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Deb Kelly here: I’m honored to introduce Ellen Meister, a witty, incisive author I’ve followed since her first novel. Ellen is the author of The Other Life, The Smart One, and Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA. She has held editorial positions at SmokeLong Quarterly and DimeStories. Meister teaches creative writing at Hofstra University School of Continuing Education and runs an online group where she mentors aspiring women authors.
Her latest work, FAREWELL, DOROTHY PARKER, was released on Thursday. About it, Publisher’s Weekly said, “Meister skillfully translates the rapier-like wit of the Algonquin Round Table to modern-day New York … [with] pathos, nuanced characters, plenty of rapid-fire one-liners, and a heart-rending denouement.” I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Parker fan who won’t want to gobble this one up.
Thanks for joining us, Ellen! Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
That would have to be The Portable Dorothy Parker, a collection of the great wit’s writing. I was in my tender teens when I ran smack into her bold, perceptive, laser-sharp viewpoint and I’ve never been the same. In some ways, I’ve carried her around with me ever since,wondering what she would think of the people in my life and this perplexing modern world.
And of course, my career has felt the impact. Here’s how it happened: One day, when I noticed how many novels were devoted to the brilliant Jane Austen, I wondered why no other beloved woman author got similar treatment. ‘Someone should do that for Dorothy Parker,’ I thought. Then I realized that someone was me … and that on some level, I’d been planning this book almost all my life.
What time of day do you love best?
Mornings are glorious. The day is nothing but promises–anything is possible when all those hours are stretched out before me. I’m also at my most creative in the wee hours, which is why I wake up at 5 am to write.
Share something that’s always guaranteed to make you laugh.
God, my kids. At 21, 18 and 15, they are the funniest humans on the planet.
What is the best perk of your job?
That’s easy. Fan mail. It’s like crack for my ego.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
The writer’s worst enemy is impatience. (I know, because I suffer from it.) Writing is an arduous process, rewriting even more so. But if you rush any part of it your work suffers. So take your time, and don’t submit until you’ve shown it to one or two beta readers. Then put it away for a bit before rewriting. Your subconscious will do a lot of the work for you, and when you go back to rewrite your perspective will be focused and fresh.
If you’d like to learn more about Ellen Meister and Farewell, Dorothy Parker, find her on Facebook, Twitter, and visit her website here. You can also follow her popular Dorothy Parker Facebook page. Click here for ordering links.
And don’t forget to comment below to get a chance to win one free copy (US addresses only) from the author! So tell us: Is impatience your worst enemy? Or are you a model of patience and poise?