Archive for February, 2011

28
Feb

And The Winner Is…

Posted under odds and ends 1 Comment

It’s time to announce the winner of my Take THAT, Winter! Giveaway

Suzanne Singles of Garnet Valley, PA will be receiving a $20 gift certificate to Mystery Loves Company bookstore in Oakmont, PA. Suzanne will be able to use this certificate in the store or via their great online site for a $20 purchase of her choice.

Congratulations, Suzanne! Enjoy your prize!

~Elizabeth

25
Feb

Under Interrogation

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays No Comments

My agent is doing a Meet The Author kind of thing on Friday’s for the next month or so. And today is my day. I pulled up a chair, answered a few questions (about writing, reading, and an assortment of other stuff), and had a good time doing it.

So check it out by clicking HERE. You just might learn something new. 🙂

~Elizabeth

18
Feb

Park’s Closed

Posted under odds and ends No Comments

We’re going on a little family vacation. A much needed family vacation.

So, in the interest of truly relaxing, that means no internet, no blogging. But check back next Friday (February 25th), and I’ll have a post for all of you again!

Have a great week, everyone!

~Elizabeth

17
Feb

All About the Process

Posted under Writing Thursdays 4 Comments

This week’s Writerly-type question comes from “Charlies Angel” via my Facebook page

Q:   Do you have a certain writing process you go thru? (ie: edit as you go along, brainstorming, working on computer, writing on paper then putting on computer?)

A: I do, Charlies Angel! I am very much an edit-as-I-go kind of writer, often printing up each chapter I complete and then editing it before I move on. There are two reasons I like to do this: 1) it keeps it clean every step of the way and 2) it helps get me into the book’s voice each day when I sit down. You see, by reading what I last did, it puts me back into the story and the lives of my characters.

As for brainstorming, I LOVE the brainstorming process. I love doing it in my own head, I love tossing stuff out to my friends, I love listening to people talk about something as simple as their day and hearing that gem that makes me go, wait…I can use that! 😉

In terms of the actual physical act of writing, I’m computer all the way. When I started writing as a newspaper intern when I was 19, I wrote everything on paper. My boss at the time (one of my biggest mentors) convinced me to type it from the start and I’ve never looked back. A side benefit of this is the fact that my handwriting is getting progressively worse and if I had to decipher it after having written 300 pages, I might go a little batty.

I almost always write in the morning. Once in a blue moon, I’ll get an evening shift in, but rarely. Unless, of course, I’m on deadline. Then I’ve been known to sit for as long as 20 straight hours. When I’m in the deadline crunch, I always eat Brachs Candy Corn and drink tall glasses of milk. It’s my brain food. 😉

Fun question, Charlies Angel! Thanks!  Any more today?

~Elizabeth

16
Feb

Needed: One Skilled Juggler. All Others Need Not Apply

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 7 Comments

 If I were to ever run off and join the circus, I think I’d apply for a juggling gig. People would watch you in amazement all day long (a plus for the ego), you’d have killer posture, and it’s a skill I seem to practice.

All the time.

Only instead of juggling colorful balls, flame-throwing darts, or whatever would earn me those astonished looks, I’d be juggling oddly shaped stuff…

Kids.
Writing.
Marketing.
Plotting.
Cooking (and let’s not forget baking).
Kids’ activities.
Appointments.

You get the point, I’m sure. The problem is, there are days where I feel as if I’m not really juggling any of them all that well. I get the kids to where they need to be, maybe toss in dinner, attend to a few chores, and then…wham…the day is over without a single word written.

Ugh.

On those days, I try to go with the whole “I’ll get to it tomorrow” thing. But, sadly, tomorrow often looks a lot like today.

So how do jugglers do it? How do they learn to get all those balls up in the air?

Discipline and practice. Practice and discipline.

The practice part I seem to have down.  It is, after all, something I do every day. But the discipline part? Well, I had it mastered at one time. I really did. Now, though? Not. Even. Close.

So it’s time for a crash course in discipline… 

Any tips? Any tried and true methods that work for you?

~Elizabeth

15
Feb

A Week In Bullet Points

Posted under odds and ends 2 Comments

I’ve got some bullet points to share… 

*I just got my first glimpse of the cover for the large print/hardcover edition of PINNED FOR MURDER . As you can see, it’s very different than the mass market paperback covers that Berkley does, but still neat to see. I believe it comes out in April. The large print edition of DEATH THREADS was released this month (I posted that cover within the past two weeks or so)

*The release of DEADLY NOTIONS (book # 4) is coming ast! This latest addition to the Southern Sewing Circle series will hit store shelves April 5th. I’m in the process of setting up events during April and May, so be sure to check out my “events” page a lot over the next month or so. Every time I ink a talk/signing, I will post it on there. 

