Getting to know Joel Allegretti #author #poets #poetrylovers #prose #fiction #water #oceans

I’d like to introduce you to an author who is also a poet. Please help me welcome Joel Allegretti! He has quite a background, so let’s glance at his publishing history and then find out more about what makes him tick.

Joel Allegretti is the author of, most recently, Platypus (NYQ Books, 2017), a collection of poems, prose, and performance texts, and Our Dolphin (Thrice Publishing, 2016), a novella. His second book of poems, Father Silicon (The Poet’s Press, 2006), was selected by The Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006.

He is the editor of Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (NYQ Books, 2015). The Boston Globe called Rabbit Ears “cleverly edited” and “a smart exploration of the many, many meanings of TV.” Rain Taxi said, “With its diversity of content and poetic form, Rabbit Ears feels more rich and eclectic than any other poetry anthology on the market.”

Allegretti has published his poems in The New York Quarterly, Barrow Street, Smartish Pace, PANK,and many other journals.

His short stories have appeared in The MacGuffin, The Adroit Journal,and Pennsylvania Literary Journal, among others. His musical compositions have appeared in Maintenant: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing & Art and in anthologies from great weather for MEDIA and Thrice Publishing. His performance texts have been staged at La MaMa, Medicine Show Theatre, the Cornelia Street Café, and the Sidewalk Café, all in New York.

Author Social Links: Website * Facebook

Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?

Joel: Our Dolphin indulges some of my literary interests. Latin American magic realism has had a huge influence on me, particularly the writings of Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges. I wouldn’t have come up with phrases like “a gull of mythological proportions” and “the face that brought her infinite despair” had I not read García Márquez’s novels and short stories, which I read in translation.

The inspiration for the main character, Emilio, a deformed teenager, was my favorite literary character, Erik, better known as the Phantom of the Opera.

The scenes in Tangier were inspired by a day trip I took to the city in 1990 and by the writings of Paul Bowles and William S. Burroughs, who’s my favorite Beat. In fact, one of the key characters in the Tangier section, Moore, is based on Burroughs. While I had recollections of my trip as I wrote the book, the Tangier in Our Dolphin is really a Tangier of my imagination.

Betty: Which character arrived fully or mostly developed?

Joel: I’d have to say Serafino, the talking dolphin. He doesn’t have a history. He just is.

Betty: Which story element sparked the idea for this story: setting, situation, character, or something else?

Joel: It was the idea of a supernatural animal appearing out of nowhere for the benefit of a young outcast. I chose a dolphin because I’ve always liked dolphins. I was a fan of the TV show Flipper when I was growing up.

Betty: Which character(s) were the hardest to get to know? Why do you think?

Joel: Since I created the characters, I didn’t have any trouble getting to know them. Part of my program, however, was to create characters I didn’t want the reader to know well. The primary example is Mr. Charles, the owner of the brothel in Tangier. He’s a horrifying human being. He’s snide, pompous, and sadistic, a flamboyant villain without a redeeming characteristic. I don’t reveal anything about his background. The reader knows his nationality (English), but that’s it. I want the reader to take Mr. Charles at face value and not wonder why he’s so malevolent or how he found his way to his despicable occupation or what he was like when he was ten years old.

Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?

Joel: Even though I had visited Tangier—as I mentioned, it was only a day trip—and had read quite a bit of fiction and non-fiction about both the city and Morocco itself, including Paul Bowles’s translations of books by Moroccan authors Mohamed Choukri and Mohammed Mrabet, I wanted to make sure I got details right. So, I became a fact-checker. I looked at photographs, too. Fortunately, I was familiar with the subject and knew what needed confirmation.

I can’t say for sure, but to put myself in a Tangier state of mind, I probably listened to Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka, a recording of Moroccan trance musicians that Rolling Stones Records released in 1971. I’ve owned a copy of the LP for decades.

Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?

