1 - What's your latest?
Ellen Crosby: THE VIOGNIER VENDETTA, published by Scribner. (My new paperback, THE RIESLING RETRIBUTION, will also be out from Pocket Books).
2 - Assuming I haven't read it, why should I?
Ellen Crosby: Publishers Weekly calls THE VIOGNIER VENDETTA "an addictive whodunit" and Kirkus says it's "another pleasing combination of mystery, history, and romance in a series that never disappoints" so there are two good reasons. One comment I get a lot is from readers who have just discovered my books and are surprised by the quality of the writing and the fact that they are intelligently written. Years ago when I was living in London I took Robert McKee's Story Structure workshop which was flat-out fantastic. One thing he drummed into us was just that: readers are plenty smart -- aren't they always a step ahead trying to figure out whodunit? -- so it was important to write the kind of smart, fast-paced, unputdownable book that would keep someone up way past their bedtime hating you in the morning! And that's what I try to do. If you haven't read my books, you should!!
3 - What can you tell us about your main character> that you hadn't realized until you answered the question?
Ellen Crosby: THE VIOGNIER VENDETTA mostly takes place in Washington, D.C. about an hour's drive from the part of Virginia where the other books are set. What I didn't realize until I started writing this book was how much I would connect my main character, Lucie Montgomery, with a city that has been a big part of my life, where I lived, worked, and studied for many years.
4 - What's your favorite scene and why?
Ellen Crosby: I have a lot of favorite scenes since the story takes place in Washington during cherry blossom season, but two of them involve spoilers so you'll just have to read the book! However one scene I particularly enjoyed writing is when Lucie has a meeting with the mother of her friend Rebecca, whose clothes were found folded in a rowboat floating in the Potomac River -- and Rebecca has vanished. Her mother asks to go to the National Arboretum on the outskirts of Washington to see the bonsai gardens where they can talk in private. When they arrive, she and Lucie discover a set of Corinthian columns rising on a hill like a ruined Greek temple and learn that they were once part of the East Portico of the US Capitol. There is no one there that day so the two of them talk on that hilltop among the columns, all alone except for the birds and the whistling wind.
5 - What's next?
Ellen Crosby: There will be a sixth book in the series that will be out in 2011. You can find all the latest information about that and the other books on my website, http://wwww.ellencrosby.com or on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks.