Ellen Douglas

September 15, 2009

I’m 85, so I’ve been doing this for a long time. I was raising children for a part of that time, and I didn’t do much writing when they were little. But after that I went back to writing and sold my first book, and that’s what I’ve been doing since then. By the time I sold a book my sons were getting grown up, so I had a lot more time to myself. I sold my first book by mistake.

I had a fairly well completed draft of a novel, and I was fiddling around with it…And I was looking for someone to read my manuscript and tell me what I should do next, if anything. [A friend] took the manuscript and went back to Annapolis with it, and gave it to a friend of his who had been working with a publisher at Houghton Mifflin. And first thing I knew about was the editor at Houghton Mifflin called and said he wanted me to enter the book in their twenty-fifth anniversary contest. And I won by mistake, so to speak. I didn’t even know my friend had given the manuscript to anybody. So that’s how I got started, and I have been writing for years off and on. I had sent some things around and gotten rejected in the few years between.

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