Middleton writer Kathleen Ernst discusses publication of her 40th guide | Leisure

Q: I know you started another mystery series. Does this mean an end to Chloe Ellefson’s stories?

A: Absolutely not! I love the Chloe series and the project is very personal to me. I am passionate about the places and topics that I explore in the stories. Although Chloe and I are two different people, we have a lot in common. Each book is set in a new location and features a new museum or historical site. That keeps the series fresh.

Q: I saw on your website that you have a new publisher that will reprint your books – why the change? Will there be new covers?

A: The publisher I worked with on the first 10 Chloe Ellefson books closed its doors. Fortunately, I was able to find a new home at HenschelHAUS in Milwaukee. If the backlist is reprinted, they keep their original covers … and the cover for the latest book fits in seamlessly.

Q: You said that your collection of poetry, Balance: Poems of the Female Immigrant Experience in the Upper Midwest, 1830-1930, was inspired by reading diaries, memoirs, and letters written by Wisconsin’s early Yankees and European women for 40 years were written. You have written poetry before, but is this your first book?

A: I have published individual poems in different places, but this is my first collection. People often ask why I focus on immigrant stories so often. One reason for this is that I find immigrant stories infinitely inspiring. It was (and is) such a … daunting experience. Not every story has a happy ending, but all in all, people bowed their heads and did what they had to do. In the middle of the pandemic, I needed … a special, positive project that could inspire others too. I’ve been working on the collection for about 20 years so it just took some fine-tuning. The book came together pretty quickly.