Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book-A-Week Challenge Interview with author Ellen Dye


This week's Book-A-Week Challenge was Three's the Charm by Ellen Dye.
Learn more about Ellen and her writing with the interview posted below. Leave her a comment, ask a question, tell her how much you enjoyed her story. . .I did!

Who are you?

I’m Ellen Dye and my first novel is called Three’s The Charm, a contemporary romance published by The Wild Rose Press that’s filled with down-home fun, laughter and a very well deserved happily-ever-after between two people truly meant for each other.

And as for me as an author, believe me when I say Three’s The Charm is a dream that was a long time in coming.

I was first bitten by the writing bug when I was nine years old and stumbled onto my Aunt Nettie’s strictly contraband trunk of True Confession magazines. Naturally, being that they were strictly contraband, I was compelled to read the lot, breaking only to refresh my supply of Munchos potato chips and RC Cola. Somewhere near the bottom of the pile I decided I wanted to be a writer and create stories just as great as these.

Then, being nine, I promptly forgot all about it.

Fast forward a goodly number of years, having gotten the pesky business of growing up out of the way, to a local grocery store. My year old son was screaming with enough force to shake products from shelves while I was attempting to stem the noise by stuffing his mouth with animal crackers---and in that instant I saw Them. Each and every one of Sterling MacFadden’s True magazines were there on the shelf just waiting for me.

Long story made short---I bought the lot, devoured them and remembered I wanted to be a writer. Then my husband installed Word on my computer which prevented me from forgetting my decision to be a writer this time.

I began tapping away and submitting faithfully, thinking of all the publishing experience I was getting and preparing myself for a flood of rejections. But to my very great surprise about a month later I got The Call from an editor at True Love saying they wanted to buy one of my stories.

When do you write?

Literally all the time. I’m sort of a quirky little scribbler who can’t ever seem to keep a schedule. In fact it’s lucky that I can, through writing, claim status as an “Artistic Type”---otherwise I’d be widely known as a complete airhead. So, back to my “all the time” answer and how that works---I keep a spiral notebook with me always and when I get a free moment (even if it’s in the school parking lot waiting for my son) I jot down as much as I can.

When do you read?

Well, interestingly enough the answer is just the same as the above---all the time. I always have a book with me when I leave the house, literally, for any reason. I read everywhere from grocery store checkout lines to hair salons when I zip in for a trim. And hey, no good night’s sleep can ever begin without a good book to start if off, right?

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

I love this question because for me it’s a real stumper. To be one hundred percent honest the truth is I have no idea where my ideas, or the inspiration behind them comes from. I do vaguely remember wondering, as I took my desperate to get home cat out of the vet’s office, what sort of life a country vet would lead. And pretty much from that point on Three’s The Charm took on a life of it’s own, complete with characters.

How long did you write seriously before your first book was published?

The plainest answer to this question is ten years, but it’s not exactly accurate. I started off writing with no desire to write books. I wanted to write confession stories, short fiction for magazines and general freelance articles. And I did. I was also exceptionally lucky in that I mailed my first batch of confessions off and received The Call from the editor at True Love about a month later. And I was really happy with this sort of writing.

So it was about five years or so before I decided to write a book in addition to the freelance stuff. Three’s The Charm was about two years in the writing and polishing and then another year and a half or so to sell. And I have to say I’ve never had so much fun writing anything as I did writing Three’s The Charm.

Why do I write?

Because I love it---it’s as simple as that!

Thanks, Ellen for a terrific story to read and a wonderful interview. All the best!
Denise
Ellen’s first novel, Three’s The Charm is available now from The Wild Rose Press, http://www.thewildrosepress.com/ fictionwise ebooks and http://www.amazon.com/
Ellen also has a story in L&L Dreamspell's Romance Anthology http://lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.htm
You can keep up with Ellen and her writings at http://www.ellendye.com/

27 comments:

Denise May 31, 2009 at 6:07 AM  

Ellen,

How did you come up with the hero and heroine's names? Are they significant to you in any way?

Denise

Ceri Hebert May 31, 2009 at 6:16 AM  

Terrific interview! Do you have anything new in the works?

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 9:39 AM  

Hi Denise! Thanks so much for having me here today :) And the name question is an incredibly interesting one. I chose the name Heath for the hero because of an old practice of naming children after Confederate Civil War Generals that is actually still in practice in West Virginia and other parts of the South. I did change the spelling though.

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

Hi Ceri!
Thanks so much for stopping by :) I do have a couple new things coming up. The first is a short story which is part of L and L Dreamspell's anthology, Romance of My Dreams, which is coming out in August. And even more excitingly I've just sold a sassy, funny mainstream fiction novel(also to L and L Dreamspell) that's going to be called, Relatively Crazy.

Thanks for asking!

Denise May 31, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

Ellen,

That is not an answer I expected at all, but a totally fascinating one!

