Golden Heart Spotlight – Lizbeth Selvig!

Lizbeth Selvig is living her dream life in Webster, Minnesota (40 miles Southwest of Minneapolis) with her husband of 35 years, a hyperactive Border Collie, a huge yard but no riding lawn mower, and her very own office now that her children are grown and the bedrooms cleared of My Little Ponies and Magic The Gathering posters.

She doesn’t have to work outside the home at this point in her life but, somehow, she’s never bored and rarely spends a full day at home. A paying job, which would provide welcome discretionary cash for conferences and travel, would definitely take away from her free time (no sympathy expected).

Over the years, Liz has been able to travel with her family thanks to her husband’s job. His work as a computer systems analyst for Lockheed Martin has taken her to Germany two different times, for a year each time, to Toronto, Canada for a year, and to Anchorage, Alaska for three years.  Each place is dear to her, especially Alaska, where she left a big chunk of her heart at the end of 2008. Now she loves to include experiences from these travels in her contemporary novels. She’s currently working on a three-book series set in various parts of Alaska.

Lizbeth’s manuscript SONGBIRD, finaled in the Golden Heart® Single Title Contemporary category:

 There comes a time in every independent woman’s life when she just has to step aside and let a White Knight do his job. 

Abby Stadtler might need a white knight, but she doesn’t want one, especially not a rock singer who’s missing a son and has paparazzi hot on his trail. Gray Covey might be a superstar to the world, but in reality, he’s a frantic father searching for his son.

When Gray’s search lands him at a deteriorating horse farm, where his boy has befriended Abby’s daughter, he enters chaos personified. He discovers one teen who hates him, one teen who adores him and a woman who flips his heart on its axis.

And now, here’s a little bit about Lizbeth… 

1. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been making up stories ever since I was old enough to embellish on movies I went to see as a kid.  My mother’s voice is clear in my memory: “Lizbeth Claire you don’t have to tell us every word and then some.” But I was positive the way I was telling the story and reciting the dialogue was far more fascinating than sitting in a dark theater watching it all happen. As far back as age five, I remember putting myself to sleep by creating stories in my head.  By age eleven I was filling notebook paper with stories and writing myself to sleep rather than reading. There was also this round robin novel in junior high school that got quite long. (Some things never change.) All I remember of it now was that it starred a horse and a handsome, teenaged hero named Lincoln.

2. Did you always want to be an author, or is this something you fell into later in life?
I always knew I wanted to write. The thought of seeing my name on a book or being famous for writing a novel didn’t occur to me until late in high school. I wrote for my school newspaper and covered high school sports and school board meetings for our regional, weekly “Dakota County Tribune,” and that kind of gave me a taste for bylines.  I went on to college and earned a journalism degree. It would have been nicer to get a fiction-writing degree, but the University of Minnesota didn’t offer that yet — back when we were still carving on stone tablets and our Internet consisted of a bunch of guys standing on the various dormitory roofs around campus sending smoke signals.

I worked for several weekly newspapers after graduation and wrote short stories of the Good Housekeeping, McCalls and Redbook variety. I submitted a few and got my first “great rejection”: a handwritten note that read, “Nice writing. Sorry.”  After that, I knew I wanted my name on a short story, in a big magazine.  I got married, had two children and kept writing—but I truly treated it as a hobby; something that was just an escape, even though I read Writer’s Digest and pored over Writer’s Market endlessly, starting to dream about actually writing a book. My first novel was a work in progress for fifteen years.  I worked as a magazine editor (sadly, not for Good Housekeeping, but for two different farm publications—hilarious for a city girl).  After a lifetime of loving to write stories, it’s embarrassing to say I didn’t take my fiction writing seriously until my kids were grown. Now, it’s the “job” I love!

3. What do you do in your “other” life? (Day job, family, etc.)
I’m the luckiest “kept” woman in the world at the moment. By that I mean no disrespect to myself, but mean it as a huge thank you to the most supportive hubby in the world. He’s been willing to sacrifice (i.e., go to work and mow the lawn and cook most of the time) so that I can live the dream life of a full-time writer. I’m not sure he isn’t expecting to retire on my Nora Roberts-like income after the first book sale, but I love him too much to smash the illusion yet. At any rate, I’m finally getting to write and I’m trying to make the most of that blessing. 

