Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Author Elizabeth Ludwig - WHERE THE TRUTH LIES - Free Book

Oh, goody, we're interviewing another author of a Heartsong Cozy Mystery.

Welcome, Elizabeth. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I always write a huge part of myself into my characters. I think that’s because if I can’t envision myself as being one of them, I have a very hard time writing them. Take Casey Alexander, for example, the heroine in Where the Truth Lies. Casey loves detective novels and much of her life is centered around the main character. I was a lot like that growing up. Some people…ahem…even say I’m still like that. In fact, it’s not at all unusual to see me driving down the road acting out the lines from a scene I’m working on. I want to get the responses and inflections just right, and the only way I know to do that is to act them out.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Well, if you read my last answer…LOL! Actually, the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done has nothing to do with writing. I was a young girl, around eight or nine, and I loved to read by the light of the Christmas tree. It wasn’t enough to sit near the tree, mind you. I had to crawl completely under the tree and let the lights shine down directly onto the page. Try explaining that to four sisters who already think you’re a geek.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I had a fantastic fourth grade teacher who always encouraged my love of reading. In fact, she often let me sit quietly and read to myself when everyone else was doing homework. One day, she asked if I might be interested in entering a science fiction contest for young authors because she knew that was what I was into at that time. I did, and though I didn’t win, I knew then that I wanted to write.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I’ll read just about anything if it has a touch of romance in it. Case in point, I just finished reading a vampire series by Stephenie Meyer! Not my typical stuff, but I thoroughly enjoyed all three books. Then there is always Francine Rivers, Susan Page Davis, and Deb Raney. Love ‘em! But don’t leave Kathleen Morgan and her Scottish historical series. Did I mention Katherine Kurtz and her Deryni Chronicles? You get the idea…

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I wrote a Scottish historical series that I absolutely love. They are all centered around Malcolm Canmore and the time of MacBeth. Maybe someday I’ll get back to them. I also wrote several westerns, a romantic suspense, and I’m currently working on a contemporary romance. Quite a wide variety, huh? None of these other books have been published, but they were all key in helping my develop my skill.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Depends on who you ask. Some would say I am quite insane…:-)

How do you choose your characters’ names?

The name has to feel good on my tongue. I usually roll it around in my head, try it out in a scene, and if it works, I go with it. Doesn’t hurt to vary the syllables, either. If there are two syllables in the first name, there should be one or three in the last name. This makes the rhythm sound better to a listener’s ear. I learned this when I was pregnant and choosing baby names. I’m also always on the lookout in newspapers and on TV. I love old fashioned sounding names that have a little substance.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Without a doubt, nothing makes me prouder than to hear people say I have good kids. After that, I would have to say doing a good job, every day, at whatever I’m working on makes me proud, because whatever I do, I want to do with all my might, as unto the Lord.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

LOL! This is funny. I would say I’m an eagle, always flying high, a little bit intimidating, a little bit aggressive, slightly wild. My kids would say I’m a rabbit…actually, Rabbit, on Winnie-the-Pooh. According to them, I’m very fastidious.

What is your favorite food?

Potato Chips. No, wait…chocolate. Yeah, chocolate.

Do you eat them together? What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

I had a very difficult time not writing stuff that was episodic. What I mean by that is writing scenes that are one catastrophe or trauma after another with little or no connection in between. I overcame by this by learning to write a very detailed synopsis and timeline before I ever sit down to write chapter one. While this is time consuming, it often saves me a lot of trouble because I have so much less rewriting to do.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Join a critique group! I say this most emphatically, because a good critique group will help you grow, encourage you, even comfort you in times of difficulty. It can’t be just any crit group, however. My crit group and I learned early on that pats on the back are wonderful but they do absolutely nothing to help us as writers. So now we’re much harder on each other, but our work is better because of it.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

I am so very proud of Where the Truth Lies. Janelle and I wanted to create a really twisted plot with lots of red herrings and leads so that the reader was left wondering all the way through to the end. I think we accomplished that with this story.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I’ve actually made quite a home for myself out in cyber space. Readers can find me at www.elizabethludwig.com or read about some of my current projects and interests at www.elizabethludwig.blogspot.com. I’m also a contributor to Novel Journey and Spyglass Lane, so readers can find me there, too. Stop on by! I’d love to have you visit.

