Today’s Work-In-Progress Wednesday guest is Elizabeth Preston. Welcome Elizabeth!  Can you share a life memory you recall frequently and tell us why you think about it?

EP: I was in a swimming pool in Lake Taupo with my two sons. Lake Taupo is a huge lake in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand. We were splashing around when my hubby ran out of our motel room and called out,” Get out of the pool. We’ve got to drive home (to Auckland) then hurrying up and pack to move to Australia.” We had 3 miserly weeks to pack up our home, rent it out, find schools for the boys in a new country and move permanently to Australia – because of his job. That move changed my life.

MJ: I can’t imagine having only three weeks to uproot my entire life.  What are your top three dream destinations and why?

EP: 1) Alaska, because I love the novelty of the cold. It’s hot in Australia. 2) Canada, because I want to see a bear in the wilds – other than a Koala bear. 3) A little Scottish village, because I love little villages, especially ones with cute pubs and quaint sweet shops.

MJ: Name one thing most people don’t know about you.

EP: I was a monstrously, badly behaved six year old – for my parents anyway. I had numerable temper tantrums and sulked often. I still remember doing it. I was a brat at home and an angel out. Fortunately, I outgrew my bad behavoiur. My husband might disagree!

MJ: LOL! What’s your secret talent?

EP:  Growing big fat vegetables. I dream up scenes while I thin out the carrots and string up the beans.

MJ: That’s a useful talent to have. What is the top book on your TBR pile?

EP: Soul Mate Publishing writer Larynn Ford’s book Rescued.

MJ: Do you have any recurring dreams? If so, will you share one with us? 

EP: I’ve had the same dream twice lately. I’m locked in a car with a child who keeps poking me in the back. Both times I’ve woken up and found that my small dog has gotten up onto my bed and is asleep pressed tight against me.

MJ: If you didn’t write, what would be your creative outlet?

EP: I’d sew dog clothes.

MJ:  Other than writing, what would be your dream job?

EP:  Working in a zoo or a wildlife park.

MJ: If you had a theme song, what would it be?

EP:  I’m happy, happy, happy.

MJ: Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

EP: My dog.

MJ: If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be and why?

EP:  Angelina Jolie, and not just because of Brad Pitt. The girl does great charity work too.

MJ: Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version of the story?

EP:  No. I always like the book better.

MJ: What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?

EP:  One piece of toast with Vegemite and one cup of peppermint tea.

MJ: Describe your ideal/dream writing space

EP: I’m a log cabin person. I want the crisp morning, the hot coffee and the sun streaming in.

MJ: Briefly describe your writing day/process

EP: First up, read emails on the Soul Mate Publishing author loop. Next, comment on blogs. Then walk the dog and dream up the scene I’ll write that day. I only write for a couple of hours – got other life things I have to squeeze into the day too.

MJ: Name one writing-related website you use a lot.

EP: Fiction University

MJ: What book do you wish you could have written?

EP:  Either Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte or Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

MJ: Plotter or pantser?

EP:  Bit of both. I’m bored with my story is I plan too much and run a muck if I pants it completely. I use an outline.

MJ: What romance convention/cliche most sets your teeth on edge?

EP:  …and a tear rolled down her cheek.

MJ: Do you believe in writer’s block?

EP: Yes. When I can’t picture a scene, or a character then I read instead. Eventually the answer comes. 

MJ: Name three things on your desk right now.

EP: My lucky elephant from Thailand. A framed print-off of my ebook cover, my debut. A small pot of violets that my son gave me.

MJ: Love and true love – what is the difference and what do your characters believe about LOVE?

EP: Hunter and Alice believe that you risk your life for true love. Undying love is what they’ll give their children.

MJ: Would you consider self-publishing?

EP: Absolutely. Some of the top sellers are self pubs.

MJ: Do you listen to music when you write? Explain.

EP: No. I prefer the sounds around me: birds, wind in the trees, builders working in the distance. I try to hear background noise and use it in my stories.

MJ: Do you collage your story before writing? Explain.

EP: If it is an historical story, then yes. I cut out pictures of clothing in the era, buildings, types of food, the insides of their kitchens.

MJ: Synopses: love them or hate them?

EP:  Synopses are fine. Two line hooks are harder.

MJ: Ready for the lightning round? Addams Family or Munsters?

EP: Addams Family. They remind me of my own.

MJ: Wine-red or white?

EP: Red, and Champagne

MJ: Oh yeah. Love that bubbly! Beer: Can or bottle?

EP: Neither

MJ: Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day?

EP:  St Patrick’s Day because we get that one in Australia

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?

EP: Captain Phillips.

MJ: Favorite TV show?

EP: Orange is the New Black.

MJ: Favorite band when you were in high school (Marching band doesn’t count)?

EP: Elton John or Deep Purple. They can fight it out for top spot.

MJ: Coke or Pepsi:

EP: Both go well with rum

MJ: Introvert or extrovert?

EP: Introvert.

MJ: Favorite ethnic food?

EP: Japanese.

MJ: And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Can you share the first few lines of your current work in progress?

EP: Of course!

I watched it happen. I had my driving glasses on so I saw it all in great detail. There is much I could tell the police, if I wanted to. But I’ve never been one for involving the authorities. Don’t go thinking I’ll forget what I saw; I won’t. That accident will live inside my head forever, no matter how hard I try to push it out.

I’d parked myself in the rest area at the side of the road; it’s the perfect place to stop if you need a break from driving or if you want to take in the sights. From there, you get a view of the entire gorge, all the way down to the river.

It was no surprise then when I saw the little yellow Suzuki car hurtling along. Anyone wanting to drive from one side of Galston Gorge to the other had to follow that wiggly road and be seen by me.

MJ: Very nice! How can people purchase your current release?

EP:   http://www.amazon.com/Outcasts-Elizabeth-Preston-ebook/dp/B00LMNZD60/

MJ: And how can they follow you on social media?

EP: I have a blog — elizabethpreston.wordpress.com

MJ: Thanks again for joining me, and good luck with your writing!

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10 Responses
  1. maggie mundy says:

    So much fun reading all your comments. I live in Adelaide so know about Aus but started in the UK. Its hard to move but it makes you look at the world more widely.

    • Thanks Maggie. Like many other Australians and New Zealanders, I also have English roots (an English father and Scottish mother.)
      When I was growing up, England was considered ‘home.’
      Not now though. I’m an Aussie with a New Zealand accent. I love the fact that I’ve got an American publisher. Who knew that Americans are such nice people!

  2. Anne B. Cole says:

    Green beans and carrots are growing in my Indiana garden right now—yum! I loved your book, The Outcasts, and I’m looking forward to your next!

  3. Hi Elizabeth, Great interview! Enjoyed learning more about you.

  4. Karen Lopp says:

    It was so fun getting to know you better, Elizabeth. Best wishes for your book.

  5. Thanks so much for hosting me today MJ. The questions are a great idea, they make your blog a lot of fun.

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