– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Foul Deeds Will Rise (Backstage Mystery Series #2)’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.
She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.
By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.
After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself.
THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES
Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.
Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”
The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Ideas are easy. Deciding how to flesh them out and make them interesting and exciting is a challenge. Every time I make a decision in my writing, it leads to more decisions. I want to make sure I am making the best ones to create the best book I am capable of at the time. However, sometimes I get lost in the decision making process and selecting the most dramatic option that is right for the progress of the story in a particular book can be daunting.
What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?
I am drawn to historical fiction. I think a lot of other people are too. It is interesting to me learn how consciousness/thought has evolved over the last hundred years and how we as human beings have changed. When we look back – even in fiction – we can see the origination of that evolution. When we read about characters that are living in a different time, a different world from ours, we can be drawn into their world and time and in some way, experience what they experienced. We make connections. This is particularly true when an actual event in the past resonates with us. The backdrop of Foul Deeds Will Rise is the Financial Panic of 1873. It was originally called the Great Depression until the Crash of 1929 happened. But what happened in 1873 was very much like what happened in 2007-2008, only it was a railroad investing bubble that burst. It impacted everyone’s life just as the past crisis did.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
For me, there doesn’t seem to be an average. Some books simply take longer than others. When I know what decisions to make, it creates a momentum of its own and things go easily and I can get a first draft down in a month or a little bit more. Other times it has taken me more than a year. It also depends on the amount of research I have to do and the deadlines that I create. There is nothing better, I believe, for a writer than to have a deadline. It creates a wonderful propensity for focus which in turn helps to create momentum.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Jane Eyre. It was my favorite book growing up and I must have read it six times. It has everything a reader would want – a well written story about an unloved orphan, a tortured hero, a mystery, and a dramatic climax. However, when Jane’s friend Helen Burns dies, the first person who ever cared for her, I wept copiously. This happened every time I read the book and I know I would today if I read it again.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Once I heard it said that there are only about twenty master plots and everything written is a variation of those plots. I can’t write anything else other than what I can write. I like to think that I write things that I would like to read. I am passionate about finding out about small incidents in history that make a difference in our lives – and then using them in some way to create a compelling story. I believe that there is an audience for that because I am not alone. I know that there are other people that enjoy reading what I do. So I believe an audience already exists for my writing, sooner or later they will match up.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It’s just a wonderful thing to physically hold your first book (and every book) in your hands. There is no experience like having the project that you have worked on for so long and tended to so carefully, actually come to fruition. Each time is better and better and because of that it makes you want to write more and make each book better than the last.
The Magic Of Wor(l)ds