An interview with romance author Elizabeth
It was my pleasure
to chat with award-winning author, Elizabeth Delisi. She has a lot
of exciting new projects coming our way and I’m thrilled to
give you a sneak peek.
Thanks for joining us, Liz. It’s such a delight to have you
here. What book(s) do you have being released in the near future?
LIZ: Two items are
on the front burner for me. First, I have a novella in the anthologyEnchanted
Holidays, coming out from Hard Shell Word Factory in October.
Also, the sequel to my first mystery (Fatal Fortune) is
coming out by year’s end from NovelBooks, Inc. It’s
a “mystery duo,” with both a novella-length and novel-length
sequel in one book. The titles are Perilous Prediction
and Deadly Destiny.
tell us about them.
LIZ: The mysteries
are the next two stories in the “Lottie Baldwin Mystery”
series. Lottie is a flamboyant and eccentric character who really
stands out in her hometown of Cheyenne, North Dakota. She’s
a psychic and reads Tarot cards to solve the mysteries she’s
confronted with, sometimes helped by and sometimes hindered by her
boyfriend Harlan Erikson, sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office.
In Perilous Prediction, Lottie and Harlan’s wedding
plans are interrupted when her ex-boyfriend comes to town and gets
himself killed. Naturally, Lottie is blamed, so Harlan must exonerate
her before wedding bells can ring. In Deadly Destiny, newlywed
Lottie Baldwin Erikson goes out of town to a friend’s funeral,
where she’s soon up to her neck in cheating spouses, sulky
teenagers, and an accidental death that may not have been an accident
see that one of your upcoming releases is the Enchanted Holidays
anthology published by HardShell Word Factory. Please tell us about
it and how to purchase it.
Holidays is an anthology with six paranormal novellas themed
around Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day, written
by six talented authors: Kim Cox, Chris Grover, Elaine Hopper, Maureen
McMahon, Sher Torres, and me. My novella is, coincidentally, also
a “Lottie Baldwin” story—the prequel to Fatal
Fortune. It’s called Mistletoe Medium, and tells
the story of how Lottie comes to Cheyenne, meets Harlan, and falls
in love with him while helping him solve a mystery.
To purchase it once
it’s available, go to www.hardshell.com and search for Enchanted
Holidays. I don’t have a direct link yet, but you can
find it with a search.
many anthologies have you participated in? What is it like to write
a novella for an anthology?
LIZ: I have novellas
in three other anthologies: Holiday Hearts, Holiday
Hearts 2, and Cupid's Capers, all available from
DiskUs Publishing. They’re all contemporary romance, and feature
novellas by four authors: Linda Bleser, Leta Nolan Childers, Kay
Culligan Techler, and me. You can find them at www.diskuspublishing.com
I also have two essays
in the anthology Crumbs From the Keyboard, and five writing-related
articles in the anthology The Best of Novel Advice.
Writing a novella
for an anthology is a bit different than writing for a novel, for
a couple of reasons. First, you have a theme you’re writing
to, so you have to come up with a story idea to fit the theme. And
second, you’re writing a much shorter story. For me, shorter
is better, as I tend to write “short” anyway. But for
authors who go on at great length, a novella can be a challenge.
is it like working with the other authors in an anthology group?
LIZ: Both groups of
authors I’ve worked with have been terrific. There’s
been a great camaraderie between us; we’ve helped each other
brainstorm plots, have critiqued each other’s first drafts,
come to an agreement about cover art and publicity. It’s been
great! I can’t wait for the next one.
you participate in another anthology? Please tell us why or why
LIZ: Yes, definitely.
