Far Too Infrequently Asked Questions

Almost every author website has a Frequently Asked Questions page.  Since I just discovered that the drop-down menu on my home page isn’t producing a link to mine, I can even say once that’s fixed, you might actually stumble upon my FAQ now and then under Bio.  If you do, you’ll find the correct order of the Shenandoah Album novels, the reason I’m not working on number six right now, the truth about my backlist, and the name of my valued assistant, Marna, who has since moved to Europe and sadly left me behind.  You won’t see the name of my new assistant, but Beth is an old friend and a quick study.  After just two sessions I know I’m lucky to have her.

Nobody seems to have an Infrequently Asked Questions page, those too esoteric, rude or boring to ever appear in print.  So in the interest of righting that wrong, let me begin one in this blog.  Since these are by definition rarely asked questions, the answers will probably never appear anywhere again.  This is your only chance. If trivia appeals to you? Please pay attention.

What color are the walls in your study?  Can you see the walls in your study with all the piles of books and papers? 

I can indeed see my walls, thank you very much.  A least enough to tell you that they are painted yellow, as they were in my last house and the one before that.  In between I made the mistake of painting them a pale lavender, which turned out to be gray.  For the record, those gray walls had a lot to do with the serious tone of Iron Lace, which was written within them.  The yellow walls have produced the Shenandoah Album series, Happiness Key and Fortunate Harbor.  Tell me this is not a coincidence.

What is your favorite way to waste time when you should be writing? 

Spider Solitaire is mind numbing enough to help put me in the right frame of mind to write.  However if I don’t win, I have to keep playing, which defeats the purpose entirely.  Strike one for Spider Solitaire. 

Aggie Sloan-Wilcox and her family are vegetarians.  Are you, as well? 

Not when I began the Ministry is Murder series, but I seem to be heading slowly in that direction.   Having grown up on the Florida Gulf Coast myself, it’s doubtful I will ever give up seafood.

What are your favorite television programs? 

Treme, as you know from my last blog.  Medium, Law and Order (the original, which just got the axe), The Closer, Masterpiece Mystery–particularly Foyle’s War, Parenthood, and Wheel of Fortune.  Yes, Wheel of Fortune.  And no, I am NOT good at solving those puzzzles, but I am absolutely convinced I will someday win a prize puzzle drawing.  There are a number of other shows I am sure I would love, like Friday Night Lights.  Right now I’m making a point of not watching them. 

Are you really a quilter? 

Yes, but my most creative and original work is done at the computer.  Still, I’m proud of what I turn out.  I adore house quilts, applique, and traditional patterns with updated fabrics, but I also love feed sacks (I have a small collection) and thirties reproduction fabrics.  And I have already started enough quilts to spend the rest of my life finishing them, I’m afraid.

Why do you write novels when you trained in other fields?  Did you waste your education? 

Music taught me to pay attention, to practice, to listen for cadences and rhythms.  American Studies taught me how to find the truth behind the obvious.  My graduate education in family counseling  taught me empathy and ways to make a difference.  Every class in every discipline was exactly what I needed for this job.

Do you ever have a problem thinking of a topic for your biweekly blog

You’re read this one, and you have to ask?  So shoot me some infrequently asked questions and the next time I come up empty, I’ll be all set.  We could have fun with this.


  1. Christina Hollis on July 14, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I had my OH take solitaire off the computer, it was so tempting. And then I discovered Sudoku. Never go there…
    Love the Infrequently Asked Questions!

    • Emilie Richards on July 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Now, that’s a smart move. But Sudoku? Talk about addictive?

  2. Pam on July 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    When will you start on the 6th Shenandoah Album novel??? I’m anxiously waiting….

    • Emilie Richards on July 29, 2010 at 8:56 am

      When my publisher tells me they’ll publish it. So far, they’re committed to having me write other books. But I keep pushing, I promise.

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