From the Western bracket comes the expert Liz Adair.
If you could be a character from any book, who would you be and why?
That’s a real hard question, because I wouldn’t like to be anyone else. If you asked who my favorite character is, I’d say that one of the names on the top of the list would be Horatio Hornblower. Maybe that’s because, after reading the eleven book series, I’ve got to know him so well, but I like him because he’s an ordinary man, flawed in many ways, but with an inner moral compass that drives him to do heroic things.
|Ioan Gruffudd as Horatio Hornblower|
I feel the same way about Ross Poldark. He’s a little more flawed than Hornblower, but he’s a lover of equality in a time and a land where inequality is taken for granted.
|Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark|
If you could co-write a book with any author who would you co-write it with?
I’d write with Tanya Parker Mills because she has such a diplomatic way of dissuading me from hanging too many adjectives on unsuspecting little nouns.
How many hours do you spend on writing a day?
Not nearly enough to get something accomplished. I spend a lot more time at my computer than I do writing.
What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Plant your derrière in your office chair (that’s a rhyme and I didn’t even plan it), place your fingers on the keyboard, and type. Thinking and planning won’t get the book written, and inspiration seldom comes until you’ve shown that you’re in a position (described above) to receive it.
How have your personal experiences affected your writing?
My personal experiences have provided great literary moments in my writing. Well, at least mediocre literary moments. Pulling the calf in Counting the Cost? That was personal experience. Teaching school in a tiny, remote logging community like in Cold River? Personal experience. Getting caught in a storm aboard a small boat like in Mist of Quarry Harbor? My knuckles are still white from that personal experience, and it was twenty years ago.
How long did it take you to publish your first book after you started trying? It took ten years, and the book that was published wasn’t the first one I wrote.
Is there a movie (gasp) that you prefer over the book version? I loved the movie version of The Age of Innocence. I think I preferred it to the book, though I read the book ages ago. I mean, Daniel Day Lewis makes anything better. Think of The Last of the Mohicans. Yup. That movie was definitely better than the book.
Do you write in your PJ's? Yes! I finally take my shower and get dressed around noon. I’m much more productive that way.
Do you use a laptop or a desktop for writing? I only have a laptop, so that’s what I write on. I do have an Alphasmart that’s wonderful for toting around and writing in places where I don’t want my laptop, like the beach or camping.
What is your favorite quotation?
I hope you’re not expecting something literary or uplifting. My favorite quotation is a snarky comment by Winston Churchill about then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. He said, “[John] Foster Dulles is the only case I know of a bull who carries his china shop with him.”
What is your favorite cereal?
My favorite cereal is oatmeal, which is crazy because I hated it as a child. Sometimes when my husband is gone in the evening, I’ll have it for supper.
If you were a crayon what color would you be?
I’d be some sort of lavender. When I was younger I probably would have been purple, but I’ve lost oomph through the years, so lavender is all I can muster now. But it would have to have a suave name, like ‘last of the sunset’ or ‘twilight glow’ or ‘faded regality.’
Do you prefer summer or winter?
Neither. I love the fall. I love the harvest, the gathering in and putting by. I love the warm days that have the hint of crispness, morning and evening, a portent of what’s to come, but not yet.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?
I’m going to write two (count ‘em, TWO) books this year. I’m bringing back Spider Latham, and he’s got a mystery or two he’s got to solve.
The world would be a better place if . . .?
. . . people forgot about putting ‘special sauce’ on hamburgers. Mustard is what a hamburger needs. Mustard makes you sit up and take notice; it makes you straight-arrow true; it reddens your blood and stiffens your spine. Don’t even get me started about putting mayo on hamburgers.
What is something you've always wanted to try?
I’ve always wanted to try singing in a Broadway musical, but the lack of any vocal talent has made it inadvisable.