Friday, July 31, 2015

INTERVIEW WITH MARY ELLIS



Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, Midnight on the Mississippi, first of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, is set in New Orleans. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. You can learn more about Mary by visiting her Website or her Facebook Page.
 
INTERVIEW

What do you do when you’re not writing?  


I run around like a headless chicken trying to catch up with “life.” In all seriousness, I lose myself for days while writing, stopping only long enough to throw a non-gourmet meal on the table, walk my dog, and sleep. Then suddenly I notice the garden has more weeds than flowers, there is no food in the house, and all our clothes sit in piles on the basement floor. I’m not an untidy person, so I work like a dervish until caught up. Then I curl up in my chaise with a book…a mystery, of course.

How did you choose the genre you write in?  


Mysteries and romantic suspense is the genre I started out in. After two published books, I changed to Amish fiction and wrote twelve books before giving historical romance a whirl. I enjoyed writing those genres very much. But since mysteries are what I like to read, it was natural for me to come back to them.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?  


I try not to read reviews of my books, but every now and then I’m curious. One reader said my book An Amish Family Reunion had so many characters that it was tough to keep them straight and she finally gave up. I had to laugh. After all, what did she expect? It was an Amish reunion and they have big families. The best compliment came from a reader who said my book changed her life. A character had solved a problem by taking a certain path, a problem that my reader was experiencing herself. There could be no better compliment than that.

If you could go back in time and do something differently in your writing career, what would it be?  


I believe everything happens for a reason. Each “misstep” we take is actually setting the stage for future growth and improvement. So the only thing I would change is not worrying about the future so much. In the early years of my career, I used to check lists and compare myself to others, or fret that this article or interview wouldn’t measure up. God has the future capably in His hands. If I would have remembered that more often I could have saved myself many sleepless nights.





What Lies Beneath the Black Water of the Bayou?

Hunter Galen, a New Orleans securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, of embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder as she establishes herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen-Nowak Investments, Hunter’s fiancĂ©e, Ashley Menard, rubs her the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman who seems to be hiding something, but is the PI’s growing attraction to Hunter—the police’s only suspect—her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As Hunter and Nicki encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and death threats both subtle and overt, danger swirls around them like the mysterious dark water of the bayou. Only their reliance on faith and fearless determination give them hope they will live to see another day. 


Mary is giving away a copy of MIDNIGHT ON THE MISSISSIPPI! To enter, leave a comment, along with your contact information. U.S. and Canada only, please.






57 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this interview with Mary and I especially like her theory that everything happens for a reason. She believes that each “misstep” we take is actually setting the stage for future growth and improvement. If only all of us could feel that way!
    Thanks for a great interview!
    Connie
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

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    1. Believe me, at times it's hard to seeing the "silver lining", but when I do, I'm often rewarded for my faith. Thanks for leaving me a comment.

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  2. Great interview! Sounds like a good book.
    Onorman(at)wilkes(dot)net

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the interview, Ola. Thanks for dropping by.

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  3. Excellent interview. Sounds like a book I would enjoy. Please enter me.

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    1. Good luck in the drawing, Pam. Best regards to you.

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  4. A good reminder that all our past mistakes are used to make us better. I enjoy suspense and I live in Alabama so Midnight on the Mississippi sounds like a book to add to my TBR pile.
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Lucky you to live in Alabama. I will be along the Gulf during September and I plan a trip up to Mobile. I cannot wait!!

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  5. Great interview. And I especially identified with her belief that even the "mishaps" in life happen for our growth. GOD indeed in control.

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    1. God is indeed in control of our lives. And when I remember to thank Him daily for his grace, I usually have a much better day.

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  6. Great interview. And I especially identified with her belief that even the "mishaps" in life happen for our growth. GOD indeed in control.

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  7. Great interview. And I especially identified with her belief that even the "mishaps" in life happen for our growth. GOD indeed in control.

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  8. Good interview and thank you for the giveaway.

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    1. Good luck in the drawing, Ann. Best regards to you.

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  9. Great interview! Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win!
    rbgillihan(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much for posting a comment, Beth. I hope you're having a lovely weekend.

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  10. I enjoyed the interview with Mary! I love suspense novels. MIDNIGHT ON THE MISSISSIPPI sounds fabulous!

