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