Talkshow Thursday: Meet Mary Ellis
|Author Mary Ellis|
Today, I am welcoming author Mary Ellis, writer of mysteries, romance, and Amish fiction. Draw up a chair and get to know this busy lady!
Linda: Mary, thanks for joining me today. Your latest book is the fourth in your Secrets of the South mystery series. Did you set out to write a series or did that just happen?
Mary: I did set out to write a series, because I find the South infinitely more “mysterious” than the beautiful Ohio countryside where I live. But I didn’t figure it would stretch into six books. I started with three favorite cities: New Orleans, Memphis, and Natchez. Then I added Savannah, Charleston, and Pensacola. I’m in the process of choosing a seventh city.
LM: You have published lots of books. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Mary: Typing the words “The End” at the end of the manuscript. Seriously, I love the creative part, in other words, making up the story. I am definitely not fond of the editing process. But every author must check over his/her work before they send the book to their editor. Lest our publishers discover what bad spellers/grammarians we are.
LM: Most of your novels are contemporary. What made you decide to write the series set during the Civil War?
Mary: All my life I’ve been a history buff, the American Civil War in particular. As a Christian, I’m flummoxed by the fact that officers on both sides were devout Christians and believed God was on their side of the conflict. I’m so glad my publisher allowed me to write three books set during this tumultuous and paradoxical period.
LM: What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? For example do you listen to music or set up in a specific place?
Mary: I always have a candle burning and romantic music playing. I have a playlist of my favorite romantic songs like Evergreen, The Way We Were, The Rose, I Will Always Love You, etc. Love is the basis for almost every story ever written—love for a spouse, love for our children, or the greatest (true) story ever told, The Bible, love for our Lord.
LM: Research plays a huge part in preparing to write any book. Do you have an unusual research incident to share?
Mary: Around a year ago, while doing a final fact check for Sunset in Old Savannah, my husband and I got separated by dozens of blocks while walking around a crowded city. Armed with bad maps, we had to find each other on foot in a sea of tourists. This might not have been difficult, but I have bad knees and hubby has a horrible sense of direction.
LM: LOL! What skill would you like to master? (e.g. learning a different language, carpentry, etc.)
Mary: I would love to speak French since I plan to go to Paris someday.
LM: Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?
Mary: I love riding all three, so I guess my answer depends on the distance. Going around the lake in my town? Horse! Taking the scenic path in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area? My twelve-speed! (however, I only use 3…) Going on a research trip down south? I’ll take my car every time!
LM: What is your next project?
Mary: I just finished book five in the series, Night Falls on Charleston. I am about to start the mystery set in Pensacola, tentatively titled Sweet Taste of Revenge.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Thanks again for stopping by! It was such a pleasure getting to know you.