Mary Ellen seems a bit conflicted, even a dual personality--no worries, she's perfectly safe--but I'll let her explain that to you...
Can two authors share one office and computer?
Sure they can, if they are the same person :-)
Denise [Deni] Dietz and Mary Ellen Dennis share one room, one desk, one computer, and one keyboard. Deni writes mysteries that have no socially redeeming values whatsoever. They are meant only to entertain. Mary Ellen writes historical fiction that is ageless. The romance in both genres is supplied…or maybe a better word would be inspired…by their mutual best friend, lover and husband, novelist Gordon Aalborg. Gordon's office is upstairs, in the loft, and he sends Deni emails suggesting they meet for coffee. Meanwhile, his photo graces the desk she shares with her alter-ego.
Deni met Gordon, aka Harlequin romance author Victoria Gordon, on-line through an authors’ loop. Gordon was living in Australia, Deni lived in Colorado. They decided to collaborate on a romantic suspense and fell in love, sight unseen. Gordon asked Deni to marry him. She replied, “I think I should meet you face-to-face, first.” He described his house, which included a guest bedroom, and invited her to visit him in Tasmania. She said she had a strict book deadline. He said, “Silly wench, I have a computer.” So Deni hopped a plane to the land of Kangaroos, Koalas, and Hugh Jackman. She knew that she and Gordon were soul mates. She hoped there’d be “chemistry,” and there was. Sparks flew. Almost immediately, Deni and Gordon sold up, packed up, and bought a cottage on Vancouver Island. They were married at a writers conference and will celebrate their 11th anniversary this October. Deni says, “You’ve never been romanced until you’ve been romanced by a romance author.”
Deni and Mary Ellen both think writing should be fun as well as creative, so the items on their computer desk tend to make them smile. First and foremost, one's gaze is drawn to a Gumby-like statue of Edgar Allen Poe, looming over a red Staples "That was easy" button.
Deni has a wonderful photo of her actress sister, Eileen Dietz ( www.eileendietz.com ), who played the possession scenes—and The Demon—in The Exorcist. Eileen inspired Deni to write FIFTY CENTS FOR YOUR SOUL, a somewhat supernatural novel that revolves around events that occurred during the filming of The Exorcist—a novel that Publishers Weekly called "Hollywood noir."
Deni likes to listen to show music. On her side of the computer desk she has a stack of CDs that include Les Mis, Once Upon a Mattress, Candide, Phantom of the Opera, and a dozen other Broadway shows (she hopes someday to appear on Jeopardy and hit the Broadway Musicals category). She also has the Dixie Chicks, Harry Chapin and Barbra Streisand. Mary Ellen prefers Celtic music and drove Deni daft by listening non-stop to Loreena McKenna's "The Highwayman" while writing THE LANDLORD’S BLACK-EYED DAUGHTER.
Above the computer desk there’s a framed poster of Daniel Day Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans, looking just like Rand, Mary Ellen’s hero in “Landlord.” There is also a circus poster of a bareback rider on a white horse, inspiration for Mary Ellen’s THE GREATEST LOVE ON EARTH.
Deni’s stuffed "deadline vulture" perches on top of the modem. She named it Michael Seidman after her first editor. Deni and Mary Ellen share a heavy rock, ostensibly a paperweight, that has CREATE chiseled on its surface. They also share a small ceramic tortoise. It reminds them that if you only write one page a day, by the end of the year you'll have written a book. Both write more than one page a day. Deni owns a small ceramic frog in a witch’s hat, seated behind a crystal ball. The frog inspires her to write TOE OF FROG (aka "The DaVinci Toad"), her sequel to her romantic mystery, EYE OF NEWT, starring reluctant witch Sydney St. Charles. In “Frog” readers will meet a “reincarnated Rottweiler” who is afraid of doorbells and songs from the 1970s.
One wall of the office is devoted to Deni and Mary Ellen’s book covers. In the place of honor are the covers for THE LANDLORD’S BLACK-EYED DAUGHTER and THE GREATEST LOVE ON EARTH. Don’t you agree that they are both beautiful covers? In fact, the drop-dead gorgeous highwayman depicted on “Landlord” won a Romantic Times KISS (Knight in Shining Silver) contest.
Finally, Mary Ellen collects angels. Her favorite angel holds a piece of paper with a Luciano de Crescenzo quote: "We are each of us angels with only one wing and we can only fly by embracing each other."
- What is your favorite piece of furniture, or picture, or keepsake—something that sets off a fun memory or begins a new memory?
The Greatest Love On Earth—Mary Ellen Dennis. Available now
He's fearless, except when it comes to Calliope Kelley...
Nothing could shake the courage of lion tamer Brian O'Connor, until the circus is threatened and the love of his life deserts him...
Danger, drama, dazzling excitement are her world...
Bold, beautiful Calliope Kelley would jump through flaming hoops to protect her father's circus. But when disaster strikes and Calliope loses everything, she knows she must build brand new dreams...
Torn apart and betrothed to others, a twist of fate brings Brian and Calliope back under the bigtop, where together they'll walk the high-wire to see if great loves turn to ashes or rekindle to burn brightly forever...Excerpt
BUY: Amazon, Amazon.ca, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million Available in ebook and print
Former singer/actress and perennial rule-breaker Mary Ellen Dennis is the author of several award-winning historical romance novels and culinary mysteries and is growing her audience for both. She is married to novelist Gordon Aalborg (aka Victoria Gordon), whom she met online through a writer's group; they live on Vancouver Island. She has two books in stores this month, released by Sourcebooks Casablanca: The Greatest Love on Earth—set in the exotic world of a 19th century circus and sweeps readers into death-defying feats, dangerous rivalries, and a love that has all the thrills and romance of the greatest show on earth., and a reissue of The Landlord’s Black-Eyed Daughter: A fast-paced and passionate retelling of the story of two timeless lovers who would die for each other. If only they didn’t have to. This gorgeous romance gives the poem a whole new depth and a happy ending.
For more information, please visit www.maryellendennis.com.