Today Liz Flaherty joins us. She is a good friend and, as you will see, a fellow Carina Press author. Liz, tell us what you've been doing.
Life is new and wonderful for me these days. I retired from the post office in 2011, promptly gained 15 pounds--overnight, I swear!--and promised my grandkids, The Magnificent Seven, that I would make each of them a bed-size quilt. I also planned to write all day, every day.
What was I thinking?
I've learned to write when I feel like it, sew when I feel like it, and maybe even to eat a little less--or maybe not. For the first time, we're wintering in Florida and I'm enjoying the newness of it. I'm having a Very, Very Good time.
I recently finished the sixth quilt and my sixth book--I'm not an overnight success, but I never give up. JAR OF DREAMS, is a new release by Carina Press. I am thrilled to the point everyone I know rolls their eyes as soon as I open my mouth.
Six quilts! I'm impressed. Liz, tell us a little about JAR OF DREAMS.
For as long as she can remember, Lucy Dolan has been jotting down her hopes on slips of paper and saving them in a pickle jar—her jar of dreams. It was the first thing she saved when the beloved family diner went up in flames, and it's safely buckled in her beat-up minivan when she lands in Taft, Indiana, to start over. She rents a room and goes into business with her landlady, but then Gert's nephew comes charging in to "rescue" his aunt.
Boone Brennan will be damned if he'll let Lucy take advantage of Aunt Gert, who raised him and his sister. Believing that she's just passing through, he's deeply suspicious of her—despite the sparks that fly between them.
Just as Boone and Lucy are starting to open up to each other, a series of fires throws Lucy under suspicion. Boone wants to trust her and his feelings, but with the whole town against her, will he stay by her side? Or will Lucy move on and find another place to make her dreams come true?
1. How long did it take you to write JAR OF DREAMS?
Goofy as it sounds, I’m not sure. It’s a story I left and came back to. To keep it as honest as I can, I’d say I probably spent a year in the writing of it.
2. How much research did you conduct for JAR OF DREAMS and what was the most interesting thing you did while conducting your research?
Tearoom research was fun. I went to them, asked questions, got attached to delicate tea cups!
3. Why did you decide to write contemporary?
It’s my comfort zone. I did write a historical romance once—HOME TO SINGING TREES—and I loved it, but I never got comfortable with it.
4. Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End?
Usually only one draft that I corrected each morning before I started to write anything new, then my editor sent me a TON of revisions!
5. When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?
Well, it’s certainly not me, and to this day, I’m not sure how I feel about that! J
6. Have you had any "ah ha" moments as a writer?
When I began to grasp Point of View. It was an excruciatingly difficult concept for me. I still screw it up sometimes!
7. What advice do you have for other writers?
The same advice I was given. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. And oh, yeah, don’t burn bridges. Don’t say mean things about anyone in the business. It can definitely come back to haunt you. Not personal experience talking there, thank goodness, but I’ve seen it happen.
8. What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author?
I think signing my next contract. J My great hope when I was first published was, that I could step off the rejections train forever. Ahem. That hasn’t happened. So my most exciting thing is always that next contract!
9. How does your family feel about your career as a romance writer?
They’re proud of me, I think, and they help—my name turns up in odd places on the internet sometimes, prefaced by the words “my mom…”
10. What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story?
In the culinary scheme of things, my work is meat loaf and mashed potatoes. I don’t believe what I write will change lives, but if it makes for a warm and satisfying afternoon, I’m good with that.
11. What was the defining moment that you considered yourself an author?
When my high school algebra teacher (bless you, Mr. Wildermuth) came to my house and brought me a bouquet of roses. He hadn’t seen me in 25 years, but he’d kept up. It was a wonderful moment.
12. With so many changes in publishing over the past year, where do you see the future of publishing going?
Oh, boy. More directions than I can begin to keep up with. And the truth is that I don’t keep up. I’m not proud of this, but just as in the old days we went through the Writer’s Market and chose what publishers we were going to try, now we have to go through the available methods and choose which of them we’re going with. It’s an exciting time in publishing, but if you happen to be old as dirt (who, me?) it’s also exhausting.
13. What makes a man attractive to you?
Being a nice guy who’s more interested in the world around him than he is in himself.
14. What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
The most interesting to me was going to Ireland. I loved it.
15. What’s your biggest dream?
No more violence. As a writer, the NYTimes list.
16. If you were a millionaire would you still write?
I think so. Maybe not books anymore, but essays and blog posts almost certainly.
Comment for a chance to win a cup and saucer. Well, more than comment. Answer this question and you’ll be entered into the drawing. What is your favorite time of day and why?
You can get your copy of JAR OF DREAMS at http://ebooks.carinapress.com/9FAA186B-F22E-4C59-B2B2-DB2848E16899/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=0A99E660-1246-4502-A9FF-9B8D34FD6E93 and on http://www.amazon.com/Jar-of-Dreams-ebook/dp/B00A22UVXC
Find Liz at her website/blog http://lizflaherty.com
On Twitter @LizFlaherty1 and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lizkflaherty
She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for stopping by Liz! Enjoy that Florida sunshine. It's 36 degrees here in New Jersey!