What’s Next For Chloe Ellefson

Launching the 10th Chloe Ellefson mystery, Fiddling With Fate, was a whirlwind of fun last fall! It was a joy to meet and hear from so many readers. One question came up frequently.

What’s next for Chloe and Roelke?

Over a year ago I learned that my publisher, Midnight Ink, was shutting down. Fiddling With Fate would be the last Chloe book that they printed. The news was a shock.

Still, the announcement did give me a chance, after ten very busy years, to take a deep breath, and take stock. There were two basic questions to answer.

Did I want to keep writing the Chloe series?

For me, the choice was simple. I am not ready to say good-bye to Chloe and Roelke. There are lots more stories, historic places, and ethnic traditions to explore.

And thankfully, as many of you know, I have an amazingly supportive spouse. Mr. Ernst’s take was this:

So what if you don’t have a contract yet for Chloe 11? You didn’t have one when you wrote the first book in the series. If you want to write another Chloe mystery, you should definitely write one.

The second question was equally important.

Did readers want the series to continue, especially after the momentous development in Fiddling?

I can’t speak for all readers, of course. But as I considered options, notes like this one from Sharon B. warmed my heart.

I am currently deep into my third reading of Fiddling With Fate. Though not Norwegian, I feel a kinship to Chloe and miss her company when her stories finish. Please keep her world alive for all of us.

Right now, the only thing I can announce with certainty is that I am working on the 11th book in the series.

My ritual when starting a new book is to select a journal that feels appropriate for the project. This seemed right for Chloe 11.

It’s way too early to share many details, but Chloe 11 does involve a new historic site and ethnic group.

I’ve spent time exploring archival collections, squinting at old photos, driving back roads searching for immigrant barns, and learning about new folk arts and ethnic foodways from local experts.

I’m happy, focused on the work, and gratefully leaving the business end of things to my savvy literary agent.

So while I don’t have specific publication information to share, there will be an 11th Chloe Ellefson mystery. Thank you for your encouragement, and for hanging in there as I find my way through this transition period.

In the meantime…I want to set up another special tour at one of the settings featured in the Chloe Ellefson mysteries. If you’d be interested in such a tour, which historic site or museum would be your top choice?

If you need to refresh your memory, click HERE to reach the series page on my website.

Happy reading!


28 Responses to “What’s Next For Chloe Ellefson”

  1. Brenda Boettcher Says:

    Hooray! This post has me so excited! I am rereading “Fiddling with Fate” now, and I can’t imagine not knowing what happens next to two of my all-time favorite characters!

    I will very happily buy a copy of Chloe 11 as soon as it’s available from whatever publisher is brilliant enough to sign you on with their company!

  2. john sutton Says:

    Great news for your readers and fans , we await the future

  3. Barb Voigt, Middleton, Wi Says:

    You have to keep writing about Chloe. I love you books. I’ll pray for you to get offers from several publishers. Barb

  4. Joyce Street Says:

    Looking forward to the next chapter of Chloe’s adventures. It’s too good a series not to continue!

  5. Laura Says:

    So glad to hear that the adventure will continue….I enjoyed Fiddling With Fate so much! The mystery kept me guessing right to the end, and what a lovely, romantic finish. ❤️

    A lifelong history buff, I very much appreciate all the care and research you put into your work. Thank you!

  6. Ruth NelsonLau Says:

    Yes, the Chloe and Roelke saga must continue! Will there be little McKenna’s? This just the beginning of a new stage in their life, it can’t end now.

  7. bornus Says:

    I would definitely recommend Decorah and the Vesterheim as the setting to revisit. Chloe was there with her mother the last time, and so it would be more poignant for Chloe to be there now, carrying on the traditions without her mother.

    I also favor Vesterheim because I have a personal connection there – on the grounds is the Egge cabin where much of the “Diary of Elizabeth Koren” was written. In her Diary, Elizabeth includes several conversations with my ancestor John Axdal (the “man from Turkey River”), and so I like the connection of standing in the very room where those conversations took place!

  8. Lois Scorgie Says:

    Every time I have finished a book, it was very difficult to endure the months I had to wait for another to be published. I’ve happily learned, enjoyed, and wondered what will happen next for these past years.

  9. George Nelson Says:

    I thinking Rock Island would be a great place to be for a Chloe get together.It is a wounded full setting.
    I would be happy to help in anyway.

  10. Lois Scorgie Says:

    I was thinking of suggesting the Swedish of the midwest for a book topic.. Augustana College, background Augustana Lutheran, is located in Rock Island with extensive archives.

    Not far away is located Bishop Hill, a fascinating communal site established in the mid 1800 by Swedish pietists. A murder is part of it’s story..

    I can refer you to a member of VASA, Swedish organization, who does research at Bishop Hill.

    Swedish settled in the area up river from Pepin WI. Stockholm WI settlement has a story of theft and criminal activity.

  11. Peggy Says:

    So very happy you are working on the 11th book! This series means a lot to me!

  12. Anna Rose Johnson Says:

    Hi Kathleen! I’m a longtime reader of your American Girl mysteries and I’d love to send you an email, but your contact form doesn’t seem to be working – could you pass along your email address? Thank you so much! 🙂

    • Kathleen Ernst Says:

      Anna Rose, I tried to contact you via your website form, but perhaps it didn’t go through either. We were having problems but they have been fixed, so please feel free to try my form again!

      • Anna Rose Johnson Says:

        Hi Kathleen! Thank you for replying to my comment, I hope you are having a lovely weekend! Yes, I’ve had difficulty with my form as well.

        I just wanted to drop you a note because I’ve enjoyed your American Girl books so much over the years. I recently read Trouble at Fort LaPointe, and it was such a delightfully fascinating book!

        I’ve also read several of your other American Girl mysteries, Midnight in Lonesome Hollow being my longtime favorite! I first read Lonesome Hollow years ago; I just finished re-reading it and had such fun revisiting those characters and that evocative setting. I always loved the subplot with Harlan and Talitha!! Did you ever imagine what happened to them after this book ends? I am never satisfied with coming up with those things myself, I prefer knowing what the author had in mind. 🙂

        Thank you!

  13. Laura Larsson Says:

    I am in Cloe Droughtsville-land, so waiting for book 11. Wisconsin has so many ethnic little communities. As posted here Stockholm WI, Denmark WI as well as some little border towns to Michigan and Minnesota. I’m sure Cloe must have some long lost distant relatives to be introduced in upcoming books. More of my friends have finished the 10th book, with all of us in agreement by far your best work!!

    • Kathleen Ernst Says:

      Laura, thank you so much for the kind words! (And for the phrase “Chloe Droughtsville-land”) I am making progress on Chloe 11 and one way or another, it will be published. There are so many more special places and stories to explore! I truly appreciate the encouragement from you and your friends.

  14. Linda Johnson Says:

    Hello, thank you for continuing the Chloe series I have Evey one I want to pass them on to my granddaughters

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