Today’s stop is an interview with Elen Smith, author of “Reluctant Cassandra”. Welcome to my blog, Ellen!
Have you been writing for a long time?
Yes! I’ve always loved to write. Before I started a writing career, my journals were always full of stories and character sketches.
What inspired you to start a writing career?
Even though I’ve always liked writing fiction, my career as a freelance writer came first. I was a teacher for several years before I decided to start freelancing. As a freelancer, I focus on writing education materials and editing academic papers. I think the daily discipline of writing for work led me to make more time for my fiction writing.
Is Reluctant Cassandra your first book? If not, can you tell us about your first book?
I would say that Reluctant Cassandra is my first publishable book. Before RC, I wrote a novel about time travel. It was my first attempt at a novel, so the plot just wasn’t as tight and polished as I would have liked. I decided to shelve that book and write something else, and it’s the best thing I could have done. I think I really needed that experience. It showed me that I could write a full-length novel, and that gave me a big boost of confidence when I tried again.
Why did you choose women’s fiction as the genre for your book?
Choosing a genre for this story was very tough for me! Since the main character, Arden, can see both the future and the past, it’s a bit paranormal, but that’s not the true focus of the book. In the end, I felt that Arden’s emotional journey was the driving force in the story, and I thought that would be the ultimate appeal for the reader.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Keep reading! At the end of the day, we’re writers because we love a good story. I don’t always love how my story is coming together as I’m working, but I never get tired of reading. Sinking into a good book is the best way to reignite that love of stories.
Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
Yes! After I finished Reluctant Cassandra, I realized that I still loved the time travel concept that inspired my first attempt at a novel. I’m taking that concept for another spin. I’m currently writing a trilogy: it’s a time travel romance with a little political intrigue!
About The Book
Author: Ellen Smith
Genre: Southern Women’s Fiction
Nothing much changes in historic Eagle Valley, Virginia. That’s a good thing for Arden McCrae. It’s easier to manage her visions of the future when there isn’t much to see. Arden would rather stay buried in the cool certainty that comes with stories of the past. Fortunately, running the local antique store and keeping up with the Eagle Valley Historical Society gives her plenty of history to hide behind.
When her aging parents are forced to sell their farm to pay for medical care, Arden sees big changes ahead. The sale threatens the historic status of Eagle Valley, and Arden’s own store is in peril. Meanwhile, her father’s rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s keeps him locked in a heartbreaking past. The rest of the McCrae family is left to make difficult decisions for the days to come.
The future that nobody wants is descending fast, and Arden must face the visions she’s always avoided. Soon, her town is divided over their historic status and her family is shattered by her father’s declining health. Arden will have to choose whether to fight to preserve the past or learn to embrace the future.
Ellen Smith is a freelance writer and editor, forging ahead into the world of fiction writing. When she isn’t fiddling with sentence structure or analyzing plot devices, she can be found reading, sewing, or avoiding housework. She lives with her family near Washington, D.C.