It’s such a pleasure to have as a guest today, Elisabeth Rose. I first met Elisabeth through Romance Writers of Australia. She was the Contest Coordinator and I was managing the Emerald Contest. I then went on to take over the coordinator role from her when she stepped down years later.
It has been wonderful to see her career grow over the years and to have been able to share in her wisdom.
Hi Elisabeth. Thanks for being a guest on my blog and answering my questions today. It’s really exciting to have you here for the first time to celebrate your new release: A Light In the Dark.
Can you tell us a little bit about your new novel?
The story has a mystery style plot. Mia comes to Taylor’s Bend to clear out her father’s house a year after he died in a murder suicide. She’s been having a frightening recurring dream which seems to imply both her father and her stepmother were murdered. The residents of the town are divided in their opinion of the event. Some despise him for what was accepted by police as his crime, others can’t reconcile the man they knew with the murder suicide. Arlo, the local newspaperman wants to interview Mia about her father but soon becomes intrigued by both her personally, and her dream. Their combined investigations lead them into danger.
Is this a standalone novel or are you planning a little bit of a series?
A Light In the Dark is the third in my romantic rural suspense series, Taylor’s Bend. The first is The Secrets That Lie Within and the second, Where There Is Smoke.
Authors are always being told it’s best to diversify in this ever-changing publishing environment. Do you write only romantic suspense, or do you also write in other genres too?
The majority of my books are sweet contemporary romance but I also have one paranormal story called Shadow Music. I have a couple of romantic suspense titles which are set in Sydney rather than rural Taylor’s Bend.
What are you working on currently?
I have two things on the go at the moment. One is a romantic family comedy/drama which I’m drastically revising and rethinking after comments from my editor, the other is a fourth Taylor’s Bend story.
If you are traditionally published, can you share with us your ‘Call’ story?
I started writing with a view to being published back in 2000. I was aiming at Mills and Boon/ Harlequin because at the time they were the romance publishers. I wrote about five or six manuscripts targeting the family or sweet lines but could never nail the right tone although the rejection letters —and they were letters not emails—were always encouraging. Submitting and waiting for a reply by mail took ages and ages which gave me plenty of time to work on the next story. As the years ticked on, internet information improved and yielded lists of publishers and their genres. I discovered one called Avalon in New York which had guidelines that seemed to fit what I’d already written so I sent off (by mail) a story called Leopard’s Spots about Grace, a girl who decides she’s too easy going and needs to be more assertive. Unfortunately she can’t get the attitude right and comes across to her handsome new neighbour as rude and obnoxious.
After a long wait of about eight months, I had a rejection letter from an assistant editor saying she didn’t like the heroine for a couple of reasons. It seemed to me her objections could be easily fixed so I screwed up my courage, worked out the time zones and rang NY. She was surprised but very amenable to a chat and said ‘Sure, fix it and I’ll read it. Send the full.’
I did and waited and waited until finally in 2006 an email came from a different editor saying ‘we love it’. Retitled as The Right Chord it came out in 2007 and is still available on Amazon. I went on to write eight books for Avalon until the owner sold to Amazon in 2013 and all the Avalon authors became Montlake authors.
What do you think is the best advice you could give to a new writer with an aspiration to being published?
Learn your craft. Spelling and grammar are the tools of your trade so don’t rely on someone else to fix things for you. Nothing shouts unprofessional as loudly as poor spelling, punctuation or grammar. Read a lot. Read different genres even if they’re not your favourites. Read well-known authors to see why they’re popular.
Stay true to your heart and write your own stories because you love them and they need to be told. No-one can take that from you.
Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today Elisabeth. It was fun finding out a little bit more about you and your writing.
You can buy Elisabeth Rose’s latest novel, A Light In the Dark from:
Multi-published in romance, author Elisabeth Rose lives in Australia’s capital, Canberra. She completed a performance degree in clarinet, travelled Europe with her musician husband and returned to Canberra to raise two children. In 1987, she began practising tai chi and now teaches tai chi classes. She also plays and teaches clarinet. Reading has been a lifelong love, writing romance a more recent delight.