Friday, June 7, 2013

Elizabeth Ludwig: God Is Always Faithful

Everyone's Story warmly welcomes author Elizabeth Ludwig. I became acquainted with Elizabeth a few years ago through her fabulous blog, The Borrowed Book. Elizabeth is not only a fine author, but a woman of patience when it comes to answering my how-to blogging questions. Thanks again, Elizabeth! Please join Elizabeth Ludwig, an author whose career is growing by bookshelves, as she answers a few questions and shares plenty. Also, check out the video and the nice book giveaway Elizabeth is offering.





Book Giveaway:
Elizabeth is offering to one randomly chosen commenter a paperback edition of her novel NO SAFE HARBOR, book 
#1 of the Edge of Freedom series. The winner will be announced here on Friday, June 14th, between 7-9 AM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!



                          Check out Elizabeth's video:



Questions for Elizabeth Ludwig:
Elizabeth, I’ve watched you blossom as a debut author writing cozy mysteries and novellas to a multi-book author for Bethany House. Congratulations! Has your publishing journey been as easy for you as it looks to us?

Oh, my…no. Writing is never easy. There have been many pitfalls along the way, some of which made me question if I was really doing what God intended! For example, I wrote for nearly 7 years before I landed my first contract. Then, there was a long stretch from 2009 to the early part of 2011 during which I was unable to land any new contracts. God carried me through those months and years with bits of encouragement planted along the way, but the main thing I had to keep going back to was His initial command and His promise, which came to me long before I sold my first book. It’s from Habakkuk and it says:
Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
God’s plan for my writing did tarry, but in the end, He proved He is faithful!

Why the switch from contemporary to historical fiction?

Actually, I started out writing historicals (seven manuscripts total) but I was unable to sell them, because publishing—like so many other industries—follows trends. I was told repeatedly by different publishing houses and editors that historical fiction just wasn’t selling well. Faced with this dilemma, I had to reevaluate what I was doing and whether or not I was willing to write for the current market. Shortly after, I learned that Barbour Publishing would be venturing into the cozy mystery market, and that a friend and colleague of mine would be stepping into the role of acquisitions editor. Now, there may be differing opinions on this, but I believe publishing it just too competitive not to take advantage of every opportunity. I saw this new cozy mystery line as a chance to get my foot through the publishing door, and I jumped at it! Though it wasn’t my first love, writing the cozy mysteries taught me a lot about plotting—something which I wasn’t familiar with and never really enjoyed—but something I needed to learn in order to write longer, more complexly developed novels. This is just my opinion, but I believe nothing is ever wasted, so long as I learn from the experience.

You also do speaking engagements. Peeking at the topics listed on your website, one has me curious: overcoming page fright. Can you share what page fright is?

LOL! Page fright is just another term for writer’s block—something I think afflicts every author at one time or another. But since I also do a lot of drama and theater, I couldn’t resist the urge to use a play on words.

I enjoyed NO SAFE HARBOR, Book 1 of the Edge of Freedom Series. Does this historical novel have any links to your own family’s history or did the impetus to write it come from your love of the era?

Hmm...I think I would have to say both. To start with, family members on both my side and my husband’s emigrated from Europe in the early 1900’s. Some of my ancestors were from Spain. My husband’s ancestors were from Holland, Ireland, and Germany. These brave men and women who risked everything in search of a better life were the initial inspiration for this story, but aligned with that was a love for the period, the history, even the city and setting.

Did you originally write the first book of the Edge series as a stand-alone, followed by cultivating it as a series with Book 2, or did you sell it as a series to begin with?

It’s funny that you ask this, because initially, Edge of Freedom was a two book series. It was only after some in-depth conversations with David Long, the Senior Acquisitions Editor at Bethany House, that I expanded the idea into a three book series. I’m so glad I did, because of the three, TIDE AND TEMPEST, the third and final book, was the most fun to write!

