Please give a warm welcome to fellow Casablanca author, Mary Ellen Dennis. Mary Ellen is the award winning author of The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter, which Sourcebooks will be re-releasing in August (originally slated for April, but these things do happen… such is publishing!), along with a brand new novel, Dream Dancer (title subject to change… again, such is publishing!). Today, Mary Ellen shares with us her favorite thing to do…
My name is Mary Ellen Dennis and I’m addicted to writing books. Reading them, too. Writing and reading and true love and chocolate—life doesn’t get much better than that. Well, maybe I should add watching The Princess Bride or The Enchanted Cottage while munching crème donuts.
When I was in grade school one of our assignments was to read a poem in front of the class. Someone read “Trees” (“I think that I will never SEE a poem as lovely as a TREE”) and someone recited “Jack and Jill”—or was it “Humpty Dumpty”?
I couldn’t decide between Alfred Noyes’ “The Highwayman” and Shakespeare’s “Venus and Adonis” (I love horses).
Why yes, I was an overachiever, why do you ask?
I chose Alfred Noyes and I must have “done good” because the bell rang before I had finished and no one moved. At that very moment I decided I’d be an actress when I grew up. And I’d write a novel inspired by my favorite poem.
I’ve achieved both goals, although to be perfectly honest, writing and marketing The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter took a lot longer. Mostly because editors were “concerned” about the paranormal elements: 13th-century ghosts in a 1790s time period.
My novel Heavens Thunder, A Colorado Saga, was inspired by Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, but that’s a blog for another day.
First, I want everyone reading this blog to know that The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter has a happy ending. I believe in happy endings because I’m living one. I met my husband, novelist Gordon Aalborg, via the NINC (Novelists Inc) on-line list. He lived in Tasmania. I lived in Colorado Springs. We decided to write a romantic suspense together and fell in love. He asked me to marry him. I said, “I think we should meet face-to-face, first.” He suggested I fly to Australia. I said I had a deadline. He said (and I quote), “Silly wench, I have a computer.”
I applied for a passport and flew to Tasmania. The “honeymoon” worked out fine, so we both sold our homes and bought a heritage cottage on Vancouver Island. And we said our vows at a writers conference. Well, to be perfectly honest, Gordon wrote (and recited) his vows while I sang “Evergreen” (I have a thing for Streisand).
Gordon writes romances under the pseudonym Victoria Gordon, http://www.gordonaalborg.com/victoriagordon.html, and I’ve got to admit, you’ve never been romanced until you’ve been romanced by a romance author :) Last October we celebrated our 10th anniversary!
Gordon inspires me, and I wrote The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter in the beautiful office he built for me, an office that includes a huge framed poster of Daniel Day Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans (I have a thing for Daniel Day), a chiseled rock that says CREATE, a merry-go-round horse (merry-go-rounds play an important part in my second Casablanca historical romance, Dream Dancer), and a stuffed “deadline vulture” named Michael, after my first editor.
I hope you enjoy Landlord as much as I enjoyed writing it, when it finally hits stores this August. And always, always remember: “If you drop a dream, it breaks.”
Thanks so much to Mary Ellen for stopping by! We have 2 Advanced Reader copies of The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter up for grabs today—please tell us what your favorite thing to do is (or your favorite thing to do to procrastinate, to fit in with this month’s blog theme), and leave your email addy. US and Canada only today—sorry kids! Winners will be contacted on Monday, 4/11. For more information on Mary Ellen, please visit http://www.maryellendennis.com/.