Sit Down Saturday with Marion Ekholm

Today we’re celebrating the release of “Just Like Em.”

So, Marion, where did you get the idea for this novel?

Like the hero in my story, I was displaced. Although my job was eliminated, I continued to work for over two years while the different departments were transferred out of state. When Roger needs to keep his employees from leaving before his department is completely transferred, he asks Em to explain how losing her job affected her. She describes  my experiences, and he puts them into practice.  

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?

 Isn’t Arizona spectacular!

How long did it take you to write?

Approximately two years. It started out at 50,000 words and ballooned into over 70,000. 

What is your favorite scene?

I like the scene where Roger massages Em’s feet. She spent the whole morning shopping with his daughter and her feet really hurt. When she starts manipulating them, he offers to do it. It’s the first time they actually get personal. It’s a tender time for them both – Em appreciates the attention and Roger begins to pull away from his wife’s memory. 

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really liked Em’s mother Doris. She’s such a strong, no nonsense  person.  She rules with an iron hand but has a warm heart and empathy to spare. 

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be? 

Mira Sorvino and Ioan Gruffudd

Tell us one thing you learned during research. 

I spoke with a nurse who actually works at the hospital in Prescott where Em’s boy is taken. She answered all my questions about parents staying overnight with their child. 

What music would match the mood of this novel?

I wasn’t into music while writing this book, but it’s become very important in the books I’m working on now. 

This is your first book.  Exactly what does that mean to you?

I like the term first because it implies second, third and so on. It means I’m beginning to be noticed, and that’s a wonderful sensation.

What do you plan to work on next? 

I’m doing the rewrites for “An Act of Love,” another Heartwarming that comes out in August. 

What are you reading for pleasure right now?

For pleasure, I’m listening to several books about Beaumont, the Washington state Detective in J.A. Jance’s mysteries. 


  1. I really liked this story. It hit on a lot of true-life issues and problems. Good going Marion.

    1. Thanks Roz. Hope to see you next week at the Desert Dreams conference.


  2. This story represents true grit. Marion, I love how you stayed on the path, never giving up, always knowing it would happen. Talk about true life...

    1. Thanks for all your encouragement. See you at Desert Dreams.

  3. Marion, congratulations of your debut novel! I love the actors you chose for your characters--now I will picture them when I read Just Like Em. I'm intrigued by Doris, she sounds a little like my mom, and that's a good thing (:

    1. There's a little of my mother in Doris, too. Thanks for your comments.

  4. Congratulations, Marion! Lots of business experience in my past, so looking forward to reading your book. I love Ioan Gruffudd. Sat with Ron years ago through the entire Hornblower series on A&E, and like a complete silly, bought him the DVD collection for his birthday, so am watching it again and again. But Mr. Gruffudd makes it all worthwhile.

    1. I picked out the two actors when Pam asked me to write this post. I could see my characters in my own mind but was very surprised to find people who really looked like them. I definitely have to find something that Ioan Gruffudd acts in. A friend who read my book said he definitely looks like Roger, my hero in "Just Like Em."

  5. Congratulations, Marion. I'm adding this book to my "have to read" list.

  6. Marion, congratulations on your first book! Just Like Em sounds like a great story and I look forward to reading it.

  7. Great interview! Love it when someone knows how to be firm, yet has a warm heart :). Congrats!


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