Tuesday, April 02, 2013

WISDOM TO KNOW - Elizabeth Maddrey - One Free Book

Welcome, Elizabeth. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
This is a tough question. I don’t intentionally put myself into my characters, but I often find it in there when I’m going back through to edit. I tend to have a snarky wit that gets me in trouble … and there’s always one character who seems to suffer from that same problem. I try not to leave too much of it in.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I went to Space Academy during the summer my freshman year in high school. I’ve always been a space nut, and that was hands down the best summer camp I ever attended. But I’ve been told it’s quirky. And also possibly nerdy. I’m okay with both of those labels.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve been writing forever – truly. (I know it seems like everyone says that in their bios, but it really is true!) But I still struggle with the idea that I’m a Writer. I consider myself someone who writes – I can’t imagine not writing. But “Writer?” That’s a title for people like Jane Austen.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read everything. I love a good romance – though I prefer contemporary to historical. (Really, I prefer contemporary to historical in any genre.) I also love fantasy and sci-fi and mystery (both the hard-boiled detective novel and the bumbling-heroine cozy.) Honestly, as long as there’s a good plot, I’m willing to give it a try.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I read. Reading is my escape valve. I tend to work my way through 120-150 books a year, just catching five minutes here and another five there. But it keeps me sane.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Most of the time it seems like my characters choose their own names. That said, I’ve had to go back and rename a few people because I started to realize they were all sharing a first letter, which just won’t do. In those cases, I dig out a baby book and I look at the Social Security list of names that were popular the year that character was born and I try to find something that fits well enough that the character won’t mutiny when I use it.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
It’s probably a toss up between finishing my PhD in Computer Science and having Wisdom to Know published.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a cat. I love cats – they’re the perfect blend of independence and companionship. And you always know where you stand with a cat. I’m a lot like that – probably even the negative aspects of cat-dom as well, if I’m honest.

What is your favorite food?
The avocado. There’s really nothing as wonderful as fresh avocado.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Finishing. I struggle a lot – probably more than most people – with self-doubt. I’m truly my own worst critic. And so I tend to start novels and then decide they’re terrible and put them aside and start something new. But with Wisdom to Know, I started sending pieces of it to my sister and she hounded me until I finished it. And even after it was done, she really is who hounded me to push through the next hurdle and find it a home with a publisher. I haven’t really overcome the self-doubt issue – but I’ve always got my sister to push me to keep going despite it.

Tell us about the featured book.
Wisdom to Know tells the story of Lydia Brown. She’s someone I consider a pretty typical “good” young woman who, despite growing up in church, has never really made her faith her own. So she goes through the motions and knows all the right answers, but other than Sundays, you don’t see faith impacting her life all that much … until the consequences of her actions start catching up with her. When that happens, Lydia isn’t sure how to handle the crisis and she spirals into a deep pit without really caring what relationships she destroys in the process. After she finally crashes at the bottom, she realizes how much she needs God if there’s any hope of rebuilding those relationships.

It’s also a love story. It’s about the love between two flawed people. Lydia, who so desperately wants to measure up that she’s willing to do anything, and Kevin who is so consumed by the fact that he loves Lydia that he doesn’t see her … and then when he finally does, and he realizes she’s not the perfect woman he imagined for so long, he runs the other way when she needs him most. It’s also a love story between God and His fallen, sinful children. Because what both Lydia and Kevin need – and find – is grace

Please give us the first page of the book.
“You look like a prostitute.”

Lydia frowned at her best friend. “Brad likes my legs.”

Kevin admired the long, shapely legs in front of him from where he was sprawled on her living room couch. “Won’t you be cold if you show so much of them?”

“It’s September, not the middle of January. It’s still warm out.” Aggrieved she patted her hem. “Besides, the skirt reaches the end of my fingertips.”

“Your elbows are bent.”

“That rule shouldn’t apply to me, I have long fingers.”

Kevin cocked a brow. “You wouldn’t wear that to church.”

