Thursday, May 16, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Advice From Elizabeth Meyette

The Write Way Café welcomes Elizabeth Meyette, a prolific author who offers great advice, surprises, and a lot of heart.

 Tell us a little about The Last Crossing.
      First let me thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog today. I always enjoy visiting with you, Lynn and HiDee.

by Elizabeth Meyette
The Last Crossing blurb
      It was the whistle of the train at midnight that signaled another ghost.
      Jesse Graham wants to concentrate on planning her wedding to Joe Riley. But try as she might, she can’t escape the spirits who haunt her.
     This time the ghost is seven-year-old Timmy, whose disappearance fifteen years earlier coincided with the abduction of several boys. His family is convinced he drowned, but Jesse suspects something more sinister.
     Until Timmy appeared, Jesse’s biggest problem was that her best friend, Maggie Keegan, aka Sister Angelina, a Catholic nun, might not be allowed to be her maid of honor. But that pales in comparison to what Jesse faces now: Timmy was Maggie’s little brother. And Jesse knows that if Timmy is ever to find peace, he needs to reveal the mystery of his disappearance—which could subject Maggie and her family to some painful secrets and truths.
     As for Maggie? Well, she’s been navigating her own crisis of the heart and soul, as she tries to deal with—and resist—her deepening feelings for local cop Marty D’Amato. Learning about Timmy’s appearances only drives her further into confusion and anguish, but pray as she might, she’s finding no answers.
     To complicate things even more, Jesse’s investigation into the fifteen-year-old cold case has tapped into someone’s fear of being caught. She receives anonymous threatening notes, followed by a destructive attack on Bert, her beloved Volkswagen Beetle. And now, the mysterious assailant has escalated his attacks, putting Jesse in mortal danger.
     It looks like this time her spectral encounter is too personal, and it may cost her a friendship. It may even cost Jesse her life—unless the ghost of a seven-year-old boy can keep her safe.

The Last Crossing is available at Amazon (both Kindle and paperback) and at Barnes and Noble (paperback only).

If The Last Crossing was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why?

     I hesitate to say who I picture in the roles of my characters because readers tell me who they think would play them and it’s usually different than who I think would. For me, it would be a mix of cross generational actors plus a prince, but all of them at about age 28-30.
     Jesse would be played by Julia Roberts. She’s a stubborn, intelligent, independent redhead who is beautiful (though she doesn’t realize it and decries her long red curly hair). She resists her attraction to Joe in The Cavanaugh House, but, well, who can resist Joe for long?
     Jesse’s fiancé, Joe Riley, would be played by Prince Harry. If that’s not possible with his royally busy schedule, then James Norton, the British actor who plays Sidney Chambers on Grantchester would be lovely. Joe is tall with light red hair and hazel eyes. He’s laid-back with a lazy grin and patience, until things go too far putting Jesse in danger. He’s desperately in love with Jesse and will do anything to keep her safe.
     Maggie (Sister Angelina) would be played by Audrey Hepburn, as Jesse states in the book. Maggie is gentle and intelligent and petite with short dark hair and dark brown eyes. She’s the kind of friend who tells Jesse the truth no matter if it makes Jesse mad. Marty D’Amato, the Italian cop would be played by Matt LeBlanc, Joey on Friends. Marty has thick black hair that is usually mussed up, and he’s loud and funny and adores Maggie. He teams up with Jesse to help her solve crimes.

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
     My husband, Rich, has been incredibly supportive. We have “staff meetings” though some might call them “cocktail hour.” He listens to me work through story problems, wrangle with stubborn characters, and float new story ideas. Usually, he just listens—he’s a great listener—while I talk a lot, circling around the same point, doubling back, and finally reaching an “aha” moment. At that point, I jump into his arms and thank him for helping me. He always says, “I’m happy to help.”
     Rich has done the covers for all my mysteries and for my historical romance, Love’s Courage. He’s a fabulous photographer, and I’ve had many readers tell me they bought my books because of the covers. We’re a great team.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given? What’s your best writing advice for others?

     The best advice came from my Journalism professor, John Palen, who told me to put away my writing for a while, then revisit it. Looking at a rough draft with fresh eyes enables me to see plot holes, character arc issues, and necessary revision that I might not notice without some time away.
     My best advice for other writers is HOKBIS. Hands on Keyboard, Butt in Seat. Also, what works for others may not work for you. Listen to your inner voice. My family has a saying: “Don’t should on yourself.” There are so many “shoulds” in the writing industry, from whether you should always plot a book to when a first kiss should occur. Rules and conventions are good up to a point, but a writer needs to listen to her inner voice and do what is right for her.

What “keepers” are in your home library?

     I have so many! In non-fiction I have Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Stephen King’s On Writing, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat, Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
     In fiction I have Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Nora Robert’s The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Karen White’s The House on Tradd Street series.

If you could be a character in any book you’ve read (or written), which character would you be and why?
     I would be Jesse Graham from my Finger Lakes Mysteries series. I just love how brave she is. And impetuous. And we share an Irish temper. I love her fierce independence, yet her ability to love Joe Riley so passionately and deeply. I love her years-long friendship with Maggie, and her “buddy” friendship with Marty. But I didn’t have to search for a family the way Jesse did. I was born the ninth child in a wild and rowdy Irish family.

We’re adding books to our Café menu. Would your book be a drink, an appetizer, an entrée or a dessert? What would you call it?
     I would have to say The Last Crossing is a dessert. A delicious chocolate devil’s food layer cake. There is the ghost layer, the mystery layer, and the family relationships layer. The icing on the cake and between the layers would be the romance in the book. So, the ghost and mystery are rich and dark, the romance is sumptuously sweet.

