Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Mae Clair, and her characters from Eclipse Lake. It’s a fantastic romantic mystery with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Dane and Ellie.
How did you first meet your writer? Dane: She was visiting her sister who has a summer home in the mountains near a lake. From what I understand, Mae was swimming when she saw a park ranger making his rounds, and started imagining what would happen if the guy stumbled across a skeleton in the woods. As it turns out, the remains were connected to me and my brother, Jonah.
What do you do for a living? Dane: That one is kind of tricky. I wasn’t the most ambitious person when I was a kid—except when it came to stealing. Back then, I saw myself heading down the path of a career criminal, but a stint in Juvie and a guy who was willing to take a chance on me, changed all of that. Most people find it ironic to learn I own a security company now.
Ellie: *with a glance for Dane* He’s being modest. He’s a modern day success story with a highly profitable firm. And he’s a philanthropist who supports his city’s youth programs.
Dane: You haven’t done so badly yourself. Ellie’s a photojournalist for a national magazine.
Ellie: That’s true. Dane and I met when I was on assignment in Eclipse Lake and he broke my camera lens.
Dane: *grins sheepishly* Definitely not one of my better moments.
Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in? Ellie: Oh, yes. Once we got past a few hurdles, Dane was quite romantic. He even surprised me with something straight out of a fairytale. And working through the mystery was challenging. Scary too, especially at the end when, Dane—well, I’d rather not say. I still don’t like thinking about it.
*Dane squeezes Ellie’s hand*
What is your greatest fear? Dane: I have two and I think I’ve faced them both. The first has to do with that skeleton in the woods and how it got there. That’s a secret I kept for fifteen years, hoping I’d never have to examine it too closely. And then there’s my brother, Jonah. He had good reason to hate me, but I really wanted the two of us to reconcile. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was to return to Eclipse Lake and face him.
What do you think your greatest weakness is? Ellie: I always had a fear of commitment. That’s probably why I chose the career I did. Being a photojournalist allows me to ping-pong all over the map. When you work like that there isn’t time to establish relationships. It took me a while to realize I was running.
Dane: *grinning* Fortunately, I convinced her she could have a relationship and still work freelance.
Ellie: Hmm. I think I came to that realization on my own.
Dane: Can’t I get a little credit?
Ellie: *leans over and kisses him* Of course.
What are you proudest of? Dane: That’s an easy one for me—Jesse, my son. I adopted him when I was six. There’s only a fifteen year age gap between us which can be challenging sometimes, but we make it work. Jess is everything I wasn’t as a kid—popular, motivated, loyal.
Ellie: *laughing* And highly opinionated.
Dane: I raised him to be a leader.
Ellie: He’s definitely that. I felt a little awkward at first, because Jesse is only ten years younger than me, but once he understood how much his dad cared for me, he got behind our relationship.
Do you like the way the book ended? Ellie: Absolutely. I love an HEA, and there were several in this book…not just the romantic ending for me and Dane. There was a lot of family estrangement that had to be resolved as well.
Dane: Yeah, I left a lot of baggage behind when I bailed on my brother fifteen years ago. He didn’t even know he had a nephew.
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined? Dane: I wouldn’t mind making an appearance or two, but I like the way my story with Ellie ended. If Mae did write a sequel down the road, I think she’d weave it around my son, Jesse. He’s more than strong enough to carry a book on his own. But from what I understand Mae’s next release is about ghostly occurrences at a corporate retreat during Halloween. She told me it’s called MYTH AND MAGIC and is already available for pre-order (although it doesn’t release until June 9th). I think this time, Ellie and I will sit back and enjoy reading someone else’s story.
Small towns hold the darkest secrets.
Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.
But memories in small towns are bitter and long.
Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.
Ellie stopped walking and turned to face him. “Why are you here?”
Dane picked up a flat stone. With a flick of his wrist he sent it skimming across the lake. It danced effortlessly across the surface as if he’d done the same thing a thousand times before. “You know that skeleton they found?”
“I’ve got more skeletons than a graveyard. I can’t pick up and go to another place…to the next photo shoot.” He turned to face her. “Half of my life is here and half’s on the west coast. I have to make them fit together.
The revelation reminded her of the family she’d left behind in Idaho, reawakening a familiar tug of homesickness. In an effort to find more comfortable ground, she changed topics. “You told me you’re from San Diego. I did a photo op there four years ago. What do you do for a living?”
“I get by.” He took her hand and started walking again.
She sent a speculative glance in his direction, recognizing evasiveness when she heard it. He was wearing a Rolex, and though dressed casually, clearly had expensive taste. Yet he’d booked an ordinary cabin rather than one of the exclusive chalets higher up the mountain.
She liked the feel of his fingers around hers, warm and firm. The contact sent a pleasant tingle up her arm. What the hell was wrong with her, getting caught up in his touch as if it were magic? As if she’d waited her whole life for that sensation. He had skeletons in his past, a brother who couldn’t stand the sight of him and a sheriff who wanted to run him out of town. Eccentric, or just plain trouble?
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Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.net
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Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!