Hayley Kirley interviews Elizabeth Gauck about her upcoming romance novel to be published next year. Gauck talks about her inspirations, personal struggles, writing methods, and advice for writers. The working title for her book is, Step Toward You. The expected release date is March 2018.
HK: Can you give me some context on what your book is about?
EG: It’s a romance novel. It is about an alcoholic who falls in love with a girl whose mom is dying and it’s supposed to be about his redemption and how he grows and becomes a better person through that.
HK: What were some inspirations for your book?
EG: There were a few things going on in my life at the time. My family has a history of alcoholism. Also, I had cancer, and when I was writing this my grandpa was dying. Those three things mixed and mingled and formed a book idea.
I originally started writing the novel just to get through what I was going through. The more I wrote the more it started matching up with my life. There are scenes that almost exactly matched events that happened in my real life. And that made me realize that this is more about me getting through the situation, finding peace, and getting out emotions that I couldn’t say or talk to people about. But it ended up that I would have to delete whole sections, because they were more what I felt and it didn’t match what the character should feel.
HK: What are some of your methods for writing?
EG: So, my writing style is pretty simplistic. I’m not overly flowery. I want my work to be commercial and interesting but still literary. I try to write every day. I give myself a goal such as to write a chapter a day. But if I do not feel good about the chapter, I can delete it the next day and start over. This method helps me get over writer’s block.
HK: Please explain the process in which you got published.
EG: This novel was something I really cared about, because, like I said, it was written during a hard time. I tried to get an agent, but I wasn’t able to secure one. So, I re-worked the novel, changed it up, and then I finally decided after Stephen Leigh’s class to try a small press. I started looking at what the top romance novel presses were and I happened upon Inkspell. I submitted my manuscript to them, and they accepted it.
HK: Are there any NKU classes that helped you through this process?
EG: Novel Writing One and and Novel Writing Two gave me the direction to write, revise, and send out my novel. I remember one specific piece of advice when Steve said that your opening is what is going to seal the deal—when you send it out to people that’s all they see—they don’t see the rest. I think that was a huge issue with why my novel wasn’t getting picked up at first. I wasn’t happy with the opening. But eventually I realized it just wasn’t working, so I got rid of it and started over. I believe this process helped the book get sold to Inkspell.
HK: What are some of your goals with this book?
EG: My ultimate life-ending goal is to get a movie on the Hallmark channel but that might not happen. I want to have an audience that’s loyal and cares about what I’m writing. I want somebody to fall in love with reading romance the way a lot of the authors I read have made me feel.
HK: What is some advice you can give novice writers?
EG: I guess the cliché—“don’t give up.” It’s not an option if you love what you are doing.
Want to follow Liz’s progress? Here are links to her Facebook, Blog, Instagram and Twitter:
Instagram (LizAshleeAuthor): https://www.instagram.com/lizashleeauthor/?hl=en
Twitter (Liz Ashlee Author): https://twitter.com/LizAshleeAuthor