Joel: Our Dolphin began its life as a novel called Christ Sang for the Dolphins. I wrote the first draft over the course of a few years as I busied myself with other things, not the least of which was earning an income. I did more work on it from time to time and changed the title to Music for Dolphins. Years later came the high-octane revision. I went through it with mental hedge clippers. “This can go. This can go. This adds nothing.” I reduced it from 46,000 words to 19,000 words. I changed the title yet again, to Our Dolphin, and submitted three chapters to Thrice Publishing, which was launching a novella series. The editor, Bob Spryszak, requested the full manuscript. To my astonishment, he chose Our Dolphin as the introductory title in the series. Bob provided excellent guidance as we worked our way to the book’s publication.

Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?

Joel: I began the first draft in 1993, I believe. I wrote the final draft in 2015. I didn’t work on the book consistently, though. There were years when I didn’t touch it or even think about it.

I seldom work in long forms, so the length of time it took to write Our Dolphin was atypical.

Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?

Joel: I write first drafts in longhand. I use Pilot pens with blue ink.

Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts, such as just, once, smile, nod, etc. What are yours?

Joel: I wouldn’t say any particular words or phrases recur in my works, but I seem to gravitate toward water imagery. I’m predominantly a poet. References to bodies of water show up in poem after poem; e.g., “The Sea at Our Door,” “The Sea Serpent,” and “The Moon Reconsidered as the Tide’s Puppeteer.” And then there’s Our Dolphin.

I was at HomeGoods one day this year, and when I was on line to check out, I saw a 5″x7″ wooden sign that read, “MY HEART SLEEPS BY THE SEA.” I thought, If I don’t buy it now, I know I’ll come back for it. It’s on my desk, where it looks to be right at home.

Betty: Do you have any role models? If so, why do you look up to them?

Joel: The writers who inspired me, starting when I was in my early double-digit years, often show up in my work in some fashion, even if their influence isn’t overt: Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, Leonard Cohen, and the aforementioned García Márquez and Borges, to name the most prominent.

It’s hard to say why this author influenced me, but that one didn’t. I read a lot of Graham Greene and W. Somerset Maugham in the ’80s and a lot of Jack London in the ’80s and ’90s, but they had no impact on my writing.

Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?

Joel: I was born under the sign of Cancer. We crab folks like our homes. I write and revise in my home office or on my dining-room table. My home office is also my reading room.

Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?

Joel: I’m retired now. My last position in the working world was Director of Media Relations for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the national membership organization of CPAs. I counseled the CEO, his senior staff, and other spokespeople for interviews with print, online, and broadcast media. I dealt with the Associated Press, 60 Minutes, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg, among many, many, many other outlets.

Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?

Joel: I suppose my answer could change at any time. For the sake of answering it here, I’ll say the publication of my first book. It’s always a special occasion for a writer.

Betty: What other author would you like to sit down over dinner and talk to? Why?

Joel: Maybe not over dinner, but over a cup of coffee or tea I’d like to ask Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King how they maintain their enthusiasm for writing after so many years and so many books.

Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?

I realized in early 2021 that I had accomplished my literary goals:

  • I wanted to publish a book. My first book, a collection of poetry called The Plague Psalms, came out in 2000.
  • I wanted to publish in some big-name literary journals. Check.
  • I wanted to publish a novel. I published a novella. Close enough.
  • I wanted to edit a poetry anthology. Check.
  • I wanted an affiliation with the poetry press NYQ Books. Rabbit Ears: TV Poems and my latest collection, Platypus, are with NYQ Books.

It wasn’t a goal, but one of my poems, “The Sea at Our Door,” made it into a college textbook, so I’ve sort of elbowed my way into academia.

Another poem, “Epitaph: Edie Sedgwick,” appeared as one of 100 poems by 100 poets in an anthology called Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan (New Rivers Press, 2018). Bob Dylan has been important to me since I was 16, so making it into the book was a special publication credit, even more so when I discovered that Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, and Patti Smith were among the other contributors.