In my non-writing life, I’m Mom to two grown children. My daughter is an equine vet and my son is a musician and production/recording engineer.  I volunteer for a youth equestrian organization called United States Pony Club. I love to quilt and I love to scrapbook.  We have a crazy Border Collie named Magic, and my husband, Jan, and I are avid hikers and love to camp.

4. Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors run the genre-gamut from science fiction to mainstream to romance.  I have to be a little cliché and claim LaVyrle Spencer as my first “mentor.” I fell in love with her books as so many other readers and writers did.  I still wish we had room and time in our busy reading lives for the slow, lyrical writing of that old style-romance.  These days I read anything by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Anderson, Susan Mallery and a former MFW chapter mate, Susan K. Law.  I’m also really looking forward to the debut release, “Money Honey” (a shameless plug) by Susan Sey – another Minnesota author.  Now ask me why I haven’t donned a pen name starting with Susan.  I don’t know.  But I believe it’s a requirement of some sort.

I also love the old Robert Heinlein and Ursula K. LeGuin sci fi books.  I’m starting to get into Lois McMaster Bujold.  I also really liked the first three books by author Sara Gruen. Riding Lessons and Flying Changes are great for horse lovers. Her third, Water for Elephants is what I claim as my current Favorite Book.

5. Do you have an agent?
I had an agent for one year, in 2006.  She marketed my first book and had no takers.  We parted amicably and I’ve been slowly learning the ropes again. (Can also be read ‘gaining confidence back.)  I’m actively querying since finaling in the Golden Heart®, and I’m hoping, hoping, hoping my fellow GHers’ Golden Magic pixie dust floats its way to my Dream Agent’s desk and makes her sneeze in astonishment while she’s reading my book.

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Making long-term goals is a talent I’ve had to learn. I made my first Five-year Goal List this past January during an online class.  It was a wonderful exercise, actually quite uplifting.  My list reads:  In five years I will be: 1) awaiting my third single title release and first fantasy/sci fi release; 2) working actively with my agent to plan the future; 3) writing every day, finishing one romance and one fantasy OR inspirational a year; 4) putting out a quarterly newsletter; 5) still working out and running 5 & 8Ks even though I’ll be, as Wendy Darling says, “ever so much more than twenty.”

And now, in Lizbeth’s own words…


Until the advent of e-mail, I was always certain my epitaph would read: 

Lizbeth Selvig
Beloved wife and mother.
Crushed to death by an avalanche of paper.

For those too young to remember, everyone’s life used to be filled with paper. In the olden days, there was no such thing as an electronic submission. There were no computer files in which to store successive drafts of your novel. If you wanted to find an old friend, or learn that your writing buddy got thirteen pages written, you had to (gulp) pick up the phone or hand write a letter.  On paper.

I used to think that if only I could get rid of the stacks of papers and notebooks and letters, my life would run like a Lamborghini.  Oh, Deception, thy name is Technology.

Today, I don’t have to do research at the local library and make expensive copies of the information I need. I don’t need to retype a manuscript page because I spelled Mississsippi (with three s’s, did you notice?).  I’m pretty sure there are no carbon paper factories anymore. I can Tweet; I can Instant Message. So what color is my Lamborghini, you ask?

Hah. Some days, despite the fact that many fewer trees are giving up their lives for my work, I feel like I’m stuck in a boring brown Edsel with sand in its gas tank.

E-mail? It may be fast, but when I was writing “real” letters, I never had twenty people at one time to respond to, and they never answered my answers in thirty seconds so I had to re-answer. (Or is that re-tweet? I’m easily confused.)  Facebook? I was lucky if I knew what my friends were doing once a month. Yahoo! was something the guy on the Mountain Dew bottle hollered—it didn’t have anything to do with loops and messages and threads of discussion. 

Don’t misunderstand. I can’t imagine trying to run this writing business without making writing friends in other states or without the encouragement from my colleagues on the loops I’ve joined. I’m so hooked on technology, that I spend the vast majority of my time using it.  Far more time than I used to spend sorting my avalanche of papers.

Do you see the circle I’m drawing here? I haven’t learned to control my stacks of electronic paper any better than I controlled the physical ones. We’re counseled to put our butts in our chairs and write, because published books are granted to those who persevere. We are not told that she or he who dies after having written the most e-mail responses wins.

