Please welcome author Elizabeth Horton Newton today on Peachy’s Insights.
GP: Lets just get right into this. I know that readers are curious about the authors of books they read. What do you do for fun when you aren’t writing?
EHN: I love to travel. Of course I can’t do that all the time. I read, I love going to movies and out to dinner, I take photos, and I spend a lot of time with my family, especially my youngest grandchild, Adelia. She’s five and we have a lot of fun.
GP: I’ve just recently read a couple of your books, Riddle and View from the Sixth Floor. Though both have elements of mystery and romance they really are quite different. Riddle is a purely fictional story where View From the Sixth Floor is more of an alternate ‘what if’ based on an historical event. What inspired you write these two stories so differently?
EHN: View From the Sixth Floor was inspired by my feeling an injustice had been done to Lee Oswald and his family as well as the Kennedy family and the nation as a whole. Oddly enough the story behind Riddle is also based on my concern for an injustice that has been done to native peoples in the US and Canada. There have been generations where native babies were taken from their families to be raised by white people leaving their cultures and histories behind. The theory was “Kill the Indian, save the man”. So you, see they were both motivated by unfairness within our government system. My next book also deals with something similar.
GP: I’ve felt very much the same about the way the Native Americans have been treated. Not just by adoption, but, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent children to schools away from their parents to live in dormitories and be educated by non-Native American teachers.
I think that both of the books I’ve read, those stand alone books could easily have sequels. Do you have any plans to write a series and what are you currently working on?
EHN: I have been asked that about both books by several people. They want to know what happens to the characters. At this time I have no plans to write sequels. Some stories just need to be left to the imagination of the reader. The book I’m writing now, Stolen, is about a teenager whose parents are killed when escaping a crime. She subsequently learns they are not her biological parents. There’s involvement of Federal Marshals and the Witness Protection Program, gypsies, and drug cartels. It’s a romantic thriller, but, as with my other books, it has a twist. In addition I have short stories in two previously released anthologies, another short story due out this spring; I’m working on a short story for an anthology about strong women. My husband, Neil Douglas Newton, is also an indie author, and we are working on an anthology of our short stories as well as a full length novel. It will probably be a series along the lines of Nick and Nora Charles mysteries.
GP: Indie authors have different obstacles than those who are traditionally published. As an indie author, what advice did you get when you first started that was most helpful?
EHN: I had no advice. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I had a story I was desperate to tell so I just plunged in. If I did have advice to give it would be do pre-promotion. Start to build interest in your book using social media before you even finish it. Some people disagree with that. However I really believe it’s a situation where you need to hit the ground running.
GP: I’ve seen that the indie author community is very supportive of other authors. Advice is often sought and given in different social media groups for authors. Is there anything that you wish you had known when you first started that you want to tell new authors?
EHN: The difficulty in giving that type of advice is that not every indie author writes for the same reason. Some just have a story that needs to be told. Others want to make lots of money or be the next JK Rowling. A general piece of advice is one I gleaned from others. Don’t pay for reviews. Be ready to provide free copies of your books to people who will review honestly. Make friends with other indie authors. This truly is a creative group who are happy to share their experiences. Some may be useful, others may not apply. And never forget to reach out and help new indies coming aboard.
GP: What is your typical style for planning your books; are you a planner or a pantser, as they say?
EHN: I am a planner with a lot of pantser. I usually know the entire story before I begin to write. However every once in a while I’ll be writing and suddenly the story takes a sharp left turn and I have to hang on to see where we’re going.
GP: Just for fun what is your favorite flower and would you share a memory connected with that flower?
EHN: That’s a tough one. I would have to be rather corny and say roses, especially Queen Elizabeth roses. When my youngest son was less than a year old, I’d gotten a few rose bushes for my garden. I sat him down beside me in the front yard and he dug in the dirt as I planted them. It broke my heart to leave them behind when we left New York. Then when we moved into our current home I found a Queen Elizabeth and planted it. It has bloomed beautifully every year for the past fourteen years. So did my JFK Rose and other varieties. My only failure was my Lincoln rose. Maybe I should write a Lincoln book to inspire it.
GP: Lincoln would be a great subject for a book and if it inspires a rose, all the better. Readers want to know how to find you and your books. Would you provide some links that people can follow to find you on social media and links to where to buy your books?
EHN: Thanks so much for the interview and for everything you do for indie authors. I hope your reviews encourage other reader’s to support us by reviewing our books.
Author Website: elizabethhorton-newtonauthor.com
Stumble Upon: http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/newliz0201/likes
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Horton-Newton/e/B00NSET8JY/
GP: I want to thank you again Elizabeth for joining me today. Readers please follow the links to her books. Come back this Friday for my reviews of Riddle and View From the Sixth Floor.
Enjoy a good book!