Elizabeth Horton-Newton: I started writing when I was a child because I enjoyed reading so much. I had stories going around in my head and wanted to share them. I grew up on Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allen Poe.
LBBB: How long did it take for you to write your first book?
E.H.N.: My first published book came very quickly. I was still working full time so it took me about six months to get it all done with edits and rewrites. My current work in progress is in the final editing stages and it only took about four months.
LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
E.H.N.: My first novel, “View From the Sixth Floor,” came about because of my fascination with the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Many of my stories are written around true subjects I find interesting. My next book is a romantic thriller that deals a bit with First Nation babies and illegal adoptions.
LBBB: What is your writing routine like? Do you have a set schedule or are you flexible?
E.H.N.: I do have a schedule although it isn't written in stone. I write something every day. As a blogger I try to blog at least three times a week. I review other books and write about subjects that interest me. So even if I'm not working on a book I'm writing about something. I prefer to write either early in the morning or well after midnight which leaves little time for sleeping.
LBBB: What inspires you to write?
E.H.N.: Most of the time I will dream a book before I begin writing it. Sometimes I will read something in the news, hear a snippet of conversation, or hear a bit of music and it starts me thinking. I have actually dreamed entire stories complete with dialogue. I try to begin writing at once so I don't forget parts!
LBBB: Are any of your stories written from personal experience, or any character traits that mirror yours?
E.H.N.: I think all writers have something of themselves in their books. I can see a lot of myself in Olivia Roberts. I was very quiet when I was younger and have become stronger as I grew older. I've noticed many of my female characters start out a little laid back and uncertain but something happens and they become stronger. I was in an abusive marriage for ten years and when I got out on my own I found I was tougher than I ever believed.
LBBB: When in a slump, what do you do? If you read or listen to music, what are your go-to books or music?
E.H.N.: Actually when I'm in a slump I watch action movies, court television show, or shows about true crime. I find anything to do with crime or the law to be compelling and also motivating. I can get some story ideas from those shows. I also like driving. I used to drive about three hours daily for work and wrote large portions of my book in my head while speeding along the highway.
LBBB: How do you respond to negative feedback/comments with your work?
E.H.N.: Negative feedback is just as important as positive comments are. A well thought out negative comment can help me see where I might have done things differently or what might not have worked in a book. Like all writers I love those good reviews. They show where I was on the right track. Of course you can't please everyone. But I do like to know what might have seemed off in my writing.
LBBB: What is your writing space like? Do you work anywhere or do you have a special place just for your writing? Messy or clean?
E.H.N.: I love to write either stretched out in my recliner or my chaise with my long haired chihuahua, Hannibal, tucked next to my hip and my terrier mix Scout resting his head on my shoulder. A cup of coffee at hand, a scented candle burning, and CNN in the background and I am good to go.
LBBB: Do you have a favorite author? Series?
E.H.N.: I have two favorite well known authors, Stephen King and Harper Lee. I grab anything by King as soon as it's available. Both writers had a way with words that was poetic. I have many favorite Indie authors, among them Mark Fine who wrote “The Zebra Affaire,” Glen Barrera who wrote “The Assassin Who Couldn't Dance,” and Charlie Flowers who writes the Riz Sabir series. All three very different in their styles.
LBBB: Any fur-babies?
E.H.N.: Funny you should ask. I currently have four dogs, Hannibal for Hannibal Lecter, Scout for Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird", Sasha also a terrier mix, and Ellie a Shih-Tzu. They are all rescue dogs. We have four rescue cats as well. Vlad a Maine Coon named for Vlad the Impaler, Seven because she was the seventh adoptee, Moe, and Catsy (as in "Patsy" which is what Lee Oswald said he was).
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