Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Interview with Sue Eller, Cozy Mystery Writer Extraordinaire!

 After reading just the first paragraph of Meadowlark Madness by Sue Eller, I felt right at home, knowing I was in the hands of an excellent story-teller.

About the book: Just when overdue rent threatens to close the doors of Emily Trace’s E.T. Investigations, a new client arrives with an unusual concern (and a bundle of cash): The meadowlarks are missing! Willing to accept nearly any commission to keep the doors of her private eye business open, recently widowed Emily Trace is determined to prove that her husband’s death was not accidental.

What ensues is a riotous and eventually overlapping series of events, engaging characters that come to life, and a plot that mixes a cozy mystery with science fiction flair. 

After I finished reading Meadowlark Madness, I knew I wanted to talk with Sue Eller to find out just what motivated her as a writer. She graciously accepted. Welcome, Sue!

Why do you write? I love the creative process, and my imagination gets impatient if I don't let it out on a regular basis. Okay, I'll be a little more serious. When I hold a book in my hand - a book I created - it's a feeling that's like . . . well, I could say like a parent when they see their newborn child for the first time. I put my heart and soul into each of the books I have written, and I hope that perhaps someone will read one of them and it will change their life in some small way.

I have a whole drawer in my filing cabinet that is stuffed to overflowing with story ideas, outlines, and research on various subjects. I figured out that I will need to live to be 156 years old to complete them all and get them in print.

Who do I write for? Of course, I write for the immense pleasure I derive from telling some of the stories which are rattling around inside my head and bouncing off the inside walls of my cranial cavity.

I write for my friends and loved ones. Part of the joy is watching their faces as they read one of my creations. I can't be right there every minute, of course, but when they share a scene or character they especially liked, it makes it all worthwhile.

I also write to create some positive input. It's a point of pride that my books don't rely on sex or graphic violence or foul language to entice people to buy them. Yes, I know that it's not quite realistic, that the world has lost its innocence, but I want to provide a haven from the storm. And yes, I believe I can still tell an interesting, suspenseful story without all that stuff.

What advice would you give to a writer starting out today? I have actually talked to many people who tell me they want to write a book. The first thing I tell them is to get started. Then I tell them to find a good critique group, one where they feel comfortable sharing what they write. I tell them this is where they will hone their writing skills; and as a bonus, they will also make some very good, lifelong friends. Finally, associate with other writers. Follow some blogs, search on Facebook, WordPress, Google, or other internet resource. Go to some book signings in the area and introduce yourself to the author. "Seek out new life and new civilizations; boldly go . . . ." Sorry, my Star Trek Tourette’s Syndrome just kicked in.

What's next? The name of the next Emily Trace adventure is Send in the Drones. I haven't decided yet whether or not it will be the last tale I tell about our intrepid detective. I could liken it to Dr. Watson's dilemma on which tales about Sherlock to relate to the public, or I could pull my ego back to Earth and say I'll let the fans decide whether or not they want to hear more about Emily Trace and friends.

Thank you, Sue, for sharing your thoughts. I’ve already added your second book in the Trace series, Taming of the T-Bird, and think this will make its way to the top of my to-be-read stack pretty darn fast. 

Sue Eller
Web site:
Twitter: @sue_eller

Sue’s books are available online (Amazon and Smashwords) and can be ordered at any book store. They’re also available at Hastings and Aunties in Spokane; Hastings in Coeur d'Alene, and Vanderford's Books in Sandpoint.

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