Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday Spotlight on Elizabeth Lane

This week The Pink Heart Society spotlights Harlequin Historicals Elizabeth Lane who has penned more than twenty titles for the line!

About Elizabeth:

I’m a westerner by birth and upbringing. My grandparents lived like pioneers and my great-grandparents were pioneers. I grew up in a small town, in a family of people who loved the outdoors. Maybe that’s why writing Western romance comes so naturally to me. But I can and do write other things. My earliest books were historical sagas. Then the market changed and I found a new home at Harlequin Historicals. Counting a couple of ghost writing projects, I’m coming up on 30 books in about 25 years of publishing.

I love adventure. Over the years I’ve lived in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and Germany and traveled to such exotic spots as China, Nepal and Tanzania. I’ve chased whales in a rubber boat, rafted the grand canyon and taken a flying lesson. After 23 years working as an educational software designer, I finally get to write full time. I like to think my writing career is just getting started!

Spotlight On Elizabeth:

Where do you get the inspiration for your books from?

Everywhere. Snippets of conversation, stories on the news, country western songs, historical events. Often I’ll think about something I’ve seen or heard and ask myself, “What if.....?”

What makes you mad?

Bureaucracy, arrogance, intolerance, prejudice, disregard for the earth and
its inhabitants.

What’s the most romantic thing that has ever happened to you?

Being swept off my feet by a friend I’d had a longtime crush on. Alas, it didn’t work out, but oh, that chemistry...

What in a hero makes you drool?

Inner qualities—integrity, humor, compassion, vulnerability. All my heroes are good-looking but for me that’s incidental.

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

I have a degree in biology and I always wanted to go out in the wild and study animals. Marriage and a family made that kind of career impractical, and eventually I turned to writing. But I still get my biology fix by volunteering as a zoo docent.

What do you do to relax and wind down?

Sitting at a desk is hard for me because I have a lot of nervous energy. When I’m not at the computer I like to be moving—walking, hiking, gardening, dancing, dancing, dancing. I’m a longtime belly dancer—not professional but I perform with my class and do little solos at festivals, etc. You should see my costume collection!

How do you get out of a writing rut?

Not all ruts are bad—look at the Grand Canyon. Sometimes a rut is where I need to be. But when I’m feeling stale, I try to “fill the well” with new experiences—travel or a mini-adventure close to home. Sometimes all it takes is seeing a good film or reading a really great book.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

I’m content here in Utah where I have roots, family, friends, a cozy little house and spectacular mountain scenery. I love to travel and have seen many parts of the world but it’s always good to come home.

Who would you most like to give a hug to for a fabulous book you’ve read?

Nikos Kazantzakis (author of Zorba the Greek) whose books came into my life years ago, at a time when I needed them. I still read them for their depth and beauty.

What music do you listen to when writing?

It depends on what I’m writing. I love Ennio Morricone’s movie soundtracks. Classical music works too—something simple and soothing like solo guitar. And Native American flute is nice when I’m writing that kind of story.

Tell us a secret nobody knows about you

I have a tattoo—a butterfly on my lower back. It was done by my younger daughter, an amazing tattoo artist who’s also making a name for herself as a painter. Some people hang their children’s art on the fridge. I wear mine.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Sorry, I can’t think of anything spectacular or amusing—just a lot of dumb little mistakes that still make me want to kick myself.

What have you had to celebrate in the last year?

Finishing two Historicals. Going to Africa with my sister. Having one of my little books nominated for the prestigious Holt Medallion. Staying healthy and happy.

What’s beside your computer when you’re writing?

Facing me on the wall is a beautiful abstract painting by Australian Aboriginal artist Kathleen Purvis—looking at it is like gazing into space. Often I’ll have an object that reminds me of my current book—like a model of an early airplane. And a cup to hold my pens, made by my older daughter as a 4th grade art project. My cats, Walter and Sadie, are usually within petting distance. Sometimes they hellllll’ me on thhhd keybooaroooooooooo.

If you could kiss anyone in the world who would it be?

Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (yes, I know he isn’t real, but I’d have settled for Gregory Peck in the movie).

What are you working on now?

I just mailed my next Harlequin Historical, a novel about men and women who fell in love with flying in the early 1900s. My working title, which may or may not change, is Wings on the Morning. Watch for it sometime next year. My current project is a still-unsold Western time travel. My friends love it. My agent loves it. I love it. Just hoping some publisher loves it, too.
Elizabeth's latest release for Harlequin Historicals is The Stranger and is on the shelves in July. You can order it right now from both eharlequin and Amazon.
And for more information you can visit Elizabeth's Webpage
Thanks Elizabeth!

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