Friday, November 2, 2012

Beach Chat with Eliza Fleetwood

I am so so so happy to welcome to Eliza Fleetwood to the blog today.  She has been a trusted critique partner for almost a dozen years and has recently released her debut novel.  But I’ll let her tell you about that.  So let’s get chatting:   

Beach chat with: ELIZA FLEETWOOD

Recommend a Beach Read: Depends. If I'm in a historical mood, Julia Quinn’s An Offer From A Gentleman is an old favorite, a Cinderella story that combines humor and romance. The Blond Leading The Blond by Jayne Ormerod (and no, she didn’t pay me) or Abraca Uh-Oh by Sandra Brown Rarey if I am looking for something hysterically funny and fun.  

Most cherished beach memory:
Is not of the ocean, but of a river beach. Surprisingly, since moving to the Outer Banks, I rarely dip my toes in the sand. When my son was a toddler and my step-daughter was about 12, we lived near Fredericksburg, VA and spent most nice weekends boating on the Potomac River. At a bend in the river, there was a deserted beach that was a collection point for fossilized sharks’ teeth. We spent hours and hours searching for sharks’ teeth, chasing a toddler, fishing and swimming. I loved the isolation of it, like I was an explorer or a member of Gilligan’s castaways. I still have hundreds and hundreds of sharks’ teeth in the base of a lamp I made.    

     One author, living or dead, with whom you’d like to sip Mai Tais with on Waikiki Beach : This is a tough one, so I am going to cheat a little. I picture myself walking down Waikiki beach, fruity drink with a tiny umbrella sticking out of it in my hand. Jane Austen is beside me, scoping out the surfer dudes, her eyes wide as saucers as she sees bare chests and legs for probably the first time in her life. Mark Twain approaches, swigging bourbon from a bottle. Janet Evanovich is beside him, laughing and carrying a…hamster? Never mind that last part. What a party that would be.

Worst non-writing job you ever had: My first real job, mall shoe store clerk. If I had stayed there, I would have been the female “Al Bundy.” I have to thank Rick Rix, or whatever his name is, for firing me to hire his wife. I didn’t see it for the blessing it was at the time. After 2 years there, I still made minimum wage, less than $3 an hour. No offense to retailers everywhere, but it was not where my talents lie.

Favorite quote or saying: Today it is, “I cannot make speeches, Emma. If I loved you less I could talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me.” Mr. Knightly to Emma in Jane Austen’s Emma. (If you ask me tomorrow, you will probably get a different answer.)

Song that you dance to (when no one is watching): I NEVER dance when people are watching, but when I am home by myself I might dance to Bron-Y-Aur Stomp by Led Zeppelin. I can’t not move when I hear it.
  
Three of your favorite things: Sunrises and sunsets over the water. Relaxing with my family and friends. Days off work with the house to myself, just me and the cats.

Two secret vices:
 #1) Payday Candy Bars. Salty and sweet. Come to think of it, I may have to replace one of my favorite things. I don’t buy Payday’s anymore. If I have one in the house, I start slicing off little pieces here and there trying not to eat it all at once. Next thing I know, I am popping the last little piece in my mouth and licking the wrapper. Not really. (At least, not while anyone is watching.)
Vice #2) Movies of classic British Novels. Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Emma. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites. No version can hold a candle to the Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle version. I can watch them over and over, but only when no one else is at home. If you read my favorite quote, I bet you can guess what I watched yesterday.

One pet peeve: Ah, there are so many, but I will have to pick one that won’t get me in trouble with any of my family or co-workers. No politics, either. Hmm, though I live with 2 other people, I seem to be the only one who can choose what to have for dinner. And when I go to the grocery store and ask for menu ideas, the most common response is, “I just ate. I can’t think about food now,” this spoken in an incredulous tone as if I am crazy for asking. I have explained that the food doesn’t just magically appear in the fridge, but to no effect. Wow, that came out a little bitter. Sorry. If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t waste it on some huge house or new car. I’d pay someone to plan meals and go to the grocery store.  

About Eliza: 
The Formal Bio- I was born in a tiny town in Southern Illinois, population 5000. The number of taverns in my hometown back then was 12. They took their drinking seriously. When I was in my early teens, my family moved to Northern Virginia. Due to among other things, an intense dislike of snow, I kept moving south until I ended up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, once the home of notorious pirates and Andy Griffith. I live with my significant other of more than 30 years, my son and my three cats.
The Real Story- After more years than I care to count in the scintillating banking and insurance industries I decided to allow the voices in my head to escape. I write what I love to read, emotional stories of love, war and murder, Historical Romance and Contemporary Romantic Suspense. I live on a narrow strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Albemarle Sound, in Kill Devil Hills, so named, legend has it, after the rum the pirates said was strong enough to kill the devil. My teenage son has effectively driven me insane and if it weren't for my significant other, I would be well on my way to becoming the neighborhood's crazy cat lady.
I just released my first novel on Kindle. Defying Darkness is set in Warsaw during World War 2, it is a story of passion, of love triumphing over hate, of hope conquering despair. To learn more about the book and read an excerpt, go to:  http://elizafleetwood.wix.com/defying-darkness?from_fb=1#!home/mainPage   

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