ROCCO welcomes Mary Ellen Hughes back to the blog!
- Welcome Mary Ellen! Tell us what you’ve been up to since your last visit in August 2014!
Since I was last here, second book in my Pickled and Preserved mystery series, LICENSE TO DILL, was published in February, 2015. After that I wrote book #3, SCENE OF THE BRINE, which was released February 2, 2016! In between there were mystery conferences and book festivals where I met so many wonderful readers and writers.
- Tell us a little bit about your latest release, SCENE OF THE BRINE.
Piper Lamb, owner of Piper’s Picklings, is drawn into a murder investigation when the college-aged son of her caterer friend, Sugar Heywood, is suspected of the murder by poisoning. Piper also deals with her own romantic dilemma: new boyfriend Will or former-fiancé Scott? On top of that, poison that mysteriously found its way into one of Piper’s preserves nearly kills one of her customers – along with Piper’s business!
- How long does it take you to write a novel, start to finish
Writing and editing might take 10-11 months.
- Do you do a lot of research for your books?
There’s always research needed before I start a book, mainly on points that my plot depends on. Then, as I write, things come up that I need to be sure about. I might reach out to experts who can set me straight, or, if I’m lucky, I can find what I need in books or on the internet.
- How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
I’ll first picture them in my mind—age, physical characteristics, job, temperament. They’ll then develop more as I write through their dialogue and actions. It’s fun to see them take shape.
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
My biggest challenge was probably writing to a deadline and giving up certain time-consuming things to keep on track. I do love to write, though, which keeps me motivated. Hearing from readers who’ve enjoyed my books is a major boost, too.
- What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
I do most of my writing in the mornings, five or six days a week. The exact time varies.
- What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
“Crazy things,” if they happened, would have been so long ago that I’ve mercifully forgotten them, LOL!
- What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)
Nobody ever asks what my favorite kind of music is. Although I enjoy popular music, my top favorite is classical.
· Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be: Just one? I guess that might be George Washington. I’d love to hear his side of all that happened back then and find out what he was really like. A lot of myths about him grew over the years.
· If I had just one wish, it would be: that I could have a thousand more wishes, LOL.
· If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be: No one. I’m happy to keep working on my own problems and perks. Nobody’s life is perfect, though it might appear that way for a while.
Thanks MaryEllen! You can find her at: