Interview Roulette: E.J. Russell

It’s E.J. Russell’s turn at the wheel!


  1. When it comes to travel, do you prefer to plan everything or play it by ear?
    1. I discovered something unexpected about myself after my husband and I stupidly bought a timeshare: I hate to travel. I had probably tried to ignore this odd kick in my gallop because there are a lot of places I’d love to be—I just don’t want to endure getting there. I don’t find the process of travel relaxing. I get so tangled up in logistics—how will we get to the airport, how will we get from the airport, what about a rental car, what if we don’t get a rental car, and on and on and on—that I can’t enjoy the destination. So when travel looms, hell yes I plan it. It’s the only way to survive!
  2. Which Disney character most closely resembles you?
    1. Probably Bagheera in the first animated Jungle Book—a little uptight, always trying to plan for the benefit of his charge (Mowgli) and counteract the—shall we say, less structured?—parenting style of Baloo. Although if we’re talking about what character I would be cast to portray… Many years ago, when I was still acting, whenever I saw a play or movie with my other actor friends, they would lean over and say, “Ellen, that’s your part.” Usually, these would be quirky, awkward, or just plain weird characters. (What can I say? I was a type.). When I saw James and the Giant Peach, I could imagine them leaning over when the aunts demand, “Where’s our peach?” and saying, “Ellen, those are your parts!”
  3. What invention would you love to see created in order to make your life easier?
    1. I would dearly love a brain-to-laptop interface, so that when I think about a scene, it’s immediately translated to the page without any pesky typing or dictation needed.
  4. Say you met your all-time favorite celebrity, would you play it cool? Or would you utterly humiliate yourself?
    1. My all-time favorite celebrity is someone I couldn’t hope to meet because (sadly) the world lost him many years ago. But if gifted with a trip in the TARDIS, I’d choose to meet Harpo Marx in his heyday for two reasons—first, because I think he was brilliant. Second, because we could conduct our meeting entirely wordlessly—with whistles, horns, ocarinas, charades, and a variety of over-the-top grimaces. This would work perfectly for me, because whenever I meet anyone I’m remotely intimidated by (in other words, everyone), I’m completely incapable of putting together intelligible sentences. Or, if it’s going well, my voice suddenly goes hoarse and I spend all my time coughing as they edge away.
  5. Which holiday is your favorite and why?
    1. This is a tough one because most holidays are weighed down with traditions or expectations that don’t resonate with me. Also, many of them involve celebrations of some type and I’m so not a party person. Thanksgiving? Nope, because I hate cooking and an entire day devoted to a giant meal is not my idea of a good time. Christmas? Now that my kids all live across the country, Christmas has become a logistical conundrum (see answer #1), so nope. New Year’s Eve? Nope, nope, nopity-nope. Party + alcohol + staying up late is a triple threat for me. And as for my birthday? Oh, hell nope. My idea of the perfect holiday, regardless of where it actually falls in the calendar, is a day where I don’t have to worry about outside commitments, where I can relax, perhaps with a (very) few loved ones/friends, and we design our own festivities—even if they just involve watching The Incredibles or The Holiday for the umpteenth time, mimosas optional.
  6. One of your books is being made into a movie. Who would you cast for the major roles?
    1. If Stumptown Spirits were to be made into a movie, I’d cast Dylan O’Brien as Riley and Tyler Hoechlin as Logan, since I was totally shipping Sterek when I wrote the book!
  7. If you could go back in time and change something in your life, what would it be?
    1. When I was eight years old, I fell down in dance class and broke my front teeth. As a result, I wouldn’t go back to class. If I could change anything, I’d change the impulse to do that stupid tour jeté in tap shoes (when I had no clue what I was doing)—or failing that, to put the incident behind me and keep taking lessons. I’ve always regretted not learning to dance.


Book blurb:

The Artist’s Touch

(Art Medium #1)

Two men haunted by more than the past.

Painter Stefan Cobbe was homeless and debt-ridden after the death of his wealthy partner, but the worst loss of all was his artistic inspiration. After two years of nothing, he’s offered patronage by an eccentric gallery owner and starts to produce again, canvas after canvas. The only problem? He can’t remember painting any of them—not one single brushstroke.

Luke Morganstern’s reputation as an art-fraud investigator is in tatters. He can’t afford to turn down any job, even a lousy one for an anonymous client who sends him after an unidentified forger in a remote cabin in Oregon. When the alleged forger turns out to be Stefan, the man he never stopped loving, Luke’s professional ethics are stretched beyond the breaking point.

As the two men take tentative steps toward reconciliation, evidence begins to mount that they’re not alone in the woods. Someone—or something—is watching. Something with sinister plans for them both. To escape, Luke must overcome his suspicions and Stefan must trust Luke with his deepest fears. Otherwise they could forfeit their relationship, their sanity—and their lives.

Publisher’s note: This is a heavily revised and significantly expanded reprint of Northern Light. The second book in the Art Medium series, Tested In Fire, is a first edition. Both are sold together in both ebook and print collections.



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Author bio:

E.J. Russell –grace, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst, and happy endings.

Reality? Eh, not so much.

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