Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Day in the Life of.. Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!

Sue-Ellen Welfonder is a card-carrying Scotophile whose burning wish to make frequent (free) trips to the land of her dreams led her to a twenty year career with the airlines. Bi-lingual, she flew international all those years, working her flights as foreign language speaker. Her flying career allowed her to see the world, but it was always to Scotland that she returned.

Now a full-time writer, she’s quick to admit that she much prefers wielding a pen to pushing tea and coffee. She spent fifteen years living in Europe and used that time to explore as many castle ruins, medieval abbeys, and stone circles as possible. Anything ancient, crumbling, or lichened caught her eye. She visits Scotland often, insisting her trips give her inspiration for new books.

Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies and enjoys attending Highland Games. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, and dogs. She never watches television, loves haggis, and writes at a four-hundred-and-fifty year old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.

Sue-Ellen is happily married to her very handsome husband, Manfred, who she met many moons ago on a Munich layover. Her life is ruled by the most adorable Jack Russell Terrier in the world. He’s the only soul allowed to disrupt her when she’s on deadline. She wishes all dogs could be so loved and asks readers to consider rescue if they are thinking about getting a pet. We can’t change the world, but it is possible to make a world of difference to a needy animal.

Sue-Ellen also writes Scottish-set paranormals for Penguin/NAL under her pen name, Allie Mackay –

A Day in the Life of..

I’m really excited to be here at Stitch – Read – Cook to celebrate Seduction of a Highland Warrior’s recent release. This feature is a very original way for an author to spend the day with readers. So please join me for a peek behind the page at my real world.

Before I pull back the curtain, please know there are two reasons I start my day as late as I do.

Firstly, I’m a night owl and rarely sleep before 3 a.m., the hours after midnight being when I do my best writing. Secondly, I worked for the airlines for twenty-three years before I became an author. A flying career often meant being at the airport at 4 a.m. or earlier. So I spent those years dragging myself out of bed at the most ungodly hours imaginable. I swore that if ever I left the airlines, I’d never again torture myself with early risings.

So it’s usually 8:30 – 9:00-ish before I’m up and ready to face the day.

I’m a huge animal person, so pet care marks the start of my morning. That includes taking my 14 year old Jack Russell terrier, Em, for a nice long walk.


I live on a tiny island in the Gulf of Mexico (southwest Florida), and my home is surrounded by a nature preserve, so my walking choices are lovely. Walking and cycle trails abound. I also have the bay and a cozy little harbor behind me, while the beach is just across the road, to the front.


My morning walks with Em are more than quality pet time. I love nature and enjoy being in the fresh air. It’s not just great exercise, but there are wonders and beauty to appreciate. I believe magic is everywhere if we have the eyes and an open heart to see it. My daily jaunts about the island refresh and invigorate me, and also replenish my creative well.

Upon returning home, I settle into my blue-walled, plaid-decorated turret to write. (‘turret’ because my office is on the third floor and has lovely views. This is when I avoid email, the Internet, and really ignore the telephone. I set a 1,000 word goal, writing until I reach that number. Then I begin again. I do this until I hit 3,000 words, my daily goal. Some days I manage more, sometimes I do less. But 3,000 is always my aim.

This is Em gazing out my office window…


By afternoon, I’m ready for my nature fix again.

That means a cycle run. As with walking Em, this time spent outdoors helps recharge my creative batteries. Here’s a peek at a favorite stretch of my bicycle route..


After about an hour, I head back home, often ‘kissed by nature’ on the way. Such as when I spot a Scottish saltire in the sky..


I see them a lot. Sure, I know they are simply airplane contrails. But they make me smile and give my heart a lift. And that helps me return to my desk (and the next 1,000 words) with a positive outlook.

By evening, I break to walk Em again. He’ll have spent the afternoon sleeping on the back of my chair, getting comfy, so that I end up perched on about ½ inch of space as I write my books.

But that’s okay.

As any animal-lover will surely agree, pets rule. Keeping them happy is what it’s all about, after all.

Our evening walk takes us along the bay and we often see all kinds of wildlife. Manatees, dolphins, pelicans and herons, ibis, and even raccoons. (I will not mention the snakes) The light is really pretty at this time, so these outings are a favorite. Look close below and you’ll see an osprey in the tree..


Nature pulls out the stopper at gloaming and every time I believe I’ve seen something more grand than ever, I’m delighted anew.

Such as by this evening sky not too long ago..


Of course, if I really want to be wowed, I head over to the beach for sunset. I might be joined by a friend..


After all, Gulf Coast sunsets are pretty spectacular..


Whenever I enjoy a sunset on the beach, I come home refreshed, sure that my late night writing stint will be good. Nature is an elixir for me. Something I really appreciate, daily.

Somewhere in the mix, I try to fit in lunch, indoor exercises, promo work, and household chores. Then there is shopping, laundry, and a private life. Something usually comes short as I’ve not yet mastered the fine art of juggling it all, as writers need to do these days.

Amazingly, everything seems to get done. I even manage to make supper every night. (Secret: I love cooking and see the time in the kitchen as enjoyable.)

After dinner, I spend an hour or so pleasure reading before I head up to my turret for my late-night writing stint. This is my best writing time. I love the quiet and stillness of the small hours and write with the moon silvering my office and classical music playing softly.

It’s at such times, when the rest of the world is sleeping, that my characters come to life for me. I enjoy our time together. Then suddenly it’s after 3 a.m. and, regretfully, I say goodnight to them and go to bed.

