It’s All About the Author…
Please tell us 5 interesting facts about yourself that readers might not know about you …
I cannot be trusted alone in a pet shelter (three cats… for now).
I have worked as a photographer, reporter, lawyer, and now as a writer.
I have a short attention span.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Read and write (of course), but I also like to try new recipes in the kitchen and work in my little vegetable garden. I live in an area that allows me to go up to the mountains or to the coast fairly easily, and I’m usually up for a road trip!
Is there one book that you love to read over and over again? If so, what is it and what is it that keeps you coming back to it?
There are only a few books that I return to over and over because there are so many books out there and we only have so much time in this earthly library. But I do tend to come back to To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I’ve probably read Mockingbird at least a dozen times over the years. And I’m always ordering a new copy of Good Omens because I give mine out so readily.
How did you get started writing and have you always wanted to be an author?
I’ve been writing as along as I can remember, and according to my mother, been telling stories since before that. I think I have always wanted to be an author, and that’s why I tended to gravitate toward careers where storytelling was a strong element.
If you for some reason couldn’t be an author, what would your other choice be?
I am in the minority of lawyers who actually like their jobs. I’m happy with my day job, though it would be nice to work less so I could write more.
Did you like school? Were you a good student?
I loved school, if I liked the subject. I excelled at English and social studies and history, but struggled with math and science. I was fortunate to go to a high school with a great selection of literature classes. I didn’t become a good student until I was nearing the end of college, but I did well once I matured enough to pay attention in class (see above answer regarding attention span, lack thereof). By the time I went to law school, I was a very good student.
When you write, is there a specific way you have to write, ie: certain room, noise or quiet, computer or paper etc…
Actually, I’ve found that I work really well in bars. Not at night, when they’re busy and loud, but mid-afternoon when it’s dark and quiet, I can get quite a lot done. I don’t do that too often, though, so when I work at home, I like white noise in the background. There’s a great website called coffitivity.com that plays the sound of a coffee shop and that is just enough noise for me. Sometimes, I’ll use music but nothing with lyrics. Soundtracks are good.
If you could write a collaboration with another author, do you have one in mind and what would you write?
I’m talking with a fellow author who writes in a slightly different genre about collaborating on a project, and if we do, it will be a departure for both of us. Can’t say too much yet, but I’m very, very excited about it!
How do you come up with your story ideas?
I read newspapers. There’s always something that sparks an idea, something I can grab and run with.
Do titles stump you or do they come easy? When do you pick a title, before the story is written or when it’s done?
For the Miranda Vaughn Mysteries, once I came up with Chasing the Dollar, the title for book one, it was easy to come up with other ideas for the rest of the series. But it wasn’t easy coming up with that first title. Eventually, I decided that because Miranda’s a financial expert it made sense to focus on the money angle and my publisher, Gemma Halliday, agreed.
Do you keep a notebook near you for when new ideas pop into your head?
Yes! I love small notepads and notebooks and carry them with me all the time. I also write myself notes in my phone or on my computer. Evernote is a great program for this. It’s like the bottomless purse filled with scraps of paper, but more organized.
If you write a series, do you re-read your previous books before you begin the new one?
Miranda’s series isn’t so long that I’ve had to refresh my memory yet. I can see that I may do that in the future, though.
How does your family feel about your writing?
They’re thrilled and very proud! My family is awesome!
Thanks for sharing “you as an author” with us ! We hope you’ll come back and visit again soon!
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Dropping the Dime
Gemma Halliday Publishing
70,000-word romantic mystery
Miranda Vaughn was once falsely accused of stealing millions, and now she’s helping others who are facing criminal charges. While being an assistant to her former defense attorney isn’t Miranda’s dream job, she’s eager to prove herself, and her first task is a simple one—protect Kathryn, a shy CFO turned informant, and help her prove that a popular real estate developer is embezzling millions from his company. But what should be a straightforward assignment is deliciously complicated when Miranda is thrown together with FBI Agent Jake Barnes, the man who saved her life, broke her heart, and then disappeared.
Beneath the neatly plotted rows of new homes lurk dark secrets, bitter feuds and a whole lot of greed. Nothing is what it appears, even Miranda’s timid client, who is hiding secrets of her own. Despite her growing distrust of her client, Miranda must protect Kathryn from becoming the target of the FBI’s investigation and protect herself from the real thief—all while protecting her heart from the sexy FBI agent she can’t seem to resist.
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Ellie Ashe has always been drawn to jobs where she can tell stories—journalist, lawyer, and now writer. Writing quirky romantic mysteries is how she gets the "happily ever after" that so often is lacking in her day job.
When not writing, you can find her with her nose in a good book, watching far too much TV, or trying out new recipes on unsuspecting friends and family. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats, all of whom worry when she starts browsing the puppy listings on petfinder.com.
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