But, how to control the problem? I’m addicted to the sense of connection Facebook and e-mail gives me with my writing friends. I love meeting new writers, and learning from them, and imagining that they care what I have to say. It’s thrilling that an online class with the power to further my career is just a PayPal transaction away.  Isn’t this volume of knowledge and community the best thing I can do for my writing? I feel so rejuvenated. Or. I do once I finally get my butt into that chair.

The truth is, playing with technology is oftentimes more fun—certainly easier—than writing. I know the rule-of-thumb is that you should spend no more than 30 percent of your time on “marketing” (i.e., all the technology I’ve been describing).  I know in reality nobody waits on tenterhooks for my daily posts. I know my writing suffers when I “just have to get caught up on the correspondence first.”  You know what? Sometimes, I miss all the paper. It was much easier to ignore.

And I fear I really have to learn to handle all this new “paperless paper work,” otherwise my epitaph will simply morph into something like this:

Lizbeth Selvig
Beloved Wife and Mother
Deleted from this life by rogue electrons

So, what advice do you have for those of us who’ve been seduced by technology?  What tricks, what discipline helps you keep your bum in the chair writing, not wasting time?  Or…IS e-mailing, social networking and researching on the Internet a waste of time? How do you handle the online part of your job?

 Happy writing, editing, submitting and celebrating to all my fellow GHers.  Can’t wait to meet you face to face in Orlando.

49 comments to “Golden Heart Spotlight – Lizbeth Selvig!”

  1. Angi Morgan
    June 15th, 2010 at 8:06 am · Link

    “There comes a time in every independent woman’s life when she just has to step aside and let a White Knight do his job. ”
    What an awesome line! Really terrific and on my wish list. Especially today.

    Technology happens to be killing me. Too many people communicating too fast. All I want to do is write. Liz, I think I’d love to be a “kept” woman. Thanks for sharing the “electron” pieces of yourself today.

    I’m still getting a grip (not a firm one yet–still knawing at that rope with my fingernails) on handling the marketing portion of selling. I try to limit my time, but look up to see it’s flown by. I’m thinking about an alarm clock in my office–or maybe a fancy egg timer. LOL


  2. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 8:40 am · Link

    Hi Angi!
    You must be in electron heaven/heck at the moment, working on starting to promo your new book–you know, that one with the most awesome cover! Thanks for coming by and sharing that I’m not alone in techno-overload world. I mean, I couldn’t be talking to you without it–but I definitely let the Internet get the better of me most days.

    I say go for the timer! Mine looks like a carousel with pretty horses. When I use it–it works,altho’ it’s a little too easy to re-set :mrgreen:

    Thanks, too, for the compliments on the log line — I did write it, but kudos and many thanks go out to our GH mate Donnell for helping me carve the original three lines down to that one!

    Good luck in the technology wars!

  3. Boone Brux
    June 15th, 2010 at 8:49 am · Link

    Liz, your husband and mine share the same fantasy, kept men. I’d love to gift him with that life. You rock, my friend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a big GH win. Maybe I should take you on Space Mountain a bagillion times to keep your mind off of it. Either that or stuff you full of brautz in Germany at Epcot Center. I’m here for ya. Love ya.


  4. Laramie Sasseville
    June 15th, 2010 at 8:49 am · Link

    Hi, Liz! Great interview.

    Yeah, I could force myself to work with a white knight about now. 🙂

    Technology is definitely a mixed blessing. I wouldn’t want to live without my internet connection to the world, but yes, it can suck up as much time as we let it. Maybe we’d do best to act like moms who make us do our homework before we can watch tv – or play on the internet.

  5. Cat Schield
    June 15th, 2010 at 8:50 am · Link

    You are a wild woman Liz! It was great meeting you this weekend. Can’t wait to party in Orlando.

    A very timely blog topic. I waste way too much time on the internet. Writing is such a lonely biz, it’s always great to connect with other writers, but sometimes we can forget about the writing. I work in short bursts, 15 minutes, half an hour, any more and I feel as if I’m holding a yoga pose. The burns starts and I gotta move.

    As for technology…I love it. Give me the latest gagets, always.

