Hi, Elizabeth! Welcome to The Borrowed Book. Did you see yourself becoming a writer as a child? If not, what did you dream of being?
I enjoyed writing stories and poems as a child but I don’t think I ever dreamed of becoming a writer until my mid-teens. I’ve dreamed of becoming many things—a marine biologist, astronaut and archaeologist. The cool thing about writing is I can do all these things, living vicariously through my characters.
Absolutely! Even with the research involved, I love living through my characters. How long did you write before you sold your first book?
I started writing my first novel in 2001 when I joined a critique group in ACFW. However, I spent time learning the craft and didn’t send too many queries out. My stories weren’t ready. In 2006, I received the news that Heartsong Presents wanted to buy my story, Seasons of Love, which came out the next year. I held my first book in my hands the last week in December.
Many of the people who follow our blog are aspiring writers themselves. Can you share your favorite writing tip with them?
One of the most important things I’ve done as a writer is attend conferences. Networking and meeting people will change your life. The first book I sold was due to conferences connections—friends and brainstorming at a conference.
Good advice! Now for the readers…many times, it’s easy for them to connect with the characters in a book, but not so much the authors themselves. Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.
Please don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee. I’m definitely not a morning person, but I muddle through.
LOL! Okay, we'll move on. Now that you are published, do you still experience rejections? If so, how are these rejections different or similar to the ones you received before becoming published?
I never struggled that much with rejection. I came from a sales background and learned to think of it as a numbers game. I have to go through a certain number of no’s before I can get that yes. Since becoming published, I’ve had more manuscripts bought than have been rejected.
Lucky girl! Tell us a little about your latest release:
I have two releases in October. Freezing Point is my first Love Inspired Suspense. Here’s the blurb:
Casey Wilkes didn’t realize her simple human-interest story would put her life at risk—again. After fleeing her home and journalism job in Portland, she wanted to live under the radar for a while. But when her interviewee starts dodging her questions, her reporter instincts kick in and she finds herself in over her head…
Homeland security agent Jesse Mitchell has been undercover as an ice sculptor for months, trying to infiltrate a smuggling ring. He wants to avoid trouble, and that’s just what Casey brings. Now someone has a target set on Casey. Saving her could blow his cover, but leaving her unprotected endangers him even more—especially his heart.
Under the Redwood Tree is a Heartsong Presents, and the first book in my Redwood Coast series, which might possibly get renamed into something brides or weddings when it’s repackaged under Romancing America. This series is especially close to my heart because the stories are set in the Redwoods of northern California, one of my favorite places in the world.
Here’s the blurb for that story:
A war hero’s scars are still raw to the touch until a gifted artist paints his heart.
Camille Westover is one contest away from her dream of an art school scholarship. But she’s lost her inspiration to paint—until a wounded soldier captures her heart. Unfortunately, her dream could lead her far from the one place and the one person she loves the most.
When Camille’s chances of winning are sabotaged and a possible stalker suspected, Romeo is concerned for more than losing the woman he loves to her dream. Can he accept the truth of what Camille sees when she looks at him? Will Camille discover the hope of love that stands before her?
How wonderful to have two books coming out! Both covers are beautiful, but I especially like the cover of Freezing Point. If you could only share one line from Freezing Point, which one would you choose and why?
The first line: Beautiful. . .but dangerous.
That says it all.
Readers often talk a lot about the hero and heroine of a story, but today I’d like to know something about your villain. Does he or she have a redeeming quality? Why or why not?
In Freezing Point, my hero tries to infiltrate a cash smuggling ring and he becomes very close with one of the characters in the ring—one of the bad guys, or villains. My hero thinks of him as a brother and loves his family. They become friends though Jesse has to hide his true identity. In researching about undercover agents, I learned this is often the case—and that the “bad guys” do often have a good side to them. They have families and loved ones.
What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful?
My research included talking to ice sculptors, watching YouTube videos about the process, and talking to an ice shipping company.
Tell us what new projects you’re working on.
I just turned in Oregon Outback—my four in one novella collection for Barbour. Really loved this one. I was sad when I had to leave the story world. Next, I start on another Loved Inspired Suspense. In Extreme Maneuvers, a Learjet repo man recovers a plane only to discover the kidnapped daughter of a Colombian drug lord stowed in the back.
The most common thing I hear when people learned I’ve published a book is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Faced with this statement, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in this business?
I hear that all the time too! I’m not sure that it translates into anything more than a someday-when-I-get-around-to-it desire. Writing a book is so much more work than most people realize. But if someone is serious I direct them to join ACFW because of all the resources they can find online.
What is the one question you were afraid I would ask…and how would you answer?
Uh, right. Like I’m going to tell you! LOL
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