Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 1:00 AM | By: Cafe
Where did the idea for your story come from?
I started Summer in Stringtown Proper a long time ago, when I was looking for something to read that didn’t feature people too young for me to identify with. However, I never finished it. I never knew why, because I loved Molly and Joe, but I guess it wasn’t time.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
It was part of the community “the Ridge” in A Soft Place to Fall. I always hated leaving the Ridge, and I was happy to go back!
Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
Big blocks, because it’s—even for me, a low key writer—a very low key story. I think it’s real and warm and quirky, but even now, when I’m in final editing stages, I worry that it’s somehow not enough.
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about divorcees, widowers and second chances?
It’s my first novella-length story, and I learned that you can’t pack 75,000 words worth of stuff into 25,000! Writing that short is also tremendous fun. I’m writing another one this summer for a Christmas anthology and am champing at the bit to get started.
Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
When my husband and I retired, it became apparent that I needed a quiet space of my own, so he and my son made a 14 X 24 foot section of detached garage into my office/sewing room. My other son brought me a teacher’s desk from Vermont, an old oak one a college professor he worked with had given him. (I still have phone numbers for Lyndon State College in 2007 taped to it!)
What are you working on now?
I’m getting ready to start a novella for a Christmas anthology, which I’m really excited about, and I’m waiting for edits on my next Harlequin Heartwarming, tentatively titled The Winter of Letting Go.
Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
Each romance I write leans further and further toward women’s fiction. It is what I prefer to read—because there aren’t enough romances written about “mature” protagonists—and I think it’s what I’ll end up writing. The Girls of Tonsil Lake is WF with just bare elements of romance and I had so much fun writing it! Characterization is my favorite thing, and there’s a lot of room for it in WF.
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
I would own a tearoom, because I love them. They’re often not very successful in the area where I live, but I keep thinking if it were attached to a little bookstore complete with fireplace and cat, it would go, wouldn’t it? J
What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Conflict. Because what works for me may not work for a reader or an editor. Because I don’t like conflict in my own life, I use mostly internal conflict (that, at least, I can understand), and sometimes it’s just not enough.
Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
Jo March from Little Women; she was where I went when I was young and distressed or depressed and they never let me down. Heroes? Jeff Grant in Kathleen Gilles Seidel’s Maybe This Time because he’s just a nice guy with flaws. I should admit that the next time I’m asked this question, I’ll have a different answer, but that’s one of the joys of being a reader.
Showing up in the SMALL TOWN SUMMER box set on July 13 is SUMMER IN STRINGTOWN PROPER. It's my first-ever novella in my first-ever anthology and I am so excited to tell Molly and Joe’s story. They’re two fifty-year-olds who meet at the wedding of her aunt and his father. She's a divorcee who's afraid to trust and he's a widower who's reluctant to love again.
About Liz: Retired from the post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and doing whatever else she wants to. She and Duane live in the old farmhouse in North Central Indiana they moved to in 1977. They’ve talked about moving, but really…30-some years’ worth of stuff? It’s not happening! She’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or please come and see her at:
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