About E.J. Chadwell:
E.J. Chadwell grew up in the South Bronx. As a latchkey kid, she spent most of her free time at the Mott Haven branch of the New York Public Library, where she developed a lifelong love of reading. Her father, a postal worker, and her mother, an office worker instilled in her the value of education. Chadwell graduated with a post graduate degree in library science, after which she worked for more than 10 years in print and broadcast media for a major newspaper, a national television talk show and a production house where she wrote script treatments for cable shows such as A&E’s The Unexplained, American Justice, and Biography. She has also worked as a publicist and a freelance journalist, publishing magazine articles before turning to books. A voracious reader of mysteries, Chadwell is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.
What inspires you to write?
I have always been a writer. When I was young and read fairy tales, I often found myself wondering what happened to the main characters as they lived happily ever after. So in my bedroom, I would write a sequel to the story that I had just read. I loved writing these continuations. Eventually, I started writing my own stories.
I was inspired to write “How the Mighty Fall,” by celebrity autobiographies. I read where the celebrities admitted they had to conceal who and what they are in order to maintain their position. I kept asking myself, “At what price fame?”
Fame is obviously an addictive drug to many. It takes a person of very strong character not to fall prey to the allure of fame. or to maintain their core values despite becoming famous. Those starting with weak or no core values are particularly susceptible. Because the process of losing one’s soul to fame was intriguing, I began to develop the storyline of a modern day media mogul who lacks inner values and thus destroys many lives in her wake triggering several murders.
Tell us about your writing process.
Although I have a general storyline, I am a character driven writer. Before I write the first line of the story, I have done extensive work developing all the characters. They all have detailed backgrounds including likes and dislikes, etc. There are background stories and information that the reader will never know, and some character information that doesn’t come out for several chapters, or until the next book.
I follow-up my detailed background with dairy entries for each character motives to have killed the victim(s), if they have one. Then I start writing the story from the characters’ points of view. The story is revealed to me through them. Sometimes, I find, a character refuses to do what I want, and that forces me to find another way of showing what happened. I do not force my characters to do something they object too. I listen to my characters. I ask them questions, and they tell me what they think. How they feel. That is the only way for the characters to remain true.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters talk to me. I am their confidant. To develop a character I have to try on the character like a suit of clothes. To see things from their point of view. To understand their challenges and abilities, their virtues and vices. Only then can the character remain consistent.
What advice would you give other writers?
Be true to yourself. There isn’t a right or wrong way to write. Look at George R.R. Martin, he writes his
“Game of Thrones” series from numerous character’s points of view.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My book was published by Jaffa Books. The publishing business is in the midst of great change. I felt a smaller publisher would be better for me and my book. It is a personal choice that every writer must make for themselves. I believe self-publishing to be a growing and important avenue for new writers in the future.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It is undergoing great change, and will continue to diversify away from the old central house modeling.
What do you use?: Professional Editor
What genres do you write?: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Detective, and Crime
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.