Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell me a little about your book, Full of Grace and what inspired it?
In Full of Grace, Angela keeps a roof over her head, albeit a leaking one, by writing romance novels. But Angela’s never really believed in the traditional happily ever after ending. So, she begins writing the story of Grace, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer shortly after finding out her husband Rick is having an affair. Again.
As she writes the story to dispel the myth of happily ever after, Angela begins a relationship with Mark, the contractor who comes to fix her leaking roof, and ironically, it looks like she may be on the way to her own happy ending. But Angela’s had a difficult past and has a cynical outlook, while Mark’s life has just gotten messy. Angela wonders if this is all going to work out.
Grace lies in bed at night, wondering if what Rick wants to give her, and what he is capable of giving her, are two different things. She asks Rick to move out temporarily, while they try to assess their marriage. She wonders how she can get such comfort and security from a man who cheated on her.
My inspiration for this book came when I was daydreaming one day, thinking it would be fun to write a book about two women with different story-lines, and two different personalities. I started to think of the character Angela, and what she would write about next. I decided she should write about a character who has cancer, as I could draw on my vast experience, having lost my parents to cancer, and having had cancer myself. I wanted a story-line about cancer to sound authentic, because I’ve read some that didn’t ring true to me. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom, there is some romance, fun and humour as well!
What’s your typical writing day like? Is there somewhere specific you like to write?
When I’m working on a novel, or writing anything for that matter, I don’t have a typical writing day. I tend to live and breathe what I’m working on. I’ve been known to be sitting at my kitchen table at 3:00 in the morning, jotting down something I’ve thought of in the night.
What’s your favourite word and why?
My favourite word. Hmm. This is where I’m wondering if I should be honest and say that it probably isn’t printable. (grin) But, I’ll choose a more suitable response and say that it’s each of my grandchildren’s names. That would be six words, though, so I’ll say “grandchildren”. Or “grace”, a quality I so admire. I really love words, we could be here all day!
Which authors have inspired you?
So many authors have inspired me. I jump between reading fiction, non-fiction and poetry. So, I’ll choose someone in those three categories that I’ve read this year. Elizabeth Berg, Michelle Obama, and Billy Collins. What a dinner party that would be!
What are you currently working on?
I have two books that should be released in the next year or so. Soon I will start edits on my third women’s fiction, The Smell of Roses. I also have my first children’s picture book, Happy Haiku, coming out within a year or so. And I am always working on some type of Japanese short form poetry, which is a great interest and love of mine.
What song best describes you?
Well, when I read that one out loud to my husband, his answer was quick. “I am woman, hear me roar.” I’ll just leave it at that. (NK: I love this answer.)
Which fictional character would you like to meet and why?
I’d love to meet Meg, Jo, Amy or Beth from Little Women. Or to choose more currently, most of the characters from Elizabeth Berg books.
What is your writing process like from idea to final draft? How long does it take you to write a book?
As I mentioned earlier, once I have an idea, I am off and running. I tend to write, write, write, until it is finished. The rough draft is done within a few months or so.
What elements do you think make up a good novel?
I love to feel deeply about the characters I’m reading about. I enjoy a book that makes me both laugh and cry. I like to think my books do just that.
Any advice for someone who is thinking of writing a novel or in the middle of writing one and suffering writers block?
The only thing I might suggest, is what so many other authors say, just start. Once you have an idea, just sit down and start writing. You can edit later. And of course the obvious, read.
More about Elizabeth:
Elizabeth is a women’s fiction author who has written three novels, all with a strong romantic element. She has over 120 publication credits to her name.
Elizabeth is also a Japanese short form poet, who’s had two chapbooks published with Red Moon Press. One of them, Not Like Fred and Ginger, a collection of haibun poetry chronicling her cancer journey, was shortlisted for the prestigious American Haiku Foundation Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. She also loves writing photo-haiga, which is a photograph paired with a haiku, and won the Jane Reichhold 2nd annual photo-haiga contest.
You might run into her at a movie guaranteed to make her both laugh and cry. Hand her a package of Maltesers candy, and she’ll be one happy camper.
For more information, visit her website: https://elizabethcrocket.com
My review for Full of Grace:
Angela is an author wanting to step away from the books she normally writes. Grace is her fictional character who is diagnosed with cancer. In this book, the two women move through together, facing many challenges and choices along the way.
I found the premise and style of this book very interesting. It’s a novel/story within a story. Angela is the writer and Grace, her main character but both women felt incredibly real to me. Both are going through life changing events and are at crossroads. They are scared and not sure what to do.
The story of the two women are weaved together well and I didn’t have any trouble knowing which character I was with. It’s hard to say which character I liked more. Both Angela and Grace were wonderful.
Many themes are explored in this novel from divorce and cancer to infidelity and broken families – all of which are written about with tact and sensitivity. It can trigger many emotions. One moment I was laughing and the next, I was crying.
Relationships are at the core of this novel. Grace and Angela not only have decisions to make about the people around them but they have some self discovery to do; whether they can rediscover their own sense of self and purpose after negative experiences.
Nothing was fully black and white with this story which I loved.
The writing style for this novel meant I quickly settled in to the story. There is a relaxed tone that made me immediately become invested in these ladies and what happened to them.
Full of Grace is empowering and full of warm, lovely (mostly) and well-developed characters. I really liked this novel and recommend it.
(I thank the author for the review copy in return for an honest review.)