What makes Elaine’s fiction different from other traditional mysteries? Some might say the dry humor (only a few say lame), but she thinks it is the empathy her characters show to others. Fiction can’t ‘lecture’ readers. But it can contain people whose paths we cross every day — whether we know it or not. The bright colleague or grouchy neighbor who’s actually in severe emotional pain, the families struggling to provide enough food for their children, the vet with PTSD. While characters solve crimes or plan silly fundraisers, they can tacitly let us know there is a world beyond those activities. And maybe they can make it a little better.
Elaine L. Orr writes four mystery series. The newest is the Family History Mystery Series. The Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series, set at the Jersey shore, includes “Behind the Walls,” which was a finalist for the 2014 Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Awards. In the River’s Edge mystery series, Iowa nice meets murder. “From Newsprint to Footprints,” was followed by “Demise of a Devious Neighbor.” The latter was a 2017 Chanticleer finalist. “Tip a Hat to Murder,” the first in the Logland mystery series, was followed by “Final Cycle.” A police procedural with a cozy feel. Elaine also writes plays and novellas, including the one-act, “Common Ground,” published in 2015. Her novella, “Biding Time,” was one of five finalists in the National Press Club’s first fiction contest, in 1993. “Falling into Place” is a novella about family strength as a World War II veteran rises to the toughest occasion. “In the Shadow of Light” brings the tragedies of the U.S. Mexico border to life through the eyes of children and their parents.
Elaine conducts presentations on electronic publishing and other writing-related topics. Nonfiction includes “Words to Write By: Getting Your Thoughts on Paper” and “Writing When Time is Scarce and Getting the Work Published.” She also authors online classes about writing and publishing.
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