Will there be a Book 3 that follows DARK ROAD HOME, the 2nd Edge series book releasing this August?

Oops…I think I answered that in the previous question. LOL! Book three is titled TIDE AND TEMPEST, and it follows the story of Tillie McGrath, the youngest boarding house resident. Along with telling her story, TIDE AND TEMPEST finally resolves all of the unanswered questions regarding the mysterious Celt, and brings to a close the conflict between the Turners and the Hamiltons.

Now that you are a multi-book author, do you approach your writing and promoting from a different perspective compared to a debut author? Any advice to share from that hindsight knowledge?

I absolutely do. In fact, I would say changing my perspective on marketing and promotion has been a must! I really had no idea how much work was involved in marketing a new book, or that all of that had to be done while I was working on other things. For me, discipline has been the key. I’ve had to approach my writing responsibilities much like I would any other career—with dedication, commitment, and ingenuity. While there are many things that are outside my control—like sales numbers or book reviews—some things are not. I made a decision, therefore, that while I can’t control sales number, no book of mine would ever fail because I didn’t work hard enough. There may be other authors out there more talented or more creative, but I can’t control that. What I can say is nobody out there is willing to work harder.

In addition to writing you’re also a freelance editor, host a successful blog, The Borrowed Book, speaker—and all this on top of family responsibilities. What’s your balancing trick?

Are you ready for this?

I wake up around 6:00 or 6:30. I feed my dogs, and get ready for work all within an hour. If I have time, I throw in a load of laundry before heading out the door.

From 8:00-4:00, I work as a superintendent’s secretary at a public school. I have an hour off for lunch, so I try and answer email, write blog articles, and make changes to my website during that time.

Once I get home, I usually have two or three chapters to critique. I try and do those before starting supper, unless I’m on a deadline. In that case, I work on my own stuff first. After that, I clean up in a hurry and either cook (or buy) something for the family to eat. Then it’s back to the computer for an hour or two more. Usually, I try and split that time between writing and marketing/promotional obligations.

Bottom line: housekeeping doesn’t carry the same urgency it used to.

For fun: want to share what you enjoy the most during downtimes?

Well, let’s see…aside from reading and writing, I love to ski and I have a ridiculous number of dogs. Someday, I’ll write a book about my life and call it Downhill Dachshunds: Keeping up with the Pack.

Thank you so much for hosting me, Elaine! Readers can find me at:


I’m also on Facebook and on Twitter. Stop on by! I’d love to have you visit.

Elizabeth's Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet author Elizabeth Ludwig on Everyone’s Story. (Tweet This)


God’s plans for your writing? Elizabeth Ludwig wondered too. See what happened. (Tweet This)

The key to writing, promo, outside job, and Life 101? Elizabeth Ludwig shares on Everyone’s Story. (Tweet This)

Author Bio:
Elizabeth Ludwig is the award-winning author of No Safe Harbor, Book One in the Edge of Freedom series. Her popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book, enjoys a wide readership. Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas. 


30 comments:

  1. :) Hi Elizabeth, loved your interview and your focus on God and his mission. With such a fabulous base, I have every confidence your career will be amazing. Elaine,thanks for another wonderful interview! *Hugs*
    God bless,
    Diana

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    1. Diana, hugs right back to you, my friend. Thanks so much for your visit. Glad you enjoyed the interview. Do stop by again to see Elizabeth's reply :)

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    2. Thank you so much, Diana. I admit...I have to remind myself often that my writing and career have always been in God's hands. That's why I always sign my books with Hab 2:2-3!

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    3. I hear you Elizabeth, I give thanks to God daily. :)

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  2. Hi Elizabeth:-) Thanks for sharing so honestly how your writing journey and how you balance your work with the rest of life. You are an inspiration to me...I'm working on stepping it up in the area of discipline. Still don't have all my 'ducks in a row' as I juggle writing and the rest of life! Loved your 1st book BTW...I just published my 1st Historical Romantic Suspense, so I really like your books! Great interview...thanks Elaine and Elizabeth!

