High school soccer star Lindsey Anderson was at the top of her game with graduation approaching and a full-ride soccer scholarship offer in her hand. Then she dropped dead on the soccer field, only to wake up in the body of a teenage sex-trafficking victim. No one believes who she really is. Not even her dad. Chased by her new body’s drug-dealing pimp and rabid parapsychologists out to dissect her, Lindsey searches to get her body and her life back before graduation day. Can her BFF and the high school nerdy boy she detests help save her life?
When and where do you prefer to write?
Since I am a morning person, I begin my day at 7 a.m. I prefer to write in my office at my PC, but sometimes I will drag my laptop outside to my deck swing to write. Once – on a long trans-Atlantic cruise – I actually edited one of my books on my iPad.
Do you have a certain ritual?
I never start writing until after I eat breakfast – usually, bacon, fried eggs, multi-grain toast, juice, and coffee – and read the Washington Post. Then I check and respond to my email and settle down to writing. I usually read the last chapter to get me in the mood.
Around 11:30 a.m., I grab a glass of water and do my 60-minute walk. In the summer, when the temperature soars in the 90s F or 100+ F with 80% or 90% humidity, I do my walk in the family room. I have a collection of 60-minute DVD treadmill walks through European cities like Venice, Paris, and London.
After a light lunch, I head back to my office for more writing time, stopping around 3:30 p.m. for a lemonade or cranberry/ginger ale break. At 5, I’m done for the day, unless I have a deadline to meet or my publisher needs something from me ASAP. I have been known to work until midnight or later, if necessary. I usually take the weekends off to relax and read.
Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Usually, I keep a glass of cold water by my side while writing. Sometimes in the afternoon, I switch to fresh-squeezed lemonade or a cranberry juice/ginger ale combo.
I am a chocoholic, so if I need an afternoon lift, I keep Hershey milk chocolate with almonds nuggets or Kisses nearby. Or maybe M&M peanuts.
What is your favourite book?
If I were stuck on a deserted island and could have an entire book series, I would choose Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax series.But if I could only have one book, I would probably throw a hissy fit because I love so many books. But if I had to choose, I guess it would have to be Willy Russell’s play, Shirley Valentine and One for the Road. Or Neil Simon’s play, Barefoot in the Park. I know normal folks don’t read plays, but while I was working on my MFA in theatre, I read hundreds of plays and enjoyed them immensely. Especially any play written by Neil Simon.
Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Since Not Myself Today is a different genre from my last three books, then I guess I have to say YES to this question. I plan to continue writing my fun, humorous books about feisty, older women who have been wronged, but now that my new book is a YA paranormal, I might try writing fantasy or mystery for the middle grade reader.
Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Let’s just say that all writers use their life experiences and the people they meet or know to create their stories and characters. My characters tend to be bits and pieces of different people I’ve met or known or casually walked by in an airport—everything from nervous tics or odd tattoos to rare health conditions or silly quirks. I combine these bits and pieces together to create my own unique characters. Sometimes, it makes me feel a wee bit Frankenstein-ish, but in a fun sort of way.
Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I write down ideas and thoughts on anything available—paper napkins, old envelopes, backs of flyers, Post-It Notes, odd pieces of paper from my recycling box, etc. When I go on vacation, I take a small notebook to jot down ideas and take notes. I take photos of people and animals, signs, interesting buildings, menus, etc. I have a box full of story ideas, notebooks, photos, sketches, and stuff that could be used to jump-start my creative juices.
Which genre do you not like at all?
Diet and exercise books. Military battles/war books.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Janet Evanovitch, author of the fun and humorous Stephanie Plum books. I think she would be a hoot and a half to work with.
If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you choose and why?
I lived three years in Chuorinkan, Japan, and three years in Bremerhaven, Germany. I have had the good fortune and opportunity to travel all over the world. I have been to every continent except Antarctica. I didn’t go there, because I just couldn’t see myself getting on that little plane in Ushuaia, Argentinia, on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, and landing on a chunk of ice at the bottom of the Earth.
I did spend 10 weeks researching and studying art in Italy, which I used in my first book, Making Lemonade, and in my second book, Like Peaches and Pickles. Research for my third book, Rotten Bananas and the Emerald Dream, took me on several Caribbean cruises. If I could travel abroad today to do research for another book, I would spend at least a month living in the Montmartre area of Paris. I would wander around the crooked little streets, exploring the neighbourhood where many famous painters worked and lived. I would absorb the charming atmosphere, but in the late fall, when the tourist count is down. I would sit outside one of the restaurants near the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, sipping a cup of coffee, watching the Parisians stroll by. Then I would begin plotting and planning a new story about a middle-age woman, fleeing an abusive relationship . . .
Thank you, Muriel Ellis Pritchett and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Muriel Ellis Pritchett graduated from the University of Georgia and began her journalism career while living in Japan and Germany. Her journalism career included playwriting, editing and writing for magazines and newspapers, and working in public relations, university relations, and media relations.
After retiring, Muriel’s family doctor recommended she get a hobby. So, she began writing fun fiction about feisty older women who had been wronged and had to pull themselves up out of the muck. But her award-winning fourth book, Not Myself Today, is a change in genres—a YA paranormal thriller. It is scheduled for release September 24, 2020. Her first three “fruity” books, fun romance for older women, are Making Lemonade, Like Peaches and Pickles, and Rotten Bananas and the Emerald Dream. She is currently working on another “fruity” book, titled Sour Grapes and Balmy Knight.
When not writing, Muriel loves cruising all over the world, eating good Belgian chocolate, and spending time in any Disney park. Her favorite Disney attractions are SOARING at Disney World’s EPCOT in Florida, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth at Disneyland Paris, Journey to the Center of the Earth at DisneySeas in Tokyo, and Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland in California.
Facebook: Muriel’s Fiction for Women @murielellispritchett https://www.facebook.com/murielellispritchett/
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