This week, I’m excited to share a Q & A with author Emily Ecton. Below the interview, you’ll find more information about Emily and a link to a Rafflecopter Giveaway for her new novel, The Ambrose Deception.
Hi Emily! Thanks for chatting with me! Let’s dive right into the questions…
1) I’ll admit, I had a bit of a fangirl moment when I learned you are a writer and producer for Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz. Listening always makes me laugh. Tell me something fun about your role on the show.
That’s great! I’m not with the show anymore, but there were a lot of really fun aspects to my job. I think the very best was doing the live shows on Thursday nights, because that’s when the panelists would come in and we’d get to see everyone. I was also the one who booked the listener contestants, so I’d always have my fingers crossed for them to do well (and that they’d be where they said they’d be when I called!)
2) When you set out to write a book, do you outline? I’m always interested to know how other writers organize their stories as they unfold.
Definitely! I was never an outliner until I was forced to do it in grad school, and it turned out to be really helpful. It’s so much easier to keep the plot on track when you know where you’re supposed to be going. (It’s like planning a road trip — you know the major stops you need to hit, but you can always take a detour if you come across something cool.)
3) Your latest middle grade novel, The Ambrose Deception, is about three very different students chosen to compete for a ten-thousand-dollar scholarship, but find themselves eventually working together to unravel a secret as they solve clues in various locations around Chicago. One reviewer on Goodreads described the book as The Westing Game meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’d call that an incredible compliment. Why did you choose Chicago as the setting for the novel?
Wow, that is a compliment! I chose Chicago because it’s such a great city. There are so many interesting things there that aren’t necessarily that well known, and I wanted to highlight some of those in the book. I had a hard time deciding what to write the clues about, because there were so many options to choose from.
4) The Ambrose Deception is your fifth book as Emily Ecton, with two others written by your “alter ego,” Emily Fairlie. Each of your novels have plots woven with mystery and adventure. Are these also the types of books you like to read? Why did you decide to use a pen name for two of your books?
Yes! I love mystery and adventure books — it’s always so fun to try to figure out the clues hidden in the stories. I got hooked on Agatha Christie early on, and once I did, there was no going back. Using a pen name was my editor’s idea. I chose Fairlie because it’s a last name used in the book The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (one of my favorite authors!) It’s also a cool kind of double-ended locomotive.
5) I’ve read a few interviews where you’ve listed some of your favorite novel authors, so I wanted to switch things up and ask, do you have any favorite picture books? Often, the earliest books in our lives influence our reading tastes. Do you think this is true?
I think they definitely have an influence — the books you love when you’re little stay with you your whole life. There are so many good ones, but some of my favorites when I was little were The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward and illustrated by Marjorie Flack, How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet, The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg and Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.
Thank you, Emily!
Title: THE AMBROSE DECEPTION
Author: Emily Ecton
Pub. Date: February 13, 2018
Melissa is a nobody. Wilf is a slacker. Bondi is a show-off. At least that’s what their middle school teachers think. To everyone’s surprise, they are the three students chosen to compete for a ten thousand-dollar scholarship, solving clues that lead them to various locations around Chicago. At first the three contestants work independently, but it doesn’t take long before each begins to wonder whether the competition is a sham. It’s only by secretly joining forces and using their unique talents that the trio is able to uncover the truth behind the Ambrose Deception–a truth that involves a lot more than just a scholarship.
With a narrative style as varied and intriguing as the mystery itself, this adventure involving clever clues, plenty of perks, and abhorrent adults is pure wish fulfillment.
Emily Ecton is a writer and producer for Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz. She has also been a playwright, a chinchilla wrangler, an ice cream scooper and a costume character. She lives in Chicago with her dog, Binky.
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Giveaway Details: International
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE AMBROSE DECEPTION, US Only.
Ends on February 27th at Midnight EST!
Click HERE to enter the Giveaway to win a copy of The Ambrose Deception.
2/12/2018- For the Love of KidLit– Interview
2/13/2018- Christen Krumm– Review
2/14/2018- Books, Vertigo and Tea– Excerpt
2/15/2018- BookHounds YA– Review
2/16/2018- YA Books Central– Interview