April 26, 2012
Posted in Uncategorized at 12:49 pm by elizabethcaulfieldfelt
The book launch was fabulous! I thank everyone who came, and I am totally in awe of the staff at Cornerstone Press for doing such a marvelous job putting it all together. We estimated a crowd of about 150 (there were 150 chairs, nearly all filled, and people standing). I’m still waiting to hear how many books were sold.
So, here are some photos:
Cornerstone Press staff setting up the book table. In addition to Syncopation, other Cornerstone titles were available, as was The Stolen Goldin Violin.
I greet a table of very important guests.
Guests check out the book table.
The place is starting to fill up!
Boone Sorenson (program emcee, on left) and Per Henningsgaard (Cornerstone editor-in-chief, in center) discuss the order of the program.
The frightening moment arrives and I have to take the stage. I talk about writing Syncopation and then read an excerpt.
I sign books.
Kristen and Boone draw the names of the raffle winners.(Don’t the raffle prizes look wonderful?)
Again, a heartfelt thanks to those of you who came and those of you who made the event so wonderful.
If you live outside central Wisconsin and would like me to visit a bookstore in your area, please contact me: elizabethcfelt at gmail.com. I love to travel!!
April 15, 2012
Today I’m welcoming T. C. Isbell to my series of author interviews. T. C. is the author of Southern Cross, the first in the Prelude to War series.
A: Southern Cross is a World War 2 historical thriller. German agents Elsa Gable and Chris Schulte grew up together in a Germany ravaged by the Great War. They became inseparable as they matured into more than friends, more than family. They had a bond no one could destroy, at least that’s what Chris believed until the night of December 2, 1938 when a telegram arrived that changed Chris’ life forever.
A: Icarus Plot, the second novel in my Prelude to War series, takes place in Panama in 1940. Clive Smith, an MI6 agent, tracks a German spy, Chris Schulte, through the first book in the series. Clive is certain that the threat has not been resolved in Havana at the end of Southern Cross. He follows a trail to Panama where he discovers foreign and American interests are attempting to disable the Panama Canal and effectively divide the world in half. I hope to finish Icarus Plot before Christmas 2012.
Q: What drew you to this time period?
A: I have been an avid fan of World War Two history ever since high school. When I retired I started an in depth research project into the time period preceding Germanyfs invasion of Poland. Before I knew it, I was writing a novel that weaved the story of Chris Schulte and my other characters into my historical research.
Q: I see that you’ve written short stories in the past, can you tell us about them?
A: Yes, I have written a number of short stories. Presently, two of them, “Mattie’s Shoes” and “Surf’s Up” are available for Amazon’s Kindle. In “Mattie’s Shoes” a sixty-nine year old widow confronts a closet full of old shoes and old memories. “Mattie’s Shoes” placed in the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category. In the other story Billy Bonzer, an old surfer from Southern California, learns a lesson about working for big business and big government by participating in an inner tube race.
Q: Enough of your books tell us about yourself.
A: Ever since childhood, I have been intrigued by the arts–painting, music, and writing. Starting in high school, I wrote short stories and poetry. In the late sixties I joined the Navy. During the Vietnam era I wrote a number of poems that were published in the Berkeley Barb. I may publish them as a collection sometime, but for now they remain locked away. After my discharge, I returned to college and graduated with a BA in mechanical engineering. I worked for the Navy repairing nuclear power plants until I retired in 2005. My first challenge after retirement was to learn how to not write like an engineer. My second challenge was to learn everything I missed while staring out the window during my high school English classes.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
A: First: sit down and write – write everyday. Set aside a specific time each day. Maybe in the beginning it’s just thirty minutes or an hour, but do it religiously. Soon writing will become a habit. Don’t get bogged down with creating the perfect sentence. Nothing is ever perfect to a writer. Write what’s in your head and sort it out later. Second: read books in the genre you write in. The authors you read have spent a lot of time learning their craft and have things to teach you. Third: consider, but don’t be deterred by the opinions of others – follow your dreams.
We have now reached the time in our interview for the let’s-get-to-know-the-author-better, nearly-pointless, sort-of-silly, rapid-fire questions:
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, I drink vast mounts of strong, French Roast coffee while I work. I don’t smoke, so I have to do something that’s bad for me. To paraphrase Mark Twain, when you get really sick, you need a vice to throw overboard to stop your ship from sinking. I guess coffee is mine.
Ocean or mountain?
Mountains – I was in the Navy for six years and have seen enough of the world’s oceans.
Hiking or shopping?
I enjoy hiking and climbing. I have climbed most of the volcanoes in the Cascade Mountain Range, including Mt Rainier.
Violin or piano?
Piano, but really harpsichord. In the early seventies when I lived outside of San Francisco I owned a Baldwin electric harpsichord along with an assortment of guitars and other musical instruments.
Mystery or fantasy?
Mystery, but actually both. I like writing mysteries, but I am working on a science fiction novel.
Hester Prynne or Scarlett O’Hara?
Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne for all of the contradictions in her life. Her story becomes even more poignant, considering today’s political climate.
Love scene or death scene?
Death scene – I think a richer palette of emotions from love to hate can be drawn into a death scene.
Thank you, T.C.
Thanks, T.C. !
