Hi there! It’s so good to have Liz here today! She’s very kindly agreed to be grilled by me and has given us a lovely ‘early’ peek at her latest novel ‘One More Summer’ that’s soon to be released from Carina Press.
Visitors today, don’t forget that one of you can be our lucky winner if you leave a comment for us. So, no more ado; let's get on and meet Liz.
Hello, Liz! What have you got for us today?
Nancy, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited about ONE MORE SUMMER. It’s not out yet, but I’ll send a copy of THE DEBUTANTE’S SECOND CHANCE to one lucky person who leaves us a comment today.
How long have you been a published writer, Liz?
Although my first book was published in 1999, I was a newspaper columnist long before that, and had essays and a few short stories “out there.”
You’ve certainly been in the ‘writing game’, in some way or another, for a long time. How many books have you published so far?
This is my fifth, my first with Carina Press.
Will you give us a little peek at your latest release, please?
ONE MORE SUMMER skips back and forth between romance and romance. It’s the story of Dillon and Grace—Dillon shows up fifteen years late for the prom—and of Grace and Promise, her best friend who is fighting breast cancer. Along with an ensemble cast that worked its way into my heart (and my keyboard!), they work their way through heartache, hope, and, finally, deliverance.
That sounds fascinating, so, what would you say is the genre/ subgenre of ‘One More Summer’?
It’s a romance/women’s fiction “hybrid.” Every time I call it a romance, the muse taps me on the shoulder and says, “Hey, are you forgetting those chapters you wrote at three in the morning because they wouldn’t let you sleep?”
Were there any triggers which led to the plotline for ‘One More Summer’?
My mother had breast cancer, my sister-in-law ovarian cancer. The illnesses were devastating. I think the book started out as a catharsis for me, but went on to become much more.
That’s sad to know people so close to you have been affected by cancer. It’s hard to imagine it not affecting what a writer produces sometimes, but…onto ‘One More Summer- what’s your hero like?
Dillon Campbell is a best-selling author bouncing back from loss and a resultant case of depression. He’s also the guy who stood Grace up for the prom fifteen years before the start of the book. He spends the summer making up for it.
Aha! Maybe a little more of the plot divulged here! Do the names for characters just pop into your head as soon as you start a book?
I have the people first. Named and complete with personalities in my head. The story comes later. Word by excruciating word.
What does your heroine think when she first meets Dillon?
LOL—mostly she thinks, Who do you think you are, you jerk?
If cancer plays a part in the novel did you have to do a lot of research?
Quite a bit about breast cancer. The setting, although Peacock, Tennessee is a fictional town, is very real. My sister-in-law Betty lives there and answered questions for me.
What’s your hero's biggest challenge in ‘One More Summer’?
Sharing his pain, allowing someone else to slay his dragons.
I’ve heard other authors saying they have areas of the novel they find more difficult to write. What about you? Is it the beginning, middle or end?
Middle. Because it sucks! J I love beginnings, because it’s all coming at me so fast I can scarcely get it written down—okay, typed—and the end is my reward and it’s leisurely and just...fun. The middle, however, only comes after I sit and stare at the keyboard for what seems like weeks. Even then, I throw out a ton of what I’ve written there and second-guess all the rest.
Do you have a tendency to write about places you’ve been to…or just ones you would like to visit?
Where I’ve been, just because that’s more comfortable for me. Even then I have to study it to get the seasons right. The weather right. Names right. This is, by the way, a perfectly viable excuse to travel anywhere you like.
Big disclosure time, now! The sensual parts. Do you prefer their sexual scenes to be open and bold? Or left to the imagination?
Left to me, we’d always go to a commercial. I’m not a fan of sex scenes, although I admire people who write them well. I’ve read romance for so long, and the story is always what I’m after. Very sensual parts get in my way. I’m not a prude; they just bore me. Doesn’t mean I think they shouldn’t be in books, just means I don’t want to read them. When I write one, it takes me a period of days, because I have to go back and add to it to give it some depth. I hope they come out all right, but it’s pretty much my least favorite part of writing romance.
Is there one character in ‘One More Summer’ that’s your favorite?
I like women who are strong because they’ve had to be. No big deal. No heroics. No overt drama. And yet they maintain this mushy middle. That’s Grace. That’s my favorite character. That’s who I want to be when I grow up.
I love that! (Don’t I wish that too!) So, what are you working on right now?
A sequel, and I’m definitely doing the type one line, take out two things, so I’m not at all confident of my success!
Don’t we all remove more than we leave? Here was I thinking that was obligatory, Liz!
Well, now, after that I think we’ll move on to something completely different! Let’s have a little peek at your blurb and excerpt from ‘One More summer’. First let's ogle the stunning cover you've brought for us today!