Absolutely thrilled to be interviewing one of my favourite authors, whose villains from Riddle and Twisted Tales haunt me to this very day (in a good, book-fan way;). If you love mystery or romance, she packs it all together neatly, and her anthology contributions are gems among short stories. Her latest, Carved Wooden Heart, toys with romance and erotica, and is pure joy for fans of both genres. Her social engagement is worldwide and she is not just an author, photographer and blogger, but an amazing human force to be reckoned with.
Elizabeth Horton-Newton was born and raised in New York City. She began writing when she was a child. In elementary school she wrote an essay about her dream job—she wanted to be an author. After attending Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY and East Tennessee State University, she worked in the social work field for thirteen years. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband, author Neil Newton, and a collection of rescued dogs and cats. Her first book View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale was published in October 2014; a love story that revolves around the assassination of President John Kennedy and the ensuing conspiracy theories. This was followed in June 2015 with the release of Riddle, a romantic thriller about a Native American convicted of killing his high school girlfriend. Elizabeth’s third novel, Carved Wooden Heart is an erotic romance following one woman’s journey through love, loss, and resolution, was released in the fall of 2016. In addition she has written short stories for several anthologies.
1. Who are you in a nutshell?
I’m a writer and photographer who loves to travel and try new things. A mother of four, grandmother of five and a third, great grandmother of one, and a wife.
2. Why do you write?
Mostly I write because I have so many stories in my head if I don’t put them on paper they haunt me. It gets pretty crowded in my head.
3. What’s your latest project?
I’m rewriting a book I’ve been working on for a couple of years and beginning a joint project with my husband which we expect to turn into a series.
4. What is your favourite character among the ones you created?
That’s a tough one. I tend to fall in love with all my male protagonists. Right now I’d have to say Jesse Wolf Carver from “Carved Wooden Heart”.
5. What was the most difficult thing for you to write so far?
The sexy parts of “Carved Wooden Heart” were a big challenge for me. I felt as though they needed to be in the book to truly capture the passion between the characters but I had to really free myself from my own inhibitions to write those parts.
6. How do you deal with criticism, promotional activities, editing/proofreading?
I value criticism because it helps me understand what my readers want and are hoping to find in my books, You can’t please everyone but if I get several comments that are similar I can tell where I went wrong in connecting. I enjoy promotional activities. That’s probably based on my first college experiences. I HATE editing and proof reading! When I finish a book and I have to go back and read it through it drives me crazy.
7. What are your writing plans for the future?
I don’t actually make plans for writing. When I have a story that I feel good about I start to write it. I’ll continue to write and blog but what comes next? I’m as much in the dark as my readers.
8. Which books/authors do you admire and why?
The book I most admire is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. She captured the American story in such a simple yet complex story. Beautifully written and a pleasure to read, I have re-read it multiple times. I love Stephen King for his ability to take the same simple towns and people and weave stories that are so unexpectedly horrifying he can make me gasp.
9. What makes you happiest in the writing process?
Two things; I am happy when I re-read my stories and find myself enjoying them. That lets me know I’ve written something pretty darned good. Of course positive and genuinely enthusiastic feedback from readers also makes me happy. It’s nice to know I’ve given someone pleasure with something I’ve done.
10. What do people usually say about your writing?
I get the most positive reactions on my characters and how they are developed. Most readers find the characters are so realistic they relate to them and even become attached to them. That’s delightful.
11. If you didn’t write, would you try any other arts or crafts?
I’ve done some sketching and painting, I also dabble in photography. Something will catch my eye and I want to hold that vision so taking a good picture will take me back to the moment.
12. What was your favourite book when you were younger or a child? Why?
My father gave my two books when I was about seven years old; The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and a Complete Collection of the Works of Edgar Allan Poe. I read and re-read those books many times. I loved the complexity of Conan Doyle’s stories and the amazing simplicity of Poe’s. Poe’s writing was so lyrical but the point was always right there. On the other hand Conan Doyle created complex stories that made me think.
13. If you could sit down for a chat with any famous author or character, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d have to choose two, one character and one author. I’d love to sit down with Sherlock Holmes and learn how he developed such incredible powers of observation. He was the first true behavioral analyst. Then I like to have a sit down, tell all with Stephen King. Prolific but not always popular he has a wonderful mind. I don’t think he always writes to please his readers. I think he sometimes writes to keep from getting sick of the same story haunting him.
14. Pick one of your books and explain it to us as if it were a movie, listing the cast and crew if you wish.
Ah. View From the Sixth Floor should be a movie. Starring Gary Oldman as Bill/Lee and Meryl Streep as Olivia this is a story of discovery; self discovery and the discovery of truth. When we first meet the main characters they are both hiding. Bill is hiding from the world because he has been accused of a heinous crime that changed the course of history. Olivia is also hiding from the world as well as herself; a widow who suddenly finds she has lost the identity of the quiet southern wife and mother. She craves something new and exciting in her life as much as she is frightened by the prospect. As the couple journey cross country they learn more about one another. Freed from the small town they live in they find strength and courage within themselves. But they are not the only characters who experience this. Olivia’s best friend Judy also changes as do Olivia’s son Jesse and paralegal Shelli. The story says when we are able to step outside our comfort zone we may find strengths we didn’t know we had. Of course there is also the truth of history and the assassination of President John Kennedy that will be exposed.
15. Do you have any special promos, charity releases, appearances or book releases you’d like to tell us about?
“Carved Wooden Heart “will be free on Amazon Kindle the second week in December. Thank you! This is a sexy and sweet story of a young woman and her journey to maturity. I love this character and her passion and courage. It would make a great holiday gift for a reader but it is definitely for adult readers. By the beginning of January 2017 my husband Neil Douglas Newton and I will be doing a giveaway of a book of our short stories, some available in other anthologies and some new stories. This collection will be a freebie for followers of our works who sign up for our mailing list. There are already some, shall we say interesting, short stories going into this anthology.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts and works with your readers.
Author Website: elizabethhorton-newtonauthor.com
Blog: Between the Beats http://elizabethnnewton.com/
Carved Wooden Heart: https://www.facebook.com/CarvedWoodenHeart/?fref=ts
Stumble Upon: http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/newliz0201/likes
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHBFtuhuqUw (View From the Sixth Floor)
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi78rbM_Tlg (Riddle)
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j84W0dqkM58 (Carved Wooden Heart)
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Horton-Newton/e/B00NSET8JY/