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Friday, December 20, 2019

Persevere and Keep Writing: Author Interview with Lauren Elliott

How did you come up with the idea for your Christmas themed book? Could you give a short synopsis on the book for my readers?
Christmas is my favorite time of the year and let it be known that I’m a six-year-old at heart and love everything about the holidays. I wanted to write a book that portrayed what is most important about the season to me while still writing within my cozy mystery genre.  I also wanted to depict scenes of family and friends coming together in celebration of the magic of the season and show readers what it really means. Not only from the aspect of sights and sounds of the holidays but also to the aromas. Keep in mind that scents can stir memories and create a link to our pasts.

In Murder in the First Edition, a story that is based around the discovery and mysterious disappearance of a first edition copy of, A Christmas Carol. There is a moment when Addie catches a whiff of a Christmas apple-spiced punch, similar to one her grandmother used to make. The fragrance stirs warm memories and for a moment, Addie is taken back, in her mind and heart, to Christmases past that were filled by her loving family gathered together in celebration of the season.

If readers love stories that are centered on bookstores and rare books, then they’re going to enjoy following the adventures of Addie, Serena, her best friend and local tea merchant, plus the other cast of colorful characters in the quaint seaside town of Greyborne Harbor where murder and mystery are not … uncommon.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? 
One of the traditions I love in December is baking. I’m not a crafty person and stand in awe of those who are, but I do love to create delicious treats for family and friends. It’s my secret weapon after a busy December day, whether it was spent open-air skating, sledding or perusing one of the many holiday craft markets.

What’s next? 
Here’s a sneak peek at the cover blurb for Proof of Murder, the fourth book in the series which will be released in April 2020.

The seaside New England town of Greyborne Harbor is home to many grand estates, including the Queen Anne Victorian Addie inherited from her great aunt. Now one of those mansions is holding an estate sale, which is just what the bookshop owner needs to replenish her supply of rare editions—even if the house is rumored to be haunted. Assisting an overwhelmed insurance appraiser with the inventory, Addie discovers an 1887 magazine containing Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, which she estimates to be worth over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

But when Addie later finds the appraiser dead in the estate's private library, with the door bolted from the inside, and the priceless edition missing, it's a mystery worthy of the Great Detective himself. She's certain the death and the robbery are connected—but who, other than a ghost who can walk through walls, could have gotten in to do the deed? It's up to Addie to find the key to the crime—before she's the next one cornered by a killer . . .

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been given you’d like to share?
Read, write, learn the craft of writing, read, write, listen, read, write, and to never give up if it’s your passion.

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
That patience is a virtue and one I lacked. I am/was a very type “A” personality and wanted everything done yesterday. I came from a strong management background and was used to things happening clickity-clickity. The number-one lesson I’ve learned about the publishing industry is that nothing happens in my timeline. I have to take a deep breath and wait for everything.

It’s like a world unto itself, and guess what? I’m no longer a type A and have learned to breathe through the process of four to five rounds of edits, hashing out title and cover ideas with my editor, building an advanced reading team, pre-release marketing and promotion and then all the commotion around release day and the book promotion following that—but most of all.  I’ve learned to love letting the control go and enjoy the ride.  

Any last words or tips?
If you aspire to be a writer, remember that it is a learned craft and an evolving process. Don’t ever give up. It’s your passion and to also remember very few writers have the success of JK Rowling or Stephen King. It took them over twenty years to reach the success levels they enjoy today. At the beginning of their writing careers, they too received enough rejection letters from agents and publishers to wallpaper their home offices with before someone took a chance on them. Be prepared for the long haul, a lot of hard work, and the ability to develop a thick skin, but always remember why you are persevering and keep writing because if you don’t, a part of you will shrivel up and die.

Are there any other books that you’d like to tell my readers about?

I write the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series and to date, there have been six books contracted by Kensington Publishing in the series. Although each book can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend that readers begin with book one, Murder by the Book and then read the second, Prologue to Murder before jumping into book three, Murder in the First Edition. I think that starting at the beginning of any series helps in learning the back-story and seeing character development and growth throughout the course of a series.

If you’re ready to start reading Lauren’s books and what’s coming next, here’s how you can get connected:
Facebook: author/
Kensington Authors:

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