. God has really
been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon? Elizabeth
I plan on continuing to publish a book about every nine months … all of which will feature a mix of romance, and a dash of mystery and adventure.
Tell us a little about your family.
I got married pretty late in life, which was a mixed blessing. I know what it is to be lonely, but I also developed the self-confidence to become a strong person capable of taking care of myself. Perhaps most importantly, I will never take my husband for granted! Bill and I have been married for twelve years, and I give thanks for him every day. We don’t have children of our own, but I was a custodial stepmom for the first five years of our marriage. The girls are now grown and out of the nest, so it’s just Bill and me. Life is good!
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Oh my, yes. I used to read a lot of novels for pleasure…but now I read mostly nonfiction to research my writing project. Although I always want the romance to be front and center in my books, I don’t care for “wallpaper history” books. That’s the term I use for historical novels that has use the history merely as a little window dressing….like a long dress or a fancy ball. I like to weave interesting historical events into the plot of my books.
What are you working on right now?
My next book (to be released summer, 2014) is called With Every Breath, and is my first medical drama. The hero is a doctor in the 1890s … brilliant, passionate, and willing to repeatedly risk his life in his quest to cure a deadly contagious disease. The heroine is his research assistant. I think it is both the heaviest and the funniest book I’ve ever written. The subject matter is terribly sad, but the rivalry and chemistry between the hero and heroine crackles from page one. It was huge fun to write.
I'd love to feature the next book on my blog. How do you choose your settings for each book?
I am wedded to the late 19th century. This is simply a fascinating era for me: it has the glamor and romance of an earlier time, but modern technology and attitudes were beginning to take root. Women were entering professions. Telephones, medical advances, and architecture were all beginning to revolutionize the world. Perhaps most importantly, attitudes were in flux. The seeds of civil rights, votes for women, and concern for the poor were taking root, so I feel like I have a lot of freedom with my storylines. The kind of highly-skilled, professional heroines I write about would be harder to fit into earlier eras.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wished I believed in the value of networking! As a profoundly introverted person, I had no interest in joining writers groups or trading manuscripts and advice. I figured, heck, I’m a research librarian. I ought to be able to figure out how to do this myself! Naturally, I made every mistake in the book. I think I set my career back three or four years because of this type of thinking. I didn’t even know about organizations like American Christian Fiction Writers or contests like the Genesis. These are great ways to get your writing before the right people. I eventually got published, but I got there the hard way.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Gratitude. I’ve had my fair share of loneliness and disappointment in life. The Lord never promised us an easy life, and I didn’t have one, but the last few years have been the happiest of my life. I am thankful every day for the family He finally blessed me with. I am grateful that I have two careers I love (as a librarian, and as a writer.) In these tough economic times, I am grateful for my job and a roof over my head. I think it is important to count our blessings every day.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Humility. By this I mean the ability to read your work with a neutral eye. Note your strengths and weaknesses, and be willing to fix them. If agents and editors are sending you form rejection letters, this is valuable feedback. Painful, but valuable. Don’t be defensive. Pick up your pride and reassess your work.
Read widely and deeply. I read memoirs, biographies, old newspapers written during the era I’m writing about. For fun, I read as many of the high-quality novels I can cram into my day. I read science fiction, urban fantasy, old westerns. I think it’s a mistake for a writer to read only within the genre they write about.
in other genres helps inject fresh techniques and perspectives into your genre.
Develop your own voice. This takes a while. I think most of us begin our writing journey by emulating our favorite writers. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is a great way to learn, but publishers are eagerly looking for something fresh and original. If you’ve got a distinctive tone and feel in your manuscripts, you are more likely to get a second look.
Mollie Knox is a woman whose comfortable world is shattered the night she loses everything in the legendary
Chicago fire of 1871. As
she struggles in the aftermath of the fire, two powerful men vie for her
affection. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her.
Into the Whirlwind is a turbulent love story set amidst the rubble of
Chicago as Mollie endures the challenge of
survival and the triumph of rebuilding the city.
I’ve read the book and loved it! Please give us the first page for my readers.
A wall of fire towered over Mollie. The city of
had been burning for hours, the scorching wind stirring up firestorms that
barreled down the narrow streets and illuminated the night sky. It was getting
hard to breathe. Smoke and ash hung in the air, coating Mollie’s throat until
her thirst grew more painful than the blistering heat. The crush of people
jostling to flee northward made it hard to even keep standing.
The city Mollie loved so well was being destroyed as flames engulfed buildings, weakening them until they collapsed into piles of rubble, blocking escape routes and sending throngs of people into greater panic. By tomorrow,
would be nothing more than a smoldering ruin.
“Mollie, watch out!” Zack shouted. She followed his gaze. A riderless horse careened straight at her, cutting through the people packed on the street. A woman screamed and dove for cover, but Mollie was trapped by the wagon beside her. She flinched away from the stallion’s flailing hooves just as Zack’s hands closed around her waist, hauling her out of the way the second before the horse barreled past.
“Thank you,” she gasped before her throat seized in a fit of coughing.
“Come on,” Zack commanded, grabbing her hand and pulling her forward. “We’ve got to get across the river before the bridge burns. We can make it, Mollie.” He grinned down at her, his teeth flashing white against his soot-stained face.
Zack Kazmarek was a savior in the chaos; his powerful build shouldering through the crowd and helping them both get further north. A layer of ash covered his jacket, but it couldn’t disguise the fine cut or his confident manner as he pushed onward. Zack had accompanied her into a literal inferno, but never once had he complained.
Why would a man who disliked her be so generous? For three years Zack had been icily aloof toward her, so why should he risk his life to help her?
The crowd thickened near the
. Ahead of them,
people yelled and started pushing the crowd back. It was impossible to hear
what they were saying over the roar of wind and the clamoring bells, but as she
got closer, Mollie saw the problem. Rush Street
The bridge was on fire.
She shouldered through the crowd. “We can still make a run for it.”
Zack dragged her back. “Are you insane? You’ll get yourself killed!”
How can readers find you on the Internet?I am at http://elizabethcamden.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethCamden
Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing this wonderful book with us.
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Into the Whirlwind - Christianbook.com
Into the Whirlwind - Amazon.com
Into the Whirlwind - Kindle
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