Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Won’t You Be My Neighbor—Elizabeth Seckman

Today I'm so excited to welcome the talented Elizabeth Seckman! She is a little bit sweet. A little bit sassy. And a whole lot of fun.

Elizabeth: Dip me in chocolate and I'd be perfect!

Angie: LOL!

Elizabeth: Oh, I should say, thanks for having me over. Just show me to the pool and you can fill in the blanks for me. :)

Angie: Deal. It is a balmy 85 degrees outside. I like the sun, but I miss wearing sweaters.

Elizabeth: Sweaters (and hoodies) do hide more of my um, I do have that in my favor! It's getting chilly here in WV and the leaves are all aglow.

Angie: I'm a little jealous of the leaves and the chill.

Here is my first question for you. You live in a small town. I grew up in a small town (as in no stop light town). So we have that in common. I want to know what you like about your small town?

Elizabeth: I like that I feel safe. I can walk my dog at midnight and never worry. And I LOVE that I have a whole town of narks to report the behavior of my children. Poor guys can't get away with squat! Keeps ornery boys on their toes...a little.

Angie: LOL! Narks :) That is so true about small towns. I know when I was a teenager I never dared step out of line because I knew my science teacher would tell my parents all about it at church on Sunday.

Elizabeth: I hear ya! There was plenty of rottenness I opted out of for the same reason. I have a plaque that says small towns are like big families...and that's true. 

Angie: Are you the only author in your little town? And what do they think about your writing?

Elizabeth: That's a tough question! The town I live in now does have several red lights, so I don't know everybody (and I hate to say, yep just me...and offend someone). I've met several people who are writing books, but have not met one with one on print. According to the town bookseller (we have one bookstore), there are other published authors around these hills, but they primarily write nonfiction. In Tyler County where I grew up (and is just a few miles away from my home), native son, Austin Boyd, has several books to his credit. I've never met him...but way to go man!!!

Angie: That is pretty cool. Do they carry your book in the book store?

Elizabeth: Yes, it's available on the front shelf! And the owner's mom bakes me cookies for signings. How special is that?

Angie: Very special and sweet!

I know that you write romances. What is the easiest and hardest part about writing a love story?

Elizabeth: Easiest part is the characters. I hear their voices and putting them on paper and calling it a story is cheaper than medication. The hardest part is the love scenes. They take the most editing. I tell myself, just close the door, don't worry about it! But then my betas will complain and I'll sweat through it. They're a labor of love...pun fully intended. 

Angie: LOL. I like closed door love scenes. The kissing is the best part anyway :)

Elizabeth: Kisses? Fun to get...don't like to write them either. But I will! I aim to please..well, to a certain extent...not doing any "Shades" of anything...I'll leave that to the more creative writers. :)

Angie: Or less creative. "Shades" is not my kind of a real love story.

Elizabeth: True. Glandular love is easy come, easy go. Real love is about loyalty, not head spins. I often joke that my own husband would walk through the fires of hell to bring me ice water if I said I was thirsty, but I love him enough to never ask it of  him.

Angie: Aww :) What a sweetie. I know what that is like. True love is unselfish. My hubby would get out of bed at midnight to take the trash to the curb in his pjs so I don't have to. That is love!

Oh, *snaps fingers* I've got a question for you. What was the last book you read and what did you learn from it?

Elizabeth: Aww...that is real love!!! Last book I read was a YA story about dragons and such. I won't mention the title because its magic didn't work on me. Way too much exposition for my taste. Tell me once and I've got it. Don't beat me over the head with what a character is thinking.  A long time ago, I decided if I skimmed a passage when I edit (because after umpteen readings it bored me) then I chopped it. If I was bored, the reader would be bored. This story confirmed that the idea of "less is more" should be considered by writers. 

Angie: That is awesome advice. I know I need to work more on that in my writing! 

You mentioned before that your characters write themselves. What kind of characters are your favorite to write?

Elizabeth: Smart alecks. They can say all the rotten things this good girl never does. ;)

Angie: So true! Are you ready for the traditional pageant question? I'm going to give you a hard one.

Elizabeth: Miss South Carolina was my I, um, uh, um, think, for the love of the kids in Afghanistan, and in, um, other places like Newark, that I am ready.

Angie: Perfect :) You are very good at this.

*Clears throat* What has been the most life changing experience of your life?

Elizabeth: And you said it was going to be hard! That's so easy, even a bleach soaked brain can answer that! 

Having my kids. Becoming a mom changed everything. Every decision, every choice I make, I have to think of them. I never once worried about Ebola, crime rates, or impact collision ratings on mini vans until I had kids. 

Here I thought you'd ask me how to bring peace to the Middle East. :)

Angie: LOL! No peace in the Middle East questions (I'm foreign policyed out from the debates :) I thought it might be too personal of a question, but your answer was awesome. My kids changed everything too. I learned to be (or try to be) unselfish from them.

I know you have all boys :) What do they think about your love stories?

Elizabeth: That they need to sell more and make more My son's teacher asked me to speak to his class...all the kids had writing son asked, "What's for dinner?" 

Making them food...that's what impresses them. 

Angie: Boys! I have two so I can testify to that :) 

You were awesome Elizabeth!!! Thanks for stopping by today. You can swim in my pool anytime. Maybe next time we can go to the beach.

Elizabeth: I'm a beach junkie, so you betcha!!!

Can you all see why I love her so much? So much fun! You can check out Elizabeth’s book Past Due on Amazon or Goodreads. She is all kinds of awesome :)



Kyra Lennon said...

