Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In 2010, Elizabeth’s first full-length historical novel, Love Finds You in Calico, California will be released from Summerside Press. Books two and three of her mystery series, Died in the Wool, and A Black Die Affair, respectively, are slated for release in 2011 from Barbour Publishing.
In 2008, Elizabeth was named the IWA Writer of the Year for her work on Where the Truth Lies. She is the owner and editor of the popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book.
Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and dramatist, having performed before audiences of 1500 and more. She works fulltime, and currently lives with her husband and two children in Texas.
To learn more about Elizabeth and her work, visit her at http://www.elizabethludwig.com/ .
Welcome back to the blog, Elizabeth. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Hopefully more contracts! LOL!
Actually, I’m never really sure what I’ll be working on or doing a year or even a month from now. For example, I told myself I would never write an Amish book or anything similar. Guess what I’m working on right now?? :-)
Tell us a little about your family.
Of course, every parents thinks their kids are wonderful…I’m no different. I have an amazing son who is growing and maturing in his faith (he’s leaving on a mission trip this month), and a beautiful daughter who makes us all laugh with her quick wit and sharp mind.
But…I have to tell you a story about my husband. I always knew he supported my writing, but he really proved it one Christmas, long before I sold my first book. We had been talking about buying a new computer but finances were tight, and I wasn’t sure we could afford it. Imagine my surprise when, on Christmas morning, my dear husband handed me a large box with a brand new laptop inside! Not only that, but he had the thing completely set up—with a USB modem. All I had to do was turn the thing on and start writing.
I couldn’t believe it. He’d worked a lot of overtime to afford that computer. When I asked him why he did it, he said, “Because you’re going to need it someday…when you sell your book.”
Now, how could I let that man down? I knew I had to keep pressing no matter how many rejections I got.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I’m sad to say I don’t have nearly the time to read that I used to. Growing up, reading was my passion. I used to lie under the Christmas tree and read by the light of the bulbs! In fact, I got in trouble more than once for staying up too late…reading! Now, it is a rare treat to tuck myself away with a good book. That means I’m much pickier about what I read, too. If I’m not enthralled with a book, I don’t take the time to finish it, simply because I can’t.
I know what you mean. What are you working on right now?
Well, like I mentioned above, I am putting together a Mennonite series (not Amish) about a small community in my home state of Michigan. So much research!
I also just finished a proposal for a series about an Irish immigrant who comes to New York in search of her brother. It all revolves around Ellis Island and a small boarding house.
AND I’m waiting for word on a contemporary novel about a former football pro who must come to terms with the death of his twin brother…and his lost love.
What outside interests do you have?
Apart from reading, I love to ski. My family and I look forward to going to Colorado every Spring Break. Last year, we took twelve newbies with us and taught them all how to ski. Okay…so we taught them how to avoid killing themselves. Still, by the end of the week, they could all get off the lift, and they all could stop at the bottom of the mountain before they crashed into the chalet.
I also work part-time as a youth minister, so the kids keep me pretty active!
You don't even want to hear the story of my younger daughter trying to learn to ski as a teen. How do you choose your settings for each book?
Take Love Finds You in Calico, California, for example. I never intended to set a story in Calico. In fact, it was purely by accident that I even visited there! My husband and I were on vacation. We had decided to drive across the country, and anytime we saw something we wanted to investigate, we would stop. On one of our fuel fills in California, I noticed some large letters painted across the hillside. The gas station attendant told me a little bit about the history of the ghost town, which was more than enough to spark my interest. We spent the entire day in Calico and loved it! From that moment on, I was just WAITING for the right story to come along so I could set it there. I can’t wait to go back.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Well, I would say the Lord, but He’s still alive so I don’t think he counts as historical. I would say my mother-in-law or my son, both of whom reside in heaven right now, but they are more like my future, not my past, since I’m going to see them again some day in heaven. So…that only leaves Simon Peter. I bet he was kind of neat…always going around walking on water and chopping people’s ears off. What fun! (wink)
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d taken the time to learn the craft before I started submitting. Rejections are hard, and they hurt! I learned so much more from entering contests and getting feedback than I ever did from a form letter rejection. If you’re going to spend your money, use it for contest entry fees instead of postage. You’ll get a much higher return.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Hmm…I don’t know as these lessons are new, but He is reminding me daily that things happen in HIS time, not mine. He’s also been showing me (or should I say PROVING to me) that He is always faithful, even when I’m not! He’s been showing me abundant grace and forgiveness, matchless mercy…I could go on and on about the goodness of the Lord!!
