This week's Friday Fave is a little different. I'd like you to meet Ellen, friend, runner, cyclist and fellow coach. And, as of Sept 12, published author! Meet Ellen!
Book and Blog Name: My book is called Brownie Fix, and it’s a tale about postpartum depression that is conquered with a little dark humor and chocolate. I must warn you that Brownie Fix is funny and a bit offensive. Here’s a summary:
Wandering in her own postpartum hell, Persey meets people that are absurd, like the swinging neighbors who want a little more than a cup of sugar and a group of mothers who become whipped up in worship to a climactic furor. On top of the madness, she keeps seeing a yellow-toothed old man who acts like he wants to breastfeed from her. Or is it her imagination? Add the voices in her head that become louder and louder, and it's little wonder that Persey reaches for brownie mix to soothe her insanity.
Brownie Fix will be released on September 12th, my birthday, but if you would like to buy advanced copies or get a sneak peek, check out the following links:
For the paperback on Amazon
For the Kindle on Amazon
For the Nook
For the iBook
I also have two blogs. My first blog is called The Paranoid Writer, and it’s about my struggles as a writer and trying to break into the publishing field and finally succeeding. The second blog is called “Advice from Harry and Hagrid,” and if you want to know the real me, that’s the blog. It’s set up as an advice column written by my cats, Harry and Hagrid, with the occasional words from Kirby, my little dog. I write random questions about what is bothering me, and they give their advice from a cat’s perspective. I sometimes add my own advice, but how many times do we really take our own advice?
Where are you from? I’m from Houston, Texas, and I’ve lived in Texas all my life.
When did you start writing and blogging? I’ve always been a writer, but I really never accepted it because I was scared I would fail. It wasn’t until I took a Creative Writing course, one of the courses that I had to take and saved for last with dread, that I realized I could do it. Writing was just so natural for me, and I enjoyed it. It’s hard work, but it’s work that I don’t mind to do. For blogging, I started when blogging became popular. I’ve always kept a journal to vent my crazy thoughts, but a blog was so much fun to set up and to write what you felt.
What is one of your all time favorite songs? The one that comes to my head is “I’ll Stop the World and Melt With You” by Modern English. That song opens the floodgates to my memories of the 80s in high school and college. Every time I hear it, I just smile. Anyone remember the movie, Valley Girl?
Now, confession, look in iTunes, which song has the most plays? Oh no, I looked at my Top 25, and at the top was . . . oh, this is embarrassing, “Womanizer” by Britney Spears. Oh my goodness. I hate to admit it, but it has a great beat for running. All my songs are geared for running, so they all have strong, consistent beats. #2 was “Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles. That is my all time favorite running song. It has the best beat to pick up your feet. I’m still in complete shock over Britney Spears.
Do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? I love to read, and that’s how I learn how to write. Right now, I’m enjoying the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris. These are the books that the HBO series, True Blood, is based upon. I’ve also recently read Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King and had nightmares. I also have to throw in the classics; those books are always a good go-to read when I can’t find anything.
What was your favorite book as a child? The Story of Ferdinand. It’s the story about the bull, who refused to fight and wanted to sit under a tree and smell the flowers. Yes, I still get teary–eyed when I read it.
If you had a signature scent, what scent would that be? Prada
Confession, in your office, how do co-workers refer to you? Right now, I work at home and spend time working on my second book and marketing for Brownie Fix, but people who know me think I’m crazy because I’m a long-distance runner, and they also want to know how my husband and I ride a tandem (bicycle for two) without killing each other. When I taught literature to high school seniors and college students, they just thought I was crazy because I was very enthusiastic about the stories.
When you meet someone new, what is the first thing you notice about them? The smile. A smile really tells what is going on with a person. Have you ever met someone whose smile never touched their eyes? Very scary.
Do you have any tattoos? Is there a story behind it? No tattoos. I’m way too fickle to have a permanent mark on my body. It has to hurt. Right?
Do you have a mantra, verse or quote that inspires you? Yes. It’s “Push, Ellen, Push” said in a French accent. One of my running coaches was French, and we were running up a hill one morning, and I was falling behind, which was not a surprise. All of a sudden, she comes up to me and says quite firmly in her French accent, “Push, Ellen Push.” It’s my favorite mantra for motivation.
For you athletes - what is your ultimate goal race/achievement? Right now, it’s the White Rock Marathon. I foresee some triathlons in my future. I’ve got the cycling and running, but it’s the swimming that makes me shudder a bit. I’d also like to do one of the marathons at Disney World. It looks like fun.
What is your dream vacation? Climb Alp d’Huez, the famous mountain in the Tour de France, and ride some of the Tour de France routes, not the mountain stages, the flat stages. If I’m cycling in Europe, I certainly could not forget about the shopping. Cycling and shopping: that’s a good combination.
What advice would you give to bloggers/writers just starting out? Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. Start a journal or a blog, and keep at it. I’ve written horrible stuff, but out of that stuff, comes ideas that turn into stories. Don’t be scared, just jump in and start writing and turn your feelings into words and paint your stories with words.
So stinkin' excited for you Ellen! Congratulations on your very first book - I pink sparkle heart you!