I’m thrilled to have author Elena Mikalsen make her return to the blog. Her latest novel, The House by the Cypress Trees, is available for pre-order.
Author Name: Elena Mikalsen
Book Title: The House by the Cypress Trees
Book Genre: Romance
Release Date: September 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Welcome, Elena! Please tell us about your latest release.
A Texas teacher and a London architect get stranded in Tuscany after rescuing a dog in Rome.
What inspired the idea for The House by the Cypress Trees?
I got the idea the same way I get all of my ideas, on the family vacation. I always insist that, when we travel, we try to live as locals as much as possible, so, two years ago, my family and I flew to Rome and ended up in an old neighborhood of Trastevere, which is about 20-30 minutes away from the tourist center of Rome and you had to take a tram or a taxi to travel to any of the attractions.
The actual idea for the book came to me during one of our morning trips on a tram. The children and I were huddled together in the crowded spot and, suddenly we saw everyone parting as a homeless man approached us with a tiny puppy in his hands. He started begging us for money and he was squeezing the animal tight and my kids were terribly distressed. As he moved on, we kept talking about how we had an overwhelming desire to just rip the puppy out of his arms and run out of the tram. And how he wouldn’t possibly be able to catch up to us in the labyrinth of Trastevere streets. Later that day, I wrote this experience on my phone and it became The House by the Cypress Trees.
How close is the end product to that seed of an idea you began thinking about on vacation?
This is exactly Ch. 1 of the novel.
In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an author since your first book came out?
My first novel was historical and I thought I would want to write nothing but historical novels, but now I have firmly become a contemporary author. I also have really good writing discipline now, where I can write any time, any day, in any place. Yet, I know better than push myself to write when I don’t feel like it. I used to have a fear that, if I don’t write down my ideas, they will disappear forever, but now I know they are always in my mind and I can always recreate them later.
What’s your favorite part about writing/being an author? What do you find challenging?
Writing is stress relief for me and also a great way to empty my mind. My mind always swirled with stories and I had no way of controlling that until I began to put that down on paper. The challenging part for me is having a full-time job. I have a very tiny amount of time to write, but I carry my laptop and a physical notebook with me literally everywhere. You can even spot me writing on my phone in an elevator at work.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
Travel. I am obsessed with travelling and looking at beautiful landscapes and photographing nature.
Your love of travel certainly shows in this book! What are you working on now?
I am writing a thriller set in Vancouver about a woman trying to save her brother who is homeless.
I also have a thriller coming out in December, called All the Silent Voices about a woman who plots revenge against her college rapist when he becomes her boss. It’s a #MeToo novel set in a corrupt pharmaceutic company.
And last but not least, where can readers find you?
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WF_writerEM Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writer.mikalsen/
Thank you, Elena! The House by the Cypress Trees comes out on September 2, but you can pre-order your copy NOW.
The House by the Cypress Trees
Julia Ramos, in Italy to find her birth mother, rescues a dog, is nearly run over by a handsome Brit, and gets evicted from her rental apartment. Not a perfect trip.
Daniel Stafford wants to visit his family in Tuscany—after his girlfriend dumps him for their Italian driver, he botches a work presentation in Rome, and an assertive American falls in front of his car.
When their two disastrous lives collide, they end up sleeping on the side of the road. Falling in love with Italy—and each other—is the least of their concerns.