Each day this week, I will feature a new Q&A with Ellen Meister (author of SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA), along with a link to one of her stories.

Today is a special day because it is the release day of SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA. Congratulations, Ellen!

If you haven’t already ordered a copy, you might consider doing so before they leap off the shelves of your local bookstore (and if your local bookstore doesn’t have it in stock yet, give them a call and make sure they get it in stock).

Q & A:

MC: You always have wonderful, well-rounded, enjoyable characters. I feel for them, love them, and relate to them. Do you have a favorite character? On the flip side, do you have one you really don’t like?

EM: Maybe it’s the mother in me speaking, but it’s hard to play favorites. I love all my characters in different ways. The key, I think, is to find something about them I can relate to.

When I was making my initial notes for SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA, I worried about my Lisa Slotnick character. As the quiet and timid daughter of an alcoholic mother, she was so different from me. Where, I wondered, was the part of her I could relate to?

Eventually, I tapped into something that struck a very deep chord with me. Lisa was just as afraid to let people know she could sing as I was to let people know I could write. Indeed, it took me years and years to follow my dream and start writing. Like Lisa, I felt as if I wasn’t supposed to shine, and putting that on the outside for people to see was exposing some very private part of me. So I dug deep into that aspect of Lisa’s character and wound up discovering a lot of truths about myself.

Another character who surprised me is Ruth Moss. She’s my brash, outspoken “Jappy” character. (For anyone who just time-traveled from the Jurassic era, JAP=Jewish American Princess.) Ruth is, in so many ways, the embodiment of the type of women who have plagued me my entire life, making me feel self-conscious and angry. But I wanted to get past all that, and explore the layers that I knew had to exist beyond the designer clothes, shoes, cars, homes, etc. I knew that once I started digging I’d find pain there, but what surprised me was that I also found a big heart and a funny spirit. At last, I have tapped into my inner JAP!


To know Ellen’s characters, is to love them and one character of hers that broke my heart right in two was the young girl in this story:

Blue Shirt

ONE more thing… Please check out (you won’t regret it) this delightful interview The Canadian Chick Meets Ellen Meister

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