I grew up reading Jules Verne and go back to him from time to time. In late 2020 I saw a call for submissions from the North American Jules Verne Society, an organization of Verne scholars, for an anthology, Extraordinary Visions: Stories Inspired by Jules Verne. I wrote a short story titled “Gabriel at the Jules Verne Traveling Adventure Show,” revised it I don’t know how many times, submitted it, and crossed my fingers. A few months later, I received an acceptance. After I read the note, I got up from my desk and said, “Yes!”

Emilio Canto, a deformed adolescent, lives with his parents in an unnamed Italian fishing village. While in bed one night he hears a cry coming from the shore. He leaves his bed to investigate and finds that a dolphin has beached itself. With great effort, Emilio helps it back into the water. He watches it swim away, then lies down on the sand and falls asleep.

“Something troubled the water as it headed toward land. A pair of grateful eyes broke the surface and watched the sleeping youth. ‘Thank you, Emilio,’ the dolphin said. ‘We’ll see each other again very soon.’ It spun like an acrobat and pursued the deep.”

Emilio meets the dolphin a second time and discovers its extraordinary ability. He names the creature Serafino.

Because of his deformity, Emilio decides to run away from home. He convinces a Portuguese sailor to take him on his boat. They travel to Tangier, where the sailor gets Emilio intoxicated on a hashish confection and sells him to a male brothel.

Serafino learns of Emilio’s plight and swims to Tangier to rescue him.

For the reader, the conclusion will come as a genuine surprise.

Buy Links: Amazon * B&N * Bookshop

I love going to the beach and would love to meet a dolphin in person one day. Thanks so much, Joel, for telling us about your stories and your poems.

Happy fall!

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!

Guided Tour of the Fury Falls Inn – Upper Floor #visual #layout #FracturedCrystals #FuryFallsInn #HistoricalFiction #HistFic #amwriting #amreading #books #novel

Now that we’ve looked at the Falcon’s Eye view of the property where the Fury Falls Inn is situated as well as the Main Floor, let’s look at the guest rooms upstairs. Remember that the inn is a large building, comprised of two separate structures joined by the covered porch. The upper floor of the public side of the building is arranged with a central hall dividing the 7 guest rooms, with a common seating area at the back by a window. A linen closet is at the front of the building, at the top of the stairs which lead down to the first floor landing near the door to the dog-trot porch between the structures.

The upper floor of the Fury Falls Inn

You’ll notice in the image that each guest room is simply furnished: a bed, dresser, table and chair by the window. There are no closets in the rooms, since they were uncommon if they existed at that time frame. Wardrobes of one kind or another were used far more often. In more rustic dwellings the inhabitants might use pegs on the wall to hang frequently worn clothing and coats/cloaks or trunks to store their better clothing away from dust and light. The simplicity of these temporary accommodations is the reason why Cassie’s father ventured so far to make high-quality improvements to the furniture and furnishings. He really wants to impress his customers!

Next time we’ll look into the private lives of the Fairhope family, with a peek at the main floor of their residence.

I’m so thrilled to be on the cusp of the release of Fractured Crystals! Tomorrow is the big day! I hope you enjoy meeting Daniel and learning more about his life before coming to the inn for the first time.

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 www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fury Falls Inn in 1821 Alabama. A place for ghosts, witches, and magic. A place of secrets and hidden dangers. A place where Daniel Fairhope’s family kept life-changing secrets from him.

His sister’s magic is coveted by two powerful, angry witches intent on her willing compliance with their demands. Worse, a witch hunter is on the loose, determined to rid the area of all witches. Struggling to cope with those threats, Daniel discovers his own unique and powerful ability as well as those of his estranged brothers. Abilities they’ll need to unite to protect their sister and the family secrets. But these challenges all pale in comparison to convincing the captivating woman he meets at the inn to trust him before she breaks his heart.

