Author Interview – Lizabeth Scott!

Read through this interview, then enter the giveaway at the end for a chance to win copies of A Cowboy for Mary (Book 3 of the Hearts of Gold Series) and Sweet Destiny (Book 6 of The Royal Vow Series).

Who is Lizabeth Scott? A voracious reader and a full-time writer for about 4 months!  Liz is a wife and mother of two grown children and the proud grandma of the sweetest little baby ever. She is the personal assistant to a terrier terror named Moxie who she occasionally takes to the drive-through for a burger. Liz is a Carolina girl who loves sand between her toes as frequently as possible. At the prompting of a friend, Liz began living her dream of writing in 2013 and is now the author of The Royal Vow Series, The Hearts of Gold Series, The Dirty Ankle Series and The Love Kissed Series.

 

What was your favorite subject in school?

Believe it or not, Creative Writing and Biology!

Assuming you like to read, who or what inspired you to love reading?

When I was in second grade I had the measles, mumps, and chicken pocks one right after the other! Lucky me! My mom read Heidi to me to keep me from focusing on how miserable I was. I can remember being so immersed in the story that I could feel the snowy wind on my face and sheep calling to each other in the pasture.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

Writing was always something I wanted to do but wasn’t brave enough to try. In 2013 at the prompting of a friend I tried to write just a paragraph to see if I could. It didn’t stink, so I continued until I had a chapter! If I could write one chapter, maybe I could write another. Over a three-month period, while holding down a fulltime job, I wrote my first romance book, Sweet Surrender.

What is your favorite story or character that you have written?

LOL! My favorite story is usually the one I’m currently working on, but my all-time favorite character would have to be the hero in Sweet Surrender, Ki. He’s so dreamy and demanding and he loves Mari with a passion. I loved them so much that I couldn’t end the series until I gave them one last story, Sweet Destiny. I’m still not sure I’m finished with them.

What are your future plans – do you have any new releases coming up?

Yes, I do! The third and final book in the Hearts of Gold Series, A Cowboy for Mary released March 7th. This book has been a long time coming and I know my readers were about to give up on reading Mary’s story.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing all my life. I published my first book in 2014.

Do you write full time or part time?

In September 2016 I made the transition to writing fulltime.

What made you decide to write in your genre? Or if you write in several genres, what do you like about each one?

I write contemporary romance which usually leans toward southern, small town and rural, and romantic comedy.

What time of day to you prefer to write?

I write most of the day, I seem to be most productive in the afternoons so I do promoting in the mornings and then write or edit in the afternoon.

Do you have a special writing space?

Currently I have commandeered the dining room table. I have two big monitors so I need the space. My daughter and I are in the process of redoing a bedroom into my office. I can’t wait to finish. Did I mention we’ve been working on it for six months?

Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it?

Yes. I outline somewhat, but that doesn’t mean the story will listen to the outline.  I’ll have an idea of scenes or an ending and then outline around those. Then when I start writing the characters may take me in an opposite direction. I’ve learned to listen to them.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

I have several stories going at once. If I get stuck on one, then I move to another until I’ve figured out what the characters are trying to tell me. Do I sound crazy?

Who are your favorite authors?

I have sooo many. All time fav. Elizabeth Lennox. The authors I buy without reading the books descriptions are, Lori King, Chelle Bliss, Cheryl Douglas, Kathleen Brooks, Sawyer Bennett, Zoe York, Olivia Thorne, Susan Ricci, Christy King, Ruth Cardello, Melissa Foster, Sydney Landon, Melody Anne, Vivian Arend, Christina Tetreault, Vanessa Vale, Elizabeth Marx…do you want me to stop yet? I can keep going.

Liz loves to connect with readers and invites you to join her on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM. Be the first to hear about updates and get your hands on free bonus chapters by joining Liz’s NEWSLETTER. Be sure to stop by her WEBSITE and browse through all her books.

Lizabeth is graciously giving away a few copies of her most recent works, A Cowboy for Mary (Book 3 of the Hearts of Gold Series) and Sweet Destiny (Book 6 of The Royal Vow Series). Enter the giveaway below!

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Author Interview – Elleby Harper!

I love your retro setting – what made you want to write books set in the 80s? And did you have to do a lot of research?

I know, it’s crazy to set it in the 80s! But when this idea of the prince falling in love with the president’s daughter took root I became fascinated by what would go on behind the headlines for two such powerful and glamorous families. It was the absolute glamour of their collided worlds that drew me to the 80s. It just seemed an era synonymous with over the top glitz and glam. Think Dynasty and Dallas, if you can remember that far back! The more I investigated the 80s the more the characters felt at home in that decade, with flashbacks to the 50s, which was another glamorous era (as opposed to the 60s or 70s which had very different vibes). It was also an era of big personalities – think Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachev on the political stage, big hair, big shoulders and bold colors on the fashion front.