  6. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 9:05 am · Link

    I’d go on Space Mountain with you eighty kajillion times — believe me. What a great distraction! (Although, I read a bio of Elvis once written by a woman who dated him. He loved roller coasters, and she rode with him so long one time she threw up on him. I wouldn’t want that to happen to us.) Well, so long as we do Epcot and the brats AFTER Space Mountain …

    Can’t wait to room with you in Orlando–we won’t sleep a wink I’m sure. Thanks for coming by–you rock too!

  7. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 9:10 am · Link

    CP partner extraordinaire! White Knights are rare and wonderful things–I’ll wish one up for you if I can: one who’ll charge in and convince that latest editor to snap up your fabu djinni story!

    Oooh, wouldn’t that be great/awful if we could put an electronic nag on our computers every time we went to play a game or write on Facebook: “Have you written 500 words? Have you finished your goal for the day? You plant that little bottom right down on that chair, young lady.” Awesome!!

    Thanks for coming by, my friend! You’re the coolest.

  8. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 9:16 am · Link

    Hi Cat!
    A wild woman? Moi? Please don’t tell my children–they only think I’m crazy. As for meeting you this weekend, it was a gas! We are going to be dangerous together, I can tell. And I’m so glad you’ve re-upped with the MFW bunch. Nobody will ever accuse any of us in that chapter of being stuffy or stodgy writers, that’s for sure!

    I think you nailed it when you said technology is so attractive because writing is such a lonely biz. It’s addictive to get affirmations from fellow writers, and encouragement from others who totally “get” what you’re doing. But, absolutely, it would help a lot if I loved the first draft stage and could keep my concentration for longer than that fifteen minutes you mentioned. I hear ya sista!!

    Thanks for coming by. So glad to have you in my circle of friends!

  9. Tiffinie Helmer
    June 15th, 2010 at 9:54 am · Link

    Liz, great post and I can’t wait to meet and cheer you on at Nationals. I love my Internet. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to be a writer in the paper age. I love cut and paste. But I have to admit, if you aren’t careful, the Internet is a time waster. How much time do you waste promoting and not writing? It’s the book that counts. It’s the book that will get the attention. Not the promotion. Don’t get me wrong, promotion can help, but it always comes down to the book.

  10. Tamera Lynn
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:00 am · Link

    Liz. I’m not much of a paper person any more, and I don’t miss those days of clutter before the computer took over everything. I do print out my ms after the first draft and write notes all over it, all the while missing my cut and paste option. I think working in both mediums helps create fuller writing. Or maybe I’m deluding myself – lol! Anyway, great post, Liz! Wish I could join you in Orlando, but at least I’ll get to see you in September!

  11. Carole St-Laurent
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:02 am · Link

    So funny, Liz! My DH often travels to Wisconsin, by way of St.Paul – Minneapolis Airport. Maybe I’ll go with him and visit you on the way!

  12. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:12 am · Link

    Hi Tiffinie,
    I’m so glad you came to check out the blog. How’s the fishing going? I’m thrilled I get to meet you in Orlando–that’ll be so cool.

    You’re absolutely right that the book should always come first. And there’s a difference between using technology (i.e., cut and paste) and spending too much time telling yourself you’re working when you’re really not! When I figure out how to do that–I’ll let everyone know! Meanwhile, getting to chat like this is one of the bennies I’ll simply be grateful to have!

    See you in July!

  13. Amy Kennedy
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:14 am · Link

    Liz! I’ve been wanting to read Songbird since you first gifted a few of us w/ a chapter…I see big things in your future.

    The internet thing…I had to go cold turkey for a tiny bit, it was just so all consuming — staying up till 2 in the morning signing up for classes (too many) chatting with “friends” I had to unplug for awhile. Now I feel I have a better grip on it, but other things in life are eating at my writing time. Like work. Seriously, though — it seems we’re busier and busier. I need a vacation.

  14. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:16 am · Link

    Hey Tamera!
    Sweetie, I’ll take you in September, I’ll take you anywhere! Miss you tons and tons.