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If you’d like an autographed paperback, personalized to you or someone you want to give it to, and mailed to you for only $18, you can order one directly from me here. Be sure to give me the name you want it made out to and your mailing address (you can send both to me at betty@bettybolte.com) and I’ll send it out as soon as possible.

Getting to know Carrie Dalby #author #historical #southerngothic #YA #novels #novellas

Getting to know Carrie Dalby #author #historical #southerngothic #YA #novels #novellas

Please help me welcome author Carrie Dalby to the interview hot seat! First a glance at her bio and then we’ll dive right in…

Carrie Dalby, a California native, has lived in Mobile, Alabama, since 1996. Carrie has published eight novels (with more on the way), one novella, nine short stories, and several non-fiction articles in national and international magazines. Besides serving two terms as president of Mobile Writers Guild, Carrie worked as the Mobile area Local Liaison for SCBWI from 2012-2017, volunteers with Metro Mobile Literacy Council events whenever possible, and helps coordinate the Mobile Literary Festival. When Carrie’s not reading, writing, browsing bookstores/libraries, or homeschooling, she can often be found knitting or attending concerts.

Author Social Links: Facebook * Instagram * Twitter

Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?

Carrie: The Possession Chronicles started because the editor I worked with on my first two published novels (Fortitude and Corroded) encouraged me to try my hand at horror. Based on my descriptive style, he said I had “serious horror chops.” I went toward the Gothic end of the horror spectrum. While the whole series is “Southern Gothic family saga,” several of the books in the series could be labeled as “Gothic horror”—mainly Murmurs of Evil and Tendrils of Passion, which were written first. After completing those, I wrote what is now the first book in the series Perilous Confessions, which has horrific events like any good Southern Gothic does, playing upon class distinction, religious morals, debauchery, and “madness,” to name a few themes.

Betty: Which character was the hardest to get to know?

Carrie: Alexander Melling, one hundred percent! I had him planned out and wanted to keep him in his little box because I didn’t like him and he needed to fit my plans. Being the entitled man he was, he made his own choices beyond my outline and kept screwing up what I thought was the proper story for the series. He ended up having so many layers to his personality that surprised me and finally won me over—many manuscripts later. What I hear from readers is that they either love him or love to hate him, and I’ve felt both extremes with him.

Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?

Carrie: I thoroughly researched turn-of-the-century Mobile, Alabama, as well as the time period in general to capture the Ragtime/Edwardian Era and beyond. That included reading novels written during that time period (not historicals set then—but the actual authors alive and active in those years), digging through newspapers of those years, and basically spending hours at the local history library going through microfilm, maps, and files for the current events, property size, Mardi Gras happenings, and disasters. I used historic buildings and locations from the Mobile Bay area and based the masquerade gowns on actual dresses from those years.

Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?

Carrie: All my books go through at least two dozen drafts and some over fifty. I started the series thinking I was writing a stand-alone novel, but kept adding to it because the characters weren’t settling down. I kept thinking “one more.” Not until I was at the fifth novel did I realize it was going to take several more to complete the full story arc. After finishing the eighth novel, I went back and wrote a novella bridging the first and second novels.

Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?

Carrie: I like listening to music while I write and always have water to drink.

Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?

I’ll read and write anywhere, at any time—in the car, waiting rooms, in the kitchen, etc. For editing, I need quiet and as few interruptions as possible.

Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?

Carrie: So far, having Fortitude (my historical Southern Gothic teen novel) listed as a “Best History Book” for Kids by Grateful American Foundation is my greatest achievement. The list only includes about fifty titles, most of which are Newbery Award winners or other classics by authors like Maya Angelou and Harper Lee.

Betty: What other author would you like to sit down over dinner and talk to? Why?

