Sunday, July 19, 2015

Aloha to Elizabeth John and JUDGING JOEY

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It is my pleasure to introduce you to Elizabeth John, another romance author I met at the NJRW meeting in June.   From her bio,


Elizabeth John’s love of reading and writing began in her early childhood and blossomed throughout her teenage years. Her first real job was working in a library, and it was there that the cover of a Gothic romance intrigued her. She read it and has been hooked on romances ever since. Elizabeth has published many newspaper and magazine articles and several short stories. For a few years, she enjoyed writing ceremonial resolutions for her state’s senators and assembly members. When she’s not penning contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels, she’s teaching elementary school children how to read and write. Admittedly, she’s a TV and movie junkie and has noble intentions to practice yoga daily. Her day job, family, and writing life keep her busy! In her spare time, she can be found walking her dogs, sharing a meal with friends, gardening, or relaxing at the beach with her nose in a good book.

Learn more about Elizabeth and her books at elizabethjohn.com.

Kim:  Jersey girl!  What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of New Jersey?

Elizabeth:  Oh, I like this question! My favorite place is the Jersey Shore. When I drive down the coast and see the water, my body instantly relaxes. The scent of the salty sea air, the call of the seagulls, the beautiful sailboats floating in the bay, ah, the scene is breathtaking. After the big stock market plunge a few years ago, my husband and I decided to scrape together the rest of our savings and buy a tiny house on the shore. The house hadn’t been updated since the 1970s and aside from electrical and plumbing work, we did most of the renovations ourselves. Our bungalow still needs a lot of work but, believe it or not, this house survived Super Storm Sandy, for which we were so grateful. It’s our little sanctuary.

Kim:  You must have been in heaven working in a library! What about the cover of the Gothic romance intrigued you? Do you still read Gothic romances?

Elizabeth:  That’s true! I worked as a Page for the New York Public Library in two tiny Staten Island branches. You wouldn’t believe how small! Since I shelved the books, I could instantly tell a patron if the book was in or not. Those intimate neighborhood branches closed down many years ago to open larger ones, but I have fond teenage memories of walking home with my arms aching from the stack of books I had checked out. After a quick hello to my mom, I’d rush to the corner chair in my pink bedroom and start reading. My love for books hasn’t changed, except now I have stacks all over my house!

Now about the Gothic novels. I read every Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney book I could get my hands on. The covers had a frightened, long-haired woman fleeing from an eerie mansion or ominous castle. My first reaction would always be what is she scared of and why is she running away? The stories were told from the heroine’s point of view, and throughout the story, she would question whether or not she could trust the hero. In my opinion, they were the earliest versions of modern day romantic suspense, which is what I tend to read and write. Today, if I can find a Gothic romance to read, count me in!

Kim:  Thank you for serving as an elementary teacher, shaping the minds of future leaders! What have you learned from teaching that you can apply to writing?

Elizabeth:  First, I was a writer before becoming a teacher. I think that skill gave me a tremendous advantage when teaching reading and writing. Let’s face it, I love to do both and can’t help but show my enthusiasm for the subjects. On the other hand, writers have to fill their creative wells. As an educator, my day is loaded with material for stories, and as a writer, I love to study people. My mind soaks up bits and pieces like a sponge and stores these observations for possible future use. Not only do teachers have to manage and successfully teach all the different personalities of their students, they have to master the art of diplomacy when dealing with parents, stepparents, grandparents, school staff and administrators. Talk about a list of characters!

Kim:  Tell us about JUDGING JOEY - what inspired it? 

Elizabeth:  Joey, the hero in this story, was a minor, comic relief character in another book I had written, but had yet to publish. I put that book aside with the intention that I may write that novel into a cozy mystery series. However, Joey couldn’t wait and insisted I write him as the hero of his own story. What can I say? Joey was right. He needed to meet someone who would challenge him and see the world differently. Madeline came back into his life at the perfect time.

Kim:  What's next for Elizabeth John?

Elizabeth:  I’m writing what I’m calling a cozy romantic suspense trilogy. Three sisters inherit the family bridal shop and each one has her own love story, but before they get their happily ever after, they each have to survive a threat against their lives.

Author Elizabeth John

Mahalo, Elizabeth, for joining us today!  I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Let's chat about teachers - do you remember your favorite teacher?  I had a physics teacher who inspired me consider a career in science.  Twenty years later, I enjoyed working with my son on his Physics' projects!

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, July 25, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner  on Sunday, July 26.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore 
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

What is the physics of the blowhole?
Sprouting Horn on Kauai 

23 comments:

  1. My high school History teacher....Mr. Tick.....he loved all my papers that I did in his class.

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  2. Favorite was Mrs. Miller - she was from Alabama and had a very soft voice with a little southern accent and was so nice. And she lived across the street from me.
    patoct

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  3. I didn't have a favorite teacher. I didn't like nor dislike any of them I had a favorite class though. Journalism. I best you could gave guessed

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  4. I always remember how nice my first grade teacher was. Most of the teachers I had in elementary school were cool.

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  5. I do remember my favorite teacher, her name was Mrs. Tatum. Everyone thought she was so mean and when my younger brother had her the next year, he would come home crying because she gave out so much homework. I liked her because every time I asked for help...she gave it to me.

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  6. I liked most of the teachers I had. One of my favorites was a math teacher even though I didn't enjoy math. She taught so well though, that she made it much easier to understand.

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  7. She was my homeroom teacher in high school. She also did a lot of business classes. I took a double major in high school of academic/secretarial so I had her for some classes too. But I really got o know her when I was the business manager of our yearbook. She was one of those single teachers who dedicated herself to her job.

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  8. I was so lucky to have had a number of wonderful teachers in school, including Mr. Caprare and Ms. Farris. Both were excellent teachers who really cared about their students.

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  9. It's a toss up between one of my high school History teachers (Mr. Butler) and my English teacher (Mrs Dean) for 2 years in high school. They both made class interesting and fun and managed to surprise a lot of kids when the kids discovered they had been learning. It helped a lot that I loved both subjects. :-)

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  10. Dr. Walker was a professor of Biology at the college whiner I went to school.
    I loved his classes and took every one he taught. I was already a lover of outdoor science and his classes reinforced that and expanded my knowledge.

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  11. I had a lovely teacher for high school geography. She loved her job & we travelled the world with her, albeit from our classroom.

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  12. Oh! So Many favorites. Mrs. MacBeth Comes to mind. She told me I was a writer. That was in the 4th form in St Cyprians School in Capetown, S Africa. I adore her. The in Atlanta in High School, Mrs. O'Neill who taught English and drama. She was an inspiration. I was terrible at Math.

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  13. I loved my 9th grade history teacher!

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  14. What wonderful comments about your former teachers!

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  15. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Bunting, English in my junior year. Her knowledge was deep, her transmission clear, and I was thrilled to get her as my supervising teacher for student teaching. Another favorite was Mr. Farrell, a football coach!, who taught the single most valuable class I ever took--Word Study. You'll notice I choose competence over anything else in teachers. :)

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  16. I loved my history teacher at highschool. Told juicy/bloody stories that really sparked my interest. Perhaps that's why I now love to read historicals :D

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  17. one of my favorite teachers was my high school geometry - it's helpful when a teacher makes learning fun!

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  18. Great interview Elizabeth! My favorite teacher was my high school calculus teacher. She was great and what I learned helped me in college. She was very patient and I one of the best.

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  19. 4 th gradd
    Kimh

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  20. Thanks everyone for the nice comments! Kim, you mentioned your physics teacher. That's so funny because I ran into my high school physics teacher the other day while I was having lunch with a friend at Panera Bread. He had made physics fun for me and I told him so. We chatted a while and after all these years, he still made me laugh!

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  21. I had a lot of teachers that inspired me one way or another throughout my schooling.

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  22. There were several that I liked very much, Mr. DosSantos in H.S. and my psychology teacher in college.
    Karen T.

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