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    1. Hi Lorna--I love your visits here :) Elizabeth really encouraged me also regarding her grueling work day. Lesson learnt: it can be done, and with God's help.

      Glad you enjoyed the interview.

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    2. Thank you, Lorna!! So interesting that we both write Historical Romantic Suspense. There just isn't that much out there! I'm off to google your name so I can find your book. :-)

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  3. Great job on the interview! You seemed very comfortable on camera. And I enjoyed reading your writing journey. Mysteries will certainly sharpen your plotting skills. pat at ptbradley dot com

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    1. Good morning, Pat. Aways a pleasure seeing you in this little but growing corner of the world. I also admire Elizabeth's non-shy camera skills--such poise. You can tell she just let's loose & has fun.

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    2. I owe all my "on camera" confidence to a high school drama teacher who saw in me something she thought worth cultivating, and was tenacious about encouraging me. I love Mrs. B!

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  4. Elizabeth, your hard work and determination is very inspiring! I think your flexibility as a writer--taking the leap from historical fiction to cozy mysteries--is extremely admirable. As writers we so want to cling to what we are most comfortable writing. You show us what can come from exploring new forms...and perhaps raw talent. And like you said, it's never time wasted!

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    1. Sara--a warm welcome back. I'm glad you enjoyed Elizabeth's segment... and al the ways from England! Do check back later for her response.

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    2. Thank you, Sara! And you're from England??? My husband and I visited Germany and France several years back. I SO want make a return trip and put England and Ireland on the itinerary. :-)

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  5. What a great interview, Elizabeth! I love the title of the book about your life. I think you ought to do it! :)
    Joi Copeland
    booksbyjoiatcopelandclandotcom

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    1. Joi, thanks for the visit. I think the title alone of Elizabeth's memoir would excel her into the top selling rank the week of the release itself :)

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    2. (smiling) Thanks, Joi! I wonder if I could sell it??? ;-)

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  6. Fun seeing you here, Lisa!

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    1. Ane, I appreciate the visit today! Wishing you a great weekend.

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    2. Hey, buddy! Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. What an inspiration you are! I've been a little overwhelmed with marketing, writing, and home life these days. It's great to hear that it can be managed with a lot of hard work and planning.

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    1. Stephanie, thanks for the visit today to Everyone's Story. Can you also see Elizabeth's smile and feel her patience as she goes through her day? She's my new super heroine! And believe me, I need one :)

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    2. Oh, Stephanie! So good to see you. I've thought of you since meeting you at the ACFW conference last year. Best wishes on your own new book! Did you see the review I posted on the BB facebook page?

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  8. AnonymousJune 10, 2013

    I really enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Katie, thanks much for visiting today. You're now entered for Elizabeth's giveaway! Hope to see you again.

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  9. Elizabeth, thanks so much for a lovely & fun week here on Everyone's Story. Your collection of international viewer hits and these comments show many have enjoyed your segment. I pray that this exposure only helps your growing writing career.

    Also, thanks for the nice book giveaway! And the winner of Elizabeth's novel NO SAFE HARBOR is... Diana. Yea, Diana! Both Elizabeth and I will directly contact you to make arrangements with you.

    Blessings to all.

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  10. Wow, what a fabulous surprise! Elizabeth and Elaine, my sincere thanks to both of you for the wonderful blog. Enjoy your weekend, and I wish you both the best!
    God bless,
    Diana

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    1. You're so welcome, Diana. Enjoy!

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  11. Congratulations, Diana! I'll get your book out to you right away. And Elaine, thank you so much for hosting me. I truly was my pleasure!

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  12. *Hugs* Elizabeth, thank you so much, sincerely. I know I'l love your writing. Have an amazing Sunday.
    God bless,
    Diana

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