Carrie: Frances Parkinson Keyes. She was excellent with flawed characters and weaving real events into her historic novels. I call her my Southern Gothic soul sister, though she wrote more than just Southern Gothic. She brought so many characters/families to life through different tragedies and triumphs in her novels. And yes, her novels make me cry.

Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?

Carrie: Evoking feelings in readers is my ultimate success. Whether it’s love or loathing, if readers have a connection with the characters, it’s a win for me. The best is hearing that the story made someone cry. It’s all about a human connection.

The Possession Chronicles is a Southern Gothic family saga series with eight main novels, as well as a novella (#1.5), published by Bienvenue Press. The series is set in the Mobile Bay area on the Gulf Coast of Alabama between 1904 and 1929. Fans of period dramas and multi-generational sagas like The Thorn Birds, Peyton Place, Downton Abbey, Poldark, and Wuthering Heights will enjoy the lush historical descriptions, scandals, and characters.

Buy Links: Amazon

Sounds like an interesting read, Carrie! Thanks for sharing your writing process and inspiration 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!

Getting to know Ellen Prager #author #scientist #books #childrens #fiction #nonfiction  

My guest today brings a very refreshing perspective to her writing. Please help me welcome Ellen Prager to the interview hot seat! Let’s look at her interesting background and then find out more about her writing inspiration and process.

Dr. Ellen Prager is a marine scientist and well published author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She currently works as a freelance writer, Chief Scientist for StormCenter Communications, and science advisor to Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos Islands. She was previously the Chief Scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world’s only undersea research station, and at one time the Assistant Dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. She is a frequently requested speaker for public-oriented events and has appeared on-air as an expert for the media, including on The Today Show, NBC NewsGood Morning America, CNN, The Weather Channel, and more. She has published numerous popular science books, including Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter, along with children’s books, including her latest, Escape Greenland, the second book in her series for middle graders that combines fast-paced action, humor and relatable characters with fun learning about science, nature and in this book, climate change.

Author Social Links: Twitter

Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?

Ellen: Several years ago, while giving talks about some of my other popular science books (illustrated books for young children and non-fiction for high school and above), I was asked why I had never written anything for a middle grade audience (8 to 12 years old). The person asking went on to explain that middle grade is a very important and influential period in a person’s life in which he/she/they are exploring their interests, looking for role models and career paths, and have great influence over their peers and parents. So, I did my homework to discover what middle graders like to read. The answer: fiction and in particular adventure fiction with a humorous twist. I was particularly inspired by Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series in which he combines Greek mythology with adventure and especially sarcastic humor. Since then, I’ve published a three-book series entitled Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians (The Shark Whisperer, The Shark Rider, and Stingray City) and this book, Escape Greenland, which is the second book in The Wonder List Adventures (following Escape Galapagos). The books combine adventure, humor, and relatable characters with fun learning about the ocean, marine life, nature, science, and environmental issues.

Escape Greenland has an underlying theme of climate change, a topic I am very passionate and concerned about. I also traveled to Ilulissat, Greenland, for research on climate change for a non-fiction book and became mesmerized by the area and the Kangia icefjord, so I wanted to share it in a fun way with my readers. In the front of the Wonder List books are maps and in the back is a section entitled Real vs. Made-Up in which I ask the readers to decide what parts of the stories are based on real science and what is pure fiction. And then provide the answers.

Inspiration also comes from the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response to my previous books for middle graders. Reviews indicate that the humor, suspense, and fun characters in the books keep readers engaged while they learn, which is exactly what I was going for.

Betty: Which character arrived fully or mostly developed?

Ellen: Most fully developed was the main character, Ezzy Skylar. As the second book in the Wonder List Adventure series, she was already evolving after dealing with the grief of her mother dying, her younger brother not handling it well, and a phobia about animals in the wild. She had gained confidence and courage in the first book, but still had serious bouts of insecurity, felt like she wasn’t up to her mother’s legacy, and had become quick to judge others.

Betty: Which story element sparked the idea for this story: setting, situation, character, or something else?

Ellen: A combination of setting, the importance of educating readers about climate change in a fun and understandable way, and the characters.

Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?

Ellen: I previously went to Greenland to do research on climate change for a non-fiction book. So, I already had great photos and memories of the area and exploring it. For Escape Greenland however I needed to do more research on Greenland, the culture, local traditions, and the people.

Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?

Ellen: I am all about the rewrite. I go through untold number of drafts before I feel it is ready for prime time and other readers.

Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?

Ellen: It probably took me about a year or a little bit less to write the book. I don’t have a typical length of time as it usually depends on what other projects I am working on, if I am traveling and speaking a lot, and how inspired I am.

Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?

Ellen: I don’t necessarily have any specific rituals, but in terms of habits for me it is all about getting words on the page and rewriting. My goal is to fill those blank pages and then rewrite the hell out of it. It might not be an ideal method, but it works for me and I enjoy honing the text, adding humorous tidbits or fun character details and working on the dialogue.

Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts, such as just, once, smile, nod, etc. What are yours?

Ellen: Just is a big one for me. I need to delete a lot of “justs”. I often find that short, crisp, and to the point is more powerful than wordy sentences, especially for a younger audience. I also watch out for the use of really, very, and that.

Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?

Ellen: My day job is several all-in-one and I feel extremely fortunate that I love most of them. I am a marine scientist by training and have had some really cool jobs. I taught oceanography to college students (and took them to sea aboard a tall sailing ship), did research in the Florida Keys with the U.S. Geological Survey, was an Assistant Dean at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, ran a marine laboratory in the Bahamas, and was the Chief Scientist for the world’s only operating undersea laboratory (I have lived underwater twice to study coral reefs). Now my main focus is on bringing ocean and earth science to broader audiences while keeping it accurate and entertaining. I am also the science/program advisor for Celebrity Cruises’ three expedition ships in the Galapagos Islands. So, I have to go to the Galapagos several times a year (a fantastic gig). And I work as the Chief Scientist for StormCenter Communications, Inc., where I consult on various projects. I also do a lot of public speaking, sometimes appear on television as an expert and was a consultant on Disney’s Moana (did I write I love my job?).

Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?

Ellen: Inspiration! When a reader is inspired to learn, take positive action, be curious, laugh, or simply want to read more, I am utterly grateful and wonderfully satisfied. And in turn, a reader’s positive response inspires me to keep writing.

Betty: What other author would you like to sit down over dinner and talk to? Why?

Ellen: As I wrote earlier, I am a big fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and his ability to combine mythology, adventure, and wickedly sarcastic and creative humor. I’d like to sit down with him to find out what inspires him, where he gets his ideas, and if he ever gets stuck in a plot. In general, I’d simply like to pick his brain a bit. He also seems like a great guy.

Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?

Ellen: That’s a difficult question for me to answer and one I am still working on. I don’t think I want fame, as I like my privacy outside of public events and sometimes find it difficult to accept praise. Wealth would be nice and offer security and more time to write, explore, and learn, but I think that’s a long shot. So far at least, great satisfaction has come with inspiring my readers and interacting with them. I think for me success is making a positive difference in my readers’ lives and it also brings me joy. Success or maybe satisfaction also comes when I can personally interact with my readers, answer questions, and see how engaged they are.

Ezzy Skylar, her brother Luke, and their father embark on a trip to number two on her deceased mother’s wonder list—Greenland’s Kangia Icefjord. While worrying that she didn’t inherit her mother’s gene for adventure, Ezzy and her family become embroiled in a dangerous plot. A flight across an obstacle course of icebergs, some hungry humpback whales, and a wild kayak ride atop a river inside a glacier will test Ezzy’s bravery and lead to an astonishing discovery.

Buy Links: TumbleHomeBooks * Amazon * IPGBook

What a cool job you have, Ellen! Thanks for sharing the inspiration behind your stories, too.

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!