Sunday, May 19, 2013

Giveaway and Interview: A Knight on Horseback by Ellen L. Ekstrom

A Knight on Horseback by Ellen L. Ekstrom
Just when you think life can’t get any worse, it turns out to be one nasty dragon. . .
A romantic comedy with some dark undertones, “A Knight on Horseback” is set in 1995 San Francisco and tells the story of burned out secretary who gets a few surprises in her life, from finding a chess piece on the sidewalk to meeting a musician she had a crush on as a girl, to finding what she wants to do with her life and with whom.
There’s also an interesting parallel story that threads through the book – the main character is writing a novel about Richard III and Anne Neville, her work being interrupted by daily life. Will there be happy endings for Richard, Anne and Violet? “A Knight on Horseback” will resonate with anyone who has a dream and won’t let it go.

interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog

Interview With Romance and Historical Fiction Author Ellen L. Ekstrom

Hi, Brandi!  Thank you and your reading audience for taking time to chat with me.
--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
            Scarborough is a love story with two sides – this is the other side.
--How did you get the idea for the story?
            I had dinner with friends and shared a bottle of good wine and lots of good conversation and from that evening came the idea for “Tallis’ Third Tune,” the first book in the “Midwinter Sonata,” a story about having the chance to correct mistakes you make in your relationships, particularly those painful errors that lead to breakups.  “Scarborough” is the same story from the boy’s point of view.  A friend suggested it.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
            From my own work and the most, The Proprietress from “Midwinter Sonata.”  I think it would be an enlightening evening of truth and trash-talk.  The Proprietress is a woman who looks like Helen Mirren as she played Queen Elizabeth in a really bad suit but with killer shoes – Vivien Westwood!  She also has an acid tongue and is unforgiving, a bit brutal.  I’d like to take her down a few notches.
            From other writers’ works and the most, Katniss Everdeen.  I’d buy her dinner and we’d talk about everything – she reminds me of me at that age.  I would have volunteered as a Tribute; I would have wanted/not wanted to be the face of a rebellion, I would have gladly done my part and I would have been just as conflicted and passionate.
            From my own work, and the least, Donovan Trist from “Midwinter Sonata.”  I don’t think I’d want to spend all evening listening to someone tell me how wonderful they are and treat me like I was eight and then expect me to fall in love with them!  
            From other writers’ works, and the least, William the Conqueror from Helen Hollick’s book “I am the Chosen King.”  William really was a bastard in so many ways.  Hollick portrayed him as I have always thought of him – a bully, a psychopath, and full of himself.  I’d probably end up dumping the soup in his lap and doing a righteous storm out – or running like hell.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
            “Duet,” the third book in the “Midwinter Sonata” series.  This will be the story of Alice and Quinn’s lives after the happily-ever-after reunion.  Is there such a thing as happily-ever-after?  We shall see!  As for a release date, maybe the winter of 2014.  I’m not in control of that – but I am in control of the writing and that has to get done!  : )
--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar kind of read, set-up or style)
            “Tallis’ Third Tune” is similar in read, set-up and style.  I’ve never written in the first person, but I wanted this particular story to be a stream of consciousness and thoughts, like a dream, where one thing happens and then something totally unrelated happens but yet they connect and make a cohesive story.  That’s why I have the historical figures in The Shop doing what they do and why it also has an “Alice in Wonderland” craziness to it.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
       Sharon Kay Penman’s “The Sunne in Splendour,” Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games,” Elizabeth Chadwick’s “Lady of the English,” Anything by Thomas Hardy or Jane Austen.  I try to read on the commute in the morning and evening and before sleep at night.

--If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
      Chadwick’s  “Lady of the English.”  I like strong female protagonists, and history tells us that Empress Maude, also known as Mathilda, was a grasping, unhappy, woman, a real b_tch, who fought against the tide of her times to be recognized as ‘Lady of the English,’ or Queen of England after the death of her father, Henry I.  Given what she was up against and the lack of freedom and rights for women at the time, being a good girl wouldn’t have helped her make progress towards her goal.  I would have loved to been with her as she climbed out of the castle window and went across the ice in the dead of a winter night to escape from King Stephen’s army.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
Diet Pepsi or Coffee.  I’ve just discovered coffee at my stage of life!  I also knit when I get stuck on a sentence, or whatever is bothering me with the writing.  I’ve discovered that knitting socks helps the concentration.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
        To be able to think of something and have it there in front of me, sort of like granting wishes, I guess.  Oh, what I could do for others with that power!

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
     Cycling, knitting, drawing - I like to draw my characters - sharing conversation and coffee with friends and family, window shopping and shopping, and reading.
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
            Don’t listen to what others are saying; you can’t be those girls.  You have gifts and talent that are uniquely yours; you are who you are and so, take pride in her.  I’d say that to myself at any age.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
            Just thank you for taking the time to stop by this blog and read what I’ve shared – and what I said to my fifteen year old self.

Lightning Round with Quinn Radcliffe of “Midwinter Sonata” Series
Tarquin (“Quinn”) Radcliffe, 20, music student at Oxford University with an apprenticeship with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and I worship Jimi Hendrix.  Alice Martin is my main interest – and if you saw her you’d know why – my other interests are music, of course, travel, pizza, fish and chips and a particular table at The Bitter End, a public house near my grandmum’s shop in The Shambles, York.  I’m 6’4”, with dark curly hair and brown eyes – Alice says girls think I’m gorgeous but weird.  I play the cello, go figure.  You can read more about me in the novel, “Scarborough,” Book 2 of the “Midwinter Sonata” series by Berkeley, California author, Ellen L. Ekstrom.

Vanilla or chocolate?
            Vanilla – with pecan pralines
Edward or Jacob?
            Jacob – my sparkle is gone.
Hockey or soccer?
Ebook or paper?
            Both.  Paper for home, e-book for travel.  I’m on the road a lot.
Salty or sweet?
            Again, both: salty like Alice’s tears; sweet like her kisses.
Beach or mountains?
            Beach at Scarborough.
Phone call or email?
            Phone call – hearing your voice is the next best thing to being there with you.
Early bird or night owl?
            Night owl.  My best music is written at 2:00 a.m.
Dog or cat?
            Dog.  Who walks a cat along the beach?
Messy or neat?
            Slob messy.
Ninjas or pirates?
            Arrrrr!  Pirates.

Ellen L. Ekstrom
Twitter: @reverendella

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  1. I haven't heard of this book before but I must say that I'm curious. Great interview and thanks for the giveaway :)

  2. Thanks for the great giveaway and insightful interview Brandi, like Tanja I've not heard of A Knight on Horseback before, but it sounds like a great read! :)

  3. A great interview with a fabulous writer. I just read Knight on Horseback and wrote a review on Goodreads. Who ever wins this book is in for a treat.

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