Anita's Haven

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And what do YOU have to say? – E. H. NEWTON – interview no.21

on 05/03/2015

A truly fascinating lady, author Elizabeth Horton-Newton, has agreed to be my guest today. She will talk about writing and publishing, but also her projects concerning social issues every parent and educator, every responsible adult, should be paying attention to and doing something about.

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1.  If you were to introduce yourself in five simple sentences, what would you say about your current self?

I’ve been writing since I was about ten years old. Driving gives me ideas for books. Traveling gives me the opportunity to meet new people. Photography is my second avocation. I often write from a male perspective.

2. Your book, A View from the Sixth Floor, is getting some really good reviews. Congratulations! What was the seed for that book?  How did it start? At what point were you actually aware that you were indeed writing a full-length novel?

The seed for “View From the Sixth Floor” was born many years ago when I decided I didn’t believe the government story on the assassination of President John Kennedy. I began researching the event and the life of the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The more I read the more convinced I became that he was innocent. Somewhere along the way I thought how unfortunate it was that he didn’t live to defend himself and perhaps prove he had not fired that shot from the sixth floor window. Once I began to write the book I was surprised at how easily it came together. It was almost as though it flowed from my fingers. Perhaps I channeled Oswald.

3.  Your book blurb is full of what ifs. So allow me to ask you a what if question? What if Ellizabeth Noreen Newton got offered  a publishing book contract to write absolutely whatever she wanted to, all expenses paid? What would you write about, how would you promote it, what would be your writing dream?

I think I would like to write a book about the history of my mother’s family. She was from Ireland and told me many stories about her childhood and stories that were shared with her growing up. I think it would be absolutely magical to live in County Galway and research the family and write about their experiences. One of my uncles was actually a writer in Ireland and had a book published in Gaelic. My mother and several of her siblings lived in London during WWII. Promoting it would be interesting since I could include photos of family, the town and possibly the farm where they lived for generations. I think it’s altogether possible I will make this dream come true.

4.  You are a New Yorker who moved to the South 25 years ago. What was the most difficult thing for you in the whole change? What is the one thing you appreciate most about your current Southerner lifestyle?

The most difficult thing in transitioning from a big and busy city like New York to a southern and laid back small city like Knoxville is the lack of public transportation. I know that sounds crazy but in New York buses and subways run twenty-four hours a day and you can get anywhere easily. I didn’t even have a driver’s license. Suddenly I couldn’t even get to a grocery store without a car. On the positive side, everyone in your community is willing to help out in the south. Believe me when I first moved I begged a lot of rides to shop.

5.  You are highly involved in your community, tackling unpleasant issues such as bullying, domestic violence, and lately teen date violence. How come you got so deeply involved in the whole process and what are you hoping to achieve?

I wasn’t bullied as a child although there was one incidence when a friend and I were in the fourth grade. We were walking home from school when a group of older girls and one boy proceeded to torment us, pulling our hair and so forth. My friend was smaller than I was and I was furious. I stood up to the kids but I was really scared. When I got home and told my father what happened he went back to the street with me and confronted the kids and insisted on speaking to their parents. The very next day the same kids again approached us and tried to intimidate my friend but not me. That REALLY made me mad and I told them off. They never bothered us again. The domestic violence and teen dating violence comes from having had those experiences. I was abused by fiancé when we were dating at seventeen and eighteen. I was too ashamed to tell anyone. After our marriage he continued to be abusive throughout our marriage. After ten years and three children and the escalation of the abuse I knew I had to leave. He had also begun to be cruel to our kids. The most important thing I hope to accomplish by my advocacy is to raise awareness of these issues. I want victims to know there are steps to take to remove themselves from dangerous situations, I want families to recognize the signs of abuse whether it be bullying (workplace or mobbing), intimate partner violence, or teen dating violence.

6.  Do you feel like an author?  How do you feel when you write?  Is it difficult to return to the reality of everyday life once you leave the pages of your book? Do you get attached to your characters?

As strange as it sounds I have always felt like a “writer”. I have always communicated most effectively by writing. Even when I am doing the everyday things like shopping or laundry or driving I am thinking what would my character be doing? What is she or he thinking; I try to get in their heads. It is very difficult to let my characters go. I am only fully able to do it when I see the finished book or story and know the characters have said all they needed to say.

7.  What do you like to do when you are not working or writing? How do you relax?

I relax by reading books, especially by other indie writers. Traveling is my favorite thing to do. Seeing new places is always a thrill. I like to snorkel. I love anything to do with the ocean. Taking photos is always fun. And if I am stuck at home I love to watch true crime and court shows. In fact I would say I am addicted to them.

8.  At this point in your life, what are you most proud of?

That’s a tough question. I’m certainly proud of my novel “View From the Sixth Floor”. I’m proud of the work I do to raise awareness about domestic violence and bullying. I’m proud of the four children I’ve raised and my five wonderful grandchildren. I’m proud of the fact I was able to escape an abusive marriage and become successful, first as a social worker then as a writer. I developed positive relationships with my clients and some of them have transitioned to become successful. Now that I am no longer working in the field we are friends. They know they can always reach out to me for advice or just to chat.

9.  What do you want your readers to think and feel while and after reading your books?

I want them to sit back and think “That was a good story”. I did have a slightly ulterior motive with “View from the Sixth Floor”. I wanted people to think about the whole event and look at it from a different perspective. It had a bit of a political statement buried in there; don’t be so quick to trust the government.

10.  What is the one genre you just don’t see yourself ever writing? What genre would you love to try and tackle?

I don’t think I could ever write children’s books. I can make up stories to tell my granddaughters and I did some with my grandsons when they were little. But I don’t think I could write a book. I want to try to write a real horror story someday, something that would make my readers sleep with the lights on. These are the kinds of books I like.

11. Would you like to add anything about your current work or send a message to the readers?

I’m currently working on a romantic mystery thriller called “Riddle”. It’s about a fictional town in the Northwestern United States and a young man who is a first nation or aboriginal and he was adopted by a white family as an infant. While in high school he is accused and convicted of murdering his girlfriend. After over seven years in prison he is released and returns to the town of Riddle. He meets a young woman who has been stranded in the town when her car breaks down and they form a friendship. Along with being a murder mystery it also deals with the prejudices against aboriginal natives as well as how many children of first peoples were removed from their biological parents because it was believed they would have better lives. So while it is a thriller it also has some political overtones. I hope to have it released in the summer of 2015. It will be a nice sexy summer read that I hope will make readers think.

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Elizabeth’s Amazon

Elizabeth’s blog

View’s Facebook

Elizabeth’s gravatar

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3 responses to “And what do YOU have to say? – E. H. NEWTON – interview no.21

  1. Lizzi Newton says:

    Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about my books as well as the causes I work with.

    Like

  2. […] And what do YOU have to say? – E. H. NEWTON. Thanks Anita for a fun interview! […]

    Like

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