Friday, December 14, 2012

Suspense Sisters Interviews Elizabeth Goddard

Elizabeth Goddard is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels, including the romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. A 7th generation Texan, she graduated from the University of North Texas with a B.S. in computer science and worked in corporate America for a decade before retiring to home school her four children and write romantic suspense novels. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and children. 

S.S: How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing on and off as long as I can remember—articles, poems, short stories. You name it. I remember my mother wanted to send my stories to a publisher. Does that give you an idea about how long? Over the years I considered writing for publication but never pursued it. I couldn’t find much direction until I joined American Christian Fiction Writers. Back then it was called American Christian Romance Writers. I joined in 2001 and immediately hooked up with a critique group within the organization. We had to submit a chapter a week and from that group, I learned to write fiction. Today every person in my original critique group is published.
S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?

This is sort of a trick question because as much writing as I do, it could be considered full time—but I write really fast, and have marathon weekends and evenings to make up the word count. My full time job is home schooling my three boys. Believe me, that takes up a chunk of my time. Before I stayed home to write and home school, though, I worked in corporate America. I sold high-level software and traveled around the country to meet with prospects.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?

I don’t think anyone feels like a real author until they get “the call,” or in my case, “the email.”
My editor, JoAnne Simmons, emailed me to offer a contract for my story, Seasons of Love. I remember running up the stairs to tell my daughter, but I stopped halfway and ran back down to reply to JoAnne first. Then I ran up the stairs again and shared the news with my daughter. That was a grand feeling and I’m sure all authors hold onto that moment.

S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 

All my friends and family have been huge supporters of my dream, even before I began to pursue it. But my husband has been the most supportive because he has to put up with me writing, or living in another world, as he puts it.

S.S:  Why suspense? Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?

I’ve written romance for Heartsong Presents but even those usually have a measure of suspense. I’ve written a cozy mystery, The Camera Never lies, which I loved writing. That was my first cozy to write and I find that genre to be a lot of fun. Mostly I love suspense because the tension is much greater. It keeps me reading and writing.

S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?

My faith is a huge part of my writing. It’s why I write. I believe that God gave me the desire to write and he fulfilled that dream. I often think how blessed I am to be doing something I love so much. God has been good to me. In every story I write, I pray through the writing that God will inspire the story, put His message in the way He wants it. I’ve been surprised sometimes at what spiritual message surfaces. It’s my biggest goal to make sure I include a spiritual nugget in every story.

S.S:  Tell us about your current release.

I was excited when I came across the premise for this story. I loved every minute of writing it, and this is one of those stories where the spiritual message surprised me. My hero has failed at a couple of dangerous jobs already. Now he’s a test pilot and decides to try his hand at recovering a Learjet from Belize. His escape includes facing men with Uzi’s and then he finds a kidnapped woman on the plane. Not just any woman, but the daughter of a Colombian drug lord. Her father’s enemy wants his plane back and his hostage, and he’ll stop at nothing to get them back.
S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I came across the story of a real Learjet repo man and read about some of his dangerous adventures in retrieving luxury jets and yachts from South American drug lords, presidents of third world countries, and other unscrupulous groups.

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?

First I want them to have an intense ride, a powerful emotional experience while reading Treacherous Skies. Then I want to encourage them that our past doesn’t have to define our future.

S.S: What are you working on now?

I just turned in the edits for the second story in this series. Riptide is Jake’s story—he’s the brother of my hero in Treacherous Skies. I’m also writing the third story in this collection with a working title of Striking Distance.

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?

Here’s another chance to win a copy of TREACHEROUS SKIES. Leave a comment, answering what you’d love to see in upcoming romantic suspense novels and we’ll draw one name. But you MUST leave your contact information.


  1. I would love to see...gee, I think everything's pretty much been I would love to see more realistic suspense romance. You can build an exciting and realistic story from everyday life. If I had to pick one, I would like to see one where the heroine gets trapped in the desert and can't find her way back. Then hero comes in the picture...not a ranger or anything official, maybe a hunter or even someone less expected like a photographer or...Oh well, those ideas are endless. I think I'll write that

  2. Misty, and anyone else who wants to enter the drawing, please be sure to leave your contact information.

    Yes, the ideas are endless. One thing an editor will want to see is imminent danger, usually in the form of a bad guy--someone that is threatening their survival beyond the environment.

    In Treacherous Skies, as well as the two sequels, I've tried to make it as much everyday life and then my h/h are unwittingly involved in danger. They're not law enforcement characters. :)

  3. I'd like to see married couple brought to face the toughest thing they've ever faced in their lives, individually or as a couple. I don't know why "romance" = unmarried, lol

  4. Something along the lines of Casablanca...but perhaps there is no husband? I don't know I just love the classic mysteries that are full of heart.

  5. Great interview, Beth! Merry Christmas! :)


  6. Very good interview book sounds great. I am not familiar with this author but I will learn more

    Cathy Weber

  7. Love Inspired Suspense is my all time favorate. I would love to see something that addresss a believer married to an unbeliever as they go through a trial that brings them to Christ.

  8. i just love Love Inspired Suspense, i sure hope im a winner , please pick me
    Shirley Blanchard

  9. I love reading romantic, suspense books...and I am so looking forward to reading Elizabeth Goddard's new book 'Treacherous Skies'.....happy Holidays and keep writing all those wonderful book that your fans can't get enough of...babyruthmac16ATyahooDOTcom