Sometimes they follow me into my dreams. But that’s a topic for another day. For now, I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into my world.

Thanks for looking in!

Highland Blessings!

Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Seduction of a Highland Warrior

At the King's request, chieftain Alasdair MacDonald has sworn to preserve the peace in the Glen of Many Legends. Though he's handsome and fearless, his warrior's heart belongs only to his beloved land-until the fair sister of his oldest enemy shatters his defenses, branding his skin with a single touch, and sealing his fate with one stolen kiss . . .

Lady Marjory Mackintosh will do anything to unite the warring clans, even seduce Alasdair MacDonald. She has loved the rugged Highlander since she first saw him and now, as temptation leads to surrender, Marjory dares to possess him, body and soul. But a dangerous new menace enters the Glen, and he will stop at nothing to strip Alasdair of his honor-and the only woman who can claim his heart.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Nice you live close to the beach.

    1. I was over there much of this afternoon. It's always beautiful and I am appreciative.

  2. ouch sad can't join this contest because US only because I love highlander :(

    what a great pic :)

    1. Eli, I always include International readers in the drawings I do on my blog, Tartan Ink, and in my monthly newsletters to my mailing list readers.

      I am glad you enjoyed the pictures.

  3. Thank you so much for inviting me here today, Aislynn. The feature looks gorgeous. I will look in again later today or tonight yo say hello to everyone.

    Good luck in the drawing, Everyone!

  4. Thanks Sue Ellen for sharing your day. What beautiful scenery where you live. Just gorgeous.
    I'm looking forward to joining Alasdair and Marjory in their story. Lovely post.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Thanks so much, Carol. It is lovely here. I was over on the beach much of today. I needed the break so stayed longer than usual.
      Thank you for your good words about my books. They mean a lot.

  5. Sounds like a busy day. Great pictures. Makes me want a Jack Russell.
    My question for you is: What genre do you prefer to read? To write? Who are your top auto-buy authors?
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

    1. I do keep busy, Christine. Writing is 24/7, it seems. Getting out for my nature fix keeps me grounded.

      I do not read in my own genre, so I love reading cozy mysteries. They are my main pleasure reading. I am also always reading nonfiction research books on medieval history, archaeology, etc. Writing - Scottish medievals and paranormal lights (ghosts, time travel, witches, reincarnation)
      Autobuy authors: Duffy Brown (cozy mysteries) and Kate Angell. (Contemporary sports romances with heart and humor). I also enjoy Regency and Victorian romance, with Anna Campbell being a top fave and autobuy.

    2. PS - Forgot to say that JRTs are wonderful. I love the breed.

  6. It's so much fun gleaning information about you from this tour that I didn't already know from Tartan Ink ;-)
    I finally saw a picture of your husband Manfred and found you are still married. You're pretty tight lipped about him...I know protecting privacy. Then I found out today you live on an island. Cool, I didn't know that before :-)
    Have a fantastic tour!

    1. Great to see you in here, Glittergirl. You know me well. Yes, I keep my private life private. And, yes, I am on a wee island in the Gulf of Mexico. It is really a special place.

  7. I too live so close to Nature,I live on the Florida Georgia border and we do have some georeous skies at times..I enjoy all the nature pics Sue-Ellen posts!....I am also enormously enjoying this blog tour!!!..Love the stories,keep them coming!!!

    1. Hello Neighbor! :) I love hearing from fellow nature lovers. You have some stunning landscapes up there. Thank you for your good words about my books and my pictures.

  8. Not filling out the rafflecopter because I own the book. Just wanted to pop in and say hello. I enjoyed a peek at your day.

    1. Thank you so much for looking in, Z. You always make me feel good. :)

  9. Beautiful scenery particularly as snow is in the offing here.

    Best wishes for success of Seduction of A Highland Warrior.

    1. Liz, your snow sounds so lovely to me. Wish I could see it. I spent most of my adult life in Germany and we had tons of snow every winter. I loved it.

      Thank you so much for your good wishes. I appreciate them very much.

  10. Aislynn, thank you for hosting Sue-Ellen.

    Sue-Ellen this was a wonderful piece for those who want to know you a little better. As always your pictures are beautiful.

  11. Aislynn, thank you so much for having me here today. You have a lovely blog with some really unique and special features.
    Thank you!

    1. I'm so glad you came by to share your day Sue-Ellen! I look forward to having you back again sometime :)

  12. I absolutely loved this post, Sue-Ellen!

    *\O/* waving my pom-poms as always :)

  13. I'm late but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this blog and hearing more about Sue-Ellen!

  14. I love all of your wonderful pictures. I would love to visit Scotland and enjoyed these beautiful views. I also would love to take pictures as memento.

  15. Thanks for the giveaway and lovely pics with the interview.

  16. How lucky to live surrounded by a nature preserve. Your writing space is awesome, cozy and secluded. With the views you have, I am afraid I would be spending too much time looking out the window or being drawn outside to walk the paths or beaches. The area is lovely, but isn't there a danger from hurricanes? Your books are enjoyable and your characters memorable. I know you travel as often as you can to Scotland, but I find it interesting, and a bit humorous, that you write about the harsh if lovely Highlands from a "tropical paradise." Whatever, it works and that is what counts. I look forward to many more of your books.

  17. I always enjoy visiting with Sue-Ellen and her little dog Em - she writes so evocatively of Scotland and Highlanders.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com


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