Today I am interviewing Elizabeth Rose, author of Death's Door County. Get to know Elizabeth a little better, and enter the giveaway to win her novel.
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently, I call the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin home. It is a lovely area, just west of Lake Winnebago – roughly halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay.
Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
I have a great gift of working with children and older people. I enjoy working with them and they seem to respond well to me. I also have synesthesia, which is a neurological condition. My synapses fire a little differently than other people’s – for example: in my mind’s eye, letters and numbers are always in color, and have gender and personality. I have roughly eight different kinds of synesthesia (music is also in color and shape), and it is really hard to describe to someone who doesn’t have it. It really helps my memory, but my math skills are almost non-existent because of it.
What do you do to relax?
I love to read. I also watch TV – yes, there, I admitted it. Everyone feels guilty about that these days, but I’m not above admitting it. J
Do you write under a pen name?
I do! Elizabeth Rose is my pen name.
Any pets that you would like to tell us about, share a pic?
I have a little Tuxedo cat named Peanut. Peanut is a bit of a force of nature, but he is a good cat. He was abandoned by his Momma cat at 1 day old, and my cousins took him in and bottle-fed him. By the time I got him he was 3 months old and a bit of a stinker. He would tease his older brother, Spenser (who passed in 2011), almost incessantly. But they did love each other. Spenser was 17 when he passed, and he was the sweetest cat in the world. Peanut is almost 7 now and still a bit of a stinker, but he is never dull.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Other than Jesus Christ (which is a given), I would love to meet
- Leonardo Da Vinci because he was such an exceptionally insightful man. His drawings and inventions were very much ahead of his time
- Jane Austen because she is the best writer ever. “Pride and Prejudice” is the best book ever written
- Mary Queen of Scots because she was a very important figure in history whose family really hurt her deeply. I would like to comfort her, actually. She suffered a lot.
What is your favourite quote?
“And steal one day from thy life to live…” —A. Cowley, 1660, An Ode Upon Liberty
It perfect captures how we should live our lives. God wants us to enjoy our lives.
So, what have you written?
Well, I’ve written “Murder in Death’s Door County.” I’ve also written 2-1/2 ghostwritten books. And even before that, I had written several newspaper and magazine articles.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The last book that I ghostwrote inspired my first book. Oh my gosh, that was a tough project. The client is a man who has some issues and he screamed at me a few times. All of our interviews were done over the phone. And the key interview where he first screamed at me made me almost drop the project. In the book, I shared the question I asked that prompted him to lose his cool. Obviously, I changed the gist of the conversation/interview, but I kept the question the same because it is shocking that he responded the way he did to such a simple question.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Because of my synesthesia, I like to write in a livelier style. I like my words to have plenty of color. Also, I prefer to let the scene unfold in my mind. I’m very imaginative and prefer to write what I see.
Where do your ideas come from?
Mostly from life experience. I find that the advice from Louisa May Alcott and Woody Allen seems to be the most true: Write what you know. When you write what you know, your voice is much more clear. I mean, I’ve never been in the situations that my heroine and her friends have been in, but many of the smaller character interactions have occurred. And, I really like to base the places they go on real places if possible. I’m very spatial and if I can imagine a place, I can write it.
What books have influenced your life/writing most?
My all-time favorite writer is Jane Austen. Hands down, she is my greatest influence. Her writing is flawless and her characterizations spot-on. Unfortunately, her books have gained a reputation lately of being "chick-lit," but they aren't. There is something in her books for everyone. Her biting wit alone should reverberate with our modern world. Her books are very funny and I hope people see that humor.
To move into more modern times, my major influences are Julie Garwood, Julia Quinn, Janet Evanovich, and Maeve Binchy. All of these ladies are fantastic writers. My writing skills do not come close to their considerable talent, but I hope that I create fun pieces that allow for escapism. My book has also been likened to a Nancy Drew novel for adults. The irony of that is I never read Nancy Drew; I read Trixie Belden mysteries.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Oh, so many! Among those authors are: Cindy Blackburn, Ellery Adams, Susan Bowen, Rhys Bowen, and Maria Semple. I know there are more authors, but it is too many to list here.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I started and stopped “Murder in Death’s Door County” several times, so it took about 2 years. I’ve started the 2nd book and hope to have it released by Christmas. The initial writing of it should take about 2 months total.
What are your current projects?
The 2nd book in the Annie Malone Cozy Mystery series. The setting is Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, at a bunch of very posh Christmas parties. Lake Geneva is a ritzy resort town in Wisconsin, with a lot of gigantic summer homes owned by bigwigs. I’ve worked a few parties there, both for my cousin’s catering company and my other cousin’s flower shop.
What genre are your books?
What draws you to this genre?
I enjoy mystery, but I’m not a “by the rules” kind of person. I’ve written procedures and process and it is very dull. I love the write the character interaction and dialog – that is the fun part.
Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?
Because I kept it light and fun. Life is tough enough.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Annie is very young and inexperienced. She is a free-spirited person, but doesn’t really understand herself. She has a lot to learn about herself and life and what her gifts really are. The series will explore that more because it really is a journey.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character is Kitty. When I was in college, I worked at a bar/restaurant, and the owner/manager was a woman named Kitty. She passed away back in the mid-1990s and I’ll always remember her fondly. She treated all of us fairly and like family. She created a safe haven for her employees and we were able to come to her with anything. Literally anything.
If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
Good question. I think the actress who plays "Haley Dunphy" on the show "Modern Family" would be perfect as "Annie." For Donovan... hmmm... I can't think of anyone off-hand. Maybe Oliver Hudson would work. He can do comedy and I think he would be really good in the role.
For Harry, I completely envision Tony Shalhoub. Actually, Mr. Shalhoub is from Green Bay, which is really close to Door County. So, in a shameless attempt to get his attention: Mr. Shalhoub, if you are reading this, please contact me about my book and I will happily discuss getting it made into a movie.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Please review authors' works that you like. However, if you feel it necessary to give the ebook a one- or two-star review, maybe contact the writer privately instead of mentioning it on Amazon. Also, if you don't finish a book, please don't review it. You didn't get the authors whole picture and aren't giving a review with everything you needed to know. I mean, seriously, who can give a fair review of a mystery if they didn't read the end? Mysteries are all about how the mystery is revealed.
What’s your view on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you?
I think Twitter is fairly effective. The Tweet Teams program at World Literary Cafe is a great tool. Also, the Kindle Book Review site offers some very economical advertising options.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Get reviews! Do not underestimate the power of reviews. They are everything to self-published authors. Reviews give us credibility like nothing else can.
Thank you for interviewing me! I really appreciate you and the time you’ve given me. Blessings!
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing work and letting us get to know you a little better.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Rose/e/B001KE034I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.) Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00APPXD90
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00APPXD90