What better way to end 2014 and bring in the new year here on the Suspense Sisters blog than to interview one of the Suspense Sisters and offer a giveaway of her January 1st release. So we welcome one of our own, Elizabeth Goddard, for an interview this week. Elizabeth is giving away a copy of her latest release, BURIED! Be sure to comment and leave your contact information to be entered in the drawing.
Now let’s find out more about Elizabeth.
SS: Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m married to a pastor/potter and I’m a home schooling mother of four—three boys and one daughter who is now 22 and married. My boys are 15, 16, and 11. I started writing when they were all babies, so it helps to put all this in perspective. Over the last few years, we’ve moved frequently with my husband’s ministry, so that gives me a lot of new fodder for stories.
SS: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I loved to read from a very early age and have been writing as long as I can remember. I think the desire to write a novel has always burned inside—I wrote my first novel, or attempted to write one at the tender age of 14. But I had no direction, no path for how to reach this goal. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties, married with children, that I began to actively pursue this dream. And the internet helped me to achieve it, as it has for so many, because I had access to the knowledge I needed to write a novel.I could easily connect to other writers and mentors.
SS: What are some of the challenges you face as a writer? Are there aspects of your life that are hard for family and friends to understand? What are they?
My biggest challenge is probably the same for all novelists and that challenge is time. There are only so many hours in a day and I’m not supermom, and can’t do everything. My family pitches in to help in a big way, but writing and editing and polishing takes an enormous amount of time if you do it right. I’m sure family members get tired of me saying I have to work because I have a book due. It’s not something I can do in an hour, and when I’m getting closer to the deadline that means more time spent on editing the book I’ve written. Then if I’m not writing, I’m working on marketing my books, also a time sucker.
SS: What genre do you write and why? Are there other genres you’ve written or would like to try?
I started learning to write with historical romantic suspense, and even pitched myself that way at conferences. I loved reading the WW II Zion Covenant series by Bodie Thoene and I think those books are what got me thinking about writing the genre. But as Providence would have it, my first book to be published was a contemporary romance. Still, I added mystery and romance, as I do in most all my novels. Now I see myself focusing more and more on romantic suspense. It’s almost all I read now as I study the genre.
SS: How do you create characters? Are they based on people you know?
I don’t intentionally base characters on people I know, but in one of my novels, my family told me they could hear my grandmother’s voice in one particular character. I think it just happens. But as far as how I create characters, I keep digging and it's usually during the writing, that the character begins to come alive for me.
SS: Tell us about your current release.
BURIED is the first book in my new series called Mountain Cove and is set in southeast Alaska. The series features a family of mountain search and rescue volunteers. Here’s the blurb for book 1.
NOWHERE TO HIDE
Fleeing to Alaska is the only option for Leah Marks after witnessing a murder. Afraid for her life, the legal investigator hopes a remote cabin will be a safe shelter. But the killer has tracked her to Mountain Cove. As he chases her into snow-packed Dead Falls Canyon, an avalanche buries them both. Saved by daring search and rescue specialist Cade Warren, Leah longs to tell him the truth. But how can she, without bringing even more danger into Cade's life? Especially when they discover the killer is very much alive and waiting to take them both down.
Mountain Cove: In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide
SS: Where did you get the idea for this book?
I read an article about a helicopter pilot searching the mountain for a dangerous man. In order to warn some campers, the pilot wrote a note on his Styrofoam coffee cup and tossed it down to them. I knew that was the seed for my story which grew into a series including search and rescue volunteers, and I knew the first story would start with an avalanche.
SS: Tell us about your main character.
Cade Warren is an avalanche specialist and volunteer with local mountain search and rescue. He works at the avalanche center his father founded in Mountain Cove. Before the story starts, his father is killed in an avalanche and Cade blames himself. He can’t understand why his father would die in an avalanche, the very thing he worked to prevent, and Cade questions God about this.
Leah Marks became a legal investigator to prevent the injustice that happens when an innocent person is put in prison because of an imperfect legal system. Then she finds herself in the middle of that same injustice.
SS: Is there a spiritual message in your book? If so, what is it?
My characters struggle and grow in their faith as they face intense battles, both physically and emotionally, and question why God allows certain things to happen. The biggest spiritual message is about trusting God with everything.
SS: What are you working on now?
I’m busy polishing up the fourth book in the Mountain Cove series, and then I’ll put together a new proposal for two more Mountain Cove books.
SS: Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I can play the piano, cello, and violin and I won first prize at the county fair for my sketch of a cowboy. I love to run, even though I’m overweight (let 2015 be the year I get skinny!) and bake bread. I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. Oops, I can’t count.
SS: Favorite TV shows?
I have the news running all day until my husband takes over the TV controller and then it’s movies, and more movies.
SS: Anything special you eat or drink while you’re writing?
It’s almost cliché that writers love chocolate but there’s just something about chocolate that powers my brain. I love peanut M&M’s and once I had a six week deadline and gained 15 pounds (no joke) eating those while I pounded the keys.
SS: How do you celebrate after completing a book?
Take a week off and maybe eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant.
SS: Where can readers find you on the Internet?
Here at Suspense Sisters of course
SS: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I’ve recently added a contest page to my website, so be sure to check out my monthly giveaway. If you’d like to receive the latest book news, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and blog.
Thank you for the interview! Don't forget to comment to be entered into the drawing for Elizabeth Goddard's latest, BURIED!
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!