He is good and His mercies are new every morning! What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Work hard and never give up, especially if God has CALLED you to write. It would be a real tragedy if you stopped writing before God was ready to let you go.
2. I mentioned this above, but I’m going to say it again and add a little more…take the time to learn the craft of writing. You can do this by attending writer’s conferences and entering writing contests. Join a critique group that consists of members who are as dedicated to learning as you are. All of this will pay off for you because you will have a much cleaner, more polished product to show publishers.
3. Lastly, if your goal is publication, great! But don’t be so focused on the goal that you forget to enjoy the journey you’re on while reaching it. There are some awesome lessons to be learned along the way, and great friends to be made…all of which you will miss if you attempt a shortcut. Trust God. His timing is always perfect.
Tell us about the featured book.
I’d love to! Love Finds You in Calico, California is a historical romance about a young girl who finds herself alone in a silver mining town after her father is killed. Driven to discover the truth about the facts surrounding his death, she begins searching for clues and winds up nearly losing her life (what can I say—I just can’t help putting a little mystery into my stories).
Dear readers, I've read and reviewed this book. Just click on the Review link above and go down the page until you find the review. Now, Elizabeth, please give us the first page of the book.
“Fire! The mine is on fire!”
Abigail bolted upright in her bed, the blankets clutched to her chest. Pounding feet and strangled cries mingled with the wispy fingers of her dreams. Outside her window, an eerie orange glow illuminated the night sky.
“Papa?” Thrusting back the covers she jumped from the bed, her legs chafed by the straw poking out from the ticking, and ran from her room. Next to the fireplace, her father’s pallet lay empty, the blankets tossed aside as though he’d scrambled from them in a hurry. Her worried gaze traveled to the door, where the heavy oak beam used to secure it stood propped against the wall.
He’s gone to the mine.
Her father’s repeated warnings rang in her head, but she ignored them and darted across the cabin, flinging open the door. People carrying torches rushed by on the street, their voices lifted in panic.
“What’s happening?” she shouted. It was no use. Snagged by the brisk wind whipping down from the mountains, her words carried to no one in particular.
Their tiny home lay on the edge of town, across from the livery. Perhaps Nathan Hawk, the livery’s new owner, knew something. Sucking in a lungful of sharp air, Abigail yanked her shawl from its peg next to the door and threw it around her shoulders, struggling a bit as it tangled in her long, dark curls. The shawl was scant protection, but at least her nightgown was covered. Her red boots rested in the corner, but pausing to slip them on would waste precious seconds and Papa needed her now.
Isn't that a wonderful hook? You'll love the rest of the story. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’ve actually made quite a cozy little home for myself on the web. You can find out more about my upcoming releases on my website at http://www.elizabethludwig.com/ .
Or check out my blog at http://www.theborrowedbook.blogspot.com/ . I do author interviews, weekly devotionals, and book giveaways. I review books and movies on the Reviews Page, and list upcoming releases from many of your favorite Christians authors on the Classifieds Page. On the Writing/Craft Page, Sandra Moore offers tips and advice to aspiring authors. In other words, there’s something for everyone!
Lastly, if you just want to see what I’m up to at home, search for me on Facebook. I would love to visit with you!
Thank you, Elizabeth, for the fun time today.
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