Author Interview: Ellie Oberth

30627365Venice Sinclair decides to join her friend, Tanya, at an auction at Lock & Go Mini-storage. Buying the contents of abandoned lockers provides inventory for Tanya’s two antique shops in Las Vegas: the higher end Tanya’s Treasures and the more miscellaneous Junque in the Trunk. When the auctioneer whips open the rollup door on the first unit, Venice and the other bidders catch their breath. This storage room has been set up as a shrine!

Tanya wins the bid. While they inventory their haul, Venice discovers a diary in the “shrine” unit. Of course she must read it, and soon Venice is convinced the diary reveals that its author was murdered.

Venice’s friends are indulgent but skeptical as Venice starts to research the matter of the death. By the time they take her seriously, so does the murderer…and he is not pleased.

Sounds like an interesting read, doesn’t it? Ellie Oberth, the author of A Frenzied Bid for Murder, is here to share details regarding both her book and her writing process.

ellie1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Chicago born and bred. (Go Cubs!) I retired from my day job 4 years ago and have been traveling extensively ever since. I devour mysteries and participate in reading challenges. I’ve even devised my own, The Reporter’s Challenge, and put it up on the GoodReads Challenge Factory (under yearly challenges). And I’m the Treasurer of Sisters In Crime – Chicagoland Chapter.

2. When did you start writing?
I started writing in grammar school. I remember my older brother and I writing Sherlock/Watson-type mysteries on his bedroom floor. It wasn’t until much later in life that I wrote and published several short stories.

3. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the idea for your novel?
Not exactly, but the inspiration for my novel was the TV show: Storage Wars.

4. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
My favorite is Carl Danby. He’s a gruff, no-nonsense old-fashioned detective who’s stuck training a newbie who’s into technology big time! Carl Danby is the protagonist in The Hudson Agency-Chicago Style and From Beyond The Grave. I love Danby’s character, he’s so much fun to write. I’ve been told he’s like me – logical and blunt.

5. Using five words or less, describe the protagonist in A Frenzied Bid For Murder.
Compassionate, determined, deductive, curious, family-oriented.

6. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
I enjoy total quiet (so I can think) and a long chunk of time so I can immerse myself in the world I’m creating.

7. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
I don’t outline my short stories, but when I wrote my first novel I created a bare-bones outline so I could keep the story moving and it was extremely useful.

8. What is your favorite book genre?
This is a no-brainer. I eat, sleep and breathe mysteries. I watch all the forensic shows on TV, attend mystery conventions and even decorate a forensics Christmas tree every year.

9. What is your favorite series?
Victoria Thompson’s gaslight mysteries. They are set at the turn of the century and have compelling characters. The historic aspect is interesting.

10. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
A character I can believe in, one whom I’d love to spend the next 300 pages with.

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Books

2. Dogs or cats?
Cats

3. Summer or winter?
Summer

4. Cake or ice-cream?
Cake. Chocolate of course!

5. Ebook or physical book?
Physical book

6. Nights out or nights in?
Nights in

7. Living in the city or living in the country?
Living in the city

8. Being able to travel to the past or being able to travel to the future?
Being able to travel to the past. Love those hoop skirts!

9. Making a phone call or sending a text?
Sending a text

10. Travelling by car or travelling by airplane?
Travelling by airplane

11. Staying in a hotel or going camping?
Staying in a hotel

12. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
Going without watching any movies/television shows for a week

13. Staying awake for forty-eight hours (continuous) or walking for twenty-four hours (also continuous)?
Staying awake for forty-eight hours

14. To never read another book or to never watch another film?
Never watch another film

15. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
Never again drink a cup of coffee

Thank you for joining us, Ellie!
Readers: want to connect with Ellie? You can find her on Goodreads and Facebook. Also, be sure to check out her blog.

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