Please welcome with me our Guest Author — Liz Flaherty
Reinventing the Writing Wheel
Thanks for having me today, Leanne. One of my favorite parts of having a new book out is all the visiting I do. My husband says—with only mild exasperation—that I like to run the roads because I’m afraid I’ll miss something. He’s pretty much right.
We were at a party once, and six or eight of us were standing in a loose circle with wineglasses. We were all women, all mothers, though we didn’t all really know each other. I wasn’t all that comfortable; it was my husband’s boss’s wife and his boss’s wife and a few other bosses or bosses’ wives. I have a tendency to put my foot in it and even though my husband isn’t one who’s easily embarrassed, I didn’t want to be the one to do it. So I listened. I’m a writer, you know, so listening’s good—you never know when you might hear a plotline or a piece of dialogue.
One of the other women was talking about high school gymnastics, in which her twin daughters were active and skilled, and we were all waxing “oh, I know what you mean” about having no life of our own because of all the time spent on bleachers and waiting in the car with our busy children. Then she said, “Even though I complain, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself next year when they go off to college.”
We were fresh inhabitants of an empty nest, I still wasn’t used to cooking for two or having a quiet house (that one took a long time—I hated that quiet), but I said without any thought at all, “You reinvent yourself. You become who you never thought you could. You go different places and cook different things and you don’t close the bathroom door anymore. It’s great. It’s exciting. Really it is.”
It was a nice party, I don’t think I said anything embarrassing, and I don’t remember much of the rest of the conversation. But once I said it out loud, it became important that I follow my own advice.
Sometimes it was hard, like getting used to quiet. Sometimes it was pure fun, as in eating out wherever we liked whenever we liked. Sometimes, like when I sold my first book, it was downright amazing.
I’ve always written—essays and a newspaper column and the occasional short story. But I wanted to write romance, so I did. I was 48 when the first book, Always Annie, came out. My youngest son got married within that year, I was four-deep in my career as Nana (my favorite one to date), and reinvention was working out really well.
Fifteen years after Annie, my eighth book, The Girls of Tonsil Lake, has been released by The Wild Rose Press. At present, it’s only available from the publisher http://ow.ly/sVXuV or on Amazon http://ow.ly/sVXwl but will be released worldwide on April 30, 2014. It’s about Andie, Vin, Suzanne, and Jean, four women—lifelong friends—who are facing down their fifties.
I am as excited about my first women’s fiction title as I was about my first romance. It is reinvention in its finest form. It’s great. It’s exciting. Really it is.
The Girls of Tonsil Lake is Liz’s eighth book, and it is no less thrilling than the first one was. Retired from the post office, she spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and doing whatever else she wants to. She and Duane live in the old farmhouse in Indiana they moved to in 1977. They’ve talked about moving, but really…36 years’ worth of stuff? It’s not happening!
She’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or please come and see her at:
Thanks for being with us today Liz and for sharing The Girls of Tonsil Lake.