My guest today is Elle Druskin. A well known academic, Elle turned to fiction thinking that To Catch A Cop was just for practice, never dreaming it would end up nominated as Best Romantic Comedy of 2010. Her many travels to all parts of the world and adventures occasionally feature in her books, but her students are either relieved or disappointed to learn they are NOT characters in any of them! To Catch A Cop is the first book in the To Catch series featuring Lindy Kellerman and Detective Fraser MacKinnon. To Catch A Crook is the second book in the series. Both are available from Red Rose Publishing, Amazon Kindle and Fictionwise.
Anne - Welcome Elle. Let’s talk writing! Describe the characters in the To Catch series.
Elle – They are “real.” They make mistakes. They do dumb things sometimes, but it’s their story, not mine, as strange as that might sound. Besides, perfect people are boring. Where’s the story in that?
My characters are resilient; things happen to them but they don’t sit around moaning and groaning and waiting for someone to bail them out of whatever mess they’re in. Lindy Kellerman, my heroine in the To Catch books might be doing it tough financially, been through a rotten divorce, doing her best as a single mother, overworked, always exhausted and doubting herself at some level, but what readers have told me that they like about Lindy is that she’s real.
What I like about Lindy is the way she responds. In To Catch A Cop, she’s the chief suspect in a murder so there’s only one thing to do—you guessed it, solve the murder. That her only crime solving skills are reading mystery novels by the ton and watching crime shows doesn’t deter Lindy, or her friends. She just isn’t prepared to sit around and let things happen; she’s pro-active in a goofy, frenetic sort of way because like so many women, she’s overloaded between a job and kids. And she does it again in To Catch A Crook, when a
archivist has been murdered and she’s on the lam from the cops and the killer. Of course, being Lindy, really odd things happen. I mean, let’s face it, how Santa Claus, a soap star and a Bollywood diva got mixed in a murder is something that could only happen to Lindy. London
Anne - What one how-to write book is a must on your bookshelf? Why?
Elle - I think Lawrence Block’s Writing for Fun and Profit is still a good one. I belong to the Books and Writers Forum and have for years on and off. The Forum is a great online hangout. There are lots of great readers, a few agents or editors there, and some very successful writers and quite a few published writers whose names might not be well known, but they are indeed, published. It’s a great support system and discussion forum with periodic advice from great writers, Diana Gabaldon, being the most well known, but lots of others.
Anne - If you could just snap your fingers and go, where would you visit, return to, or move? Why?
Elle - This answer could change from day to day. I have been to a lot of places and had the great fortune to visit a lot of countries which has been the result of luck and serendipity. In many cases, work as an academic brought me to these places and gave me the chance to do some traveling around and getting to know local people. I have also lived in three countries which is very different to being a tourist.
The list of places I would still like to visit seems to change all the time. Right now, I would say I would still like to see
because I adored the Anne of Green Gables books as a kid, so did my daughter, and I still think they are great. I’d also like to visit Prince Edward Island because my family came from that part of the world. I’ve gotten close, been to many places in Lithuania Europe but never there. After years of thinking I would never want to see Vietnam, right now, I am finally reading quite a few historical accounts of the Vietnam War which deeply affected my generation, and it’s helping me to better understand why things happened the way they did and the implications that we still face today as a result.
Anne - Any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?
Elle - The best advice I can give is write, keep writing and read and keep reading. You can’t learn to write without writing and no matter how awful, (it could be great too!) it will get better but it can’t if you don’t start. You also have to be able to handle criticism. Any book you write is not your baby, it is not criticism that should be taken personally but as a means to improve.
One of the fundamental flaws for new writers is giving away too much too soon. There’s a fine balance in hooking a reader and dribbling information rather than dumping.
As for reading, I firmly believe the more we read, the better.
is as important to writing as any other tool in terms of craft (see above.) I read on average, four books a week, depending of the sort of book, but I read everything—fiction and non-fiction. I read novels in all sorts of genres, mysteries, romance, historical, thriller, etc. I also read a lot of non-fiction, especially history, but all sorts of things. Biographies, religion, travel, politics. I think you get my drift here. Reading
Anne –I’m excited to announce you are offering a giveaway of one of your books to one lucky reader. What question would you like to address in a comment?
Elle - What makes you decide to take a chance and spend your hard earned money on a new or unknown author’s book rather than an established writer?
Readers can choose from the following books:
To Catch A Cop
To Catch A Crook
Going To The Dogs
Note: All book prizes are electronic version.
Thanks so much, Elle. Just a quick reminder, please include your email address (annekalbert AT gmail DOT com). The winner will be selected at random and announced here on March 16.
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