Thursday, November 25, 2010

Guest Author Day with Liz Arnold/Excerpt

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
I’m a historical romance writer because I have read and loved the genre since my mother introduced me to English author Catherine Cookson back in the seventies. I am a history freak and a writer, so the two passions united when I felt compelled to write fiction.

My degree is in journalism and I have published almost 1000 freelance articles in the last 25 years but the reading I do for me has always been historical romance. I simply combined my training (journalism) with my passion (historical romance.)

Besides that, I live in the mid-east, I’m married with children, teach a bit at one of the local colleges, journal compulsively, cook, and practice yoga every day.

What comes first for you when you sit down to write a book? Plot or Characters?
For me, it’s plot—historical driven plot. I find characters along the way after I’ve found a historical event that piques my interest. Although my latest book MESSAGE TO LOVE grew out of a dream about characters, the plot gave the characters a purpose. I like that. My characters represent some aspect of the historical situation. They are embodiments of the struggle taking place in the historical setting and consequently within their hearts. “Can they find love in spite of their differences?” is the fundamental question. It’s a natural tension provided by the historical events. I just add the sexual tension to increase the pressure.

Do you "cast" your characters using pictures or actors to help inspire you when you're writing?
Cool question because everyone is influenced by images whether they realize it not. My first reaction is “no” to the specifics. I do not have a pop culture icon in mind as I write to help me envision my characters. The characters are their own persons, if that makes sense. I birthed them, I give them a problem, but how they solve the problem is dependent upon their baggage. It’s the baggage that floats them or drags them down. Either way, it makes for great conflict.

I will, however, admit to having pictures of Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable nearby at all times.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to finish?

What are you working on now?
The current WIP is a pioneer historical romance set in early Ohio after the Revolutionary war. There are Indians, a smallpox epidemic, captivity, a harrowing trip down the raging Ohio River, and a mysterious night stalker who murders just about anyone in it’s path.

If there was a soundtrack to your latest novel, what genre/songs would be included?
MESSAGE TO LOVE is set in turn-of-the-century Cuba. The songs popular at that time such as “After the Ball”, which my heroine and hero dance to, is typical of the time period but not very exciting. The music genre today would have to be Latino songs by Shakira and Santana.

Which of your characters would you most likely fall for if they were real?
I would be head over heels for Jackson. He’s the partner of my hero Rollins. He’s funny, level-headed, and loyal. Love him!

What do you feel are the benefits of the new electronic readers such as Kindle 2 or Sony Digital Book Reader to the environment?
Environmentally the electronic revolution is seriously combating paper waste and I’m enthusiastic about the future of digital reading. On the flip side, there is an inherent insecurity for me associated with wireless reading. Lots of us live in daily fear of hard drives crashing and losing everything AGAIN. We are all slaves to the speed or lack thereof of the Internet and it’s very frustrating to think that something we love like a story in a “book” may not always be there. Someone or something can snatch it away in the snap of an electronic finger. Even though I am thoroughly behind the digital publishing explosion, I still go to used book sales and collect everything I can afford. Electronic reading may contribute to the overall health of the environment, but I’m not so sure our nerves can accept the stress just yet of the vulnerability of the concept. But at the end of the day, you can’t take books with you when you go so why be so obsessive about them?

I believe in ebooks, but something Franklin D. Roosevelt said to the Booksellers of America in 1942 keeps the soft spot in my heart for books.

“We all know that books burn--yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die.”

What character (s) in any of your books is most like you?
There’s a bit of my stubbornness in Audra in MESSAGE TO LOVE.

What is the most ridiculous thing that you have thought about doing to any of your characters but never did?


What is your favorite Ice Cream flavor?
My favorite flavor of ice cream is anything cherry: cherry nut, cherry vanilla, chocolate cherry.

If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would that be and why?
Me, a servant? On your knees and scrub the floor, wench, for even thinking such a thing. Pish-posh!

Where can we find you on the ‘Net?
My blog is the place I frequent the most:

I’m also a regular place holder at The Wild Rose Press Yahoo group.

I’m always thrilled to hear from readers and love mailing them goodies. For a FREE BOOKMARK send SASE to P.O. Box 1322, Parkersburg, WV 26102

Email:

Also,

I am the featured author for November at The Paperback Palace www.pbkpalace. com and I'm giving away a lovely romance reader's basket the end of the month. It has a sweetheart coffee mug and a copy of my new book MESSAGE TO LOVE and an assortment of other goodies in it!
Send an email to me with your name and email by 11/30 to be entered to win! Good luck.

Liz Arnold
Email: lizarnoldromance@ yahoo.com
Blog: www.lizarnoldbooks. wordpress. com



MESSAGE TO LOVE
Sizzle, spice, and intrigue heats up the Spanish American War in 1898.
June 2010
The Wild Rose Press, www.thewildrosepres s.com
BUY: http://www.thewildr osepress. com/message- to-love-paperbac k-p-4088. html


EXCERPT:

“It was a dream, just a very bad dream.” She stepped back out of his hold. Clammy spots of moist heat lingered on her arms where his hands had been.
“I’m all right now.” Audra reached for the door and noticed the sickly sweet odor of liquor on his breath. “You can leave now. I want to go back to bed.” She pulled open the door and gestured into the hall.
“Sorry, but this time you’re going, too.” Rollins strode over to the dresser and pulled out a drawer. “Better pack. We have just under two hours.”
“I’m not in the mood for comedy, Rollins,” she sighed. “I’m really very, very tired. I’ve got to get some rest. Now—“
“Let me make myself clear.” He sounded gruff. “I said we’re leaving, and unless you want to get on a ship bound for Santiago with your shirttails hanging out, better change and get ready.” He made to leave the room. “I hope you have a shawl or something. It’s gotten cooler out, and we have half an hour in a wagon to get to port.” Then he vanished into his own room next door, leaving Audra gape-mouthed in the hallway.
“Who does he think he is?” She growled as she stamped her foot against the cold hard floor. “Infuriating! He is absolutely infuriating!” Audra heaved the door shut with gusto. “These are not my shirttails, either!”


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