Friday, February 17, 2023


I want to thank Emma Leigh Reed for taking the time for this interview!


E.L. Reed, originally from New Hampshire, now resides in Tennessee. She has fond memories of the Maine coastline and incorporates the ocean into all her books.

She has three grown children and is enjoying her empty nest. Her life has been touched and changed by her son's autism - she views life through a very different lens than before he was born. 

Growing up as an avid reader, it was only natural for her to turn to creating the stories for others to enjoy. She continues to learn through her children's strength and abilities that pushes her to go outside her comfort zone on a regular basis. She teaches English at a local college. She is the author of crime thrillers, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and has co-authored children’s books.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I have always had a vivid imagination and started thinking of stories at a young age. As I got older, I was an avid reader and just naturally turned to writing my own stories.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

Agatha Christie was one of my favorite authors growing up, and I think she has been a major influence in my life as a writer.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

There are always some characters based on people in real life, but I am able to change some things so no one would know who it was I was basing a character on.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

I have drawn inspiration from real life events for my romantic suspense and women’s fiction books (Emma Leigh Reed), and inspiration for my crime thrillers (E.L. Reed) from my fascination with different people and the crimes they may or may not have committed.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I have a basic outline, especially for the crime thriller books, with victim names, when they will be killed, etc. But for the most part, my characters have a lot of say in their actions.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Although I know many authors who do this, I have never had a cheater photo for inspiration when I am writing.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Other than reading, I love just spending time with my children and grandchildren. Living states away from them, it is harder to do. 

Curling up with a good book is also a great way to relax.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

JR Ellis, Erik Larson, Harlan Coben, Riley Sager, and Lisa Gardner are a few of my favorites.

What are your favorite books by others?

I just recently read The Raven by Sylvain Reynard and thoroughly enjoyed it and will be picking up the rest of the series.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Most of my books either take place in New England as I am originally from New England (New Hampshire to be exact), or there is some aspect of the Eastern coastline as the ocean is a favorite spot of mine.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

I typically write in multiple POVs. Typically in 3rd person through both main characters, or in my crime thrillers I write in 3rd person through the eyes of the detective or the medical examiner and in 1st person through the eyes of the killer during killing scenes.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

Experts in the field. 

I have a number of police officers that are willing to answer police procedure questions. 

When it comes to serial killers, and killing methods, I have a variety of books for research as well as doing a deep dive into the internet.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

I write under two pen names: Emma Leigh Reed for romantic suspense and women’s fiction, and E.L. Reed for crime thrillers.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

Romantic suspense, women’s fiction, and crime thrillers. 

My favorite is the crime thrillers. I love the building up of suspense and trying to throw the reader off.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

I am a college professor teaching English and writing. 

One of my quirky traits that ends up in all my books is enjoying the smell of coffee, especially before that first taste. I believe inhaling the scent of it leads to a deeper flavor.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Keep writing. No matter how hard it gets, it is the most rewarding thing when someone tells you they enjoy your writing or that it has touched their life in some meaningful way.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

I don’t read negative book reviews. My thought process is you can’t please everyone and sometimes there are people that are just going to be negative no matter way. I focus on my writing and don’t bother to look at reviews.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

The hardest part of writing is getting the first few scenes done. No matter how much research I do, the beginning of each book is always the hardest for me to get out. 

I tend to be ultra-critical of my own work and that lends into getting that first few chapters right.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

I don’t have a set writer’s space. Once I get in the zone for writing, it doesn’t matter where I am. 

I have written in coffee shops, in my office, in my living room, at a hotel, or a house a few writers and I rent a few times a year to focus on writing. 

The biggest thing needed is some sort of beverage, whether it be coffee, water, or adult beverage.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

Not sure I have one.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why?

I would love to be able to go back in time and talk with Agatha Christie, but in today’s time I would love to be able to speak with JR Ellis about his mysteries. I love learning the process of other writers and what works for them, and what doesn’t.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

I write when I can. I teach full time so sometimes it is writing during my office hours, on weekends, or dictating into a voice recorder while I am driving.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

I do listen to music some when I write, but mostly when I am editing. It depends on the story I am writing or the mood of the book on what type of music I have one.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?


What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game?

Overwhelming amount of outside forces vying for my attention. There will be weekends I want to commit to writing all weekend, but there will be an overabundance of papers that need grading, or the kids/grandkids need my help with something. Those two things take me out of my writing focus.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

I don’t think I have killed off anyone that my readers love.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

I usually indulge in something I don’t do all the time such as a massage, or splurging on clothes shopping.


I hope you enjoyed this interview!

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1 comment:

  1. My answer about bad reviews is pretty much the same. You can't please everyone. Just write for those who do like your writing. Keep it up!