Tim Darcy Ellis (BA BSc, MHSc) is a writer and physiotherapy-business owner. He was formerly a professional archaeologist. Tim’s critically acclaimed debut, The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives, is a fast-paced and meticulously researched historical fiction novel. He is passionate about bringing his love of history, archaeology and philosophy together through his writing.
Tim majored in Medieval Archaeology at the University of York (1988), and he worked for both the Museum of London and the British Museum in the 1990s. He requalified as a physiotherapist at the University of East London (1998). He then moved to Sydney in 2000 where he completed his master’s degree with honors in 2002 (University of Sydney).
Tim is currently Managing Director and Principal Physiotherapist of Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness. He is chief writer of Excel Life magazine, writing and teaching extensively on health and wellness and specializing in the treatment of complex hip and pelvic pain.
Read our review of The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives here, and our interview with Tim here. Learn more about the author on his website.
Your biggest literary influences:
Kazuo Ishiguro, Patrick Leigh Fermor, JRR Tolkein, Hilary Mantel
Last book read:
A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton
The book that changed your life:
A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
At the age of eighteen, in 1933, Fermor set out from England on an extraordinary journey through Europe. A Time of Gifts is the first part of the trilogy of his journey — and this takes us as far as Budapest. Fermor wrote this at fifty-six. However, he writes with all the zest and eagerness for life of the young man that he was: full of adventure, willing to cast aside danger for the potential advances of the spirit.
The author faces the dark clouds that are forming over central Europe in the 1930s. Still, he never fails to convey a sense of awe and wonder at the cultures he encountered: from monasteries to castles, rivers to mountains, and of course, the extraordinary characters of the age. He writes as a truly free spirit, unencumbered by the shackles of life.
In reality, Fermor has been described as a cross between was a real-life Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene. He was the epitome of the English gentleman with a deeply hidden agenda. He inspired me always to strive to be more, to give more, to be brave, to appreciate what is there — and to see the beauty and fascination in people, places and things.
Your favorite literary character:
My favorite characters are masculine, but disciplined, always with a spiritual element to their nature, as if working to higher orders. It is so hard to pick one, but Hector from The Iliad, Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings and Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — Alvaro de Castro from the The Secret Diaries of Juan Luis Vives!
These are romantic heroes: what they have in common is that they don’t need external validation and they don’t overly question their motives. They know themselves, they know they are working to a plan and the plan is good.
If I had to pick one, my favorite would be Aragorn. He spent time in exile, he had superhuman strength, he united disparate groups and he managed to live in a youthful state for two hundred years! He’s an absolute hero!
Currently working on:
The Queen’s Physician, the second part of my Sephardic trilogy
Words to live by:
Curiosity, Community, Eudimonia! (a Greek word used by Aristotle, meaning “human flourishing and prosperity”).
Advice for aspiring authors:
Don’t give up on your day job, but more importantly, don’t give up on your dreams — ever!
Articles and Reviews:
“A novel that is both haunting and astounding … simply a privilege to read.”
— Susan P. Alpert, Amazon reviewer
“A wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel with brilliantly drawn characters and settings.”
— Piaras, Amazon reviewer
“An engaging story that should appeal to fans of nearly any sub-genre of fiction.”
— James W, Amazon reviewer