April 10, 2012
Posted in Adele Hugo, books, Syncopation tagged Syncopation; Adele Hugo; Annella Kochanowski; Boone Sorenson; Cornerstone Press at 2:22 pm by elizabethcaulfieldfelt
I am delighted with the trailer for Syncopation that Cornerstone Press has created. The actress playing Adele is Annella Kochanowski, a former student of mine and an excellent pianist. Please watch, like and share!
April 1, 2012
Today I’m welcoming Tina Boscha to my series of author interviews. Tina is the author of River in the Sea.
Q: Can you give us a brief description of your novel?
When a German soldier’s dog bolts in front of Leen’s truck, in a fraction of a second, she must make a choice: brake hard, or hit the gas.
She floors it.
What happens next sets off a chain of events that pitches Leen, just 15, and her family against the German forces when they are most desperate – and fierce. Leen tries to hold her family together, but despite her efforts, bit by bit everything falls apart. And just when Leen experiences a horrific loss, she must make a decision that could forever brand her a traitor, yet finally allow her to live as her heart desires.
River in the Sea is my account of one girl reaching adulthood when everything she believes about family, friendship, and loyalty is questioned by war.
Q: Was it difficult to write a novel based on your own mother?
A: Initially the challenge of writing a novel based on my own mother felt insurmountable. There were a number of issues I wrestled with; first, it’s based on her as a teenager, but obviously I never knew her then (and really, I have always known her as middle-aged or older, as she had me when she was 41). Second, I was convinced I had to stay as true as possible to the way events unfolded. This ended up being quite paralyzing. I wanted to do right by her and my family, but I wanted this to be my book, which felt selfish. Only when I gave my permission to take more control over the story and the character of Leen as I imagined her to be did the writing really flow, and in the end my mom has told me that she feels I got both her and the feeling of what it was like to be a teen at that time exactly right. Of course, she might be biased!
I think sometimes the real person who should be interviewed is my mother – what is it like to have a book written about YOU?!
Q: How much historical fact is woven into your novel?
A: It feels like quite a bit, yet I honestly don’t know. I’ve never felt that this book is historical first, fiction second, nor do I feel like it’s a “war” book. I feel like it’s a coming of age story set against the backdrop of war. Clearly there is a historical element here, as well as the unique setting of Friesland. But when I cut over 100 pages over the course of many revisions, it feels like I cut much of the exposition that gave a lot of precise historical information.
What is on the page, though, was largely gleaned from conversations with my father. He remembered so many amazing details that never would be found in a text. He was able to tell me that electricity was cut nearly right away after the occupation began, even though in my research I thought it was 1943. He waved that off and said, “Oh shit, they cut that right away.” From that point on I trusted him more than anyone else.
He also told me about a girl he remembered who came back from an outing with a Canadian soldier with her entire back covered in yellow daffodil pollen. I found that so evocative and telling that I included that in the novel.
In the end, the historical fact was really about making it feel authentic and less about “here’s the history because it’s important”, if that makes sense.
Q: Your novel has garnered several awards. Tell us about them.
A: I mostly received awards during the writing – I have yet to win an award after it’s been published! (I’m trying, though!) I feel very fortunate to have received a Literary Fellowship from Oregon Literary Arts. That, combined with a research/living expenses grant from the University of Oregon’s Center for the Study of Women in Society, gave me a summer where all I did was write and revise. It was magical. Until that point I really struggled with time and self-esteem and motivation and those awards gave me the resources and more importantly, the confidence, to work on the book. Without them I’m not sure where the book would be.
Q: Enough of your book—tell us about yourself.
A: I have always felt the best description of me is “not quite”. I’m not quite Dutch, but Frisian, really; I’m a mom but a step mom, not a biological one; I’m a college instructor, not a professor; I’m a published author, but not through a traditional publisher. I’m also not quite 6 feet but darn close! I am crazy busy with work, writing my next novel, marketing, and my favorite things to do in the whole wide world are to read, take baths, and walk my dogs in the sunshine. I live for summer!
Q: So when you say you didn’t go the traditional publishing route, does that mean you self-published? How did you come to that decision?
A: I decided to self-publish after I had my last rejection in the Winter of 2010. I almost sold the book to a small press in Canada, and I was so, so hopeful. They turned me down not on the basis of the manuscript, but because I am American and they didn’t want to be the lead publisher. Strangely, that gave me the confidence to go out on my own. It was like a light switch flipped – it wasn’t the book or me, it was the publishers. And of course, we all know that self-publishing is far more viable and respectable now (at least for me). I also just couldn’t stomach shelving the book – something told me, no, it shouldn’t be shelved. And my mom is now 80, and I wanted her to have the book in her hands. So last fall I released it on my own after revising, polishing, editing, proofing, all the things you have to do as an independent author, and I haven’t looked back.
We’ve now reached the time in our interview for the let’s-get-to-know-the-author-better, nearly-pointless, sort-of-silly, rapid-fire questions:
Coffee or tea? Tea, every morning and every afternoon. Tetley and decaf English breakfast!
Ocean or mountain? Mountain. (But I live in Oregon, so in an hour’s drive I can be at either!)
Hiking or shopping? Hiking.
Violin or piano? Piano.
Mystery or fantasy? Fantasy.
Darcy or Heathcliff? Neither! They’re both stuffy jerks.
Love scene or death scene? Love scene!
To learn more about Tina, visit her blog www.tinaboscha.com