Thursday, April 16, 2015 | By: Cafe

Worries, Blocks, and Successes with Liz Flaherty

The Write Way Café welcomes author Liz Flaherty, who has learned a lot while furthering her writing career. She shares her her worries, her blocks, and her successes. 

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 lizkflaherty@gmail.com or please come and see her at:

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31 comments:

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks for having me here today! It's my first promo blog for the Small Town Summer boxed set and I want to add how excited I am (I know, I'm always excited) to be working with these authors.

Vicki Williams said...

Always glad to hear from Liz Flaherty!

Stefanie London said...

Great interview! I can't wait to read this one, Liz - so thrilled to be working with you :)

Nan said...

What a fun interview! Looking forward to your new anthology and I know your novella is a great one! Just perfect!

Pamela Tracy said...

LOL, even if my husband built me a separate room, it would wind up with legos on the floor as well as a nerf gun or two.
You have such a natural writing voice. I think you could write just about any genre and do it well.

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Vicki!

Liz Flaherty said...

It's an exciting project, Stefanie!

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Nan. You have insider information about it, so I definitely value your opinion!

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Pamela. That is such a nice thing to say. I don't have Legos or Nerf stuff, but my grandson's Thomas the Train does reside here. :-)

Terry Mominee said...

Wonderful interview, Liz. WF is definitely the place to find characters with greater depth. Young is not always what we need to read about. Life experiences are so important. Best of luck with the novellas.

Terry Mominee said...

Wonderful interview, Liz. WF is definitely the place to find characters with greater depth. Young is not always what we need to read about. Life experiences are so important. Best of luck with the novellas.

Kristina Knight said...

good luck with the boxed set, Liz!! Can't wait to read all the books!

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Terry. There is more out there now, about not-young, but finding it is sometimes difficult. Glad you came by!

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Kristi. It's always exciting to do something new and different.

Liz Flaherty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margie said...

Yep. Sign me up for a read as well. I'd love to have a tea room, too. We go to one nearby a few times a year---and it's always a good time. OF course, I don't have to do any of the work, maybe that's why I enjoy it. mmmm

Liz Flaherty said...

Yeah, Margie, that is a point. I just love the feel of them.

Alison Henderson said...

Liz, if you open a tearoom I will come! Best of luck with your new novella. I've only written one, and at first the length was a challenge. Ultimately, I loved it and hope to write another.

Liz Flaherty said...

I'm working on my second one now, Alison, and am only slightly less nervous about it than the first one. There's a relaxation factor in writing a full-length book that is lacking when you don't have a lot of space to fill. Thanks for coming by!

HiDee said...

Thanks for being with us today, Liz. I look forward to checking out the set. Best of luck to you!

Rebecca Thomas said...

Nice post! Looking forward to reading your novella!

Laurie I said...

I really enjoyed your post, and you and I have the EXACT same idea for a successful tearoom. ( :

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, HiDee. It was a fun interview.

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Rebecca!

Liz Flaherty said...

Wouldn't it be great, Laurie?

heatherlybell said...

Nice post, Liz!

MONICA MORGAN said...

After being in relationship with him for 3 years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the other ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is DRABEGDIONSPELLCASTER@GMAIL.COM you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other problem. you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other problem.

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Heatherly. Getting excited about the project!

Caragh O'Brien said...

It looks great, Liz! Congrats on a cool project.

Joan Reeves said...

Lovely interview. Snorted laughter at this: "It’s my first novella-length story, and I learned that you can’t pack 75,000 words worth of stuff into 25,000! " because that's what I'm currently doing. Again. I wish I had the ability to just pick a simple story and write it at the proper length rather than overshooting the length then drive myself crazy trying to cut, cut, cut. Good luck with the Xmas story. Looking forward to it.

Marleen Gagnon said...

Great interview. Your idea about a tea room with a place to read and a cat (or two) is a good one. Looking forward to reading your book.

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