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    1. Suspense and mysteries are my favorites too, Caryl. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

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  11. Midnight on the Mississippi sound like a book I would enjoy. I enjoyed the interview, as well, and will look for Mary Ellis's other novels.

    thejorns at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Jessica. I hope you enjoy whichever book you come across.

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  12. So enjoyed reading this! I am a fan of Mary Ellis' Amish books, and now am intrigued to read her other books. I too am a firm believer that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Thans for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words about my Amish novels. I'm glad you're willing to give my suspense a try! Best regards.

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  13. Wow! Sounds like an amazing nail biting book that will keep me on the edge of my seat. danajeweler at y mail dot com

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    1. Although I hope you don't really bite your nails, I do hope my novel keeps you on the edge of your seat.

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  14. Wow! I am ready to read Midnight on the Mississippi after reading the synopsis. Just the kind of book I love to read.
    beth_rumbaugh@yahool.com

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    1. I truly hope you enjoy the read, Beth. And thanks for posting a comment.

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  15. would love to win. angelachesnut246@gmail.com

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    1. Good luck in the drawing, Angela, and I hope you're enjoying the weekend.

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  16. I really enjoyed the interview. I liked how a reader was helped by reading one of Mary's books and was able to resolve her problem by applying what the fictional character did. And yes everything happens for a reason. We may not know why at the moment , but when it is time, we discover why it happened.
    Jhdwayne@peoplepc.com

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    1. Thanks, Deana. I firmly believe we can all learn something from every book we read...even fiction. Thanks for posting a comment.

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  17. This sounds like a great suspense novel.
    Thereadmaster@me.com

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    1. Thanks, Virginia. Good luck in the drawing.

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  18. Hi Mary! It's always good to be introduced to new authors. Wow! You worked for Hershey!! I'm from Pennsylvania and HersheyPark is one of my all time favorite places. I look forward to reading your new book. My email address is BonnieD73@comcast.net Thanks for sharing your life.

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    1. I absolutely loved working for Hershey! They are a great company to work for. And I miss getting passes to the park on "employee" day. Best wishes to you!!

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  19. I have been eyeing this book at work and am so looking forward to reading it!
    Thanks, Kristie tklovenest (@) aol (.) com

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  20. I'm with Mary when she says everything happens for a reason! I firmly believe God orchestrates our lives and can use even our mistakes to turn us around. Thanks for the interview, really enjoyed reading more about you, Mary! Your new book sounds great, thanks for the chance to win a copy!

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    1. Good luck in the drawing, Trixi. And thanks for leaving a comment.

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  21. Here's my email:
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  22. I wanting to know how Hunter and Nicki handle this ! !
    dkstevensneAToutlookD OtCoM

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    1. I think the ending will surprise you! Have a lovely weekend, Deanna.

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  23. I've read a couple of Mary's Amish books and liked them very much so I'm curious to read one of her mysteries. I really enjoy mysteries and this sounds like a good one.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words about my Amish books. Good luck in the drawing.

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  24. Oh, this mystry sounnds delish!!!! Thanx for the giveaway!!!!

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    1. Thanks for posting a comment and good luck.

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  25. I forgot my info! j4hibdon(at)yahoo(dot) Enjoyed the interview!

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  26. Great interview and I would really love to read your book! I have a question....if you were one of your many characters that you write about, which one would it be!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. That's an easy question, Melanie. It would be Nicki in this book, because I absolutely fell in love with my fictional character Hunter by the end of the book.

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  27. Great interview. I am excited to read this new book.
    sjwluck@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Sheila. Good luck in the drawing.

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  28. Great interview! The book sound amazing. I look forward to reading it.
    hilarycandy@live.com
    Hilary Cooper

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  29. I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview, Hilary. Good luck in the drawing.

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  30. Enjoyed the interview-sounds like a book that I would like!

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  31. I enjoyed reading the questions and answers as well as the info on the book. Mystery and Suspense are my favorites so this is right up my alley. Would love to read and review it!

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  32. Forgot to leave my contact info:
    Swanson.cynthial@gmail.com

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. That book sounds really good, and I enjoy trying new authors :).

    jump5er[at]hotmail[dot]com

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