    You know me, Miss Whine-About-Technology. Did it in Alaska, do it here – LOL. But, do you see me writing my stories out by hand anymore? Oh, no. I miss that too, but it doesn’t make much sense to do it that way. I do love hand-editing my printed-out drafts, so I get my pencil-to-paper fix that way. But that just proves I’m ten years older than you are 🙂 I’m only grateful all of you are dragging me along the techno highway behind you!

    Love ya! See you in the fall.

  15. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:20 am · Link

    You just stop by Minneapolis/St. Paul ANYTIME. Let your hubby fly on–we’ll take the time to laugh and chat about writing and being horse-moms (or grandmas). Wouldn’t it be cool to get together?? Hey, I’ll even drive to Wisconsin 🙂

  16. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:23 am · Link

    Amy, hi!
    You always have such fun things to say, and such good insight. I’m glad you took a little break from technology–smart lady. I’d like to work up the nerve to take a whole month off and just breathe! Not that we don’t love our work and our friends, right? But that vacation sounds wonderful to me!

    Thanks for the nice words about Songbird. One of my biggest dreams is to have you (or the boss) be able to review it for RBTB. What a thrill that would be! Meanwhile, I wish you good luck on all your own writing. Then we’ll review YOUR book!

    Thanks for coming to comment, Amy! Hope to see you soon.

  17. Gillian Layne
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:27 am · Link

    Liz, I’m certain your dream agent will be contacting you–on line, of course!–very soon!

    If I could get away with avoiding technology, I would. The friendships it has brought into my life are worth their weight in gold, but goodness, does it eat up time! My day job paperwork is all tied to the internet, as well, so when it’s down–nothing gets done. And when the State Education department wants its paperwork, that’s not good! 🙂

    I dislike how many places I think authors are expected to “be”: Twitter, Facebook, blog hopping, etc. I really don’t know how people keep up.

    My favorite on-line contacts? Newsletters. I’ve never received a boring one yet, and then I don’t have to keep up with which author is releasing which book.

  18. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:44 am · Link

    Hi Gillian,
    I loved your post. I sure will take my dream agent–online, absolutely!

    I think you got my feelings just right too. It’s the advice that we have to have a “presence” so many places that makes me the most crazy. It would be easy if I didn’t enjoy the contact, but I really have my thoughts turned around: if I don’t keep up the contact, I’ll be harming my career. What career, if I don’t have the writing done to sell — to that online dream agent!!

    Thanks for the insight, Gillian. Can’t wait to meet you this summer. I’ll keep in mind the newsletters–I like them too!

  19. Paula Bonelli
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:55 am · Link

    Hi Liz–

    Really nice article…laughed OUT LOUD several times. You do have a way with words. :mrgreen: (That’s for envy!) But a good kind, not a jealous kind. So happy things are happening for you. You have a real talent paired with a golden heart; truly the best combination for success.

    Now get your butt in that chair! 😆 ~Ciao, Paula

  20. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 11:03 am · Link

    What a wonderful treat to have my family stop by–you are a treasure! Thanks for the nice words — I’m always glad when I make someone laugh. Remember how many years we’ve shared wonderful laughter?? So, until we get together again, okay. I’m going, I’m going … butt’s in the chair!!
    Love ya!

  21. Jane Sevier
    June 15th, 2010 at 12:50 pm · Link

    What a funny, utterly fabulous interview, Liz! I keep saying I can’t wait to meet you in Orlando, and it is so true.

    Technology keeps threatening to get the better of me. I loathe talking on the phone, so I’m an email junkie. Problem is, I’m on several writer’s loops, and some of them are VERY active, so I’m always behind reading posts. I suppose I should leave some of them, but I’m always afraid I’ll miss something really good.

    And I lurve Facebook, where I’ve made new friends and reconnected with people I hadn’t heard from in years. It’s the new village green.

    So what do I do to get writing done? I get my butt in the chair no later than 9 in the morning and do my best to keep it there until 1 p.m. Writing is my job, so I’m lucky to have that time. If I have to look up something on the Internet or simply can’t help taking a break, I time it so I’m back to my manuscript in 15 minutes. That works most of the time. 😉

    By 1, I’m usually tired, so I knock off to read and answer email (ha!), take care of family business and errands, and think about what to fix for supper. If I’m on a deadline, I get back to work after supper. Otherwise, I read or watch a movie or TV in the evenings. Inspiration can come from anywhere, I tell myself.