And yes I had to do a ton of research. Although its only a few decades ago, there have been massive technological and social changes since then that have impacted how my characters relate to each other and connect! I want the series to be as authentic as possible to the time frame, so I’ve been very fastidious and if something was around in 1986 but not 1985 then I haven’t included it. And I’ve tried to be really careful with the language because there are phrases that we take for granted now but they just weren’t around in the 80s.

In hindsight setting the series in the 80s has probably made it more difficult for me to connect with readers, but the characters absolutely rebelled when I tried to make them contemporary!

What is your favorite story or character that you have written?

For different reasons I love all of the books in the series, but I guess if I had to choose it would be number 4, Love & Lies, probably because it’s been on my mind most recently. As to characters, I love them all, both the bad boys and the righteous dudes! Some of my favs include the minor characters like St John Rhodes-Ross, partly because he makes himself so easy to hate, and Grandpa Paddy because he’s such a feisty, manipulating senior citizen!

What was your favorite subject in school?

Definitely English, but art was a close second. In fact in high school I dithered between the desire to be a writer and wanting to be a fashion designer. I think you might be able to see that passion in my character Nikki Cassidy!

Assuming you like to read, who or what inspired you to love reading?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading. Even before I could read words, I would look at comic books and make up stories to go with the pictures. It was probably my mother who inspired me because she loves reading too and that’s why it’s such an organic activity for me.

How long have you been writing?

I was always a word nerd. At school, I was the kid with the weird hobbies. I used to make my own dictionaries and I collected girls’ names – my friends must have been nerds too because we’d have competitions about who’d collected the most “Z” names and we’d trade unique names and so on! For actual stories, I wrote my first novel at ten and it was a full-on Gothic romance. At twelve I wrote a feisty heroine-fuelled action adventure which did the rounds of my year 7 class – so that was my first “published” experience!

Do you write full time or part time?

Writing fiction has always been part-time, fitting around work and life, but for several years I made a free-lance living writing non-fiction for magazines and newspapers and doing lots of interviews. This year, with my husband’s support, I’m taking a year to dedicate to writing fiction full-time to see if I can actually make a living from it.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

I knew as soon as I wrote my first novel at ten that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Unless I became a fashion designer first!

What made you decide to write in your genre? Or if you write in several genres, what do you like about each one?

I think I need someone to tell me exactly what genre I do write in because Heirs is such a crossover! It’s historical but it’s romance, it’s romance but it’s suspenseful. I love thrills, intrigue and action and that’s what I’ve included in Heirs! Because I read and enjoy many kinds of genres depending on my mood at that moment, from thrillers to chick lit and all types of romance to science fiction and fantasy, I’m sure I will be trying my hand at other genres now that Love & Lies has been released. That doesn’t mean I won’t come back to Heirs as I have lots more ideas and I haven’t finished with Maixent, Charley, Declan or Aurelie, but I might spread my wings a bit with a new series.

What time of day to you prefer to write?

I’m freshest in the morning, but actually I can write at any time of the day. I have to stop by 9.30 at night though otherwise I can’t turn my brain off enough to sleep and then I’m just downright cranky the next day.

Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it?

I wrote the first three books in the Heirs series just going for it. I really didn’t know what I was doing. I showed it to a friend who loved the concept and said I should publish. So I invested in an editor. And after a lot more work, including a huge rewriting process, I decided to take the plunge and self-publish. When I started book 4 I did a rough timeline to outline the plot as I planned for Declan’s story to overlap with events in the first three books. That meant a lot less rewriting at the end of the process – hooray! And now I’m working on a prequel novella for the series which I have mapped out even more thoroughly. So basically, I’ve used all approaches. Definitely, as I get more publishing experience under my belt I think, for the sake of efficiency, the outline approach works best for me, but the pantster approach sometimes takes you to unexpected places which I love!

Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes, of course! I usually take a break from writing by doing something related but not directly creative, such as reading someone else’s book or plunging into more research. Sometimes research uncovers an idea that I can then use in my work. Usually these two things get the juices flowing again.

Thanks so much for answering some questions! Check out Elleby’s New Release Love & Lies – in stores now!

Author Interview – Mary Crawford!

So I read your author bio on Amazon and I have to say, especially since it’s Valentine’s Day, can we start there? Tell me how your husband and you met! And how did he propose?

