About Me

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Welcome to Heartstrings.Thanks for stopping by. I am a mother, a grandmother, and an author of historical western romance and contemporary romantic fiction. Ethan's Heart, book one of The Blackwood Brothers' series won the 2017 Maggie Award for Excellence. Book two, Escorting Darby Bloom, features Blackwood brother Isaac and will be released in December 2017. Stay tuned for more books in this series. If contemporaries are more your thing, check out Carly's Rule and Dusty's Fate. They are both Amazon Best-Sellers.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Interview with award-winning, multi-published author and speaker, Elizabeth Sinclair

      Interview with Elizabeth Sinclair, a multi-published author whose books have sold in seventeen countries and have been translated into seven foreign languages. She is also the author of the widely acclaimed instructional book, The Dreaded Synopsis.

   1.      Tell us a little about yourself.

Hawks Mountain
I’m an upstate New York transplant to my lovely adopted city of St Augustine FL.  We have three grown children, five grandchildren, two grandchildren-in-law, and a great grandchild due in August. My husband and I also have three furry kids: a 78 pound Collie, Ripley; a 74 pound Golden Retriever, Lily; and a foster dog, a 58 pound Rottweiler, Butch. We will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in June.

2.      What inspired you to write your first book?
Summer Rose
I’ve always loved to write.  I was the kid who was thrilled with a composition assignment in school while all the rest were about to slit their wrists. But I never took my love of writing seriously until I read Kathleen Woodwiss’ THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER.  I so loved that book that when I finished it, I decided to try my hand at it…not that I thought I could come close to Kathleen.

3.      You write contemporary romance, romantic fiction, and paranormal romance. Do you have a favorite sub-genre?

If it’s a good book with a good plot, any sub-genre.  However, I do tend to lean toward light paranormal romance when I want to read for pleasure.  No vampires or werewolves.  Just a few ghosts and supernatural goings on.

4.      Where do you get all your ideas?

Eight Men & a Lady
Everywhere. Sometimes it’s a picture or one line from a poem, a TV show or a song.  Sometimes it’s my imagination kicking in when I see an event or hear a conversation and wonder “What if….?”  One of my books, EIGHT MEN AND A LADY, came from a challenge from my husband. I was wondering why no one had ever used Snow White to paraphrase a romance novel – seven men, one woman, isolated in the woods? It was begging to be a contemporary version in a romance novel.  He told me to put my money where my mouth was, and the book was born.

5.      What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

Plotting, hands down.  I agonize over my plots.  I believe it’s mostly because I’m always looking for a new and interesting twist and until it pops into my head, it’s torture.

6.      How long does it take you to write a book?

The Overnight Groom
Well, depending how much procrastination enters the equation, a short contemporary takes about 3 months and a longer single title about 5-give or take a few weeks.

7.      What is your writing schedule like? For example, do you write any time of the day or do you prefer a specific time of day? Do you write for a specific amount of hours or pages?

Normally, I write from about 9 am until 3 pm, at which point my brain atrophies, and I find I’m writing drivel, so I quit and go play Pogo  Then there are days when the words are flowing, and I look at the clock, and realize it’s time for supper. I don’t do well if I handicap myself by limiting my writing time or the number of pages.  I keep a worksheet on the current book’s progress (word count), so I know how much I write each day and how many words I have yet to go.  That pretty much keeps me on track.

8.      Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you cope with it?

Baptism in Fire
I don’t look at it as writer’s block.  I see it as plot block.  Whatever the reason my writing comes to a screeching halt, it can always be found somewhere within the plot – weak GMCs, unbelievable characters, a sagging middle, writing a scene from the wrong character’s point of view and a bunch of other reasons.  What it usually entails is backing up and reading what I have until I spot the problem. If that fails, I usually scream for help form my critique partners.

9.      You’re the author of The Dreaded Synopsis, A Writing and Plotting Guide. How did writing this come about?
The Dreaded Synopsis
It’s all Debra Dixon’s fault.  After having utilized her GMC method in my writing, I wondered if it could be used for the synopsis as well, so since we’d been friends for years, I asked her if I could use the GMC to devise a synopsis workshop and if she’d look it over before I presented it.  She graciously agreed.  When I’d finished the workshop handout, I sent it to her.  She said she’d never seen the method for writing a synopsis presented that way, and I should write a book about it.  The seed was planted, and though I initially balked at the idea, when I hit a lull between book deadlines, I decided to do it.

10.  Do you have any writing tips on plotting?

If my critique partners are reading this, they’re saying “Yes, her mantra.  Write a GMC for each character, including the villain.” And they’d be right.  Without it, you can have no plot.  It’s the spine of the book, the place from which everything in the plot originates.

11.  What is your personal writing goal?

Burning Secrets
To continue writing and to do it well enough that it will afford my readers enjoyment.  Of course, making the NY Times list isn’t a bad idea either.

12.  What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you while you were at a book signing or giving a presentation? What is the funniest?

Actually, the strangest and the funniest all happened at the same book signing with the same lady.  She came to the table with three copies of my book.  This is not normally anything unusual. Sometimes people buy a copy for themselves and one for friends.  However, she asked that they ALL be signed to her.  Yep, all to her. After biting back my surprise, I asked why she was buying three copies for herself.  Her answer was “Because I’m a good person, and I deserve them.”  I signed the copies and wished her a good day. After which I sat there in stunned silence for a time before bursting out laughing.

13.  What is your current work-in-progress, and can you summarize it in a few lines?

My current work in progress is WINTER MAGIC, the fourth book in the Hawks Mountain series for Bell Bridge Books, written with a Cinderella like theme.  It’s about a woman taken completely out of her element, thrust into a situation about which she has no knowledge, and as a result, finds love and happiness she never dreamed of.

14.  What writing advice or tips would you like to give to other writers?
Learn your craft.  Devote yourself to the writing and stick with it.  Determination + patience + persistence = published.

15.  You're writing a series for Bell Bridge Books. How do these stories connect? How many of these books will there be?
Hawks Mountain
All the books in the HAWKS MOUNTAIN series take place in a fictitious small mountain town of Carson, WV.  The characters are either residents of the town or people who come to live in the small community for one reason or another.  The other ongoing thread in all the books is a character called Granny Jo Hawks. Granny is the sage of the community, the one everyone goes to for advice, the glue that holds the community together.  I just signed a contract for three more books, making the total under contract eight, but my editor says she’d like to run it for at least twelve books total.

Thank you Elizabeth.  If you would like to visit Elizabeth Sinclair's website, please click on the following link.   Elizabeth Sinclair


  1. If anyone gets their hands on her first book, Jenny's Castle, it's one of my all time favorites. You may have to do some searching for it, though, as it's out of print. Wish they'd bring it out on an e-book.

  2. You can get it used on Amazon, Vickie. I'm not sure when Harlequin will put it out in e-book, if ever. I hope soon. It's the only book of mine I don't have a copy of.

    1. We can't have that. I have a copy. What do you say if I give it to you, so you can complete the set of your books?