Monday, April 5, 2010

Elizabeth Craig

My guest today is fellow Carolina Conspiracy member, Elizabeth Spann Craig.

Elizabeth writes the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and is writing the upcoming Memphis Barbeque series for Berkley Prime Crime as Riley Adams. Like her characters, her roots are in the South. As the mother of two, Elizabeth writes on the run as she juggles duties as room mom and Brownie leader, referees play dates, drives car pools, and is dragged along as a hostage/chaperone on field trips.,,

Elizabeth, welcome. When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?
I’m not one of those people blessed with multiple talents. J I discovered early on that writing was the one thing that I was good at. I started avidly writing stories and poems when I was in 4th grade and never looked back. Mysteries were always my favorite reads growing up—I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and the Bobbsey Twins, then I moved on to Trixie Belden before finally ending up with Agatha Christie. I must have reread Christie’s books ten times each!

What are your writing goals?
If I’m writing a first draft, I write half a chapter a day—this gets me through a 75,000 word book in about 5 weeks.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Delicious and Suspicious is the first book in the Memphis Barbeque series and will be released July 6: When a food scout from a cable cooking channel is murdered, it's only natural for restaurant owner Lulu Taylor to take it personally. After all, her barbeque restaurant served the scout's last meal. But danger lurks as Lulu investigates the crime. Will she clear the restaurant's name, or is she next to be skewered?

How do you determine voice in your writing?
My voice is my natural voice—the one I tell stories in for my children at night. It’s very casual—“I want to tell you a story.”

How do you promote yourself online and off?
Since my children are still pretty young, I’m limited to my in-person appearances. I’m going to the Malice Domestic conference in DC April 30—May 2, and I make appearances with the Carolina Conspiracy mystery writers group in North and South Carolina. The bulk of my promoting is done online, though—via guest posts, my blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Online promotion is a lifesaver!

Where do you write? What do you have around you?
I write anywhere I can! As a stay-at-home mom of busy children, I have to grab my moments when I can find them. You’ll frequently find me squeezing my writing into 5 minute blocks—at the grocery store deli line, waiting for my car to get washed, in the pediatric waiting room, or in the carpool line at the elementary school.

What are your current projects?
I’m handing in the second Memphis Barbeque book to Berkley Prime Crime this week. My deadline for the 3rd is November 1. I’ll also be promoting my first Memphis Barbeque book, Delicious and Suspicious after its release on July 6.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
They can visit me at I blog daily and use the site as a hub to connect to other blogs I write for. Thanks so much for interviewing me today, Susan!

It has been a pleasure. Hope to see you at a Carolina Conspiracy event soon, Elizabeth.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Wish I could write a book in 5 weeks!

L.C. Evans said...

I love Myrtle Clover and I'm sure I'll like the new series as well. I, too, wish I could write a book in 5 weeks--it takes months for me to finish writing a novel. Elizabeth, I don't know how you manage to wrangle young children and still manage a writing career, but you do a great job.
And for anyone who hasn't read Elizabeth's blogs, they are great.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I'm looking forward to reading your latest book. The well-written “Pretty is as Pretty Does" is proof that avid reading in the genre you write in pays off. It helps even more that you started that habit as a child.

Way to go for getting he manuscript finished in only five weeks!

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I loved learning a little more about Elizabeth and really enjoy her blog! Thanks!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I've read Elizabeth's work--Myrtle Clove--and can very much recommend it. She's an accomplished novelist and much to modest. Oh, I should add she has one of the most informative and useful blogs going.

Best, Galen Kindley

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Diane--But look at all you're doing! I don't do a quarter of the public speaking you do. :)

Linda--Thanks so much! And...sometimes I have days where I don't think I'm doing ANY of it well! But I'm trying. :)

Jane--I think mysteries were definitely the natural choice for me to write. Reading really does help, doesn't it?

Paul--Thanks so much for dropping by!

Galen--And be sure to drop by Galen's--I've learned so much from his blog...especially with his helpful software reviews for writing software.

Laura Marcella said...

Great interview, Susan!

Elizabeth, I admire how you juggle your writing career with your family obligations. I hope I can be like you when I have kids some day in the (far) future. You're truly successful!

Mason Canyon said...

Enjoyed the interview and definitely looking forward to the release of your Memphis BBQ series.

Susan Whitfield said...

I agree that Elizabeth has a great blog. I read it regularly. She is certianly a real sweetie in person as well. Juggles better than anyone I know.

Lynette Hampton said...

I have the pleasure of knowing Elizabeth through the Carolina Conspiracy. She's as much fun in person as her characters are in her books.Myrtle Clover is such a delight, I'm looking forward to the new series.
Good interview, Elizabeth.

Joan Hall Hovey said...

I like many of the covers, but I'd have to say my favorite is 'Secrets to Die For'. It makes the viewer ask questions, and there's an eerieness about it.
Who is this girl surrounded by such oppressive poverty? What is the secret?

best, Joan