The Coffee Corner with Elizabeth Maddrey
|A Touch of Relaxation|
It’s coffee time! The Corner welcomes Elizabeth Maddrey. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. Join us while we talk about life, fun, and books including her new release Faith Departed. Let’s dig right in…
Good morning, Elizabeth. Welcome to the Coffee Corner. I’m so glad to have you. You write with such hope about the grace we have in the Lord. How did you discover your gift to put pen to the page?
Thank you! Honestly it kind of snuck up on me. I’ve always written stories—I know all authors seem to have that in their bios, but it really is true for me! Most of the time, though, I either kept them to myself or, for a while, I shared them on my (now defunct) blog. It was there, really, that I started to think more seriously about trying to get published. I had a few friends who were very encouraging and since I wasn’t going to stop writing any time soon, I figured I might as well see about doing something serious with it.
I would say you accomplished that task well! As busy as life can be as a mom and a writer, I can’t imagine what it’s like to add teacher to those duties. What’s it like to home school two rowdy boys?
Well, thankfully right now I’m just schooling the older one. I’m not sure how I’m going to stay sane when the baby is old enough to join in. Honestly, we have a pretty decent schedule – and the key is to just stick to it. Mornings are play time and errands and whatever groups or lessons we’re doing. Then the baby still naps most of the afternoon, so that’s when I do school with my older son. When that’s done, then I try to get some writing (or writing related activities) taken care of while he plays. As far as school itself goes, my son is very kinetic, so I try to make sure that he’s able to bounce or whatever while we’re doing school. At a minimum, he’s often sitting on a yoga ball, but we do math on the trampoline or playing catch or whatever works to keep his body occupied while his mind is working.
Wow, you must be so busy. I admire you. Do you have time for fun? What on earth do you manage to do (if you don’t mind a little noisy inquisition)?
Ask away! First up is reading. I love to read. I devour books – usually running through 120 a year. (And that’s down a bit since I started writing.)
My husband and I just discovered a board game called Pandemic and we love it because it’s collaborative rather than pitting us against one another. We probably play one round every other night (it doesn’t take super long to play – between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on how quickly you lose. Well, sometimes we win. But lately we’ve been losing. A lot.)
I’m also a bit of a nerd, so you have the usual TV that needs to be watched (yes, needs) – Dr. Who, Big Bang Theory, Elementary, and Person of Interest are the top favorites. Sometimes they’ll build up on the DVR for weeks at a time, but we get to them eventually.
Plus, I really enjoy trying out new things in the kitchen. I haven’t had a ton of time for that lately, because I’m really trying to eat healthily and what I love to do is bake, but I can feel the cookbooks singing to me. So I’m going to have to cave soon.
And of course you have to include building forts or running around the back yard with the boys.
I love Big Bang Theory (thanks to my son who has me hooked!) and The Voice. I agree TV is a must as well as my Saturday morning breakfasts with my husband. With our work schedules and writing, we sometimes pass each other in the night. What a crazy world we lead. Speaking of crazy… Self-publishing, e-publishing, serial, series… I think everyone has gone bonkers. How do you stay on top of all the craziness in the writing world today?
There are so many good blogs out there for writers – I have a number of them in my feed reader that I keep up with, if not every day, at least every other day. But I do agree it seems like we’re all going a little nuts! What I love about all the new options though is how it’s opened up the market for new authors. I’ve found so many great new authors who self-published or found a small press who would probably never have gotten a contract with one of the big six, despite having a great story to tell. That said, I also try really hard not to worry about it. I work to just stay focused on telling the stories God is putting in my heart and trusting Him to get them into the hands of the people who need or want them.
You are so right about the changes in publishing. The opportunities open to authors today are amazing. It makes reading that much more exciting! Do you have any advice for the person who buys a book on their Kindle tomorrow?
Really consider leaving a review on Amazon. I don’t think the average reader understands just how much that means to an author. I know I didn’t until I was on the other side of the fence. Even if you can only give it 3 stars, if you write something meaningful to go with it (what you liked, maybe what you felt fell flat – but be kind) it’s a real bright spot in the author’s day.
