Welcome to Author Chat
Hello Ellen thank you for joining us today!
Thanks for having me. It is always fun to chat!
Spring is my favorite season. What is yours?
Believe it or not, that’s a hard one here in Los Angeles. I don’t care what natives say – there really are no seasons, at least not like I grew up with in New York. But I would agree that Spring is my favorite. Especially when I lived back east. That amazing period when Spring is beginning to spring, the weather warms up, and the leaves are that bright new green – it’s intoxicating.
Do you have a Spring Bucket List?
I don’t, and I blame that on my previous statement that I really don’t feel like there are seasons here. I guess the one thing on my list would be to pull out the weeds and foxtails that sprout up after L.A.’s brief winter rains.
What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas! I love it. I love putting up the tree, the outdoor decorations, then just enjoying the day.
I love the recipes in your books. And I bet you have some family favorites. What is the dish your family always asked you to bring to family get gatherings?
Lol, none! My mother, nonna, and zia were such great cooks that our only job was to sit back and eat. I was very good at that. When we visit friends, though, I always like to bring a dessert from one of my book’s recipes. I’m really excited about the cannoli cake recipe in LONG ISLAND ICED TINA. Not to brag, but I think it’s a real winner.
Do you have a pet that keeps you company or is your office assistant?
Our beloved Chi mix rescue, Pogo. He’s the light of our lives.
Do you have a special place/room you display your books and awards?
I didn’t have a special place for my books and awards, but I set up an area in our den for the books when I was shooting a #GoodreadsBookTour video. The alligator is kind of the “spirit animal” for my Cajun Country Mystery series, and I found these great gator bookends online.
Likewise, I don’t haveu a special place for my awards. But since we’ve been doing Zoom events, you best believe that Agatha teapot is front and center on my office desk!
I am a quilter. And as such I have lots of works in progress. Can you tell me us what you are working on?
I love to needlepoint. It so relaxes me that I swear it lowers my blood pressure. There will be two peacocks in my Vintage Cookbook Mystery series, so right now I’m needlepointing what will be a peacock ornament. I love it!
Do you have more than project going at a time?
I tend to finish a project before I move on to a new one. But I do have several unfinished needlepoint projects that kind of stopped speaking to me. On the other hand, I pulled a canvas I bought probably twenty years ago out of the pile when the pandemic started and finished it last month.
BTW, when I’m writing, I don’t move on to a new project until I’ve finished whatever’s outstanding. I don’t go back and forth.
If you could write anywhere in the world where would you go, and which character would you take? New Orleans! And I’d take Grand-mere from my Cajun Country Mysteries.
You have just written The End. How do you celebrate? By running the errands I’ve put off while writing! It may not sound like much of a celebration but there’s joy in a) getting out of the house, and b) not being plagued by the thought, “I should be writing.”
Ellen writes the award-winning Cajun Country Mystery series. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called her most recent book, A Cajun Christmas Killing, “superb.” It won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, as did Body on the Bayou, the second book in the series. Both books were nominated for Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Awards.
Her debut Cajun Country Mystery, Plantation Shudders, made the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention. Find out more about Ellen on her WEBSITE or on TWITTER and FACEBOOK
The Catering Hall Mysteries (as Maria DiRico)
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