Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Presenting Guest Author, Liz Flaherty

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?
This sounds like a great story. I have a few questions for you.

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?

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 lizkflaherty@gmail.com
Thanks for stopping by Liz! Enjoy that Florida sunshine. It's 36 degrees here in New Jersey!


  1. Thanks for having me today, Ruth. I'm having a great time giving away cups and saucers and looking forward to the release of JAR OF DREAMS!

  2. Sounds like a great story, Liz! Favorite time of day? Whatever time it is that I down that first gulp of Dr. Pepper...oh, my! Nothing beats it. LOL

  3. I'm so excited to see this wonderful book getting released. They are characters you'd want to have as your next door neighbors. Congrats!

  4. Great interview Liz! And Jar of Dreams sounds WONDERFUL!

  5. You have me hooked. I'm so looking forward to "Jar of Dreams" coming out.
    And I look your style of writing when you feel like it and quilting when you feel like it. Doing the things you love to do helps make your writing better.
    Congrats on your 6th book.

  6. You have me hooked. I'm so looking forward to "Jar of Dreams" coming out.
    And I look your style of writing when you feel like it and quilting when you feel like it. Doing the things you love to do helps make your writing better.
    Congrats on your 6th book.

  7. Thanks, Delia. Dr. Pepper is a good time, isn't he? :-)

    Thanks, Christi and Molly!

  8. My favorite time is late at night after everyone is tucked in. Having teenagers, sometimes that is very late! Lol
    The jar is a cute idea and has me intrigued. Is the town fiction?

  9. Liz! Love the idea of the book and the charm of the title - I'm terrible at titles! Can't wait to read it!

    Favorite time of day is after dinner, when the kitchen is clean (we're always eating, so it's never really clean) and Ron and I settle down under a blanket to watch television after he's been in his studio all day and I've been writing. We reconnect and relax.

    Happy Days, Liz!

    Muriel Jensen

  10. Hi Liz,
    You know the Brits think good cuppa can cure almost anything frm heartbrake to frostbite. Now thee is medical research that it does help.

    Who knew?

    Good luck wth Jar of Dreams.

  11. Love the cover and the concept of keeping dreams in a jar. And, I'm with you, the best day is signing the next contract.

  12. Liz, your story sounds fun - great premise. You're also a woman after my own heart - promise the world and do your best to make it happen. Jealous about the retirement but congrats. My favorite time of day: early mornings. I love to watch the dawn break. Something about the transformation from night to day - dark to light, rejuvenates me. Thanks to Ruth for a fun author spotlight.

  13. Great interview. I tweeted.

  14. Jar of Dreams sounds wonderful! Loved this interview:) My favorite time of the day is morning. There is something magical about natural light and quiet.

  15. Nice interview gals. Liz, I love the sound of your book. So, my favorite time of day? That depends on the season. In spring/summer I enjoy sitting on the porch to write in the early morning. In winter and late fall it's curled up on the couch with my laptop sipping hot coffee with the occasional hot chocolate or hot tea.

  16. Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

  17. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. It was great learning more about Liz and how she came up with the idea for Jar of Dreams. I can't wait to read it! (Wish I could sew!) I was impressed with the 7 quilts. My favorite time of day has got to be early morning. Then my brain is refreshed; it's quiet, and I'm ready to write!

  18. I wish I could quilt. My BFF does and they are so beautiful!

  19. My favorite time of day is when I get home from work. Because I'm home and not at work.

    Or early in the morning--especially in the spring when the air is fresh, crisp, and new.

  20. More thanks for more visitors--I so appreciate the support.

  21. Liz -

    Thank you again for sharing your story and answering our questions. Best wishes on release day.

    Now, the winner of the give is Pamela Tracey. Congratulations, Pamela. Liz will be in touch with you shortly.

    ... Ruth