“We’re not going to church.” Lydia shot him an impish grin. “Besides, there are a couple of guys there who wouldn’t usually give me the time of day ... maybe if I wore this, I’d get their attention.”

“More than likely.” Kevin shook his head. “Where are you going? You never did say.”

“Dinner downtown, then to a club, in Georgetown I think.”

“Bridge club?”

Lydia snickered. “Dance. But then you knew that. And before you ask, no, I don’t know which club. But,” she lifted a red tipped finger to forestall his comment, “since it’s Brad, it’ll be either Swing or Salsa.”

Kevin frowned. “Everyone is going to see your underwear in that skirt.”

Lydia rolled her eyes.

Kevin started to speak several times before rubbing his forehead. “I’m just trying to look out for you, kiddo.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

“Didn’t you just finish complaining that Brad treats you like an object?” At her grudging nod he continued. “You think it might have something to do with clothing choices?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is here: http://www.ElizabethMaddrey.com  
and on Twitter: @elizabethmaddre

Thank you, Elizabeth, for spending this time with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Wisdom to Know - paperback
Wisdom To Know (Grant Us Grace) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


pol said...

I have not read this author but this book sounds like a wonderful story that I could get into...thanks for letting us get to know a little about Elizabeth and her life...
thanks for sharing your book and comments today.
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)
a reader in Ga

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Paula! I hope you get a chance to read the story - and that you enjoy it! :) (and don't feel bad about having not read my books before - this is my debut novel.)

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville Tx

Jo said...

Another new author to me and a very interesting sounding book.Thanks for the opportunity!


Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Thanks for coming by, Lyndie and Jo!

Norma S said...

I have not read anything, by you, Elizabeth, but i hope to win this book. It sounds like a great book. The tittle is also intriguing. Good interview that you and Lena had. God bless you.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Mary Preston said...

WISDOM TO KNOW sounds like a fantastic read thank you.

Mary P


rubynreba said...

I enjoyed the interview. The first page made me want to read more!
Beth from Iowa

Patty said...

I read mostly historical fiction, but this might be a nice change!

Patty in SC

apple blossom said...

thanks for chance to win
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Vera Godley said...

Looks like Kevin is doing what lots of brothers need to do with sisters - let them know that what they are wearing is provacative, etc. Perhaps this would be a good book to place on our school's library shelves (Alamance Christian School) so the girls gain perspective.

I'm in North Carolina (mid-state) and yes, the girls like the skirts short here, too, much to society's detriment.

godleyv [at]yahoo[dot](com)

Barbara Shelton said...

Indeed a provocative beginning. It caught my interest to see how far this young girl would go. I agree with Vera's comment. I'm for whatever will help our young people gain perspective on decency. The author is new to me and I wish her many blessings on her writings. Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win a great read.

In Christian Joy,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com
Arlington, TX

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Norma - thanks for stopping by! I love my titles - I have my editor to thank for helping me find them, but once she did we both said "God just did that." :)

Mary - Thanks! I hope you get a chance to read it.

Beth - (Great name, btw ;) ) I'm glad the first page was intriguing - that's definitely what all of us hope for!

Patty - Thanks so much - I'm glad it sounds interesting to a primarily historical reader.

Apple Blossom - Thanks for stopping by!

Vera - Kevin has a tendency to tell it like it is, maybe a little too much sometimes. I'll admit though that I cringe sometimes when I see what girls are wearing these days and I worry for my boys (they're 5 and 1) and what they'll have to deal with as they grow up. Thanks for stopping by!

Barbara - Unfortunately, Lydia has to learn from some pretty hard knocks - like a lot of us do. Thanks for stopping by and the encouragement!

sm said...

This book sounds like what we're going through with one of our kids. Would love to win it and read it. sharon, ca

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Sharon, So sorry you're going through it personally! It's such a tough situation and so many go through it and feel alone.

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

Jorie said...

Ooh I am so very thankful to see this book being given away! I have been reading about it on a few different blogs of late, and I truly think it would be a smashing book to read! :) THANK YOU!


Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Sharon, Thanks for stopping by!

Jorie - glad it's caught your interest!