It’s a MoRWA week again here on Meet the Neighbors. I met Ellen a few years ago when I joined my first writer’s group. Ellen just released her debut, Starr Tree Farm, with Crimson Romance. Please welcome Ellen to the blog…
Time for your interrogation, I mean, interview…. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Join a writing group! Acting on this advice led me to MORWA, a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. The group has given me education, support, and the occasional swift kick to get going again. I strongly recommend that any serious, or not sure if you’re serious, writer seek out either a local or on-line writing group.
Great advice, I’ve learn so much from my membership – What’s your writing schedule? Are you a full time writer?
Since retirement from my day job a few years ago I’ve been able to devote more time to writing. I’m a morning person and my most productive hours are before I slip into a mid-afternoon slump.
I hear you! I’ve had to train myself to write at night. But I love morning words. – What’s your writing must have snack? Or drink?
Morning fuel is coffee – hot and black.
Is there any other kind? – Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Starr Tree Farm, my debut book, is a sweet romantic suspense. My hometown gave inspiration for the setting and then I tried to tell a story that you could share with either mother or daughter. It’s a reunion story, with a young widow and a hero that she always considered a pest during her childhood visits to a small Wisconsin community. They haven’t seen each other for sixteen years and a lot of experiences have happened.
I love reunion stories and I really enjoyed reading Starr Tree Farm. What do you enjoy most about writing?
Watching my characters develop as I answer the “what if…” question dozens of times.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
I tend to begin with a situation and then pose questions to myself to discover how the character, or characters, got there. I tend to know the beginning and end of a story and then need to plot and research how to get from one to the other.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I’d like a reader to close my book with a feeling of hope and some confidence that justice, truth, and love will win in the end.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Only two? The first ones that come to mind write historical. Jeannie Lin — her books get better with each one. And I’m looking forward to Joanna Bourne’s next release.
Ellen, thanks for stopping in – now tell us a little about your book.
One year after her husband’s murder, Laura Tanner’s grief has turned to frustration at the stalled police investigation. She accepts an invitation from relatives to leave St. Louis and tend their Christmas tree farm near Crystal Springs, Wisconsin, for two weeks. The small, peaceful community full of fond childhood memories is just the place for her to move plans of a bookstore off paper and into reality. Plus, she’ll prod her reluctant private investigator uncle — there must be something he can do long distance to find justice for her husband. Brad Asher’s military career ended when he lost an arm in Afghanistan. He’s returned home to Crystal Springs and works part-time in real estate. When he learns of Laura’s plans to settle in the community, he makes a few of his own. As the neighbor boy during her summer visits, he bumbled the opportunity to express his admiration for her. He’s determined to make the most of this second chance.
But Laura’s arrival from St. Louis threatens this future as events around her husband’s murder follow
her. Can Brad keep her safe and in his life?
Readers can find Ellen at: www.ellenparkerwrites.wordpress.com or: www.facebook.com/ellenparkerwrites
Starr Tree Farm is available from:http://www.amazon.com/Starr-Tree-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00DV0XJB8/