The six authors from Enchanted Holidays have another anthology
planned, Enchanted Holidays 2. This one will expand to
cover Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s
Day, and Easter. I’m looking forward to it!
read your books and love them. In particular, I loved Lady of
the Two Lands. I know that the research for this one took a
long time. Please tell us how you researched it and where the idea
LIZ: I’ve been
interested in ancient Egypt since I was twelve years old, and have
wanted to write a book set there ever since. I’ve always been
fascinated with the story of Hatshepsut, the first female Pharaoh
of Egypt, who was supposed to be co-regent with her young son, but
instead took over as Pharaoh and ruled for a very peaceful and prosperous
number of years. She has always seemed like such a modern woman
to me, so who better to use in a time-travel romance set in ancient
The research was fun
but took about two years to complete, off and on. I read lots of
books and journal articles; researched on the Internet; watched
videos; and contacted experts. I had a lot of fun learning what
I needed to know to make ancient Egypt come alive in Lady of
the Two Lands.
is your favorite romance sub-genre in which to write? Why?
a tough one! I really enjoyed writing Lady of the Two Lands,
so in that sense I’d say time-travel romance is my favorite.
But the research was a killer! If you take the research into account,
I guess romantic suspense or paranormal romance would be my favorite.
But really, I love just about all the romance sub-genres!
is your favorite genre to read?
LIZ: I read all over
the map. I love paranormal, time travel, contemporary romance; romantic
comedy; romantic suspense. I also devour mysteries, horror (mostly
Dean Koontz), suspense and thrillers.
is your favorite author?
LIZ: Ooh, hard question.
I don’t really have one favorite. My “auto-buys”
in hardback are Dean Koontz, Mary Higgins Clark, Diana Gabaldon,
Terry Pratchett, Harlan Ellison. I also buy a lot of Deb Stover,
Alice Duncan (in all her various incarnations), Katie MacAlister.
And for small press books, it’s no coincidence that I love
the works of all the authors in the anthologies I’m in!
is your favorite book?
LIZ: Another hard
one. I guess my three favorite books (can’t narrow it down
to one!) are: 1) Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise
Jarvis McGraw. This book started me on the path to a lifelong love
of all things Egyptian. 2) The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas.
This book has such wonderful writing…beautiful for its own
sake, not to mention an incredible story. 3) Gone With the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell. Hey, what can I say? It’s the
classic romance of all time.
do you like to do in your free time?
LIZ: When I have free
time, which isn’t often, I read (naturally). I also love to
make beaded jewelry, and knit, crochet, weave, etc. I also collect
and study Tarot cards (helpful with Lottie’s story lines).
And I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my two small
tell us about your family and home life. Please tell us an anecdote
about your family that will show us what a typical day in your home
life is like.
LIZ: Well, that depends
on the time of year. During the school year, everyone clears out
and I have anywhere from four to eight blissful, peaceful hours
to myself, to get lots of work done! But in the summer, everything’s
topsy-turvy. My kids aren’t in school but they work, so they
come and go at odd hours. My husband (who teaches at a university)
is home over the summer but busy preparing for the fall. He enjoys
working in my office with me, which is great for togetherness but
he’s definitely a distraction! Hard to resist.
are your goals for five years from now? Ten?
LIZ: I hope to have
many more novels in print five and ten years from now. Getting published
and reaching an audience is a continual uphill battle, but I tell
myself that at least it’s a good cardiovascular workout! ?
I plan to keep reading, keep writing, keep improving, and continue
to write the very best books I can.
you see your books on the New York Times bestseller list? Do you
have a particular plan how to get there?
LIZ: I’d love
to see my books there! But I’m not holding my breath—I
don’t look good in blue. As to a plan, see the question above—all
I can do is keep writing, and cross my fingers.
understand that you’re also an editor. Please tell us about
your editing business.
LIZ: I edit for several
small publishers, and for individuals. It’s another way to
keep food on the table, and I enjoy it. Folks who are interested
in my editing services can go to my website at www.elizabethdelisi.com
and click on the Editing button at the bottom for more info. I do
my best to help each author get his or her book in the best possible
shape, both grammatically and story-wise. I’m proud to say,
a number of my editing customers have subsequently been published.
also teach writing classes. Please tell us what classes you teach
and how interested parties can enroll for them.
LIZ: I teach “Fundamentals
of Fiction Writing” and “Novel Writing Workshop”
for Writer’s Digest School, and I teach “Focus on the
Novel” and “Essentials of Romance Writing” for
Writers Online Workshops, the online teaching arm of Writer’s
Digest. In addition, I teach “Writing Mysteries with Writer’s
Digest” for Barnes & Noble University.