Lovely interview! I am not crazy about writing kissing and love scenes either - it's really hard to get them to sound as perfect as I want them to be!

Angela Brown said...

Elizabeth! Had the awesome pleasure of visiting her blog recently. What a doll :-)

I love the interview ladies, but I particularly love the part regarding the truth behind "less is more". Seems the book Liz read really brought that home.

Suzi said...

Great interview!

I live in a big town. (as in big for our state--200,000 metro area.) I love it. It's not too large, not the big city problems, but it's not too small, everybody knows your business.

As an adult, I can see the value of having those small town spys helpinkg keep kids in line, but as a kid, I would've hated it. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

"What's for dinner?" Did you tell him leftovers?
Cool that you get homemade cookies at your signings.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

What a fun interview! (Two of my favorite people!) :)
That is so cute that she bakes you cookies. :) I love small towns. We have one stop light in ours, the only on in the county!

Morgan said...

Oh my gosh! I felt like I was listening in on a conversation reading this... the banter was fantastic. And Elizabeth, you are so gorgeous. Love that picture of you. Thanks for this, Angela... TOTALLY entertaining!!!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Kyra~ you'd never know you had a bit of make them flawless!

Angela~ Me a doll? I LOVE that. Say that over a glass of vodka and it's a classic!

Suzi~ I used to dream of heading to a big town, but now that I have the kiddos, I'm content. (And I'm a horrible driver on any road that has more than two guys don't want me there!)

Alex~ you beat me here. Don't be too impressed. I'm slow. I should have told him left overs, though he wouldn't have been shocked!

Rachel~ I love Angie too. I bet we'd get in trouble if we ever hit the town together. You could come with our bail?

Sheena-kay Graham said...

As I expected from Liz she was a wonderful guest. Nice job interviewing her Angie. I loved the questions on writing and small towns. Also her son's question about dinner made me laugh. I have a brother and food is always on his mind. Excellent interview guys and it's so sweet that Liz got cookies for book signing.

Adding this post to my Check This Blog Out blog. It's a post to remember.

Emily R. King said...

Elizabeth, you crack me up. You're a fine writer and a devoted mom. It's so great to hear about your writing and life. Thanks for sharing, ladies!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Thanks Sheena-kay! Food must be a man's first love!

And Emily, that's the nicest of compliments. Thanks. :)

Cassie Mae said...

LOL, I'm giggling at your 'love scene' answer, Elizabeth. I thought your romance was hot hot hot. Haha! I think all us authors get real worried about those kissy smoochy scenes though.

Livia said...

What a wonderful interview! And yeah, kids sure do love food.

Thanks Angie for having Liz over here. She's quite a neighbor that's for sure. :)

Brittany said...

So jealous you are 1) published, and 2) able to impress your children with your food making abilities. I think mine are pretty good, so why all the complaints? Must be a girl thing.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

That's so sweet that the bookstore owner's mother bakes cookies for signings! Most of the book signings that I've been to don't serve food.
I agree with Elizabeth that too much exposition isn't good for the story. I have also read books where I skipped over sections that were too boring because there wasn't enough action.

Tara Tyler said...

great chat! nice & hometownie!
wish we could trade some weather, angie!
and i love that the kids had writing questions, elizabeth! (my boys want me to be a bestseller to make money, too =)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Cassie~ Whew! 1) glad u liked it 2)glad it's not just me!

Livia~ yeah, you say that now...wait till i move my trailer next door to you and you find out I have four rowdy boys, two barking dogs, and my lawn mowing dedication is questionable!

Brittany~ I used to be jealous too. Now, I;m jealous with people with better numbers, better contracts...oh hell, just enjoy where you're at! (and I've found with boys- the worry more about quantity than quality)

Neurotic~ The cookies were special! And when I went to the library, they had fruit trays and dips. (I think the people who know me know I'm an eater!)

Tara~ Aren't they funny? I'm like, hey guys, I'm trying!!

Kelley Lynn said...

Ah! LOVE Elizabeth. Great interview ladies!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great interview. Yeah. Kissing scenes can be hard, especially if you want them to be different.

Shallee said...

I totally agree that being a mom changes the way you look at EVERYTHING. Thanks for the interview, Elizabeth and Angela!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Ah Kelley, LOVE you too!!

Donna~ Seriously? How many different ways can you put a set of lips together?

Shallee~ Isn't it crazy? Life before them and life after them is like two different lives!

Libby said...

I love that your boys are more impressed by food than your writing, so is my hubby. :) I wouldn't ask him to walk through hell either, but he'd do the same.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Great interview. Only someone who grew up in a small town would get the red light thing. I ran a lot of them my first few months at college. I kept looking for stop signs.

Robin said...

Wow-I loved this interview. You are both all kinds of awesome! Thanks for introducing me to Elizabeth, Angela.

Fun interviews are my favorite.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Libby, we're lucky girls :)

Libby!!! I did the same thing. Only it was when I went to work in Wheeling (I had no car at college). I got pulled over by police a couple of times for it.

Robin, nice to meet you too. :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

This is such a dynamite post, there will be no rest in my butt until I get a copy of that book in my hot little hands. Love it! Especially the image of the book store owner providing homemade cookies for the book signings.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Susan~ hate to break it to you, but writing is all about resting the butt. Though your way is probably way better at burning calories!

Caryn Caldwell said...

What a wonderful interview! I love your easy-going styles. So fun! The best part, though? This quote, which so perfectly summed up what I've suspected (but haven't always wanted to come to terms with): "A long time ago, I decided if I skimmed a passage when I edit (because after umpteen readings it bored me) then I chopped it. If I was bored, the reader would be bored."

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