Do you have a favorite scene in the book? I particularly liked when the hero saved the heroine from being stranded in her broken down SUV. :-)

Denise

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 10:15 AM  

I do have a couple favorites, Denise! We share the one where Heath rescues Rachel from the Middle of Nowhere. And also the other favorite of mine is the opening of chapter 12 where Heath is trying to drown his grief in well..... :) And another of my particular favorites is when Heath and Rachel are swaying to Van Morrison's Brown-Eyed Girl in the kitchen and remembering the first time they'd slow danced to Their Song.

Thanks for asking!

Denise May 31, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

Ellen,

I so loved when Heath drown his grief! Cracked me up.

Denise

Keith Goodman May 31, 2009 at 1:05 PM  

Ellen,

First, my condolences in having to deal with my daughter, Denise, for the interview. Other than that, I thought it was a great interview and obviously provided some insight into your writing and personality. I can only assume that your sense of humor must come from some roots into the West Virginia country-side. Therefore, I'm sure you are familiar with the West "BG" Virginia nomenclature.

Thanks for taking the time to share your writing process and insights with Denise and us other folks.

Keith

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

Thanks, Denise. That was one fun scene to write :)

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

Hey Keith, great to meet you! And thanks so much for the compliments :)

But I'm got to 'fess up---I don't actually have any roots in WV. I do live here now, but I'm a big city transplant who stumbled onto a whole new culture when we bought our little cottage in the big woods.

There have been times when I've known exactly how Margaret Mead must have felt :) But I've got to admit, it just doesn't get any quieter or greener than this little piece of our mountain.

Maggie Toussaint May 31, 2009 at 2:30 PM  

Hiya Ellen and Denise!
First, nice interview questions, Denise. Second, Ellen you are the nicest, hardest working airhead I know. I loved everything about Three's the Charm. It's one of my favorite books. Happy Sunday everyone.

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

Maggie!!! Squeee!!! I'm so happy you made it over :) And bless your heart for saying I'm the hardest working airhead you know! And a million thanks for your kind words about Three's The Charm!

Sandy James May 31, 2009 at 4:47 PM  

Nice interview, Ellen! Loved your book! :-)

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

Hey Sandy!
Thanks so much for coming by---and even more thanks for your kind opinion of Three's The Charm!

Carolyn Matkowsky May 31, 2009 at 6:33 PM  

Ellen
Hello, fellow Elements chapter mate and TWRP author. Great interview. Congratulations on your sales to True Love and your newest sale to TWRP. What are you working on now? Are you going to National? Hope to see you there.

Denise May 31, 2009 at 6:43 PM  

Ellen,

What do you find to be the most difficult part of being a writer?

Denise

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 6:44 PM  

Hey Carolyn!
Thanks so much for coming by! I've got two really exciting projects coming up from L and L Dreamspell. The first is a short story called "The Man In Gray" and it's going to be part of the Romance of My Dreams anthology. And then there's a mainstream women's fiction novel full of life, laughter, starting over and the occasional homebrewing explosion called Relatively Crazy.

Thanks for asking :)

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 6:48 PM  

Hey Denise!
Wow, that's a rough question---and you know, I'm pretty sure every writer has their own answer to go with it. I'd have to say it's time, which is the usual working mom dilemma. I try to schedule my writing time around my son's school and so on---but boy, life really can throw monkey wrenches into the best of plans :)

Fortunately no one actually has to know that I do make up writing time while in my pj's and Scooby Doo slippers :)

Denise May 31, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

HA! That's hysterical and a great visual.

Denise

Ellen May 31, 2009 at 7:52 PM  

Ah, what can I say, Denise....the glam life of a writer :)

Nancy June 1, 2009 at 10:04 AM  

I got here late, but great interivew, Ellen! I also love your book titles, and about fell off my chair over Relatively Crazy!

All my best!!

Light,
Nancy Haddock

Ellen June 1, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

Hey Nancy!
Thanks so much for coming by :) And also thanks for the compliments on Relatively Crazy---it's One of Those Books for me. You know the ones I mean---the ones you just are dying to write, so you write. I'm happy it found such a great home.

Thanks again for coming by! Ellen

Misty Evans June 1, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

Hi Ellen. I enjoyed the interview and follow up questions from all the commenters! You all had me laughing. :)

Three's the Charm is a wonderful, heart-warming story. I particularly liked the cats. They were one of those little touches that made the story feel real to me.

I'm looking forward to Relatively Crazy!

Ellen June 1, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

Hi Misty!
Thanks so much for dropping by :) And also for your kind words about Three's The Charm! I'm glad you enjoyed Pye and Rags----they were a big part of the story for me too!

Denise June 1, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

I completely agree with Misty. The cats were a terrific touch. Having two of my own I can so relate to having them in the story, adding that touch or "realness"

Denise

Ellen June 1, 2009 at 6:45 PM  

Thanks, Denise! I'm a current mommy of six fuzzy rascals at the moment :)

Denise June 1, 2009 at 7:13 PM  

Six?! Holy cow!
I've contemplated a third but I'm afraid of jealousy among the troops. Besides, what would I name a third when I already have Mischief and Mayhem?

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