To check out the Writers
Online Workshops courses, go here: www.writersonlineworkshops.com/
Check back regularly as they add new courses.
I believe the next
section of the Barnes & Noble University course will be in October.
Here’s the link—check back often, they offer a lot of
fun courses: http://university.barnesandnoble.com/index.asp
writing, what is your biggest dream yet to be fulfilled?
LIZ: My biggest unfulfilled
dream is to make enough money at my writing so that’s all
I need to do. I guess that’s the unfulfilled dream of many
writers! But I do love what I’m doing, so basically, I’m
a happy camper.
you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
LIZ: I’d love
to visit Egypt. My first choice would be to visit it via a time
machine, so I could check out all the ancient history there. I’ve
always been fascinated with ancient Egypt, and would love to see
it for myself, feel the heat, taste the date wine, smell the perfumes,
see the wonderful monuments. I’d definitely have to meet the
two most fascinating Egyptians: Hatshepsut, the first woman Pharaoh,
and Akhenaten, Pharaoh and the first man in recorded history to
is the most important thing in the world to you? Why?
LIZ: My family is
the most important thing to me. Why? Because I love them. Because
I need them, and they need me. Because my grandchildren need to
be spoiled and protected, and my kids need support and encouragement
as they make their way through life. And because my husband is the
hero in all my books!
there any advice you would give to aspiring authors?
LIZ: Never quit. If
you want to write and be published, the only thing standing in your
way is giving up. I’m firmly convinced that anyone can succeed
as a writer if they’re willing to work hard enough at it,
stay at it long enough, read and learn and never stop writing.
you like to send a message for your readers?
LIZ: I love to hear
from readers! Writing can be a lonely profession, and feedback direct
from readers is hard to come by. I went into writing because I love
reading so much, and I hoped to provide readers with as much pleasure
from reading my books as I’ve received from reading my favorites.
can we find your website and your publishers’ websites?
LIZ: Please come visit
my website at: www.elizabethdelisi.com
and let me know what you think! My publishers’ websites are
. They offer lots of terrific books, so do check them out.
there anything else you’d like to say?
LIZ: It’s been
a treat to chat with you, Elaine. Thanks for the lovely interview.
And happy reading to all!
of The Two Lands
1-59105-193-2 - Trade Paperback
Reviewed by Elaine Hopper, MyShelf.Com
Lady of the Two Lands, artist Hattie Williams mysteriously
travels back to ancient Egypt, and awakens as one of the greatest
queens and pharaohs who ever lived – Hatshepsut.
real Hatshepsut persuades Hattie to switch places with her and safeguard
Egypt until she is able to return. Shockingly, Hattie discovers
that she is descended of Hatshepsut, and moreover, that she is the
pharoah’s true heir. It’s quite a scary dream, until
she finds a confidant in Hatshepsut’s trusted advisor, Senemut.
reels. How will an obscure artist from Chicago be able to persuade
a kingdom that she is the regal monarch of all Egypt? At first daunted,
even frightened, at the dreamlike events, Hattie has trouble believing
she is truly in ancient Egypt, in cahoots with her celebrated ancestor.
Eventually she comes to grips with her situation and vows to uphold
Hatshepsut’s sworn duty. With her knowledge of history, indomitable
spirit, and Senemut to help her learn the Egyptian ways, Hattie
rules the empire with wisdom and heart…but unfortunately her
history books didn’t leave any clues of who tried to murder
her ancestor or the man with whom she finds herself falling in love.
If she can’t solve the mystery, she will not only step into
Hatshepsut’s life, but her death…
Delisi’s love of history, and especially of ancient Egypt,
shines through each page of Lady of the Two Lands. A lovely
story on many levels, this is a keeper that I will enjoy reading
the third and fourth time as much as the first. It would make a
delightful movie. I hope she’s going to sell the film rights.
I’ll be first in line at the theater—it’ll be
Elaine Hopper is the author of twenty published romance novels.
MyShelf.Com. All Rights Reserved.