Behind The Words With Elle Marr


Today we’re welcoming author Elle Marr to the blog. Elle’s latest release, THE ALONE TIME,  is an ‘edge of your seat’ thriller. Welcome Elle. First, tell our readers where you’re from, where you live? Is writing your full-time job?

I’m from Sacramento, California but I live in Portland, Oregon currently. Writing is my full-time job, and I want to pinch myself each time I say that.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing novels for the last twelve years, which seems like forever and also a blink.

What does your typical writing day look like?

I wake up around 6 AM (okay, 6:30) then write for an hour until my kids wake up. My writing schedule then depends on how the day pans out, and I make what pockets of time I get count.

Tell us about your latest release? Where the idea came from? Perhaps some fun moments, or not so fun moments?

The Alone Time was inspired by my own experience with a plane crash when I was 11 years old. While everyone emerged from that safely, the idea of what might have happened otherwise stuck with me all the way until I began writing this story. I took inspiration from my personal experience, then fictionalized it while exploring themes of survivalism and family dysfunction. All the good stuff!

Could you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?

I thought the antagonist was someone else up until the 90% mark of the book. Then I took a hard look at my plot, and realized who the true villain of the story is. I think it makes for a satisfying, yet surprising twist.

Who has been the most difficult character for you to write? Why?

I would definitely say Henry. His character is one that walks several lines: father, provider, husband, disappointment, and enigma. To strike the balance among these complex facets of his life, I really had to dig into his motivations, his upbringing, and his goals.

If you could be one of your characters for a day which character would it be?

Fiona; as the artist of the family, I would love to create physical modern art installations in her shoes, and to experience what it might be like to present my work at a gallery exhibition. I would *not* like to be any of my characters while they were stranded in the wild!

If you could spend the day with your character, what would you do? What would that day look like?

We would probably spend the day collecting organic items from Balboa Park in San Diego—feathers, wood chips, pebbles, leaves—then obsessing over where to place them on her latest art piece, while agreeing never to discuss the inspiration for her art: the trauma of being stranded in the wild. At some point, I would insist that we grab dinner at a restaurant in downtown and she would reluctantly agree.

What’s your take on research and how do you do it?

It’s essential to world-building and to writing a story. But research comes in all kinds of formats, and something that I read a decade ago, or a film that resonated with me from college, can inform the twists and turns that my stories take now.

What’s the most fun thing about being an author?

Creating worlds while working through questions I have long harbored. I learn so much through researching my books, and also pull from all the random classes I took while in college, like Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, Film Studies, Biology classes, and French Literature. It’s fun and interesting to me to realize that small moments in time from years past can now come to influence my writing in the present.

Do you write multiple books at once, or one at a time?

I have traditionally only written one at a time. My head might explode (or implode) from too many plot twists across multiple stories—but I never say never when it comes to writing.

What’s your favorite writing tool? — software, app, notebook, etc.

Microsoft Word! I am a purist (of the modern sense) and rely on Word and Excel docs to organize my chapters and character development spreadsheets. Plus, Reese’s peanut butter cups, the most essential writing tool out there.

Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write?

Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Amy Tan, and Celeste Ng.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by

I lived in France for three years, so I can read and write in French.

Your favorite go-to drink or food when the world goes crazy!

Red wine and pho, though maybe not together.

What is your writing kryptonite?

I make too many plot twists, then I have to scale them back during editing – always.

Do you come up with all your book titles or does your publisher?

I do, except for my debut, The Missing Sister.

What an intriguing plot!! Thank you very much for joining us today! 

Reader’s here’s a quick look at THE ALONE TIME, available now!

For two sisters, confronting the past could come at a terrible price in a riveting novel about a family tragedy—and family secrets—by the #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author Elle Marr.

Fiona and Violet Seng were just children when their family’s Cessna crash-landed in the Washington wilderness, claiming the lives of their parents. For twelve harrowing weeks, the girls fended for themselves before being rescued.

Twenty-five years later, they’re still trying to move on from the trauma. Fiona repurposes it into controversial works of art. Violet has battled addiction and failed relationships to finally progress toward normalcy as a writer. The estranged sisters never speak about what they call their Alone Time in the wild. They wouldn’t dare—until they become the subject of a documentary that renews public fascination with the “girl survivors” and questions their version of the events.

When disturbing details about the Seng family are exposed, a strange woman claims to know the crash was deliberate. Fiona and Violet must come together to face the horrifying truth of what happened out there and what they learned about their parents and themselves. Before any other secrets emerge from the woods.