Getting to know Ellen Green Andrews #author #contemporary #erotica #romance

I’m pleased to introduce my guest today, author Ellen Green Andrews, who brings her love of architecture to her characters and stories. But let’s take a gander at her bio and then we’ll find out more about her writing process, shall we?

Ellen Green Andrews is a retired nurse, with a penchant for reading, with a broad and eclectic genre choice. Encouraged by her husband and grown children, she began writing her own stories five years ago. She is an accomplished seamstress, and has a collection of textiles from around the globe thanks to a friend who travels extensively. She loves to paint, and crafts of all sorts. She is a certified landscape designer, with a concentration on residential design. She is proud of the fact that she has 174 college credits but not a single degree, always feeling being broadly educated was more important than adhering to a degree seeking curriculum. She grew up in Northern Indiana but has lived throughout the United States, following her husband’s military career, she resides at present in North Central Florida. She is member of WFWA and ALLI.

You can find her here:   Website   *     Facebook      *   Twitter

Betty: How many books have you written and published?

Ellen: I have published 2 novels and I’m currently working on my third.

Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Ellen: The first two are Romance (steamy) and the current book is more women’s fiction. I like a happy every after ending. I like reading most genre’s but when it came to writing, this felt right for me. I guess I am a romantic at heart. The characters come to life for me in this genre. The current novel is a love story, but multigenerational. I wanted to show that even though the current younger generation thinks they invented love and sex, that is far from what is true. I also think young people think problems in relationships are exclusive to them. Sex, love and all that entails is the same from one generation to the next.

Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?

Ellen: Growing up I wanted to be an architect, but it was at a time when women were not encouraged to pursue higher education in anything other than education or nursing.  I took drafting in my sophomore year of high school but my drafting table was in the far back corner of the room. I think if the teacher could have set me outside on the window ledge he would have. I have always loved architecture so some element of that will probably always be a theme in my novels. I am also a crafter and love working with paper, and while writing my first book, took a course on paper making. So my characters, regardless of how flawed they might be, will always be clever and DIY’ers.

The book I am currently working on features cooking which is another love of mine. This one will have recipes from a cookbook that once belonged to my grandmother.

If love and sex are included in a business deal, can it still be called business?

Charleigh Chace lives in Naperville Illinois. She spent her childhood and youth in the gymnastics gym and her adulthood pursuing her MBA and starting her upscale stationery store. Maybe that’s why at the age of twenty-seven she is still a virgin. Now the business is in serious financial trouble, and the money she borrowed from her parents, which they will soon need to retire is in jeopardy. The only solution in sight looks like bankruptcy, abandoning her dream, and moving far from the parents she has already let down. Then Charleigh meets Elias Graham, a thirty-one year old junk man. He works in the business his parents have spent their entire married life building, and though he believes they need to retire, they won’t hear of it until he demonstrates he has his feet firmly planted in the business. Through his acumen, Elias helped their little business named Jeff’s Salvage Yard, grow into a multi-million dollar business by the name of Urban Recovery; one that Hollywood turns to when they need historically accurate set elements. A chance encounter at a bookstore brings Elias and Charleigh together where Elias proposes a business deal that benefits both of them: Charleigh poses as his rock solid girlfriend; he pays her to do so, and everyone can move on. Fate has other plans for them. Both fall in love with the other but know the deal is off the table the moment either reveals their true feelings. The inability to say how they truly feel about each other leads to misunderstandings, heartache and separation. Only time and circumstances beyond their control will determine whether they can find a future together.

Amazon

Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?

Ellen: Yes, I am fortunate to have a dedicated office space. It doubles as my painting space also, but the room is all mine and I treasure it. I’ve never had my own space where I could leave things out and come back to at a later time. But there is a trade-off for all this space. It means all our children are grown and on their own. I am thankful that they come back often and visit. Revisions are completed in the same place. It is a room that is at the back of the house, so very quiet and peaceful.

Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?

Ellen: Coffee is my drug of choice and all of my MC have a caffeine addiction. I listen to music sometimes, but it can’t be anything with words as I always want to sing along. It seems the brain can’t handle two language tasks at the same time. Either sing or write, but not both. I can however listen to opera’s sung in a foreign language as long as it isn’t one I know. Then it’s just like instrumental to me. I tend to be a night owl which means I tend to sleep late, so writing begins somewhere around ten o’clock in the morning, coffee mug in hand. Unless appointments get in the way I will write until about 6 pm. When I wander into the living room, my husband greets me with “you are home!” which I find funny as I’ve been home all day. lol

Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?

