How Long Did it Take You to Write That Book? by Cynthia Ellingsen

We have a guest today at The Solitary Bookworm, let’s all welcome author Cynthia Ellingsen. Cynthia Ellingsen is the author of The Whole Package and currently on tour with CBLS Promotions. Watch out tomorrow for another guest post over at A Chick Who Reads. So without further ado, let’s welcome Cynthia! 🙂

How Long Did it Take You to Write That Book?

Hi, The Solitary Bookworm! Thanks so much for letting me chat with your readers about my debut novel, “The Whole Package”, published by Penguin-Berkley.

Since the book has come out, I’ve noticed that a lot of readers have one big, burning question: How long did it take you to write your book?

When people first started asking me this question, I would rattle off, “Oh, about six months or so,” and think that I’d actually answered the question. But I forgot to mention that it then took about a year to edit, then some time to find an agent and then a publisher…

As time went on and I started talking to more and more readers, I realized that this question was coming up again and again. My answer became more thorough each time but in the back of my head, I was wondering why the question was just as popular as, “Where do you get your ideas?”

So, I started to think about why people might be interested in the length of time it took to write a book. I thought about it and thought about it but couldn’t come up with a good answer. Finally, I just decided to ask the next person that asked me.

It happened to be a blond woman at a women’s luncheon, decked out in bright pink lipstick and perfectly coiffed, Southern hair. When she asked, “Dear, how long did it take you to write your book?” I said, “Oh, about six months then a year or so for edits… but I’m so curious, why do you ask?”

Well, this sweet lady blushed the color of her lipstick! After shifting in her seat and fiddling with the white leather strap of her purse, she finally mumbled, “I was thinking about writing something.”

A ha! I was so happy to finally understand. Maybe this question was so popular because many readers are potential writers. How long does writing a book take? One year? Five? Thirty? What was the real time investment?

I told the lady in the audience to stop blushing and start writing. To sit down with a pen and paper instead of a timer and to get that story on the page, instead of worrying about how long it would take or whether it would be perfect. And I second that motion for any fledging writers out there eager to get started.

If you are wondering, “How long did it take you to write a book?” because you want to write, here’s my advice: Go for it! Sitting down with a pen and paper (or your computer and a cup of coffee) is the first step. Whether it turns into a career or a hobby, writing comes with many rewards.

So, here’s my question: If you secretly want to write, what are you waiting for?

Thank you Cynthia! And now, here’s the details of Cynthia’s The Whole Package –

“The friendship between the women is realistic, the characters funny, and the premise well-executed. Readers will
giggle and grin from start to finish, and will surely be eager for Ellingsen’s next novel.”–

“The Whole Package is a delightfully frivolous romp. An excellent beach read, this light but enjoyable fare will
have you chuckling (and likely blushing!) throughout…”–RT Reviews

Title: The Whole Package
Author: Cynthia Ellingsen
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley
Length: 409 pages
Genres: Contemporary Women’s Fiction (Comedy)
Buy Links:
Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | B&N (Nook) | B&N (Paperback) | Penguin (eBook) | Penguin (Paperback)

Life has thrown childhood friends Jackie, Cheryl, and Doris a few curveballs. Widowed and broke, Jackie returns home after an extravagant life in Paris, Doris is reliant on anti-depressants, and Cheryl’s plans for a corporate take-over are replaced with walking papers. But after a drunken night sampling the delights at strip club for women, the ladies stumble upon a genius idea and decide to open up The Whole Package—the world’s first restaurant staffed exclusively by very attractive men. Armed with Jackie’s connections, Doris’ ambition, and Cheryl’s business sense the ladies set out to make their mark in the world.


French is a sexy language. Except, of course, if you are standing in line at a French café and the French you hear is a nasal, drawn out, “Fat American.“ Unnecessary, especially if you are simply trying to buy a chocolate croissant to dip into the first cappuccino of the day.

Jackie – and yes, it was Jackie and not Jacqueline even though she was closing in on forty instead of the throat of the snickering girl behind her – whirled around.

“Did you just call me fat?”

A French girl stared back at her. The girl had the audacity to cock her head. A yes.

Jackie was stunned. Okay, fine – and a little hurt. Such a judgment was the last thing she expected in this cheerful neighborhood cafe with its brightly painted walls, kitschy produce art and erratically placed wildflowers. Even the French sayings on the wall, written in such careful, scrolling script were meant to inspire good cheer, not snappy little insults.

“Well, I am not fat!” Jackie said. And this was not in French, because after two years in the country she spoke French perfectly and proving it was no longer important. “I am sexy.”

A mustached host had been writing out specials on a blackboard with squeaking chalk. At this, he paused and took a look. Jackie ran her palms over her curvy hips and considered giving a slight shimmy. The man gave a nod in agreement and went back to the specials.

The French girl sniffed. She was dressed all in black, a total cliché. She was holding a sniveling, trendy dog. Its shaky face was framed by a bejeweled collar and its droopy eyes stared, along with everyone else in the cinnamon scented café.

“Perhaps you should order something to eat,” Jackie said, pointedly eyeing the girl’s bony frame . “You’re probably just suffering from low blood sugar.”

Jackie’s jaw dropped. Drawing herself up to her full height of 5’3” (5’6” with her three inch pumps), Jackie said, “If you want to live off of cigarettes and red wine and ignore the delicacies your country has to offer, you go right ahead. But I would rather get chased out of Le Bon Marche by a firing squad than strut around in a body that looks like it was stolen from an eight-year-old boy.”

The French girl gasped.

“I am going to embrace my sensuality,” Jackie said. “I am going to improve upon it. And,” she stood a bit taller, “it is gonna happen with a chocolate croissant.”


Official Website | Twitter | Facebook

Cynthia Ellingsen is a fiction writer and screenwriter. She lives in Lexington, KY with her husband.


One thought on “How Long Did it Take You to Write That Book? by Cynthia Ellingsen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s