Tell me about yourself! How old are you, and where are you from?
Elle: Hi, my name is Elle Mott. Three letters in my first name are silent, but I’m not silent when it comes to telling my story, whether in my published memoir or elsewhere. My personal essays about homelessness and humanitarianism appear in literary journals, anthologies, and a national news magazine. I’ve called Northern Kentucky my home since the month of my 46th birthday in 2013 when by happenstance I landed here. My debut book best answers the question of where I am from, if any answer is possible. “Out of Chaos: A Memoir” hit publication in August 2018.
Give us a summary of your book!
Elle: A story about choices and consequences…. of control and surrender…. to find truth and connection. “Out of Chaos: A Memoir” is my harrowing true story, dark at times, yet I promise it ends on a bright new way of living. It is my intimate, unflinching look at transiency, alcoholism, and the chaos of identities constantly uprooted. In it, I shed personas, rebelling against who I was and who I was becoming, but thousands of hitchhiked miles couldn’t distance me from the crushing expectations of my great-grandmother’s legacy. Only by surrendering to myself, was I able to find my way out of chaos.
What inspired you to write this book?
Elle: People told me to get my story out in any way I could. That got me started. When recalling memories to put on paper, I couldn’t forget that when life was incredibly difficult for me, people had said, “Keep the faith” or “It will be okay.”
When walking to my library job from my downtown bus stop, homeless folks with their signs asking for a hand-out would greet me good morning. When with friends, their difficulties would press on my heart. And news reports show us social injustices. These disconcerting moments pushed me to share my story. It is a story where I am not proud of some events. Yet, I persevered in my writing.
I wrote my story to show that no matter what mistakes we made, what wrongs we did, or what hardships we endured, we can make our life better. This involves action, not limited to well-wishes. This change for the better gives us inner peace, a sense of belonging, purpose, and meaning.
If you could pick one song to describe this book, what would it be?
Elle: “Gratitude” by Shelley Segal (Australian folk singer and writer).
Have you written any fiction novels as well? If not, would you and what genre?
Elle: No, not a fiction novel, but a short story, based on when my father died in 2015, yet fictionalized. It was through a writing workshop I attended, and the story later appeared in their anthology. I don’t find fiction writing comfortable, nor could I ever make up anything wilder than the true chaos found in my published memoir.
What are two of your favorite books? Least favorite?
Elle: Oh my! So many goodies out there, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Brianna Karp’s memoir, “The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness” (2011) has always resonated with me. If she could tell her story so bravely, then so could I, was my thoughts when first reading her book.
A more recent read was “The Hearth” by Snehlata Mathur (2018). Her book is fiction yet based on true-life injustices that are unfortunately common. It is about a child bride in 1980s India who overcomes difficulties. Yes, any book that touches my heart when it comes to girls and women who overcome odds placed on them is a must read for me.
I don’t have a least favorite as I can be choosy with my reading choices. By staying in my safe zone—the genres of historical (fiction or nonfiction), sci-fi, craft and how-to, and also memoirs and biographies, I’m never disappointed. I stay away from books on sports, action, or the inspirational genre.
Do you have any other hobbies, or businesses that you would like to share?
Elle: Weekdays, I am at my full-time job as a Page with the public library in Cincinnati (it’s a grunt job with a basic wage, yet I love it). Weekends are for finding time with friends, while I also keep active with volunteering commitments in my greater community. Often, this finds me in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and places that empower women through a helping hand. Volunteering gives me a way to show my gratitude for life today, a life out of chaos. Home-life is just me and my pet finches. It’s a small cottage house I outright own in a Northern Kentucky bedroom neighborhood. My finches and their huge aviary fill up the main living space (smile).
Do you have any upcoming book specials/giveaways or events?
Elle: Yes, I’m sure I do, but just when and where, I’m not sure-- it depends on my next author appearance. You see, I’m not quick to play with the Amazon published price, but I am happy to offer my book at discount when giving an author presentation. These events are often in the big city of Cincinnati. You can view my line up of appearances from my website (drop down in the Contact tab to “Author Appearances and Events”). Another option to get my book is to contact me with an offer for a review in exchange for the book. (I love reviews!)
How can readers keep up with you? Post your social media usernames!
I also dabble just a little on Pinterest and YouTube, both as Elle Mott.
My Author Central Page is amazon.com/author/ellemott.
I’m also an active blogger when it comes to my volunteering efforts and my writing journey. Catch my blog at http:ellemott.author.com
Anything else you would like to share?
Elle: For one, a shout-out that reviews are awesome by supporting small press literature and helping other readers. You can find out more about me, my story, writing, and reviews, all on my website at ellemott.author.com.
Visit amazon.com today to pick up a copy of Elle's book! https://www.amazon.com/Out-Chaos-Elle-Mott-ebook/dp/B07G8HPX1G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542506225&sr=8-1&keywords=elle+mott
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