Do you have any compulsions you must do for no particular reason?
      Yes. I am admittedly OCD. I must close closet and cupboard doors. Rich has one foible—leaving cupboard doors open while he’s cooking. I trust you see the irony here. Also, I must use the bathroom before I leave the house—even if I did so five minutes earlier. I must straighten things like the vertical blinds on the sliding glass door from our sunroom to the deck. And don’t get me started on how to load the dishwasher.

Tell us about the book in your closet.
      I am researching a book based on Rich’s ninth great-grandmother. She was accused of being a witch in Quebec, Canada back in the mid-1600s, and her experience is the first recorded occurrence of poltergeist activity in Canada. The French did not treat witches like the Puritans of Massachusetts did. Instead of hanging them, they cured them. And his grandmother was cured and lived to marry and have eight children. Thank goodness!

What is your favorite social media? Why?
      My favorite way to connect with people online is my blog, Meyette’s Musings. Though my initial vision was, “Sharing the Joy of Writing,” now I blog about all sorts of things like washi tape, tornado prep (Yes, I included a photo of me under a desk in the basement with a bicycle helmet on, much to my children’s dismay), and supernatural visitations. My post from July 2013 called “Chakras, Totems, and Finches, Oh My!” still gets at least one view a day where readers share similar sacred visits they’ve experienced.

And now for the fun stuff!

What is your biggest shopping downfall?
      Office supplies—hands down. I can cruise through clothing stores, furniture stores, shoe stores, you name it. But get me near sticky notes or pens and I’m reaching for my credit card. Book stores are next.

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full personality?
      Glass half full. I make Shirley Temple look like a Goth girl.
      I try to see the silver lining. I believe in quotes like “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~Walt Disney. Except for golf. I dream the most beautiful shots, and then I walk twenty yards to where my ball actually landed.

What is something you do that people would be surprised at?
      I sing and act. I’ve been cast in Brigadoon (chorus), To Kill a Mockingbird (Mrs. Dubose), Company (Sarah), and Les Misérables (the Hair Hag and an old prostitute). None of this was type-casting.

What is your favorite season and why?
      Spring because it’s so beautiful with all the trees and flowers blossoming, and summer is still ahead of us. There is no green like Spring green. And, isn’t it Spring when “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love?” (A nod to Alfred Lord Tennyson.) And don’t we all love to read about that?

If you had to write with a pen instead of a computer, what type of pen would be your preference?
      Actually, I still have my handwritten first draft of Love’s Destiny written on yellow legal pads. I used a ballpoint pen then, but if I had my druthers, I’d use a beautiful fountain pen.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
      Funny you should mention that. So often do my good ideas come to me in the shower that my daughter gave me Aqua Notes for Christmas. They’re a specially treated pad of paper secured on a suction cup so you can hang them in the shower and write on them even when they’re wet. I let them dry before I bring them to my desk.

      It’s been delightful visiting with you today. Thanks for inviting me.

About Elizabeth Meyette:

Believer in dreams-come-true and self-confessed chocoholic, Elizabeth Meyette is the author of a little history … a little mystery … a little romance.

Before pursuing her writing career full time, Elizabeth taught English, Journalism, and Library Science/Technology. After retiring from teaching, Elizabeth embarked on her writing career full-time and, in addition to her six novels, has published poetry, magazine articles and her blog, Meyette’s Musings. A friend said of her, “You haven’t retired, you’ve refired!”

Her Finger Lakes Mystery series includes The Cavanaugh House, Buried Secrets, and The Last Crossing. These mysteries are set in 1968 in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Her historical romance series, The Brentwood Saga, includes Love’s Destiny, Love’s Spirit, and Love’s Courage , historical romances set during the American Revolution.

Elizabeth is an Amazon Best-selling author, a PAN (Published Authors Network) member of Romance Writers of America.  She is also a member of Sisters in Crime, Grand Rapids Region Writers’ Group, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Elizabeth and her husband Richard live in west Michigan where they enjoy the beauty of the Great Lakes. They have an agreement that she cannot cook on writing days after he endured burnt broccoli and overcooked chicken.  Fortunately, Richard is an excellent cook.

Visit Elizabeth at:



Becky Lower said...

Sage advice, Betty. Especially the HOKBIS. We all need to be reminded of that every now and then. Great interview. I never knew about your other talents (singing and acting), but I can visualize.

Lynn said...

Thank you for being on our blog, Betty, and sharing your joyful spirit. I'm looking forward to more of your books. The Last Crossing sounds intriguing!

Elizabeth Meyette said...

Thanks, Becky. Another tactic I like is not opening any social media sites until I’ve reached my daily word count. Some days I even manage to do this 😉

Elizabeth Meyette said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Lynn. I’m pretty excited about The Last Crossing and I’m getting positive feedback from readers.

Patricia Kiyono said...

Nice interview! Great choices for "actors" to play your characters! I can see all of them in those roles - but having them all together would certainly be difficult.
Aqua notes sound like a great investment! I need something that will document my inspirations that come while I'm in the middle of doing something else - like performing in a concert, or teaching a class.

HiDee said...

Thank you for joining us today! I'm totally with you on office supplies and bookstores taking all my money. And I agree that The Last Crossing sounds very intriguing!

Elizabeth Meyette said...

Patricia, I guess I need to get current on who the 28-30 year old actors are today LOL. Trying to jot plot notes during a concert would be very difficult, as would in the middle of teaching a class. But inspiration often does strike at the most inconvenient times.

Elizabeth Meyette said...

HiDee, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog today. I always enjoy visiting with you and Lynn.

Yes, office supply stores are my downfall, but I must confess to a more recent buying obsession - washi tape and sticker books for my planner. And my daughter and daughter-in-law are complicit. When we get together for Planner planning, Rich has to put extra leaves in our kitchen table.