    Adventure is out there!

  22. Donnell
    June 15th, 2010 at 1:14 pm · Link

    Great job, Lizbeth, I hope we don’t die close together, our epitaphs will read the same. Can’t wait to meet you in Orlando.

  23. Abigail Sharpe
    June 15th, 2010 at 4:01 pm · Link

    Lizbeth, I don’t think I could do this if I had to do it on a typewriter. Or worse yet, by hand! *gasp* I type so much faster than I write that my words can actually catch up to my brain.

  24. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 4:16 pm · Link

    Hey Jane!
    Thanks so much for all the nice words. You know I think we’re going to find we have a jillion things in common, and the feeling about meeting you is totally mutual!

    You talked about being on so many writers’ loops and I am too. I agree totally that curtailing my responses would give me so much more time–but I love them, and heaven forbid they go a day without reading my dulcet tones (mixing sensory references in a blog, hmmmm). But I have to say, you have a great schedule set up for yourself. Honestly, if I could just do the writing first all would be well. I guess that’s why they call this an addiction, huh?

    Adventure IS out there — and if you’ll wear Ellie goggles when we’re scheduled to meet, we’ll find it together! Thanks for checking out the blog! See you next month.

  25. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 4:20 pm · Link

    Hi Donnell,
    So, we have the same “issues” ‘eh? Well, I’d share epitaphs with you–I was about to say any day, but let’s wait a good long while 😀

    And, thanks again for the help with the log line and pitch. Hope you liked their test drive here! I really appreciate your expertise! Can’t wait to meet you in person.

  26. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 4:23 pm · Link

    Hey Abigail,
    Heck, I couldn’t use a typewriter any more either. But when I first started in the newspaper business, we honestly didn’t have computers in the newsroom. It was still printing galleys and pasting up. I hated the typewriter, hence the handwriting. But, at least we older dogs learned the new tricks. I’m all for keyboards now!

    Thanks for checking out the blog today!

  27. Sharon Lynn Fisher
    June 15th, 2010 at 4:50 pm · Link

    “Deleted from this life by rogue electrons”

    LOVE IT! :mrgreen:

    So many loops. So many blogs. So many tweets. I often resort to turning off my wireless connection. But the most time-consuming part is, as you say, keeping up with correspondence. Yet those connections with other writers keep us sane.

    I think the answer may be in rewarding yourself with online activities after X number of hours of actual working. Maybe I’ll try that …

    I really enjoyed your post, Lizbeth, and look forward to meeting you in Orlando! (I too majored in journalism, worked at a small paper, and then work in trade journals early in my career!)

  28. G. Jillian Stone
    June 15th, 2010 at 7:28 pm · Link

    And the technology thing is just going to become bigger and more seductive. Here’s a cheery thought:

    Know what I like the most about e-book sales?

    If you write cross-genre your book gets put on all these different electronic bookshelves! Take as an example, a historical paranormal with erotic elements. Let’s see: historical, paranormal, erotic romance, maybe romantic suspense or thriller as well? I count five e-bookshelves. At Barnes & Noble, you’d only get one.

    I love that little e-marketing insight. 😆

  29. Shea Berkley
    June 15th, 2010 at 7:39 pm · Link

    Great blog, Lizbeth!

    If we live in the technological era, why do I still have tons of paper littering my office? Grrrr. Something’s not right in my world.

    With that said, I handle the tech side of my life poorly. I have a hard time going to all the sites I want to visit and still write with any kind of success. I can drown myself in blogs and loops talking about writing and the writing life without actually writing if I’m not careful. I try to visit places when my friends ask, but it doesn’t always happen. I hope I get points for trying, though.

  30. Gabrielle
    June 15th, 2010 at 7:43 pm · Link

    Dear Susan 😀

    Boy, do I hear ya! The best thing to happen to my writing was my internet going down and taking my ADSL TV with it, right before Nano. I decided to ignore it for a month, and got a massive amount of writing done. That’s why I do a lot of my writing at Starbucks. I seriously think I need to install whichever program it is that disables your internet for a set period, so I can do my writing *then* play. I do much better with external deadlines, though–wish Nano happened every month.

    Loved your interview, wish I was going to Orlando!

