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Beneath The Covers, Past
A Romance Column

An interview with romance author Elizabeth Delisi

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.

ELAINE: 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.


ELAINE: Please 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 after all.


ELAINE: I 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.

LIZ: Enchanted 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 and search for Enchanted Holidays. I don’t have a direct link yet, but you can find it with a search.


ELAINE: How 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 .

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.


ELAINE: What 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.


ELAINE: Would you participate in another anthology? Please tell us why or why not.

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!


ELAINE: I’ve 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 came from.

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 Egypt?

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.


ELAINE: What is your favorite romance sub-genre in which to write? Why?

LIZ: That’s 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!


ELAINE: What 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.


ELAINE: Who 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!


ELAINE: What 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.


ELAINE: What 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 grandchildren.


ELAINE: Please 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.


ELAINE: What 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.


ELAINE: Do 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.


ELAINE: I 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 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.


ELAINE: You 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: 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:


ELAINE: Besides 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.


ELAINE: If 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 espouse monotheism.


ELAINE: What 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!


ELAINE: Is 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.


ELAINE: Would 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.


ELAINE: Where can we find your website and your publishers’ websites?

LIZ: Please come visit my website at: and let me know what you think! My publishers’ websites are,, and . They offer lots of terrific books, so do check them out.


ELAINE: Is 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!


Lady of The Two Lands
By Elizabeth Delisi
NovelBooks Inc.- Feb. 2004
ISBN: 1-59105-193-2 - Trade Paperback
ISBN: 1-59105-168-1 E-book

Series Romance
Buy a Copy

Reviewed by Elaine Hopper, MyShelf.Com

    In 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.

    The 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.

    Hattie 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…

    Ms. 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 a blockbuster.

**Note: Reviewer Elaine Hopper is the author of twenty published romance novels.


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