Ellen: I tried the query/agent route with my first book and after 8 solid months and no requests, I became frustrated with the entire process. As I have read more about the publishing world and the agents world, I get even more disgusted with the entire traditional publishing route. This is not mean to be a slam to E.L. James, but most writers will give her Fifty Shades book the same critique. They are not well written, grammar wise, but they are certainly titillating and guaranteed money makers. And that is all it took for a traditional publishing house to pick them up. I find traditional publishers to be fickle, saying they want “good literature” but then they publish some of the worst rubbish because they know it will make them money. I lost faith that they would recognize good literature when it’s presented to them.

My other pet peeve is agents who develop new vocabulary, to turn you down. Recently I read an article where the writer queried an agent and the agent requested chapters. The writer with great hope sent off the requested chapters only to be told her MC “lacked agency” but why not just say, “your main character is allowing the plot to direct her, instead of her directing the plot? So those of us who don’t swim in the publishing wading pool have to google the vocabulary to see why we’ve been rejected. Seems those agents take great pride in coming up with creative ways and confusing vocabulary to reject you. You end up mistrusting not just the publishing houses but agents also.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?

Ellen: I tell a really good story. I am a wordsmith, but I don’t believe in using a prodigious vocabulary for storytelling. Interesting language does not need to be pretentious. Reaching people’s hearts and making them become of the book is what I aim for. I am told by everyone who reads my books that that is exactly how they felt as if they were part of the story. 

Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?

Ellen: For me it is situations. From there I ask, “what if” and that is all it takes.

Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is it more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?

Ellen: I may not always be happy about interruptions but life happens. I am pretty fluid in when I write. After writing my last book All The Words We Didn’t Say, I took off two months and traveled with my husband throughout the U.K. After we returned, I sat down to do the editing. I turned it over to my beta’s while I was gone. That allowed them plenty of time answer the questionnaire that I have all my beta’s do. It helps so much for the editing process.

Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?

Ellen: For a while I’d given up my office when our youngest son, his wife, and two boys stayed with us when they were house hunting. I’d become so accustomed to having that dedicated space that I found it difficult to write anywhere else. Then holidays crowd in and that takes time out of writing time. Once I start writing I like to go at it hard until I am done. When I have disruptions, it takes me a long time to get back on track, often I have to read what I have written to know where I want to go. I am a pantser, with a deep seated need for organization so I pants, then go back and form an outline to keep track of dates and events and make sure everything meshes.

Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?

Ellen: I have a 4th book that I wrote during NaNoWriMo, but I have not edited. It is not strictly Women’s literature and has a basis in truth, so the editing will be more difficult for me. I did that two years ago and not since. I am not sure I ever will again.

Betty:  What are you reading right now?

Ellen: Five Things by Lynne Marino

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

Ellen: I don’t really have a favorite. I read historical fiction, romantic comedy, suspense, sexy steamy romance. I love a well-constructed novel set during WWII. I like and have an incredible need to explore new things and ideas that just about anything is game. I am not a big fan of paranormal/Warlocks and Witches sort of writing.

Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?

Ellen: Outlander series. Leon Uris, everything he’s written I’ve read many times. Ken Follett is one I could read again and again, although his last few have been daunting and I’d probably not re-read them. I’ve re-read Dan Brown a few times. I’ve read Nevil Shute’s A Far Country many times. Michael Grumley is a recent writer I’ve read. His Breakthrough series is totally fascinating. I’ve read them twice.

Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?

Ellen: I don’t necessarily read the genre I’m writing in. If I see something I think is interesting I will read it regardless of whether it’s in my genre or not.

Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?

Ellen: Full time writer.

Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?

Ellen: It’s fickle. Never forget they are out to make money and putting out good literature is secondary to making money.

Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?

Ellen: Put your butt in a chair and write. There isn’t a secret to it. You must put words on paper (or into a document) for them to become a book. Don’t worry if it’s good writing, just write, you can always go back and make it good. Find some good books on writing. Read Story Genius by Lisa Cron, The Forest For The Trees by Betsy Lerner are both good guides.

Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?

Ellen: Temporary title is In The Margins and it is based on a cookbook of my grandmother’s. It is handwritten. It is more a diary of her early love life with recipes thrown in. She says she wrote it that way because her mother would not question or look at a recipe book, but most likely would a diary. I am shocked at some of the revelations, but oh, grandma you were a thoroughly modern woman!

Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?

Ellen: I want to write a suspense. I have an idea and I have been keeping track of the basic ideas and developing characters in my head, but that is down the road a bit.

I love that you’re working on a cookbook slash diary, Ellen! I bet that’s a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing your background and process with us.

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit http://www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

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