Today on WWW, I have Ellen Butler, author, chocoholic, & shoe shopper-holic sharing about how she came to be a published writer...
Did You Always Want to Be a Writer?
Hi Terri, thanks for having me at Scribbler’s Sojourn! It’s always a pleasure to reach out to new readers. Following my brief article, you’re visitors will find a blurb from my recent release Heart of Design, and entry for a promotional giveaway. So make sure to read to the bottom!
One of the questions I am often asked in interviews is; did you know you always wanted to be a writer? My initial answer is a resounding, no. My major in college was Political Science, and I have a Master’s in Public Administration and Policy. I was going to be a Congresswoman or Senator. Or I was going to work for a lobbyist, influencing public policy and writing brilliant, mountain moving legislation. However, after working on Capitol Hill for one short summer, my eyes were opened; watching the political grind left me jaded and disheartened.
Then did you decide to become a writer? You ask. Nope. I found a rewarding position at a medical, nonprofit association providing management services, leadership development, and eventually working my way into international affairs. My job included quite a bit of writing, including articles, bylaws, policies, and marketing materials. So, writing was an integral part of my work life, and I will admit to getting dinged by the editorial staff for using “flowery” language, or going off on tangents; basically, being told “stick to the facts.” I believe it was the glint of early stages of my fiction writing career.
So, how did you decide to become a writer? You’re wondering. After my kids were born, I chose to quit my job and stay home with them. Throughout my life I’d always been an avid reader, enjoying a variety of genres from chick lit, to romance, to mysteries, to legal dramas. When my oldest was three and attending preschool a few hours a week, I found my idle brain cranking away, making up stories. I’d read a news article, or watch a show and my brain would say, “But what if this happened instead?” So, I created the outline for Poplar Place (released in March 2014) and two other unpublished novels. Then promptly shoved them in the drawer when my second baby was born, too busy and exhausted to carry on. When he went to preschool, those back-of-the-drawer outlines called to me. My husband bought me a new laptop computer and I began banging out my first novel.
I would say that the first novel was easiest one for me to write. There were no deadlines to adhere to, no reviewers to make happy, and no rules to follow. Now that I’m starting my fifth novel, I miss the bygone lackadaisical days of limitless possibilities with minimal constraints. However, I appreciate the vindication that comes with a book contract. That someone in the industry has said, “Yes, you write a good story and we want to publish it,” can mean everything to a new author.
So, for aspiring authors I have this advice to provide; no matter what your background, if you have the urge to write, do so. Stop thinking about writing. Do it. Start with an outline. It’ll help get you on the way. Taking that leap over the edge is the hardest part, but once you do, you’ll never look back!
Heart of Design
first in the Love California Style series
Author: Ellen Butler
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2014
Genre: Romance, Romantic Comedy
Sophie Hartland has recently turned 30, and is five years out from a confidence crushing divorce. She’s sworn off men in favor of making her interior design business a success when her best friend introduces her to LA Heat’s hot, new star, Ian O’Connor. He’s one of Hollywood’s beautiful people, with an Irish accent that makes Sophie’s toes curl. Ian hires her to renovate his home, and at their second meeting he initiates a scorching kiss that knocks her socks off. Even though she would love to drop down and go for it on the funky kitchen floor, Sophie sticks to her guns and enforces her “no dating clients” rule.
The tabloids portray flirtations Ian as Hollywood’s latest playboy who has women falling at his feet, and Sophie refuses to be another notch on his bedpost. But Ian isn’t the type to take no for an answer, and he finds Sophie a refreshing change from the actress wannabes trying hop aboard his new gravy train of success. Using his charm, he tries to persuade Sophie to break the rules.
Can Sophie ignore her traitorous libido and hold Ian off for the next five or six weeks until the renovations are finished? Or will she cave in to his pull on her heartstrings, and end up doing the knicky-knacky on the new velvet sofa? More importantly, can she protect her heart in this game of wills?
Links: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Design-Ellen-Butler-ebook/dp/B00LH63T1I/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404748942&sr=1-2&keywords=Heart+of+Design
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-design-ellen-butler/1119908399?ean=9781440583643
Ellen Butler lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, and is new to novel writing. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy, and her history includes a long list of writing and editing for dry but illuminating professional newsletters, and windy papers on public policy. The leap to novel writing was simply a creative outlet for Ellen’s over active and romantic imagination to run wild.
Heart of Design is her third release in 9 months. You can find her first two releases, Poplar Place and Second Chance Christmas at Amazon and other major eBook retailers. Professionally, she belongs to the Virginia Writer’s Club, the Northern Virginia Writer’s Club, and is a founding member of the Tempting Romance blog. When she’s not writing, Ellen is either, running around after her children, decorating a neighbor’s house, or holed up in her favorite lounge chair reading. Ellen is an admitted chocoholic and confesses to a penchant for shoe shopping. Book club questions for Ellen’s novels can be found on her website.
Signed Hard Copy of Ellen’s Novel Poplar Place & $5 Starbucks Giftcard