walter (an engineer) and Isobel (Sherlock) Ellis; married; wife's name Sue; children: Karen, Nikki. Education: Attended Liverpool Polytechnic; Librarianship, 1968. Politics: "Right wing conservative." Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: photography, soccer, music, theater.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Alison & Busby, Bon Marche Centre, 241 Ferndale Rd., London SW9 8BJ, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Worked as a branch librarian in Southport, England; disc jockey, 1970—; sports commentator and disc jockey for British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC-Radio), 1976; professional singer and songwriter; writer. Worker's Education Association lecturer in creative writing in Liverpool, England, 1975—; northern promotions manager for Warner Brothers Records, 1976-77. Lecturer on 'History of Popular Music 1930-1980,' University of Liverpool. Has also worked as a teashop owner, a landlord, a sales manager for a legal publishing company, and as a recording artist.
MEMBER: Crime Writers Association (Great Britain).
AWARDS, HONORS: Sefton Poetry Competition prize, 1992, for "Cotswold Nursing Home."
"DCI GLAS MYSTERY" SERIES
Murder First Glass, Hale (London, England), 1980.
The Snort of Kings, Hale (London, England), 1980.
Playground Pets (large print), Ulverscroft, 2001, regular print edition published as Murder on the Internet, Nirvana (Merseyside, England), 2003.
"JOHNNY ACE MYSTERY" SERIES
Ears of the City, Headline (London, England), 1998.
Mean Streets: A Johnny Ace Mystery, Headline (London, England), 1998.
Framed: A Johnny Ace Mystery, Headline (London, England), 1999.
The Singing Dead: A Johnny Ace Mystery, Headline (London, England), 2000.
Grave Mistake, Headline (London, England), 2001.
Single Shot, Alison & Busby (London, England), 2002.
Diary of a Discotheque: A Selection of Poems, 1970-78, Nirvana Books (Merseyside, England), 1978.
Journal of a Coffin Dodger, Nirvana (Merseyside, England), 1989.
The Last of the Lake Poets: A Collection of Poems by Ron Ellis, Nirvana (Liverpool, England), 1998.
The Ron Ellis Collection (musical recordings), Da Doo Ron Ron Records (Merseyside, England), 2000.
Also contributor to Lives of John Lennon, by Albert Goldman, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989. Author of monthly column for Disco International. Contributor of articles to Knave, Cockade, Club/International, and other British periodicals. Football correspondent for Champion Newspapers, Merseyside.
ADAPTATIONS: Journal of a Coffin Dodger was serialized for British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The seventh "Johnny Ace Mystery" crime novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Ron Ellis was once deemed to be the busiest man in England, as he was simultaneously engaged as a disc jockey, a recording artist, a writer, a lecturer, a teashop owner, a landlord, a journalist, and a sales manager for a legal publishing company. Ellis made a name for himself in the 1970s as a disc jockey with a traveling disco show—his first collection of poems, Diary of a Discotheque: A Selection of Poems, 1970-78, is based on his experiences in that world. A singer and songwriter himself, Ellis has recorded his own works and also has sold them to others. His biggest hit, "Boys on the Dole," made it into England's New Wave Top Ten in 1979.
More recently, Ellis has settled into crime writing, although he still owns properties and dabbles in music. His most successful detective, Johnny Ace, is a former disc jockey who has turned detective in Liverpool, England. Johnny's adventures in the realms of gang warfare, drug dealing, pirated recordings, and grand theft allow Ellis to infuse local detail into the books. Indeed, according to Janet Tansley in the Liverpool Echo, Johnny Ace "has fast established a niche for himself as Liverpool's answer to Morse or Poirot." The popularity of the Johnny Ace series has led Ellis's British publishers to begin a marketing campaign in the United States as well.
In an online interview for Bastulli Mystery Library, Ellis said, "Liverpool is the most important element in my Johnny Ace books. I want the reader to feel he is in the city when he reads the books so I put in loads of real people, places and events and set the book in real time as I'm writing." The famous city, he added, "has been an inspiration."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Lancashire Today, July 2003.
Liverpool Daily Post, July 14, 2000; December 20, 2002.
Liverpool Echo, October 20, 2001, Janet Tansley, review of Grave Mistake, p. 15.
Sherlock, Volume 45, 2001.
Sun, December 17, 1989.
Bastulli Mystery Library,http://www.bastulli.com/ (November 28, 2001).
Crime & Mystery Fiction Journal,http://www.twbooks.co.uk/ (November 28, 2001), "Ron Ellis."
Crime Time Home Page,http://www.crimetime.co.uk/ (August 18, 2003).
Official Ron Ellis Web site,http://www.ronellis.co.uk/ (January 18, 2002).
Shots Magazine for Crime and Mystery Fiction,http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/ (August 18, 2003).