Cover of "Fortune's Hostage"
Good morning, Elizabeth. Welcome to Vision and Verse. I love your Facebook Author Page. It is very beautiful. SO tell us, what have your written?
Written in Omen, Book 1 in the Voice of the Wind: Shadows of Time and Fortune’s Hostage, Book 2 in the series. I’m working on the edits for Cursed in Love, Book 3 in the Voice of the Wind series. I’m also almost finished writing a novel that’s set in Oklahoma City in 1931. It’s about two orphan sisters (ages 11 and 5) who have run away from an orphanage and have joined up with a gang other kids who are living on the streets. I’ve had a blast writing it as the story was inspired by a childhood incident and a dream that I had years later.
What is your favorite genre to write?
I don’t write in any particular genre, so I just categorize my writing as literary fiction, but it usually incorporates a little from every genre.
And what is your favorite food?
Desserts! No, I like any kind of fruits — watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, pears. Mexican and Chicken.
Where would you like to visit?
The Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. I would love to visit the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Scotland and Ireland.
Favorite musical artist?
Sting is my favorite musical artist. I also like Florence and the Machine. When writing, listening to music is often too distracting, especially if there are lyrics. My mind starts wandering off on story ideas. I love listening to various movie scores or classical composers like Gustav Mahler when I write — anything that doesn’t have lyrics. My husband plays guitar and other music instruments, so when he’s in his music room working on composing a song I listen to his guitar music.
What makes you laugh?
Anything might tickle my funny bone — old I Love Lucy and Andy Griffith episodes. Anything off the wall. My son enjoys doing impersonations and “voices.” The antics of my dog and cat. Steve Martin, the comedian, once pulled a joke on me and told me I was bananas.
How old were you when you started writing?
When I was 10 and in Mrs. Esther Steele’s 5th grade, she saw the spaced out daydreamer and harnessed me to reality by assigning me as our “class reporter.” I scribbled the “news,” Mrs. Steele edited and graded, and then I rewrote my little class news article. After school my mom would drive me over to Molly Week’s house. Molly was a reporter for the Mangum Star newspaper in Mangum, OK. Molly always paid me with a stick of Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum. The “news” I wrote appeared in Friday’s newspaper. So it was fun getting to read something I wrote in the newspaper.
Where do you get your inspiration?
For me, writing starts way before scribbling words on the pages of a notebook — writing starts in imagination, pretending and natural curiosity — or dreams. My earliest memories began in imagination. I try to catch the images — the mirages, movement, all the sensory stuff into words on paper. And, very clumsily, too. Other times, it’s standing in front of the kitchen sink, washing dishes, staring out the window and letting my mind roam. Ideas sprout from conversations and sometimes an odd article I’ve read.
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I goof off. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about the characters, observing their little scenarios, eavesdropping on their conversations. Detailed scenes flash through my thoughts. I just let the cauldron bubble and simmer. I read a lot. Sew. Look at photos. Photos are great inspiration.
Who is your favorite author?
I have too many favorite authors from since I first began reading. My favorite author is usually the author I’m reading at the moment, but I guess my all-time favorite contemporary writer is Diana Gabaldon.
I love her, too! Best book you ever read.
Do I have to pick just one?
Okay then, the books that stick most in my mind are Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Gabaldon’s Outlander, and of course, J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories.
Who is the one person who has influence your personal life the most and why?
I can’t say there’s any one person who has influenced my personal life the most. Too many people have influenced me. Some positive; some negative — my mom (conscience) and dad (high-strung). I had a lot of unusual early childhood experiences that pretty much shaped my feelings and thoughts. My dad was a small town physician, a jovial social person that everyone loved, but at home we kids toed the line for fear of the paddle on our behinds. He used to take me on house calls to meet his elderly, bed-ridden patients. I was all eyes and ears. My mom was always the moral compass. To keep me busy when she had a toddler and infant to take care of and the house, plus my dad and me, she sat me at the kitchen table, plunked down a Sears & Roebuck catalog in front of me along with an empty coffee tin, and gave me a pair of my dad’s surgical scissors. I was probably about 4. I spent hours cutting out stuff — mostly people — and filled up the coffee tin with paper doll stories. I more or less coerced my younger sister into playing paper dolls with me and we made up week-long story lines. Our favorite was when the maid and butler kidnapped the family and held them hostage. Oh, that was one big soap opera!
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
My Grandma, Dora Timmons, my mom’s mom. She was probably the wisest person I knew, always surprising me with her many superstitions and accurate weather lore — pioneers who farmed probably all shared a sensibility with the earth and nature. She didn’t have any teeth (I was fascinated when she ate) and she raised six kids out in far Southwestern Oklahoma in Greer County on a cotton and wheat farm. They had no indoor plumbing and no indoor facilities, not even an outhouse. Their drinking water came from a cistern. As a young kid, I could not tell you how many times I worried about getting pecked on the butt when I was outside taking care of business. I spent a lot of time on the farm with her and grandpa. There are a lot of memories in that old farmhouse, gathered around a pot-bellied stove, and many of them have found their way into my writings.
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Observe everything and everyone in your environment; carefully observe your own thoughts, your actions, and whatever catches your attention and imagination. Write, write and rewrite millions of words. Read everything, study how the words and sentences ebb and flow, their rhythms. If your writing “sings” to you, maybe you’ve found your voice. Kick your ego to the curb and never stop learning. Be strong.
Another cover to share with us?
You can find more about my writing here:
Author FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/EA-Monroe/459769297421748
Personal FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.monroe.391
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Monroe/e/B008KACMBC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Also, this website/publisher features my books: http://www.quillerworks.com