*Towards the end of March, I’ll be hosting my Me, My Friend, and My Library contest again to get everyone excited for the release. Be sure to check my “latest news” page during March so you don’t miss the opportunity to get in on this contest (it’s a good one)!

*I just agreed to talk at my former high school’s annual career day in March. I’m already looking forward to this because I love talking to kids about writing. It makes me happy! 😉

*I’m hard at work writing book # 6 in the series at the moment and really enjoying my time with the ladies of Sweet Briar! It never ceases to amaze me the trouble some of them like to get into!

*I just got some really cool news on the book front that I’m busting at the seams to share…but I can’t. I must wait a  few weeks (sorry). But when I can share, I will. Right here.

*And then, on a completely unrelated front, my youngest is selling Girl Scout cookies at the moment and now I’m dreaming about Tagalongs (my favorites) morning, noon, and night! Can’t wait for them to arrive! 🙂

Any bullet points of your own to share?

~Elizabeth

14
Feb

Just Say It

Posted under odds and ends 4 Comments

Forget the cards and the traditional Valentine’s Day symbols. Just tell the special people in your life that you love them…

Have a great day, everyone!

~Elizabeth

11
Feb

X’s and O’s

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 9 Comments

Who can resist a Love-themed Bits & Pieces in light of the fact that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner?

Not me.

1) Flowers or candy?

2) Most romantic city you’ve ever visited? What makes it romantic?

3) Breakfast in bed or candlelit dinner for two?

4) Any special plans for this year’s Valentine’s Day?

~Elizabeth

10
Feb

How About If…

Posted under Writing Thursdays 1 Comment

Today’s writing question comes from Victoria H. via my facebook fan page

Q: Hi Elizabeth… love your blog… I just added it to my blogroll. Question; Do you ever get comments from readers on what they’d like to see in your books/plots or for your characters? If so, do you consider the ideas?

A: Thanks, Victoria! I’m glad you like the blog. As for your question, I don’t really get unsolicited comments regarding what readers would like to see in the way of future plots…but I do get email to my website with overall views on the books (favorable, so that’s good). Lately I have been asking for suggestions on things via my Facebook page. I’ve asked for suggestions on titles, character names, group projects for the circle to work on, etc. Most of the time, it’s simply a fun brainstorming technique…something someone says almost invariably sparks something in me. And I love when that happens. 

Case in point. A month or so ago, I asked for some name suggestions for Margaret Louise and Leona’s 92 year old mother (who will surface in book # 6–tentatively titled A FATAL PATTERN). I had over two dozen great responses. All were good, usable names. One, though, caught my eye…and Annabelle Elkin was born. Neat, huh?

While I can’t speak for other writers, I can say that I love to get emails from readers about the books. The  more in depth the email, the more exciting for me. I guess that’s because, as a writer, we put so much time and effort into each and every book that it’s fun to hear what readers think once they finally get their hands on it. And as for suggested thoughts on characters and their future direction…bring it on!

Thanks, Victoria!

~Elizabeth

09
Feb

The Best Part of Best Friends

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 3 Comments

Having lived in eight different states, I know a little bit about maintaining long distance friendships. During my travels, I’ve met people who were nice to hang out with when we lived in the same vicinity, but now that we don’t, we’ve become Christmas card buddies. Others were a wee bit closer and have settled into more of an every-few-month email check in. But then there are the friends who I’m just as close to now as I ever was when we lived in the same state.

What I love most about this last group is the fact that you can be apart for months–or even a year–and still feel as if no time has passed when you come together again. Fortunately, for me, I’m blessed with a few dear, dear friends in this category.  

Two of them rear their head on this blog from time to time. We talk via email, the phone, and–when I’m back in St. Louis for signings or a doctor’s appointment, it’s like old time. There are no awkward silences, no nervous chit chat, just the kind of ease that comes with good friends.

Just last month, another dear friend flew me to Chicago for the weekend. And other than one DVD, we literally talked (and ate)  the entire weekend. It was wonderful and so very, very needed.

That’s the way I feel about the characters in my Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series. I can be working on other projects for months on end, but when I get back to writing the next book that’s due, it’s like getting together with dear friends after too-much time apart. The conversation just flows, the laughs come easy, and I get that warm cozy feeling that can carry me through the next batch of months apart.

It’s time to get back to the ladies of Sweet Briar (I just finished chapter one in book #6) for now, but first, tell me about your dearest friends. 

~Elizabeth