Name: Ellen Butler
Age: Shhhh, a girl never tells.
Where are you from: Woodbridge, Virginia
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
Ellen Butler Twitter Style – author, mother, wife, shoe lover, chocoholic, fashion fan, sarcastic wit, autumn enthusiast, dancer, book worm, and good-time devotee.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Planning for Love, the 2nd Book in the Love, California Style trilogy will be arriving January 26, 2014! The story is about Poppy Reagan, an LA party planner, who’s got her career together, but her love life is the pits. She decides to make a plan to find Mr. Right by joining online dating sites, which leads her to some hilariously bad dates. Poppy learns that love may be the one thing in life she can’t plan for.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote my first outline, character list, and first two chapters in 2005 and then stuffed it in a drawer to focus on other priorities in my life. In 2011, I finally had some time to myself so I pulled out the dusty purple notebook and began writing my first novel, Poplar Place.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I signed with an agent in 2012.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The climax of Poplar Place came to me in a dream and my mind started reeling with ideas – why and how would this climax come to be? I worked backwards from that scene to come up with a storyline and just started writing it all down.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I tend to write in first person. I like being in my main character’s head. Helps give me that deep point of view that editors are always looking for. I write both romance and women’s fiction, and I tend to try to incorporate suspense in most of my novels.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title for Poplar Place is the name of the street that Cara Baker, the main character, lives on. I didn’t realize this when I wrote the book, but apparently my old boss lived on Poplar Place. It must have been rolling around in my subconscious.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
For Poplar Place – Open your mind to accept people as they are – not how you want them to be.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
All of my books are works of fiction. None are based on true events.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
I’m a fan of all sorts of genres from John Grisham’s legal dramas to JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series to Janet Evanovich’s hilarious action novels. No one book or writer has influenced my writing. I’m influenced by all of them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
At the moment, none. It’s the holidays and I simply haven’t got the time. I’ve got a pile of backlog in my Kindle which I hope to get to after Christmas, starting with Sharon Struth’s Share the Moon.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes there are so many now with the freedom of ePublishing. I would say JM Stewart has piqued my interest recently.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m gearing up for the Planning for Love release, and I’m writing the final installment for the Love, California Style trilogy, Art of Affection (due out August 2015). I’m also part of some promotions with my holiday novella, Second Chance Christmas.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Write by the Rails, our local writers club.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. Books don’t write nor do they market themselves.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. Once I’m done with a novel I move on. I don’t dwell on things I can’t change.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Not really how it originated. Writing has always come naturally to me, whether professional articles or promotional items to novels. I remember in school, I always preferred essay tests to multiple choice questions.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Art of Affection is the third book in the trilogy, and we are following the life of Holly Hartland who we met in Heart of Design. Holly is an art gallery curator who got out of an ugly marriage in Las Vegas, and has now moved to LA with her young daughter to be closer to her sister.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Like most, there are times I suffer from writer’s block. That is never fun, especially when you’re on a deadline.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Thanks to Google, most of my research can be done from the comforts of my own chair. I have interviewed people for many of my novels, but that tends to be over the phone or locally. After I complete Art of Affection I plan to start on a WWII novel about a female OSS spy. Even though I’ve traveled to Europe, I would love to go over again to research certain areas. However, financially, I’m not sure it’s in the cards.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The publishers. I really have nothing to do with them.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Writing’s the easy part. Marketing is the hard part for me.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I guess I’m always shocked when people tell me they read my book and liked it. I know my novels are not for some, but it’s always nice to know when you’ve got a new fan.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Listen to your critique partners, but don’t allow them to bog you down so much that you can’t finish the story. Keep moving forward, and don’t allow any editor, critic, or beta reader to make it their story, make sure to always keep it your own.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks! Seriously, I’d be nowhere without my readers and fans. For those that post reviews – a huge Zeppelin sized THANK YOU! Reviews help other readers find me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No. I imagine it was a Dr. Seuss. That man was brilliant.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Janet Evanovich’s, Stephanie Plum novels ALWAYS crack me up. I don’t know how she keeps coming up with zany plotlines.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’ve always wanted to me Julie Andrews. It probably has to do with my childhood obsession of the movie, The Sound of Music.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Yikes, that’s a kind of disturbing thing to talk about. I think I’ll leave that up to my family to decide.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Home decorating, reading, shoe shopping.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’ve become addicted to the show Sleepy Hollow with Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. There’s a very cool creep factor and I love the bizarre storyline. Otherwise, I enjoy some of the cop shows like, Castle, NCIS, and Hawaii 5-0. For humor I’m a big fan of Modern Family.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
My master’s degree is in Public Administration and Policy and in my last job I worked for a medical association in international affairs. I suppose I would go back to something like that, or work for the local government.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? You can stalk me at:
Thanks for having me on your blog Fiona! It’s always fun to reach out to new fans.
Heart of Design purchase link –
Poplar Place purchase link –
Second Chance Christmas purchase link –