Thank you for dropping by, Elizabeth.

Readers, check out all these wonderful sites. Want to win a copy of the mystery? Leave a comment.


Susan Page Davis said...

Terrific interview, Lisa and Lena. I can perfectly understand reading under the Christmas tree. Sounds like a wonderful place to read. I hope you dust off those Scottish books and the westerns, too.

Nora St. Laurent said...

Great Interview. This really looks interesting. Please put my name in for the drawing.
Thanks so much


Elizabeth Ludwig said...

As a matter of fact, I did eat potato chips and chocolate together once, but I was pregnant at the time and so cannot be held responsible. :-)

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Good luck, Nora and Susan!

Janelle said...

Aw, Lisa, you left out some of your other talents...like mind reading and ventriloquism. And you're a great chameleon...disappearing right before our eyes and reappearing in a whole other place. Yes, people, this woman is multi-talented. Hmmm. I may have to interview you on my blog so others can see all your facets. (You know I love ya. (g)

dolls123 said...

Well I can say I have never heard of anyone reading from inside a Christmas tree :-)


Susan Downs said...

Lisa, it's so much fun to be able to share in the celebration of your book's release. You've written a great cozy mystery! Thanks for allowing me to be a part of its birthing. :-)

Your Mysterious Mystery Editor

S. Dionne Moore said...

Love Lena's quirky questions. I'm glad you didn't choose a weird animal like an aardvark or anteater--that would have to be MY answer!

Ruth Dell said...

Hi Lena and Elizabeth

Thank you for the interesting interview.

I love really twisted plots with lots of red herrings and leads, so please enter me for the book drawing.

Thank you

God bless

Ruth Dell


Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Don't give away ALL my secrets, Janelle. ;-)

And S. Dionne...aardvark was going to be my NEXT answer. LOL!

If you've never tried reading under the tree, Dolls123, I highly recommend it. :-)

Carole said...

I always learn so much from these interviews, so thank you very much.

I have loved cozy mysteries all my life and am thrilled to see this new Heartsong line. I would love to win a copy of Elizabeth's book. Thank you for the opportunity!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview. The book sounds great and I would love to get entered in the drawing.


windycindy said...

Hello, What a fun interview. I like the reading under the Christmas Tree story! The "Heart Song" mysteries are one of my type of books to read. I never knew what Red Herring meant until the character on "Scooby Doo"
that was named the same. My sons had to explain it to me! Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks,Cindi

Rebecca Yauger said...

Elizabeth, it's so nice that your fun, crazy (I say that lovingly) personality shines through in this interview with Lena. Janelle is a special buddy to me, and I'm so excited for the two of you with this cozy mystery. I can't wait to read it! Blessings!!
-Rebecca Yauger
texaswriter (at) att.net

Karin said...

Have never seen anyone reading under the Christmas tree before... although my nephew- when he was a toddler- tried to climb it to get the candy canes off of it several times. CRASH!

Cherie J said...

Wonderful interview! I love a good mystery and this sounds like a really good one.

luv2read said...

The title of the book is a spiritual question in itself. Enter me in the contest. spowell01(at)bellsouth(dot)net

luv2read said...

The title of the book is a great spiritual question itself. Enter me in the contest. spowell01(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Grateful Gramma said...

Love cozies and I love twisted plots, so this one sounds like a winner!

Carolynn W. said...

I enjoyed the interview! I would love to read this book, thanks for the chance to win!

ChristyJan said...

Great interview. I love reading cozy mysteries and Where the Truth Lies sounds like a wonderful book.

stampedwithgrace said...

I enjoyed the interview! sounds like a great book :)