Monday, December 13, 2010

Things You Don't Know About Ellen Hart -- And Her Closest Indie

SinC: Is there anything you'd never leave home without?
EH: I try to always remember my brain, but sometimes I can't remember where I put it.

SinC: What do you wish you had more time for?
EH: Reading. Playing with my grandkids and my dogs.

SinC: Is there anyone from the past you would like to talk to for just 15 minutes?
EH: Oh, my. So many. Not even sure where to start. Lincoln, for one. Oscar Wilde. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. FDR. Darwin. Hitler. Bobby Kennedy. Socrates. The Buddha. Aaron Burr. Shakespeare. Barbara Stanwyck. Tallulah Bankhead. Albert Einstein and Max Planck. Orson Welles.

SinC: If the F.B.I. had to give you a new identity, what name would you choose?
EH: Mary Higgins Clark.

SinC: Favorite food?
EH: Popcorn with real butter. Or cream. On anything.

SinC: Favorite drink?
EH: Alcohol--a good bourbon. Non-alcoholic--sparkling water with a twist. Or tea. Or coffee. Hate soft drinks.

SinC: Favorite dessert?
EH: Oh, please. I have to pick? Pie. Any and all pies.

SinC: If you weren't a published author, what would you be?
EH: A chef. That's what I did before I became a working writer. If I could pick a career not based on my talents, I'd like to be the director of a prestigious (and therefore wonderful) symphony orchestra.

SinC: If you could be one of your characters, who would it be and why?
EH: They're all too tortured. Then again, my main characters are richer and better looking than I am. Guess I'll go with Jane Lawless—on one of her good days.

SinC: What independent bookstore is closest to the place you spend a good portion of your time?
EH: Once Upon A Crime mystery bookstore.

SinC: Who owns the store and when did it open?
EH: Pat Frovarp and Gary Schultze. The bookstore was started many years ago by Mary Trone. At one time, she was an editor at Doubleday. She also reviewed for years for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Mary owned the store for many years, and then sold it to Steve Stilwell. I think there may have been another owner before Pat and Gary bought it. It's a landmark in Minneapolis, one of the best mystery bookstores in the country. In fact, Once Upon a Crime was recently named a recipient of the 2011 Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

SinC: Where can we find it online?

SinC: What's your most recent indie purchase?
EH: Still Life by Louise Penny.

SinC: How much snow is on the ground in Minneapolis?
EH: Officially, 17 inches (at the airport). We received a little more here in south Minneapolis. And the drifts (on the side streets) are four and five feet high.

SinC: How has the already legendary blizzard affected your daily routine?
EH: Spent the day yesterday (Dec. 12) digging out. My partner was at it after dark--and it's still not done! The main streets are in good shape by now--if you can get to them. That's the tricky part. They're calling this the fifth largest snowfall in Minnesota history. This is the kind of snow I remember from my childhood.

Ellen Hart is the author of the award-winning 18-book mystery series featuring Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless and the eight-book mystery series featuring food critic Sophie Greenway. The newest book in the Jane Lawless series, The Cruel Ever After, is available this month. You can learn more about Ellen at

1 comment:

Msmstry said...

Leaving your brain behind reminds me of an event when my mother tended my 3-year old for a day. About mid-afternoon, she turned her over to Daddy saying, "You look after her awhile—I'm about to loose my mind."

A few minutes later, Erin found her. She walked in with her thumb and forefinger pressed together and said, "Here's your mind, Gran. I found it hanging on the doorknob."

If we just had a convenient place to hang them…