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Welcome to my blog Elizabeth. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself, and your books.
Q. Tell us about your latest work—title, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?
A. Binding Arbitration is Contemporary Romance/Chick Lit/ Women’s Fiction. I wrote a woman’s romance but I wanted it to have more depth than a standard romance. I wanted my characters to have real issues and problems and reasons for staying together or splitting apart.
Q. What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A. Who doesn’t love a good romance? I know I can’t resist one but I like my stories messy with complicated characters who seem so real that you know them.
Q. What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A. I let this story unfold and it got so long I had to cut a lot of back story. So I packaged that into a prequel novella: Cutters vs. Jocks, it’s free: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0064PJUWY Its great way for readers to check out my writing style. But this experience helped me to plan a little closer so I don’t have so much material to cut, but it also allowed me to develop many characters that will evolve into stories of their own. Look for many of them in the contemporary series set in Chicago.
Q. What kind of research was involved in writing your book?
A. Not too much. My husband played baseball at IU and one of his friends was on the Cubs so I experienced parts of this story in my own life. I lived in Wrigleyville and I almost went to law school, so most of my research amount to the technical details. When you read the book you’ll realize how much I love Chicago, it’s almost a secondary character.
Q. Please tell our readers more about the charm of Chicago?
A. Oh, I have so much to say and so little space here. But let’s just say I’ve been to some of the greatest cities in the world and Chicago stacks up. It’s beautiful place to visit and has an energy unlike any other. I do a Wednesday Walking tour on my blog, stop by on Wednesday’s to see a sight or sound from Chicago: http://elizabethmarxbooks.blogspot.com/
Q. How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A. Sssh, I don’t want people to know just how much.
Q. How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A. Before I published, I wrote and did nothing else, so it didn’t affect my family life. I didn’t even have a blog or Facebook account. It was good that I didn’t have any distractions but it created a huge learning curve when it came to marketing. Now many times I find myself torn between wanting to market, write and juggle my family responsibilities. It is the beast we call the Indie author.
Q. When you are able to take time away from your writing business what do you do for fun and relaxation?
A. To be honest I don’t have a lot of free time. Both of my girls are athletes and play travel sports, which means we travel outside of our home state for competitions, so it’s time consuming especially since they play sports in opposite seasons. It makes for a year round affair with training, etc. When I do have free time I enjoy the theatre, traveling, flea-marketing, and I have a thing about libraries and cemeteries. Makes the girls crazy, but hey I didn’t grow up on a baseball field either. One of my girls asked, “Mom, if it isn’t dead or old how come you don’t like it?” To which I replied, “When I’m old and dead you’ll still like me, right?” She responded, “Enough said!!!”
Q. What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A. I have two Paranormal titles coming soon. A vampire prince who desires something more than blood? Hopefully a June release on these, end of June.
Then, I’ve started two books in the Chicago Contemporary Series, one is the story between Evita and Tony who are characters in Binding and then a character Lori Lei Fields, who was Aidan’s interior designer, she was cut from Binding but she has a great back story and love story coming by the end of the year.
Q. Can you tell us a little about how your previous career as an interior designer has influenced your writing career?
A. There is a famous saying in design, “God is in the details.” I love the details. I’ve done homes where I’ve picked everything, right down to the silverware. So I’m a little anal about getting it just right with my characters, I really try to capture their quirks and the essence of who they are. My next contemporary features interior designer Lori Lei Fields, imagine Martha Stewart’s ‘I know how to do everything’ design wise, Julia Child’s cooking finesse, and the beauty and charm of Reese Witherspoon. Well, she has a little larger rack. Cookies, people, rack of cookies! Lori Lei is a handful and I don’t know if Cool Hand Luke or Santana the black cat can get a hold on her!
Q. It seems almost supernatural that the number 13 appears so much in your life. When did you become interested in the significance and have you studied numerology?
A. No study of numerology. The number 13 has always been with me. I consider myself a lucky person and therefore 13 is my lucky number. Perhaps book number 13 will be my blockbuster! I should plan for that.
Q. Having spent a large part of my life involved in Theatre, I suffer from the Friggatriskaidekaphobia syndrome. Could you share with my readers and I ways to overcome this problem, if there are any?
A. Suck it up! This is where my Midwestern sensibility comes into play, I’m a somewhat superstitious person, but I would never let it rule my life. Thirteen and fear of it on a Friday is just fun for me. Although, if you said, “Break a leg,” to me on Friday the 13th I might avoid a ladder.
Q. How much have your travels influenced your writing?
A. My travels influence my writing but not in the way you think. I have yet to write about any of unique travel experiences I’ve had. For example I have had dinner in Castle San Angelo in Rome and I’ve been down in the dungeons, but when I went there I was more fascinated with the gentlemen who ‘protected’ the dungeons. I guess what I’m saying is that travel affords you not only the opportunity for locations but also for meeting unusual characters who might just show up in a book someday.
Q. Could you share some of your marketing strategies? Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A. I think Facebook and blogs are the places you have to be seen to get noticed by readers. I like Twitter too, but it’s still so new to me that I’m not certain what strategy is the best there.
Q. What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A. Write the best story you can. Know that not everyone is going to like it. The people who don’t will probably express their opinions the loudest. The people that like your stories will be the sweetest and you usually hear from them when things are looking dark. Success won’t happen overnight.
Again, thanks Elizabeth for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.
Good luck with your current and future publications.
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Purchase: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006423DPW
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