  31. Heather Snow
    June 15th, 2010 at 7:48 pm · Link

    Oh, Lizbeth! So very true…

    I heard Lisa Kleypas quoted as saying that she puts in 1200 words before she even checks her e-mail (paraphrasing here). That so stuck with me, because I think that kind of discipline is what it takes. I hear that in my head every morning as I’m checking my e-mail before I’ve written a word on the WIP, too. One day, I’m going to listen!

    It’s lovely to get to know you a bit better!

  32. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:10 pm · Link

    Hi Sharon,
    It sounds like we’ll have a lot to talk about in Orlando. We really did follow similar paths!

    You’re right-it’s the correspondence that keeps me from really working. I love it. I hate being beholden to it. And it’s definitely all about learning to get the work done first and THEN rewarding yourself. Way easier said than done for me.

    Can’t wait to meet you in Florida!

  33. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:15 pm · Link

    Hey Jillian,
    I think you’ve hit on the very reason e-pubbed authors are so excited these days. The more sophisticated and “exclusive” the e-pubs get, the more audience there is, the more potential there is, and the more work too! Plus, your books stay around virtually forever when they’re e-pubbed; they don’t get pulled off that one B&N shelf. It’s definitely a brave new world for writers who started out filling notebooks with story ideas. But the possibilities are sure endless!

    Great insights! Thanks for your take on them. See you in Orlando!

  34. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:20 pm · Link

    Hi Shea!
    I remember from your wonderful interview/blog last week that you said you weren’t the world’s foremost teckkie. Still, we manage somehow. I still have paper too — I keep notes and notebooks full of notes and drawers full of notebooks 😉 And, I get so hooked on the new blogs and loops I’ve joined recently, that I know I have to learn to curb the fun or take two years to write each book. But, oh my, yes–you get big points for trying — and for accomplishing! I hope I’m on the brownie point list too.

    Thanks for checking out this particular blog today. 🙂 I look forward to Orlando!!

  35. Elisa Beatty
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:25 pm · Link

    Fun post, Liz! What a pleasure to learn more about you…and if your husband wants to keep another writer, I’m available!! (I love my husband dearly, but he doesn’t even cook.)

    And the seductive technology thing…oy vay!! I do love the online romance community, but hours can so easily be lost…. On that note….

  36. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:25 pm · Link

    Hey Gabrielle,
    Too funny — it actually took me a sec to get the “Susan” — it’s heck getting old. And I’m not really all that old yet, sigh…

    Anyhow, you bring up such a good idea–the whole writing at Starbucks concept. I live in a rural area and the nearest coffee shop is about 20 miles away. I wish with all my heart I’d just pack up and go sit somewhere else; give it a try. I really am such a ferret/raven/raccoon — any shiny thing is so distracting. Like in the movie “Up,” all it takes is a “Squirrel!!!”

    And external deadlines — NaNo — oh, I so hear you sister! If it were NaNo every month, I’d be in such good shape. Well, writing wise.

    Wish you were coming to Orlando too. We’ll have to figure out another way for all the Unsinkables to meet!

  37. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 15th, 2010 at 10:29 pm · Link

    LOL: “I hear that in my head every morning as I’m checking my e-mail before I’ve written a word on the WIP, too.”

    Oh, that’s so me too. I promise myself–PROMISE myself–that today I’m going to write first, answer e-mails second. Then it’s like an addiction, a craving. Just one little peek–make sure no bombs dropped overnight, nobody needs me desperately. (Can you say, egomaniac?) And I’m sunk. Someday I’m going to listen to Lisa Kleypas too. I knew there was a reason I liked her.

    I’m really looking forward to meeting you, Heather! Thanks for stopping by here!

  38. Vanessa Barneveld
    June 16th, 2010 at 3:18 am · Link

    Hi, Elisabeth and Liz! Fabulous interview. Really enjoyed getting to know you some more, Liz.

    I think the trick is to do the work first, then reward yourself with, say, 15 minutes playtime on the internet. And one day, I might just follow my own advice!

  39. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 16th, 2010 at 6:49 am · Link

    Hey Elisa,
    I told my daughter that very little was required of a husband-to-be: he keeps you safe and he can cook. I think she got 50%–and the half she got ain’t cooking either. I truly am lucky–my hubby cooks the hard stuff (defined as ‘recipe needs things chopped up’). And, he says if you want temporary adopting, come on over!

