Monday, September 19, 2005

A second book deal!




I’m happy to announce that I’ve accepted an offer on my second novel, THE SMART ONE. Yippee!

More about the deal in a minute, but first a bit of backstory on the book. Several years ago, there was a news story on Long Island that captured my attention. A homeowner was getting ready to move out of his Jericho house when the buyer insisted he get rid of the 55-gallon industrial drum in the crawl space out back. The sanitation department wouldn’t take it without knowing its contents, so the seller had to open it, as the drum was there when he moved in and he had no idea what it contained.

Together with his realtor, the seller pried the lid off and made a gruesome discovery: the barrel contained the mummified body of a young pregnant woman.

An extensive police investigation identified the woman as an employee of the home’s original owner, who had since moved to Florida. After questioning the elderly man and telling him they’d be back for a sample of his DNA, he shot himself in the head. Of course, his DNA later proved that he was the father of the dead woman’s fetus.

This all happened so close to home that I couldn’t get it out of my mind and knew I had to wrap it into a novel. At the same time, I’d been thinking quite a bit about writing a sister story, exploring the family dynamic and understanding what kind of role that plays in self-image. The two ideas linked and I wound up with a proposal for a book I call THE SMART ONE. And while I borrow many facts from the real life story, it’s essentially a fictional tale, and more about the relationship between these sisters than the murder. So don’t feel like I’ve already given away the ending. This book is not a mystery.

Here’s a quick synopsis, which I’ll continue to refine:

Former artist Bev Bloomrosen is about to start her new career as a schoolteacher when she and her two sisters find a body in an industrial drum beneath their neighbor's house. On their Oz-like journey to discovering the identity of the murdered woman, they meet two dwarves, one carpenter and a comedy writer who loses his heart to Bev. With the help of her sisters, she is finally able to return his love, and learns that there is indeed no place like home… even if you live next door to a murderer.

THE SMART ONE will be published in hardcover by Morrow/Avon, the same company publishing SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA this summer. With any luck, this new book will be on the schedule for a summer '07 release.

13 comments:

e said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

katrina said...

Yay!!! I'm looking forward to reading your book[s]!!

dennis mahagin said...

Congrats!

Awesome achievement, Ellen. :)

Myfanwy Collins said...

YIPEEE!!! This is the best news ever!

Patry Francis said...

Fascinating premise. Congratulations!

Stephanie said...

Wow! How very cool!!

Katie said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You rock, Ms. Ellen Meister!!!

Leslie said...

That sounds like an amazing book and I know the wait will be worth it. Congratulations!!!

Ellen said...

You guys are too much! Thank you Erik, Kat, Dennis, Myf, Patry, Stephanie, Katie and Leslie. Your support and encouragement mean so much to me!!!

Gurustu said...

Wow, that is awesome... congrats! I'm a writer too, but of motivational material, not fiction. But I always love hearing success stories. All the best to you.

Ellen said...

Thanks for the kind wishes, Gurustu!

kathryn said...

Ellen, this is a great story! Looking forward to reading both your novels. :)

Ellen said...

Thanks so much, Kathryn! Glad you stopped by.