Ellen Sollinger Walker on her IR Approved Book “Just Where They Wanted To Be”

Just Where They Wanted To Be received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Ellen Sollinger Walker.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?  

Just Where They Wanted To Be –published December 15, 2017

What’s the book’s first line? 

“This is the story of my amazing parents. They were the great love story and role model for my life.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

“It seems my life began with sailing,” my mother wrote.  “During those ten years, every sense, every emotion, and all mental and physical energies were pushed to their extremes.” Just Where They Wanted To Be is the story of my parents who, at age fifty-five, quit their jobs, sold their home, bought a sailboat and, for ten years, circumnavigated the globe.  My book begins with my parents’ origins, continues with descriptions of their personalities, and documents early travel. The circumnavigation is told in my parents’ words through ship logs and letters home to family and friends. The book ends with their twilight years and spreading of their ashes in Tahiti.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

After the death of my parents, two months apart in 2016, I found the beginning of a book they were working on together about their ten-year sail around the globe. Since I am the only child, I felt compelled to complete their book and share it with the world. I knew their many friends, family members, and fellow sailors would want to read the book however, I wanted the story to be accessible to a larger audience who did not know my parents personally.  With this in mind, I began the book with their personal histories and backgrounds. I also included “Six Portraits of My Parents,” which are literary pictures of their personalities and my experiences with them at different ages in my life.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

My book chronicles two fairly ordinary people who sailed off alone on a 36-foot sailboat for ten years. Therefore, one might think the book was written for a “nitch” market of sailors, “wanna-be” sailors, or armchair travelers. In a greater sense, however, the book establishes an “attitude” towards life, dreams, and personal goals.  The story champions and inspires those who are adventurous enough to leave their comfortable “home port,” literally and metaphorically speaking, and venture out into unknown waters. My mother wrote: “There is nothing to be afraid of way out at sea, with no land in any direction for thousands of miles. There’s only the sea, the wind, the stars, and God’s universe.”

In the review for IndieReader by Ron Capshaw, he states that, “Readers….. will find Walker’s lyrical book a wake-up call to live each day as if it were their last.”  This is the main reason someone should read this book.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

My father would need to be played by an actor who is brilliant, a bit quirky, soulful, funny, adventurous and a loner. Liam Neeson comes to mind.

My mother should be portrayed by an actress with a dominating personality and a quick temper. She needs to be creative, gregarious, and fun-loving. Maybe Helen Mirren?

When did you first decide to become an author?

I have written poetry since I was twelve years old. I tried my hand at writing stories in my teens but it didn’t seem to be the right vehicle for my work at that time. In 2008, I self-published a book of poetry called The Bird Released: A Collection of Poems by Ellen Marie Walker.

From the back cover of my book of poems:

“When I release the bird of my heart I will be at peace.” So ends the poem from which the title of this collection of poems is taken– and in an earlier poem, the poet writes: “When my grandmother was my age, her dress was already chosen. She said: ‘Lay me down in my casket. Cross my arms over my chest and place a red rose in my hand.’ Me. I want to be on fire.”

Is this the first book you’ve written?

This is the first book I have written. But, this will not be the last. I have a new work of fiction in mind and will begin this novel soon!  Stay tuned!

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I go through episodes of great creativity and other episodes when nothing comes. When I am in my creative phase, I become almost obsessed with the work and can sit at my computer in my pajamas for hours without noticing the passage of time.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.  No novel has ever completely pulled me into another world as this memoir.


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