    Thanks for checking out my interview!

  40. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 16th, 2010 at 6:52 am · Link

    Hi Vanessa,
    I’m afraid you are 100% right — work before play. It’s a very sad fact that I’ve always been like a river otter: slide down those rocks, roll around, make people giggle — oh, yeah, I need to catch fish … Play first? Fun but not wise.

    I’m trying to learn! Thanks for posting. Will I see you in Orlando??

  41. Jen McAndrews
    June 16th, 2010 at 10:55 am · Link

    Great interview and post, Liz! Gotta confess, my trick is a very, very, very old laptop that does not connect to internet. Keeps a girl dedicated, lemme tell ya 😀
    can’t wait to see you in Orlando!! The countdown is on!

  42. Keli Gwyn
    June 16th, 2010 at 5:49 pm · Link

    What a fun interview, Liz!

    I hear you on the lure of cyber space. It’s so tempting to hang out with my writing pals in the blogosphere and on Facebook, Twtter, and Yahoo! loops. When you find the secret to managing the techno flow, let me know. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to meeting you in Orlando. It’s not long now.

  43. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 16th, 2010 at 9:41 pm · Link

    Hey Jen,
    Thanks so much! And what, duh, good advice–no access to Internet. Sometimes the simplest things escape me! I’m looking forward to having a blast in Orlando!

  44. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 16th, 2010 at 9:43 pm · Link

    Keli-thanks so much for coming by to check out the interview. You certainly boosted my confidence for doing these with your wonderful site–that let me know I could do it.

    I’ll definitely let you know when I’ve got Technology bending to my will – LOL. But you’re so organized–I think I’ll be the one pumping you for tips! Can’t wait for Orlando.

  45. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 16th, 2010 at 9:45 pm · Link

    Thanks to everyone of you who came by to chat — and thank you, Elisabeth for this wonderful opportunity. This was a truly fun interview to do and I wish you all the best and tons of success with your writing. Hope to meet you sometime soon!

  46. Mary Oldham
    June 16th, 2010 at 10:20 pm · Link


    Great post! Really wonderful to hear about your writing journey! (I’m very impressed!) I’m a kindred spirit when it comes to working at a newspaper, only I’m in advertising and the writers never talk to us revenue people!

    Can’t wait to meet you in Orlando! 40 days and counting!

    😀 Mary

  47. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 16th, 2010 at 10:43 pm · Link

    I am so excited to meet you too! Before college I spent time in “advertising” too — lol, I worked for the classified ad department at the Minneapolis Star and Tribune :mrgreen: I was always jealous of the writers — so believe me, you and I can swap stories! A kindred spirit is a kindred spirit! See you in 40 days!

  48. Keely Thrall
    June 17th, 2010 at 12:43 pm · Link

    Liz – oy – I just signed up for Twitter yesterday so I can Tweet about Awards night at the RWA National conference in Orlando. I’ve no idea what door I’m opening…

    I like the line, “don’t let technology control you. You control the technology.” I try to live by it, but I have a 24/7 work “ShackleBerry” and it’s linked to my Facebook account…when to draw the line is super important.

    I’ve found what works best for me is to write at coffee shops and other food court type places (Panera’s is a big one). I stay off the internet and because I’m not at home, I’m not distracted by the latest book, that toilet that needs scouring, or any of a million other chores that might keep me away from writing. I find when I schedule “appointment writing” if keeps me focused on the job at hand.

    See you in Orlando!

  49. Lizbeth Selvig
    June 17th, 2010 at 1:15 pm · Link

    Hey Keely,
    The more I consider it, the more I think I simply have to find me a coffee shop close to home. My crit group and my RWA chapter board both meet at a Panera that’s about 40 minutes away. I live in the boonies, but I think it may be worth it to find a place, drive there and stay off the I-net for a few hours. Such good advice. And it is really hard to do that when you need to be in touch with your job. Nothing you can do about that.

    I love “Shackleberry.” My daughter calls hers her “Crackberry.” If I had a smart phone, I’d be sunk. I have a stupid old fashioned RISR that causes me enough grief 🙂

    I’m looking forward to Orlando big time! Can’t wait to meet you.

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