Thursday, November 21, 2013

Elizabeth Ludwig is the award-winning author of No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, Books One and Two in the Edge of Freedom series. She is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas. To learn more, visit ElizabethLudwig.com.
Welcome! First, why don't you briefly tell us how your writing journey began. 

Believe it or not, I started writing in elementary school. I had a fifth grade teacher who really got into the creative writing stuff, and encouraged us to love it, too. I also LOVED to read, so I guess she thought it was a natural progression for me to also write. So when she learned of a contest for young authors, she pushed me to enter. I told myself I was going to hate it, but as I got into the story, I found I really liked coming up with my own characters. I did spend most of my time daydreaming about books, after all. I guess that was the spark I needed, because I never forget what it was like to write and began seeking publication in 2001.

Well, I wish I could say success came immediately, right after I submitted my first manuscript. The truth is, I wrote for five years before I sold my first book, and I completed six full manuscripts, none of which will probably ever see the light of day. I sold my seventh book to Barbour Publishing in 2006 (though the book did not actually release until 2008). It’s a mystery called Where the Truth Lies. I co-authored it and two sequels, Died in the Wool and Inn Plain Sight, with Janelle Mowery.

Please share with us one fact about you that not many people know. And feel free to have fun with the question! 

This is a fun one! I guess it would have to be that I love playing with computers. In fact, my kids call me a computer geek wannabe! I’m not good enough with techie stuff to actually do anything fancy…just good enough to get in trouble.

Which fictional literary character most inspired/inspires you? 

Oh my goodness…I know this answer is going to baffle most people but…I have to say the character who most inspires me is Annabel Tippens. Annabel is a little girl “with short blond hair and very good manners” (taken from the book description on Amazon.com/No Flying in the House by Betty Brock). She seems quite ordinary, except that she’s also half fairy—and instead of parents, she has a two-inch high dog named Gloria.

Well, you can imagine that for a kid who loved to read, this book was extraordinary. I read it over and over again, and dreamed of the day I would learn to fly. Later, I came to realize that what captured my imagination was not so much the story of a half-fairy princess, but of a little girl struggling to find herself. The sacrifices that Annabel Tippens makes challenged me to acknowledge what was real and important—love, faith, and family.

What inspired you to choose the setting for this series? 

My newest release, Dark Road Home, is set in and around New York City, especially Ellis Island. For those of you not familiar with its history, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island from 1892 to 1954. Many of those immigrants were Irish, so when I decided to write a book about an Irish girl searching for her brother in America, it seemed the natural choice.

If you could be best friends with any of the characters in your novel, who would it be? Why? 

Goodness…I love them all, but if I had to narrow it down, I guess I would have to say Cara. She’s the perfect definition of a true friend—honest, loyal, and caring, and she would do anything for those that she loves. Want to know a secret? I fashioned this character after my four beautiful, loving sisters. ☺

What inspired this novel? 

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!

What are 3 things you like to do to relax? 

First, I love to read. Even as a kid, I spent hours curled up with a book. My sisters never understood the fascination. One of my younger sisters (whom I affectionately call Magon Dragon—she knows what that means) used to hide my books just to get me outside to play!

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.

And lastly, I’m a sports nut, so everyone knows…don’t bother me when the Steelers are playing. Go Pitt!

What is your favorite scene from Dark Road Home?

There were several scenes in Dark Road Home that I wrote from the heart, but one that I really love is when the hero, Eoghan Hamilton, realizes that despite his many sins, God is still reaching out to him. He questions how he could possibly find his way back to the Savior, and then…this:

The streaming sunlight cast a distinctive pattern. Was it by accident? Slowly, he swung his gaze to the crucifix that hung at the front of the sanctuary. He’d not have believed so once.

A wry grin took him. With the sun shining through the window and the strips of wood that divided the panes blocking only partial light. . .

He’d been standing in the shadow of a cross.

What piece of writing advice have you received that was most helpful to you? 

Don’t stop learning, and never, ever give up!

Where can readers connect with you? 

I’ve actually made quite a home for myself out in cyber space. Readers can find me at:
Website: www.elizabethludwig.com
Blog: www.theborrowedbook.blogspot.com.

I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.ludwig.33?ref=tn_tnmn and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/theborrowedbook.

Stop on by! I’d love to have you visit.

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