Mere asked Ellen Marie Wiseman:

How long have you spent researching for your novels? And how do you choose the settings/characters/plots? Writing is fascinating to me, and I'm always curious about the processes that different authors go through in their novel writing journey! Thanks!

Ellen Marie Wiseman Hi Mere, Thanks for the questions! While working on THE PLUM TREE, I spent four years switching between long periods of research and writing the novel. For my second and third novels, WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND and COAL RIVER, my process was a little different. I had to research as I wrote because I was working on a relatively short deadline. As far as choosing setting/characters/plots, I like to unearth those parts of history we weren't taught in school, and I love writing about normal everyday people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. THE PLUM TREE is loosely based on my mother's childhood and tells the story of a working-class German family during WWII. I was inspired to write WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND after reading about 425 suitcases that were discovered in the attic of a shuttered asylum, left there by patients who checked into the institution but never checked out. For COAL RIVER, when I learned about the young boys who worked in the coal mines under extremely dangerous conditions, I knew it was a story that needed to be told. I hope that answers your questions! Thanks again!

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