E.C. Bell will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Author Interview: E.C Bell
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog.
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
I didn’t choose paranormal mystery. It chose me. Back approximately a million years ago, a character crept into my head. A middle aged caretaker who’d died by electrocution. He was an angry guy named Farley Hewitt, and he kept whispering, “I didn’t die by accident. Tell my story.”
I tried to ignore him, because I had a full time job at the time, and wasn’t really looking for a new story to write. But he persisted. Haunted me, you might say, so finally I decided to give him three days to convince me that his story was worth telling. I entered the 3 Day Novel Contest, (sort of like a 3 day novel writing marathon) to see where the story could go.
At the end of the three days, I had a story, and though it didn’t work the way I originally wrote it, I could see that it was worth more time than just three days.
That’s the way Seeing the Light, the first book in the Marie Jenner Mystery series was born, and the way I backed into writing paranormal mystery.
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle or last child, and how does this shape your view of the world?
I was the first of five children. I was also raised on a farm. Both of those things had an impact on my worldview. (Work hard every day, and watch out for your sibs.) However, my brother was killed in a car crash when I was 19, and his death shaped my worldview profoundly.
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
I have an office set up in the loft of our house, and that it’s definitely my favourite place to write. No windows, no distractions. Just a great big screen and a desk. And lots and lots of books around me. My version of heaven.
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
When I started writing seriously, I was convinced that every word I wrote was gold. That the first draft was perfect, just the way it was. Then I met my first editor, who convinced me that maybe, just maybe, I was wrong. Not all my words were gold. And neither were some of the paragraphs or chapters!
But I was still secretly convinced that the editor would change her mind, so I had a file where I dumped everything that was taken out. (With page numbers, so I could put them back, once I’d convinced her that first draft really was the best.)
I still do that, but I must admit, I rarely go back and pull out anything I’ve discarded. Except one character that I absolutely fell in love with, but was too dark for the book I was writing. She’s coming back, in the next book!
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
One of my favourite authors is Christopher Moore. (I actually met him once, when a book store in Edmonton won a contest, and he came for a book signing! I was thrilled, but didn’t have the chance to really talk to him.)
As far as I can tell, he’s as nice as he seems, so I’d love to sit down and talk to him about his trip to Paris. He went years ago, when he was researching Sacre Bleu, and posted where he went on Facebook. When my husband and I went to Paris the next year, I made a list of everywhere he’d gone, and saw as many as I could. So, I’d love to talk to him about that trip.
And then, if he decides I’m not too stalkery for him, we’d talk about writing.
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
I like to set my stories in buildings that no longer exist. In Seeing the Light, the first book of the series, the building where most of the action takes place is based on the Arlington Apartments, one of the first apartment buildings built in Edmonton. It burned down (there were two fires, actually) but because it had been made into a heritage site, nothing could be done with the lot. It’s still a hole in the ground, in downtown Edmonton.
I loved that building, and the way it was destroyed made me sad. So, I decided to give it a better send off than it got in real life. And I did!
When I wrote the next novel, I picked another spot that had been removed from the Edmonton landscape. And the next and the next. In Tying the Knot, I resurrected the Dunes, a Las Vegas hotel that had been blown up in the 90s.
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
Matches, a really good knife, and a copy of A Town Called Alice. I have a lot of books I can read over and over again, but this one is my favourite love story, and I think I’d need that, so I could keep going.
(Really though, I’d figure out a way to cram my husband into that survival pack. He’s a good man in a bad situation!)
8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?
The ability to see through walls, if I wanted. I can’t be the only one who, while they are walking their dog, looks at a house and wonders what’s going on inside. This way, I’d be able to find out!
9. Favorite snack?
I WISH I could say it’s something healthy, but… sweets. I always go for the sweets. I’m addicted to Hobnob cookies right now, but generally, I’ll always go for baked sweets.
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?
I know where I’m going, but I drive the speed limit until the road opens up for me. Then, I hit the gas. (When I find that white-hot place while I’m writing. I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to.)
Do I crash? Sometimes. But wow, when I’m going full speed, I find magic!
Tying the Knot
by E.C. Bell
GENRE: Paranormal mystery
Marie Jenner just wants a Vegas holiday.
When psychic Crystal Demoines tells James Lavall that his uncle’s spirit is trapped in Las Vegas, Marie is thrilled. All she’ll have to do is help Jimmy “anything for a buck” Lavall move on to the next plane of existence, and then she and James can have the holiday of her dreams.
But she never dreamed that a lieutenant of the drug kingpin from Edmonton would be staying at the same hotel as her and James, and that James would become his new best friend. Or that she’d have to find Jimmy’s girlfriend Rita—who disappeared the same night Jimmy died—before he would finally move on. Or that the most powerful man in the hotel would be looking for Rita too. To find the money she stole.
And Marie never dreamed that she’d be planning a Vegas wedding in the middle of it all. But she is.
Looks like her dream vacation is about to become a nightmare.
Crystal’s living room was crowded with a couch and three overstuffed chairs, all which held at least one cat. A TV droned in the corner, but I didn’t see a ghost anywhere.
“Where is he?” I asked.
“The bathroom,” Crystal replied. “He’s—nervous.” She walked over to a closed door crowded between two of the chairs on the far wall, then pounded on it, hard.
“Come on, Jimmy,” she cried. “Your nephew is here. They’re both here. Come out and talk to them, please.”
“Not yet,” came the muffled reply from behind the door. “Give me a minute, will you, woman?”
“He doesn’t sound nervous,” I muttered.
Crystal turned to us and shrugged. “He’ll come out when he’s ready,” she said. “I’ll make tea, if you like.”
James didn’t reply. Just walked to the bathroom door and pushed it open. “We’re here,” he said. Then he looked at me.“Can you see him?” he asked. “Is he really here?”
Jimmy the Dead walked out of the bathroom and stared at James for a long moment. “I didn’t think you’d show up,” he said. “You always said you hated Vegas.”
“Oh,” I said. “Oh.”
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I never thought James’s dead uncle would be in his underwear.
“What’s wrong?” James asked.
“He’s in his tighty-whities,” Crystal tittered, and grinned at me.
“I died in my sleep,” Jimmy said, glaring at me. “At least I had underwear on, for heaven’s sake.”
He turned to Crystal. “I thought she was some kind of expert.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
E.C. Bell is the author of the award winning paranormal Marie Jenner Mystery series. She lives in Alberta, Canada, and when she’s not writing, she’s scouting out new locations for her upcoming novels or renovating her round house where she lives with her husband and their two rescue dogs.
That’s right. Her house is round.
Join her mailing list on her website at http://www.eileenbell.com/for news about new books, upcoming appearances and, occasionally, recipes.
Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ecbellmystery/
and Twitter at https://twitter.com/ApocalypseWoman
Marie Jenner Mystery series books, in order:
Seeing the Light
Drowning in Amber
Stalking the Dead
Dying on Second
Haunting the Haunted
Tying the Knot
Buy links for Tying the Knot