Interview with Mary Ellen Boyd

What do you read for pleasure?
I love romances. Have loved them, even not knowing that was what I was reading, since I was about 10 years old and devoured all my mother's copies of Louisa May Alcott's books. Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, but most especially Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom. I also read P.G Wodehouse. In fact, that was how my husband decided I might be worth checking out. He gave me one of the Bertie Wooster books (probably as a screening tool), and when I came back for more, things began to blossom. I also love Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter on Mars series. Oh, and Nero Wolfe.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I have lived my entire life in Minnesota. I was born in Brainerd, but moved to Silver Bay, a mining and shipping town on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It was a wonderful place to grow up, small enough to know your neighbors, yet large enough for a small shopping center in the middle of town. At that time there were even two elementary schools. (I'm a baby boomer, so kids bloomed like weeds.) As far as it influencing my writing, I think more than anything our lack of television influenced my writing. My parents decided we kids (five of us) got along much better without one, so instead of television, we read. And read. And read. We're all readers.
Describe your desk
My desk. <sigh> I try to keep it clean and uncluttered, but fail miserably. The desk itself, however, is a bit of a treasure. Several years ago, I needed a better arrangement than what I was using, which took up one whole corner of the room and I hated with a passion. We happened to drop in on the local thrift store on a day when furniture was 50% off, and there was an antique solid wood desk with Queen Ann legs (my favorite style!) and leather insets. I bought it so fast! I still love that desk. I found an antique office chair with the identical stain color at an auction, so they currently are a matched set. The chair even fits into the opening of the desk, so I suspect something like it was intended originally.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was about 10. In fact, that story is still in my head. Someday I might get back to it. I remember telling it to my baby sister, and several years later she asked if I remember that book I'd read to her, and when she gave me the plot, I told her, "I didn't read that. I made it up!" As far as writing seriously, one of my high school English teachers made us start journaling, and I kept it up until after I got married. Once I had a husband to confide in instead of a notebook, I stopped, but I still have a number of those journals. I'm saving them for our son. Some day he might want them because our whole falling in love and getting married is in them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have always had too much imagination. My mind makes up scenes and characters constantly, and writing lets me keep them before they disappear into the mists of forgotten memory. I jot down story ideas constantly, notebooks are scattered around my house on purpose, just to catch ideas when they zip past. I find I love my characters, and they start to live and breathe, sometimes taking over my life. In fact, my second novel, His Brother's Wife, came into being just because I loved the little village I invented for Temper the Wind so much that I wasn't ready to leave it behind just yet. I have heard from some of my readers that they feel the say way about it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've got two in process right now. One is just finished and needs a final edit, the other I'm about a third done. The first is my third Biblical romance, and you'll have to see what the story is when it comes out. I don't want to give anything away. I'll just say the book is a bit of a risk, but the feedback from my Writer's Group so far has been very positive.

The one I just started this year in NaNoWriMo is a second Regency romance about a woman who goes through her father's possessions after he dies, and discovers he is a thief and blackmailer. Add the victims and a lord and the lord's mother, and we have a woman of honor trying to live down her past.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first Biblical novel had a hard time finding a publisher. My agent at the time was told by any number of publishers that they loved the book but could think of no way to market it, and weren't even sure a market for them existed. After years of making the rounds of publishers, she and I parted ways although still on good terms, and I decided to venture out on my own. It wound up being a wonderful idea. There is indeed a market for Biblical romance!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. One advantage of Kindle is that it doesn't have the blue screen, which is being implicated in insomnia. I have enough trouble with insomnia, I don't need that problem with my e-reader!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, I sew. I do laundry and dishes and all the normal household chores, but to me, sewing uses the same part of my creative brain as writing does. I have found that I can't go right from one to the other without cleansing my creative palate first. So I'll read a bit before switching from one to the other. I sew virtually everything I wear, pants, tops, dresses, even coats.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I subscribe to e-book sales lists. I have found several new authors that I love by taking chances on sale books. I also follow links to recommended books, and I look at the sales running through my Facebook feed. If anyone wonders if their Facebook ads get read, I for one look at them!
Published 2015-12-08.
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