August Author Spotlight [BOX SPOILERS]
Welcome to Scribbler’s author spotlight series — an interview with our subscription box‘s monthly author! Each month, we’ll interview the author of our featured book to help you learn a little more about them and their writing process.
This month’s spotlight is on Mary Ellen Taylor. Their novel The Brighter The Light, was our July read. You can find The Brighter The Light for sale anywhere books are sold.
When a shipwreck surfaces, old secrets are sure to follow.
Or so goes the lore in Ivy Neale’s hometown of Nags Head, North Carolina. When Ivy inherits her family’s beachfront cottage upon her grandmother’s death, she knows returning to Nags Head means facing the best friend and the boyfriend who betrayed her years ago.
But then a winter gale uncovers the shipwreck of local legend―and Ivy soon begins to stumble across more skeletons in the closet than just her own. Amid the cottage’s clutter are clues from her grandmother’s past at the enchanting seaside resort her family once owned. One fateful summer in 1950, the arrival of a dazzling singer shook the staff and guests alike―and not everyone made it to fall.
As Ivy contends with broken relationships and a burgeoning romance in the present, the past threatens to sweep her away. But as she uncovers the strength of her grandmother and the women who came before her, she realizes she is like the legendary shipwreck: the sands may shift around her, but she has found her home here by the sea.
A southerner by birth, Mary Ellen Taylor’s love of her home state, Virginia, is evident in her contemporary women’s fiction, including Winter Cottage, Spring House, Honeysuckle Season and her latest, The Words We Whisper. She’s also celebrated the city of Alexandria and its storied history in her books The Union Street Bakery, Sweet Expectations, At the Corner of King Street, and The View from Prince Street. Mary Ellen is also known nationally as New York Times and USA Today bestselling suspense novelist Mary Burton. Together, they have published forty-five novels and five novellas. When not traveling or holed up writing, Mary Ellen spends time with her husband enjoying their empty nest and spoiling their miniature dachshunds, Buddy, Bella and Tiki. Thank you for the interview, Mary Ellen!
1. “Pantser” or “Plotter?”
I’m a bit of both. I don’t really know my characters until I start writing so my outline always evolves (sometimes a lot).
2. How many hours a day do you write?
My office hours are from about 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Some days I’m writing the entire time (when I’m in the last editing stage of the book) and other days I’m plotting, writing rough draft, marketing, or reading, so the actual writing time might just be a couple of hours.
3. Who’s your favorite fictional character?
Sherlock Holmes. Intelligent, loyal, and very flawed.
4. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
Once I have the rough draft in the computer and I know I have a story, then I can relax and focus on perfecting the story.
5. Do you prefer writing on paper or doing everything digitally?
I might scribble notes but 99% of the work is digital.
6. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?
Seeing as I have three dachshunds, it would have to be a dachshund. ☺
7. What was the last thing (song, podcast, etc.) you listened to?
Song: I Hope You’re Happy Now (Carly Pearce, Lee Bice)
Audio Book: Thorn of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)
8. If you could time travel (to the past or future), where/when would you go?
One hundred years into the future.
9. If there’s a spider in your house, do you kill it or set it free?
Set it free.
10. What’s something you could eat for a week straight?
If you’re a subscriber, you’ll get to read The Brighter The Light when your box arrives this month! We hope you love it like we did — and be sure to leave Mary Ellen a review on Goodreads once you’ve finished.
If you’d like to receive the next book before we post the author’s interview on our blog, be sure to subscribe to the Scribbler box today.
Victoria Scott started Scribbler in 2017 after traditionally publishing an impressive number of books with companies like HarperCollins Harlequin Scholastic and Macmillan. Victoria is an Uber-hailing city girl who is passionate about writing and helping other writers find their voice.