About Ellen Crosby
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. When I was in school I had summer jobs working in a dress shop, as a maid for a wealthy family, and as a secretary. Later, I worked as an economist at the US Senate, as Moscow correspondent for ABC News Radio, and as a freelance journalist -- most recently as a regional feature writer for "The Washington Post."
Q. Favorite job
A. My favorite job is what I'm doing now -- writing fiction -- with the occasional opportunity to jump back into journalism.
Q. High school and/or college
A. I have an undergraduate degree in Political Science from The Catholic University of America and an M.A. in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. I spent my junior year in Madrid, Spain and a semester of graduate school in Bologna, Italy. I half-heartedly started a Ph.D. in Economics at Georgetown University, but the math just slayed me . . . and I abandoned it.
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Family, friends, books . . . have I left anything out?
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. a beach
Q. What do you regret most?
A. I try not to regret anything -- hopefully I learn from my mistakes.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I wish I could sing . . . everyone else in my family has a great singing voice. When I sing they say, "Don't quit your day job."
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. my 3 sons
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I keep my promises.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. people who don't take responsibility for their actions
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. being with family and friends
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. honesty, integrity, and a sense of humor
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. I'd live somewhere in the Mediterranean and eat all the wonderful food from that part of the world.
On Books and Writing
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Finish the book.
Q. How did you come to write Bordeaux Betrayal?
A. For several years I followed a news story about the questionable provenance of a cache of bottles of Bordeaux with Thomas Jefferson's initials etched in them which were discovered in the 1980s behind a bricked-up wall in Paris. The bottles had originally been vetted by Christie's auction house in London and later sold to wealthy collectors for a significant amount of money. In recent years, however, a man who owned three of the famous bottles began to suspect that he had been duped, so he set out to prove -- sparing no expense -- that the bottles were fakes. The story had always interested me -- but when I learned that after Jefferson returned to America as Ambassador to France, he continued to order his wines from abroad, both for himself and his good friend George Washington, the idea for THE BORDEAUX BETRAYAL came to me. Would a bottle of wine once destined for George Washington that turned up 200 years later -- also of dubious provenance -- be a wine to die for?