Elaine L. Orr


Elaine L. Orr writes four mystery series, including the thirteen-book Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series, set at the Jersey shore. "Behind the Walls" was a finalist for the 2014 Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Awards. The first book in the River's Edge series--set in rural Iowa--"From Newsprint to Footprints," came out in late 2015; the second book, "Demise of a Devious Neighbor," was a Chanticleer finalist in 2017.

The Logland series is a police procedural with a cozy feel, and began with "Tip a Hat to Murder" in 2016 The Family History Mystery series, set in the Western Maryland Mountains began with "Least Trodden Ground" in 2020. The second book in the series, "Unscheduled Murder Trip," received an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion in 2021.

She also writes plays and novellas, including the one-act play, "Common Ground" published in 2015. Her novella, "Falling into Place," tells the story of a family managing the results of an Iowa father’s World War II experience with humor and grace. Another novella, "Biding Time," was one of five finalists in the National Press Club's first fiction contest, in 1993. "In the Shadow of Light" is the fictional story of children separated from their mother at the US/Mexico border.

Nonfiction includes :Words to Write By: Getting Your Thoughts on Paper: and :Writing When Time is Scarce.: She graduated from the University of Dayton and the American University and is a member of Sisters in Crime. Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994.

Her fiction and nonfiction are at all online retailers in all formats -- ebooks, paperbacks, large print, and (on Amazon, itunes, and Audible.com) audio in digital form. Paperbacks can be ordered through Barnes and Noble Stores as well as t heir online site.

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Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
I enjoyed writing by the time I was in my early teens, but did not see it as a full-time career possibility until I was in my early thirties. I started writing more seriously then--first plays, then screenplays, and finally, novels.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
In a word, age. Through the years of writing I had rejections, many with very nice notes of encouragement. I would lose interest in submissions and go on to the next project. When I decided to write a mystery series I worked on the first two books in tandem, fine-tuning the characters and getting the humor where I wanted it. When I finished, I thought, "Heck, it could be years before these could get published." I was in my late fifties. Thankfully, self-publishing was a reasonable option.
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print

Smashwords book reviews by Elaine L. Orr