My husband and I met at  Camp Easter Seal where he was the manager of the equestrian program and I was a camper. He told me the first day that we met that he was going to marry me and be father to my children. Need this to say, I laughed at him. At twenty-one, I was not impressed with his green polyester pants and white snap up cowboy shirt. However, he eventually won me over with his sense of humor and huge heart. We just celebrated our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. Leonard asked me to marry him a week after we met and I told him to ask me when it was reasonable. We actually got engaged five months after we met and I was facing a life-and-death surgery. At my bedside in the hospital, Leonard said, I love you so much, I can’t let you go into surgery without knowing whether you’ll marry me.” I finally relented and said, “Okay, fine. I love you too. So, I guess I’ll marry you.” That is how I gyped myself out of big fancy romantic proposal.

In your bio, you also mentioned that you’ve volunteered toward a variety of causes, and I noticed your new release (that’s out today!), Tough, deals with sexual abuse. Have you ever volunteered or worked to aid women in abusive relationships?

 Yes, I have been in several positions where  I have helped at risk populations including as legal counsel for a domestic violence shelter. However, unlike Love is More Than Skin Deep,  Tough is not based on a specific person. It is purely fiction.

You have such an interesting background working in social services and being a Civil Rights Attorney – have you drawn any inspiration from your work/volunteering for your stories?

I think my role as an advocate, clearly colors all of my writing. My characters are a little banged up and have many of the same flaws as all of the rest of us. They struggle with life and things are not always perfect.

Are any of your characters inspired from real people?

Yes, in Love is More Than Skin Deep, Shelby is my main character.  She is an ongoing fight with skin cancer. I was inspired to write this story by Judy Noble Cloud. Judy very bravely shared all of her pictures of her personal battle with skin cancer on Facebook and I knew when I saw those pictures, I needed to help her spread the word about the dangers of sun exposure and tanning beds. So I wrote and asked her for permission to fictionalize her life story. The result of that conversation is Love is More Than Skin Deep. Judy chose the  Skin Cancer Foundation as the charity involved. If you purchase Love is More Than Skin Deep, 15 percent of my net profits go to the skin Cancer Foundation.

What is your favorite story or character that you have written?

I don’t have a favorite story, it’s like choosing between your children. It’s impossible. However, it has been fun to watch Mindy the child from my first book Until the Stars Fall from the Sky grow up through all of my books. For all of you who are wondering, Mindy will soon have her own book. It is tentatively titled,  Tempting Fate. With any luck, it will be out at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

Where do you draw energy and inspiration from? How/When do you come up with ideas for stories?

Some writers have difficulty coming up with story ideas, I am not one of those people. Story ideas come to me from everywhere. It can be from a conversation  I overhear in the grocery store line to a song on the radio. I suffer from too many story ideas and not enough time.

What was your favorite subject in school?

Hands down without question, my favorite class in school was art.

What or who inspired you to love reading?  

Believe it or not, Judy Blume books turned me into a bookworm.

How long have you been writing?  

I have been writing for about 2 ½ years.

Do you write full time or part time?

I write full-time.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was it a gradual decision or did you just suddenly know?

I started writing pretty much on a dare. I was beta reading for another author and she told me that my story ideas were pretty good and I should write them down. So I did. If you had told me that I would ever be an author, I would’ve told you you were crazy. When I was in the seventh grade, my English teacher told me I was the worst writer he had ever taught. I believed that about myself for decades.

What made you decide to write in your genre? Or if you write in several genres, what do you like about each one? 

I typically write what I like to read. So, most of my stuff is contemporary romance.

What time of day to you prefer to write?

I generally am most productive later at night when I have less distraction.

Do you have a special writing space?

I have severe cerebral palsy. For the most part, I am pretty much  bedbound. I have my whole writing station set up here.

Do you outline your books ahead of time or just go for it? 

I am a complete and unabashed pantser. It’s me and a blank sheet of paper.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

Typically, I start another story.

Who are your favorite authors?  

Linda Kage, Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Robyn Carr, Brenda Jackson, Shiloh Walker and Marie Force

I’d like to thank Mary Crawford for taking the time to answer some questions about her and her work – thank you!

 

300 Word Flash Fiction Contest

CONTEST CLOSED

Write a 300 word flash fiction piece about this picture:

  • The story should have a beginning/middle/end
  • Copy/paste the story in the comments below.
  • Make sure you title your story please.
  • When I receive 3 entries, I will create a poll on twitter so people can vote for their favorite (voting will stay open for 1 week)
  • First place will get a $5 amazon gift card.