Tell Your Story in 3 Steps with Ellie Royce

An adoring nephew tells the story of Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero. He loves his number-crunching Uncle Leo and his fabulous performer Auntie Lotta. Ellie Royce joins the ICAN Audio Book Tour to read her book Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero. A tale about a courageous person who saves the day, and two worlds collide.

Cover of Ellie Royce's book Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero that features Auntie Uncle and their nephew dancing backstage
The cover of Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero; images provided by POW! Kids Books

I spoke with Ellie Royce about the story’s inspiration. Ellie said this book came to her while walking on the beach, “Auntie Uncle came to me when I was going for a walk, climbing up the cliffs and walking along and thinking about different kinds of bravery. There’s a certain kind of bravery that takes physical action and outward expression. Then there’s another kind of bravery that sometimes is the hardest kind, which is to be your true self with all the people that you know.” Ellie’s books have strong main characters and feature a happy ending. Her newest book Frizzle and Me explores a growing family. How change can be good, even fun!

A page from Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero. Image shows things Auntie Uncle loves makeup and math and their nephew.
Writing picture books is difficult when you only have the words to work with; Ellie starts writing without any images. Here are Ellie’s words and pictures by Hannah Chambers

Ellie has always enjoyed reading and writing. Here is her advice for aspiring authors:

How to Write Your Own Story

1. Anything can be a great story.

“You might have something in your day, that’s the main highlight, in a hero’s journey it’s called an inciting incident. Every day of our lives is pretty much like a story, like a story arc has a beginning, a middle and an end, it has various things that happen along the way.”

Ellie Royce speaking with Sarah Zwinklis, ICAN

2. Take an ordinary event and make it special

“I was probably seven or eight when I think I wrote a story. [At that time] most of my stories were about being a mermaid because I was quite sure that I was actually a mermaid who had been adopted by human parents. […] that’s the brilliant thing about stories you can take your daily life, and you can just make it so magical in a story.”

Ellie Royce speaking with Sarah Zwinklis, ICAN

3. Share your story.

“It can be very helpful, especially if sometimes something challenging might be happening in your life, if you can look at it from the point of view of the story and know that things are going to change and you’re the star of your story. So it’s up to you to choose how you react to the things that are happening around you. So that’s one way of looking at life being made of stories and the other the other part is listening to another person’s story can be very helpful and can help you make sense of your story too.”

Ellie Royce speaking with Sarah Zwinklis, ICAN

The Audio Book Tour continues with Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero on ICAN. If you’d like to add Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero to your library, find it on Pow! Kids Books.

A Photo of author Ellie Royce taken by Caitlin Royce

Michelle Royce is an internationally published author of books for adults and children.

As “Ellie Royce” Michelle writes quirky and heartfelt middle grade and YA fiction as well as visionary, unique picture books that spark ideas, empathy and new ways of looking at the world for readers of all ages.

If you liked this story and Ellie’s other books, ask your library to add her books to their collection!