Sunday, February 16th, 2020
Grandma Moses and I….
Like Anna Mary Robertson Moses with her painting, I began writing fiction, later in life. I had an earlier start than she, but tackling novels in my golden years was a challenge which took me nearly a decade to conquer. I will leave it up to you, dear readers, if I’ve been sufficiently successful or not.
Why would I take on such a task? Truthfully, I don’t know. Maybe I wanted to keep my brain active; maybe I needed a new goal. I like to quip that novel writing is profession #17 and that is not much of an exaggeration. What else can a college grad with a double major in English and history who does not want to teach do? So, you test career pathways until you find one that lets you eat something better than hotdogs and beans.
Since I worked in the newspaper business as a teenager, doing all the back-office tasks in my mother’s newspapers, I’ve always liked to write. Though after only a few years of sitting at an editor’s desk, the newspapers were sold to a conservative publisher, a publisher whose politics and mine mixed like proverbial oil and water. Alas, to the unemployment line I went.
I ran art galleries in Europe; wrote grants and travel copy, and when the internet ate my travel agency for breakfast, I put on a real estate hat and told Harriet Homeowner how this new house would be her forever-dream-home. Finally, I only ate hotdogs at the ball park, though my mind craved more.
Writing college essays or newspaper copy is totally different from writing a novel. I didn’t even know how to punctuate dialogue much less compose it! After a few college courses, a slew of how-to books, and the reading of umpteen best sellers, Man Booker, and Pulitzer winners, I stared at the blank page and started a story about an Irish poet who had caught my fancy.
Even I thought it was awful. So back to the keyboard I went. ‘Why not write about something you know?’ I said to myself. And Lorelei Harte, the young girl who dreamed of becoming a journalist, was born.
I love my main character, Lorelei Brennan Winthrop Harte. She is everything I am not, well almost everything… I hope you will love her as much as I and cheer her on as she survives an emotionally abusive mother, leaves a parochial southern peninsular behind, and tests her journalistic wings as she flits from Washington, DC to Greece to Lebanon and lands in Northern Ireland. She triumphs over tragedy, conquers sexism without abandoning her gender, and captures the human side of war. She is as tenacious as Marie Colvin yet she is more than a war correspondent. Her words fight for women’s rights and her columns condemn oppression. She is besieged by the Klu Klux Klan and kidnapped by the Protestants during The Troubles.
My Mermaid Trilogy will be available in e-books February, 2020. Maybe, I’ll have my novels made into audio-books, but right now paperbacks are beyond my budget.
Check out my website please, https://christieselph.com/. There’s a discount if you buy all three. Let me know how you like: The Siren of Loreley Rock, The Mermaid Hunters, and The Merrow’s Red Cap. I want to hear from you. I think conversations between a writer and her readers benefits us all especially when you are a new writer like me. I have two more drafts I’m working on, or I may do a spin off and write about Lorelei’s lover, John Carlton. He’s “damaged goods”, you know.
Anyone who writes knows it’s a solitary vocation. A former fifth generation Washingtonian, I spend my time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, overlooking the Pacific and in places around the world, I have been fortunate to visit or have an inkling to see. Maybe our paths will cross or even better come for a visit and share a Margarita and a sunset with me. I like mine with salt and a splash of Grand Mariner.