By Elizabeth Sias
A local woman is excited to see her name in print, and she’s been hard at work getting the word out about her first book.
Isanti resident Ellen Huber self-published The Whisk of Love, released in July through Trafford Publishing. Recently, she did a string of book signings at Panera Bread locations throughout the Twin Cities.
The book is the witty tale of a woman in small-town Wisconsin who sells scalp massagers, or “scalp whisks,” on a search for a man. Through her “hilarious roller coaster journey through the unpredictability of romance,” Marcia endures blind dates, attends singles events and attempts online dating.
To do this, Huber used 15 years of writing from personal experience, embellished the stories, edited them and added a sense of humor to it. Some stories are true, while others are not, but Huber said she won’t reveal which are which.
“My best review so far is a woman who said ‘I laughed all the way through it,’ which is what I’m trying to accomplish,” Huber said.
The book, for which Huber used the pen name Elaine Hoover, is available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, and is also available as an eBook.
Huber has been writing most of her life. In second grade, she had two short stories published through the St. Paul Public Library.
The book is dedicated to her younger sister Monica, who drowned at age 4, and to her daughter, who she has raised as a single mom for 16 years.
Publishing a book to honor Monica’s memory was at the top of Huber’s bucket list, so she’s proud of accomplishing her goal.
“It really felt special. When I got done, I said it was my best feeling, other than having a kid, as far as accomplishments,” she said.
She and her daughter moved to Isanti in 2004 from Sartell, Minn. Before starting her creative writing career, Huber worked for the state of Minnesota for 15 years as a software tester and technical writer.
“I certainly miss the security,” Huber said. “But finding out who I really am has been worth it. It’s a huge risk, but I have no regrets.”
She started a sequel called The Whisk of Lust, and plans to finish the series with The Whisk of Like. Now that she has one book out, Huber’s goal is to pursue larger publishers to get her name out there with the next two books.
Huber said she tends to write the most easily at night, especially during the full moon. The music of Brandi Carlile was an inspiration during the writing process, and plays a big role in the book.
For Huber, the best part about writing is the humor.
“I love just being able to make myself laugh,” she said. “Even if no one thought it was funny, it was so fun. What other job can you just sit and laugh at yourself? It was kind of self-deprecating.”
Huber has no book signings scheduled yet, but is aiming for more the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. She also welcomes people to call her at 763-464-1907 to receive a signed copy of The Whisk of Love.
As a new author, Huber understands and accepts the challenges of getting exposure and selling books. She said it’s all about thinking outside the box — such as including the book in a gift basket to offer at book fairs.
“I took the big leap,” she said. “I’m not going to give up. The sky’s the limit, and that’s what’s so cool.”
Fifty-year-old Marcia, a resident of the small, unexciting town of Haystack, Wisconsin, sells scalp massagers—also known as “scalp whisks”—for a living. With the help of her friend Betty, Marcia spends her free time engaged in an endless search for a man. Unfortunately, her hunt for the man of her dreams has become as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack. In her quest for true love, Marcia endures blind dates, hires a dating service, attends singles events, and attempts online dating—all to no avail. Despite enduring endless disaster dates that include wacky characters like “Crack Head Bob” and “Farmer Tony,” Marcia still holds on to the slim hope that she will someday find a man who will treat her like the queen she is—and maybe even gently “whisk” her tired scalp on cold Wisconsin nights. Left with few options, Marcia turns to a social networking site. What she finds there will change her destiny forever. In this delightfully witty romantic tale, a middle-aged woman must learn to not only survive, but blossom into who she was always meant to be as she embarks on a hilarious roller coaster journey through the unpredictability of romance.