Welcome to the six hundred and fourteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with historical mystery author and spotlightee Eleanor Sullivan. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Eleanor. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Eleanor: I live in St. Louis, Missouri in the States, and I’ve been writing since forced to in graduate school. Later, as a professor, I wrote professional articles and textbooks and for the last 10 years I’ve been writing mysteries.
Morgen: It’s interesting you say ‘forced to’. It clearly didn’t put you off. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Eleanor: I only write mystery fiction but I have two series—a contemporary and a historical series. No, I only read mysteries so that’s all I have enough interest in to write.
Morgen: Historical and mystery are two of the most popular genres. I’ve had three agents tell me face-to-face that they’re after more historical and crime, one telling me she wants cosy crime, more Agatha Christie. What have you had published to-date? Are your books available as eBooks?
Eleanor: I have four books published, three in the Monika Everhardt series (Twice Dead, Deadly Diversion, Assumed Dead), and the first in the Singular Village Mystery series (Cover Her Body). Yes, they are all available as eBooks.
Morgen: Great titles. Morgen: Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Eleanor: I definitely love my new series and the midwife protagonist, Adelaide. The series is set in the village where my ancestors settled after they escaped brutal persecution in their native Germany to come to America. My own distant grandfather was their leader so he becomes a realistic adversary for my midwife protagonist.
Morgen: Wow. They say to write what you know, and it always helps with getting your facts right. Did you choose the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Eleanor: I think both titles and covers are vital to a book’s success, and I’ve been delighted with both my nonfiction and fiction titles. Sometimes I’ve been asked about a cover and found the publisher responsive to my comments, even changing one that I found inappropriate.
Morgen: It’s great that you can have that say. Many authors, especially with mainstream publishers, don’t have a choice and it must be so hard marketing something your heart’s not with. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Eleanor: I’m working on the next Singular Village Mystery, Graven Images. When an itinerant artist is found hanging in a barn, local villagers are quick to blame an Irish traveller conveniently passing through town. A young midwife fears that if she can’t discover the real murderer before the traveller’s broken leg heals, he’ll be turned over to the American authorities where he’ll surely be hanged.
Morgen: What a great plot. You sound very busy, do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?