Well, for me it is at least – I know there are some authors who say they don’t read their reviews. But I cherish mine, even the less than awesome ones, because it means someone felt strongly enough about my story to take the time to respond. That said, if you really hated a book, well, your mom’s advice about not being able to say anything nice? That still applies.
Great advice, Elizabeth! I don’t usually leave reviews. Shame on me. I’ll start doing that. Now that we are talking about reading and books, I hear you have a new book. Can you tell us a little about it?
Love to! FAITH DEPARTED follows twin sisters and close friends June and July as they and their husbands begin to try starting a family. Unlike everything in their life up to this point, however, this doesn’t come easily for either sister. As the two women begin to deal with infertility, their relationship with each other and with their husbands begins to change – not always for the better.
What an interesting story! Do you think we could get a sneak peak?
Sure – here’s a taste from Chapter 1.
“Stop stop stop stop.” June breathed the words as the digital readout on the bathroom scale flickered up. She cringed when the hateful thing finally followed her directions. One forty. One hundred and forty pounds. She stumbled backwards off the scale and dropped onto the cold edge of the bathtub. At five foot two, she was used to numbers much more in the range of one ten. But the last six months had added thirty pounds…that was five pounds a month. She buried her head in her hands. What was going on?
“Morning, baby.” Toby shuffled into the bathroom, rubbing his eyes. He stopped to give her an appreciative look and waggle his eyebrows. “Careful, you’re going to make me late for work.”
She chuckled in spite of herself. “You’re insane.” And blind. There was no point in drawing his attention to her ever expanding girth. She was on her way to being twice the woman he married five years ago. He hadn’t signed on for a two-in-one special.
He grabbed her arm and pulled her close, burying his nose in her neck. “I can’t help it if I have the world’s most enticing wife.”
He couldn’t possibly mean it. Her fat rolls squashed against his still-firm abs as he tightened his embrace. She fought the urge to push away and put on a robe. She forced her tone to be light. “Now, now. Didn’t you say you had a big meeting this morning?”
He pressed a kiss to her head and eased back, eyes still hinting at his interest. “I did…sadly, I did.”
She crossed her arms over her belly as he turned on the shower and tossed his towel over the door.
“Any news, June?”
She swallowed the lump in her throat and shook her head.
“We’ll just have to practice more.” He shot her a wicked grin and stepped into the steaming shower.
Nine weeks. She’d gone off her birth control pills nine weeks ago. Shouldn’t something have happened by now? June padded into the walk-in closet and began to dress. Toby wasn’t the only one with a big meeting today. She sucked in her stomach, hooked her favorite black dress pants, and slowly let out her breath. She was going to have to buy bigger clothes if she couldn’t get at least five of these pounds off. Watching herself in the floor-length mirror on the wall, she gingerly lowered into a squat then stood and twisted at the waist. It wasn’t comfortable, but no seams had popped and the fabric didn’t look like it was straining. Grateful that the Weskit was back in fashion, June tugged on a purple silk blouse and snagged the suit’s blazer from its hanger. She slipped her feet into a pair of killer purple leather peep-toe heels and smiled. The right outfit really did lift your spirits.
Oh, Elizabeth, I can’t wait to read this book. I think most women can relate to June. I know I can. Not to sound anxious, but what are you working on now?
I’m working on the next two follow-on books for Faith Departed – the second book, Hope Deferred, comes out in July and Love Defined will be out in December. I also have a more straight-up romance novella banging on the wall of my head trying to get out, a speculative novel whose heroine is beginning to get very impatient with me. And I’m working with a great group of seven other women who have been through infertility to put together a devotional/encouragement type book (non-fiction) on the subject.
You are one busy lady. And a talented one with an awesome heart. Thank you so much for coming to the Corner today. It’s been a true pleasure.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! The giveaway for this blog is a paperback edition of Elizabeth Maddrey's Faith Departed! Drawing is at noon on 3/22/14.
About the Book:
Starting a family was supposed to be easy.
Twin sisters June and July have never encountered an obstacle they couldn’t overcome. Married just after graduating college, the girls and their husbands remained a close-knit group. Now settled and successful, the next logical step is children.
But as the couples struggle to conceive, each must reconcile the goodness of God with their present suffering. Will their faith be strong enough to triumph in the midst of trial?
About the Author:
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey