How did the writer’s journey begin for you?
I live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, and I consider myself an old-new writer. In other words, I’m old to writing, new to novel writing. I hold a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy, and my history includes a long list of writing and editing for dry but illuminating professional newsletters, and windy papers on public policy. The leap to novel writing was simply a creative outlet for my over active and romantic imagination to run wild. When my first child was born I wrote up a few outlines for novels. Then my life became chaotic and I shoved them in a drawer. After my second child started attending pre-school, and I had a few hours to myself, I pulled out those plotlines and started to write. Poplar Place is the first novel I wrote, but not the first book published. You can find my first publication Second Chance Christmas at Amazon.
That’s quite a journey to novel writing! Congrats on breaking in. Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.
1. I’m a fashion maven and I love shoes, especially ones with funky designs and colors.
2. In college I took a wine course called, Wines and Vines. You had to be 21, and yes there was a tasting lab.
3. I can’t eat syrup. It’s sticky, oozy texture freaks me out.
I love syrup. 🙂 It all began when… Where did you get the premise for this book?
The climax of the story came to me in a dream and was so vivid that it stuck with me for days afterwards. There were television shows and movies I’d seen that inspired some of the plotline and characters such as The X-files, The Dead Zone, and The Lincoln Lawyer.
I used to watch X-Files and love Dead Zone. What stands out about this story that made writing it different for you?
Poplar Place was the first story I wrote, and I was pretty much winging it. So, in a way it was easier because there were no expectations from anyone–no agent, editor, or publisher making demands. I’ve written two more stories, and am working on a fourth and fifth book now. I feel there are more demands and higher expectations, as there should be.
Were there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?
Yes, there is some violence in Poplar Place and I really stewed for a long time deciding how much I would write. I’m not a huge fan of bloody violence so I ended up keeping it more on the PG rating.
What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?
Poplar Place crosses a number of genres. It’s officially listed as Women’s Fiction, but it has elements of romance, suspense, legal drama and a touch of paranormal. Frankly, there aren’t many “similar” books or writers to compare it to. It’s in a league of its own and was one of the reasons my agent and I had difficulty finding a publisher willing to take the risk. If your readers take the leap, I promise they won’t be disappointed.
What do you want readers to take away from this book?
For all my books, I want readers to take away a feeling of relief that the story has come to a happy close, and perhaps a touch of sadness that the roller coaster of a ride is over.
Tell us about the finished book. Is there anything special we might not know after reading it?
I leave a happily for now ending. The reader will have to decide if the ending is forever after.
Newly minted librarian, Cara Baker, effectively cuts ties with her tumultuous life in Pittsburgh, and moves down to South Carolina where she embraces the peaceful, laid-back style of small town living. Everything seems to be falling into place when Cara finds the perfect house to round out her new plans. Well… perfect except for the immovable hermit living on the top floor. She throws caution to the wind, and buys the fabulous house—hermit and all—without meeting him. Eventually, by wooing her reclusive renter with notes and mouthwatering meals, he caves and invites her up to the apartment. Preconceived notions are blown out of the water, when she finds Danny isn’t the nerdy Mr. Mole she envisioned.
Unfortunately, phone calls from her past bring Cara’s summer idle to an abrupt halt. Will demons from a former life destroy Cara’s newly established tranquility?
Where can readers find you and your books?
Ellen Butler lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, and she considers herself an old-new writer. In other words, she’s old to writing, new to novel writing. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy, and her history includes a long list of writing and editing for dry but illuminating professional newsletters, and windy papers on public policy. The leap to novel writing was simply a creative outlet for Ellen’s over active and romantic imagination to run wild.
You can find Ellen’s debut release, Second Chance Christmas, at Amazon. Professionally, she belongs to the Virginia Writer’s Club, the Northern Virginia Writer’s Club, and is a founding member of the Tempting Romance blog. When she’s not writing, Ellen is either, running around after her children, decorating a neighbor’s house, or holed up in her favorite lounge chair reading. Ellen is an admitted chocoholic and confesses to a penchant for shoe shopping. Book club questions for Ellen’s novels can be found on her website.
Poplar Place is available at these ebook outlets:
Amazon — http://tinyurl.com/mnubd4l
Barnes & Noble — http://www.barnesandnoble.com
Smashwords — https://www.smashwords.com
TMP Bookstore — http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com
Kobo — http://store.kobobooks.com
**I’m running a promotional give away. Readers can enter through the Rafflecopter link below. If you want the widget to embed in your site, let me know.
ENTER TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD
One last thing…
Book Groups – Visit my website, www.ellenbutler.net to find book club questions on Poplar Place. I’m available to be a guest author for book clubs as well. Fill out the contact form on the website for more information.
Poplar Place sounds like a book I need to check out. Thanks for stopping by, Ellen.