Thank you, Liz Talley, for joining us today on Mysteries and Margaritas.
Mary: I’ve been over her web site and what a fun one, it’s interactive! http://www.liztalleybooks.com/ Check it out, Liz Talley romance through the seasons. At the bottom, you can change the seasons of her site! Okay so I’m easily entertained, what can I say? Before we get started with the drilling, tell us a little bit about yourself as a person, mother, wife, daughter, etc. And since I’ve sent everyone to play on your web site, tell us something different they can’t find on the site. I’ll get to the author part soon.
Liz: Well, I married my childhood sweetheart – he’s the only fellow I’ve ever kissed. And I’m the mother of two boys. I’m the perfect boys’ mom. I can’t fix my niece’s hair to save my life though I’m great at shoe shopping. I love sports and rough-housing, so my boys fit me fine. Oh, yeah, and I’m the perfect daughter. Well, almost.
Mary: What is the most daring thing you’ve ever done in your life? And have you or will you ever use the experience in your writing?
Liz: Not very daring. I’ve danced on pool tables at bars. Ummm…when my friend and I went out in New Orleans, we’d assume fake names and jobs. I totally used that in my upcoming book. Small-town Nellie became sexy Elle. But as for diving out of planes and swimming with sharks, not really my bag.
Mary: You’re very young, a baby compared to me, but do you have a bucket list? If so, can you share?
Liz: I want to go to the Grand Canyon, ride on a train, see London, eat in Italy. Mostly my list has to do with travel. Growing up in a small town in Louisiana, I dreamed of traveling ALL over. I think that’s why books became such an escape.
Mary: Okay let’s get to Liz Talley the author now. I see you are the local RWA Chapter president, as I am. Do you find you special opportunities for your career from holding that position?
Liz: Absolutely. You get benefits by stepping up and providing leadership. For example, I see your name on the loops all the time. Editors and agents see your name under your chapter. Visiting authors see your name on correspondence. So promo is a freebie for stepping up. But the chief benefit I get (along with a few headaches) is the chance to make a difference in my chapter. I’ve been president for the past two years and before that I served as Vice-President and conference coordinator. Since I joined five years ago, our membership has grown. I like to believe that my joining struck a spark in my chapter. They’d long been “coasting” and having someone new gave them an extra reason to shine. My serving is my way of giving back for all the pep talks, critiques, and cheerleading they’ve done for me over the years.
Mary: I understand you were nominated for a 2009 Golden Heart. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to there? And how that led to publication.
Liz: Well, it didn’t lead to publication, but it did lead to lots of attention and some validity. The Golden Heart is a wonderful contest, but it is not the end all, be all. Some of it is sheer luck. But I loved the people I met through that honor. In fact I blog regularly with them at www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com. I did get more requests and people seemed to respect me a bit more. Not sure why. Nature of the beast I suppose.
Mary: Is the story nominated, the one that came out on June 8, 2010, Vegas Two-step? If not tell us why.
Liz: No. I haven’t had much luck placing my Regency finaling manuscript. Got lots of requests, but no offers. I think that’s mostly because the historical market is flooded with well-noted (and well-read) authors, and there is room for newbies, but not as much as I’d like. I’ve put my historicals away for a while. My upcoming books have kept me very busy, and I like the path I’m on. I wrote Vegas Two Step on a lark, a silly idea I had when forced to compose a pitch off the cuff. It fascinated me, and thus began a new journey for me.
Mary: Do you have more stories that will be out in the future? What are you plans going forward?
Liz: Yes, I have two more books out back to back. The Way to Texas in December 2010, and A Little Texas in Jan. 2011. Both of these books feature characters from the first one and are situated in or near my fictional East Texas town of Oak Stand. Recently, I started on a fourth book I’d like to use to round out the stories before I move my locale to Louisiana and bring some spicy culture into the mix.
Mary: Other than RWA what writing organizations to you belong to? Do you find them as beneficial as RWA? Or more so? I
Liz: I don’t really belong to any other writing organizations outside of RWA. I blog regularly with www.everybodyneedsalittleromance.com and the ruby sisters. I love both those blogs and have fun with interacting in those communities. I also visit the superromance blog on eHarlequin and the “Make Mine Supers” forum. I also recently joined Romance Divas. I love the romance community – the vital connection we all share even though we write in various genres.
Mary: What do you advise a new writer just starting out?
Liz: Sit your butt in the chair and write. The spark starts in you; everything else you can learn.
Mary: Tell us a little bit about your new release, Vegas Two-Step.
Mary: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? Answer something I haven’t thought to ask?
Liz: Well, I will tell everyone that you are a most generous person with the sweetest of hearts (and you HAVE to put this in) I also want people to know that I truly love what I do. I feel honored to create the stories I do… those happy ever after stories that make people feel good.
Thank you, Liz for the great interview. I hope you can visit us again!
Thanks for having me, Mary. I love visiting blogs and websites…it’s just like meeting at the back fence to chat!