Elizabeth Maddrey, author of Operation Mistletoe, the Grant Us Grace series, Taste of Romance series, and more was kind enough to allow me to give her a quick interview. I was really looking forward to learning more about this new-t0-me author.
Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary this year. We have two wonderful boys and I’m blessed to be able to be home with them and homeschool. Prior to kids, I was a teacher (mostly college-level programming, though I started out teaching high school math) and a software engineer. As for writing…I’ve honestly been writing for about as long as I can remember. My mom has a degree in children’s literature and elementary education, so reading and writing were always something she encouraged. Telling stories, writing them, reading them…it was part of play time. So I still see it as play – hanging out with the imaginary people who live in my head.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
Since I’m an at-home, homeschooling mom, most of my writing happens when the kids are sleeping (either at night, or when the littlest goes down for his nap and the older has reading time.) If I’m on a deadline, I might steal a Saturday and hide away from the family for a while, but I feel guilty when I do that, so I try not to do it often. That said, I write pretty quickly, so I can knock out 2,000 words in about an hour (maybe a tad over) generally, so even if I can only squeeze in an hour a day, I can make some decent progress.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
Since I write in dribs and drabs as I have time, my laptop is indispensable. Often I’m at the dining room table (where we do school) or on the couch in the living room while the kids have enormous Minecraft-slash-Star Wars battles on the floor. I love the flexibility to write when and where time allows.
What’s your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part of writing is when the characters do something that surprises me. I’m not a planner, so I generally have two or things happen that make me sit back and think, “Huh. Did not see that coming.”
My least favorite part is editing. I don’t mind making changes and tightening things up, but as much as I enjoy the stories I write, I don’t love reading them over and over with a critical eye.
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
For my most recent book, Operation Mistletoe, that’s part of the Love’s Gift boxed set (only on Amazon), I got the idea by virtue of needing to write a Christmas novella. So I was thinking about my favorite part of Christmas and one of those is taking the kids to some of the local light displays. There are a number of places that put on amazing light shows. So that got me to thinking about the people who take the time to do that on their own dime and the time and effort…and then I had Gabe, my hero. So who should he fall in love with? Has to be someone who hates Christmas, right? But she needed a good reason, not just that she’s a Scrooge, you know? So she has all these terrible things that keep happening at Christmas. And that’s really all of the idea I plan out before I sit down to start writing and see where the story takehttps://wordpress.com/post/18729213/new/s me. I wrote Operation Mistletoe in about a month over the summer.
Do you have a go to snack while writing? (I know I do)
I don’t really snack while I’m writing – since I’m surrounded by the boys, it’s not easy to sneak a snack, and if I’m eating something they’ll want something and…it’s better just to have a big glass of water and call it a day.
You can pick up Elizabeth’s newest release Operation Mistletoe in the Loves Gift boxset on Amazon.
If you want to learn more about Elizabeth and her books you can check out her website here.
Now, I’m o0ff to start reading Operation Mistletoe.
Welcome, Elizabeth! I homeschooled my two sons for many years, so I know about stealing time!
Don’t you just love it when your stories and characters surprise you? I sure do.It never ceases to amaze me.
I wish you luck in all that you do.
I’m always in awe of homeschoolers. I taught other people’s kids all my adult life, and I knew I couldn’t teach my own! My older daughter would listen to anyone EXCEPT me. I’m also amazed when people are able to write with their children still in the house. Operation Mistletoe sounds like an awesome read. I loved reading about your writing process.
Pleased to meet you, Elizabeth. Like you, I’ve been writing since I was a school kid.
And like you, I’m often surprised by what my characters do and say.
I don’t think I could produce a single creative sentence, however, if I had to juggle all the plates you have going!