Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Make Chronicle of the Mound Builders Next Month's Book Club Pick!

Consider Chronicle of the Mound Builders for your next book club selection! It's sure to spark a lively discussion on a broad range of topics. Discussion questions are below, and I would be happy to chat with your group on Skype, Facetime, or by speakerphone.

Book club orders of five or more receive a discount. Contact me at ellemarie@ellemarieauthor.com for the discount code and ordering instructions.

Book Club Discussion Questions

1. Do you think many Aztecs shared Chipahua's views on human sacrifice?

2. Which of the 2 stories did you find more compelling – Angela's search for the meaning of the chronicle or Tototl's experiences in the 14th century?

3. What did Chronicle of the Mound Builders teach you about the history of the Aztec and Mississippian cultures?

4. If you have ever lived in or visited St. Louis, did you recognize any of the locations in the book?

5. Did you find Angela's enthusiasm for archaeology annoying or endearing?

6. Was it difficult for Chipahua to accept his loss of nobility status?

7. Do you think Tototl and Mina's relationship was typical for their culture and the time period?

8. Did you initially feel the secret society was evil or good?

9. Were you surprised to learn that the Mississippian Indians had knowledge of astronomy and dentistry?

10. If Chronicle were made into a movie, which actors would you cast as Angela and Joseph? Whom would you pick to play Franklin Oettendorf, Chipahua, and Tototl?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Author Interview for Chronicle of the Mound Builders

I often get asked by my readers what inspired me to write my adventure novel, Chronicle of the Mound Builders. So here's an "interview" with some of my most frequently asked questions:

Q. What gave you the idea to write a book about the mystery of the Mississippians' disappearance?
A. The original idea came from a newspaper article about an archaeological dig in my hometown of Chesterfield. Evidence of the long-lost civilization of the Mound Builders was found there, which piqued my curiosity.

Q. How much of the story is true?
A. I've tried to provide accurate information about the culture and lifestyles of both the Aztecs and the Mound Builders through careful research. The Chesterfield Valley dig site, known as the Dampier Dig, is real, but many of the artifacts described in the book are invented. Although numerous ancient Native American settlements have been unearthed in Chesterfield, the Chesterfield Indian Affairs department is fictional.

Q. How did you learn about archaeology?
A. Dr. Meredith Hawkins of Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis graciously showed me around the Dampier Dig site and provided basic instruction on archaeology.

Q. What genre is Chronicle?
A. It's hard to categorize. I'd say it's mostly adventure, but there are elements of mystery and romance, as well as historical fiction.

Q. How did you develop the premise?
A. My husband Doug, to whom I dedicated the book, brainstormed ideas and plotlines with me. My daughter Vicki also had great suggestions. Our combined creativity resulted in the basic outline. We had a great time doing it, too!

Q. Does this book target women readers specifically?
A. Absolutely not. I hope it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good story with a few surprises.

Q. What was the writing process like?
A. Writing is a part-time hobby for me, so I tried to fit it in on weekends and evenings. It took about 6 months to develop a workable outline, and another 2 years to complete the writing.

Q. Who was your editor?
A. Vicki Lesage edited Chronicle of the Mound Builders. It has been a real pleasure to work with her. She also edited my first book, Living the Thin Life, written under the pen name Elle Meyer.

Q. Where is Chronicle available?
A. You can order it online through Amazon. It is also available as an ebook for Kindle through Amazon or through the Kindle app on the iPad.

Q. What 4 words would you use to describe your book?
A. Exciting, mystery, adventure, fun!

Q. What are some of your favorite books?
A. I love all the Dan Brown books, especially the Da Vinci Code, the Hunger Games trilogy, Aztec by Gary Jennings, Game of Thrones, Fall of Giants, and many more. I love to read.

Q. Will Angela Hunter, your main character, go on any more archaeological adventures?
A. Time willing! I have 2 more books in the works in the Hunter Archaeology series, which will also be adventure novels.