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!

Read:

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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