Thursday, October 11, 2012

Elizabeth Ludwig is an accomplished speaker and teacher. Her lectures include editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Her latest book, No Safe Harbor, releases from Bethany House Publishers this month. To learn more about Elizabeth and her work, visit her at

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, I could give you the long version, but why do that when you can read all about me on my bio page? The short version is much simpler…and probably more interesting. LOL!

Basically, I was just a kid who loved to read. I had a voracious appetite for books, and it was not unusual for my mother to catch me reading at two or three in the morning…on a school night! Since that got me into trouble, I took to reading with a small nightlight under the covers. My poor eyes! I’m surprised I can still see.

Anyway, fast forward twenty…um…thirty years, and that love of reading changed into a love of writing. I still daydream characters in my head, but now, that transfers onto paper.

And now, since I think it’s always fun to share secrets about oneself, here are five facts readers might not know about me:

1. I am an avid football fan (Go Steelers!!). When I’m not cheering on my team, I’m thinking about cheering on my team. :-)

2. My kids call me a computer geek wannabe. I’m not good enough with techie stuff to actually do anything…just good enough to get in trouble.

3. In high school, people called me a Drama Queen, but not because I was emotional and erratic. It was because I loved everything involving the theater.

4. My dachshunds get me. They really, really get me.

5. I married the sweetest, most romantic, loving man in the world. He tells me so all the time. :-)

What is your favorite Bible verse? (Translation too, please) Why?

I always smile when I’m asked this, because my answer puzzles people. It’s Habakkuk 2:2-3. Are you scratching your head yet? Let me clarify…

Habakkuk 2:2-3 says this: Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (NKJV)

At a time when I was really questioning whether or not I was called to write, God gave me these verses. I’ve clung to them ever since, and I sign all of my books with them, mainly as a reminder to myself that I’m doing what God called me to do.

What was your inspiration to write No Safe Harbor?

Family members on both my side and my husband’s emigrated from Europe in the early 1900’s. Some of my ancestors were from Spain. My husband’s ancestors were from Holland, Ireland, and Germany. These brave men and women who risked everything in search of a better life were the inspiration for this story. I hope I’ve done them proud!

Have you visited Ireland?

I’ve never been to Ireland, but I hope to one day. My husband and I went to Europe in 1995. We got to see so many fascinating things! We spent two weeks traveling through parts of France and Germany. Now, my dream is to go back and continue our trek through Ireland and Scotland.

Is this considered a cozy mystery?

Though there are elements of mystery in the book, this is definitely not a cozy mystery. Cozies are usually more lighthearted, and have an element of humor built in that this story does not. For people who love suspense, however, this book should be right up their alley. From the first page to the last, I tried to construct a story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat!

How much research did No Safe Harbor take?

I have to say, this book definitely required more research than any novel I’ve published so far. On top of all of the historical facts I could dig up from New York in 1897, I had to research Ireland and everything that was occurring during the same time period there. Thank goodness for the Ellis Island Foundation’s website. I found a lot of information there.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing No Safe Harbor?

I loved learning about Ellis Island—from its beginnings all the way to the role it plays in America today. For instance, did you know the scene near the end of No Safe Harbor, where a fire destroys the immigration station on Ellis Island, actually happened? Though no lives were lost, thousands of records were destroyed.

What was the most difficult aspect of writing this story?

More than anything, I really wanted to get the “feel” of the time period right. Also, I very much wanted to do justice to the thousands of people who have made the journey across continents in search of a better life. Added to that, it was very difficult to show the struggle of the Irish people objectively, without casting one side or the other as the bad guys. I hope my many hours of research helped me get the balance right.

What other new writing projects do you have on the horizon?

I have finished the second book in the Edge of Freedom Series, and am currently working on book three. Each of these books focuses on a different aspect of the struggle in Ireland, and how it translated to America. Overall, I am very excited to have been entrusted with this great project!

What message would you like your readers to take from reading No Safe Harbor?

There’s a unifying message in all three of the books in the Edge of Freedom Series. It’s one that I hope will speak to everyone who reads them, but rather than tell you what it is, I’d like to show you from a line taken from one of the books:

“My dear, braw lad,” Cara whispered, “your faith was never in God. It was the church you followed, and the Fenians, not the Savior.”

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Writers trying to break into the business often ask me what advice I would give. It’s simply this: 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.

You know what…I think that works for non-writers, too. :-)


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