Quite live, yo, and you can read the full interview at LitReactor here. You can also read an excerpt below. And, if you are even remotely interested in interviewing Elizabeth about Devil's Grace, reviewing the book, or supporting the promotion of the book in any fashion at all do let me.
There's always an origin story behind the genesis of any work, but I find the story behind Devil's Grace especially interesting and I'd like to kick this off with that story.
I was happily working on completing my second book when a longtime friend named Michele texted me, asking how my writing was going. Although she had asked me about my writing in the past, she had never texted specifically asking about it. So I immediately called.
"You're supposed to be writing about the light."
I always have to pause here and tell my listener (reader) that Michele communicates regularly with those who have passed. And by regularly I mean she has two gentlemen with whom she has regular conversations. So her statement, "You're supposed to be writing about the light" was not said lightly.
I paused. "What does that mean?"
"I don't know, but that's the directive."
I told her that I was completing the second in a series of stories and that I would take up "the light" (whatever that meant) when I was done. "No. You're supposed to do it now," she answered.
Can you picture it? You've spent months writing a novel and then someone contacts you out of the blue and tells you to drop it so that you can write about something you don't understand. Priceless. Anyhow, I mumbled, "Okay," and then told her about two stories that my husband, who works in healthcare administration, had told me. Both stories had actually happened and he had urged me to write about them, but I didn't feel there was enough meat to write an entire novel.
After telling Michele the two stories, a thought struck. "Maybe I could combine the two tales to make a book?"
She laughed. "Yes. They're saying that's it. That's the Light."
Now, dear listener (reader), please take note of the change from a small l to a capital L in the word Light. Both of my husband's stories involved tragedy, which could have been met with anger and lawsuits, but instead were met with kindness and forgiveness. That's the Light. I hung up the phone and wrote the prologue to Devil's Grace that day, and continued to write over the ensuing weeks.
I stumbled into a writing competition when Devil's Grace was only 14,000 words long. When Steve Eisner, the CEO of the When Words Count competition asked me over the phone what the name of the book was, I panicked. I hadn't yet named the book. "Devil's Grace," I said. Steve thought it was a great name, to which I responded, "It is, isn't it?" I was as surprised as he was.
I managed to finish writing the book and entered it into the competition. The day of the actual presentations I woke up with a migraine and decided to go for a run. As I was passing over a brook I stopped, looked up to the sky, and said aloud, "You know, I could really use some help down here. Any advice would be welcomed." At that point I felt like someone slipped a piece of paper into the left side of my head. On the paper it said, "Stay the course." I felt like I had been struck. The sensation was so vivid. I looked to the sky again and smiled, said "Thanks" and completed my run. When I arrived back at the inn where the competitors were housed, I texted Michele. "Had a rough day yesterday and actual competition starts today. Any advice from the guys would be welcomed." Within thirty seconds she responded, "This is what I hear from our friends "Stay the course." My breath expelled quickly and I felt the room spin, but I knew I was going to rock my presentations.
I was on the phone with Michele the other day, worrying about the book's virtual launch. She asked me why I was cranky and I said, "I don't want to do a whole hour just about me." She smiled and said, "Honey, this isn't about you. It's about the Light and getting the word out there You are a pinpoint of light in a crowded world." I relaxed and realized that she's right. There has never been a more opportune time for the tenets of the Light to get out there. Kindness, compassion, empathy, patience, forgiveness, love. Devil's Grace is much bigger than me. I think I was simply the vessel through which the words flowed.