I’m thrilled to have fellow paranormal author, Elizabeth Meyette, on my blog today. Hailing from the USA, she’s the author of bestselling, The Cavanaugh House. Here she tells us all about herself and what inspired her to write it. Take it away, Elizabeth…
Thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog, Shani. As a child I used to devour Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books, loving the mysterious stories and the brilliance of the girl detectives. Then I graduated to Agatha Christie with her unique sleuths, and I knew I wanted to write a mystery someday. A career as an English and journalism teacher interrupted my plans though, so I retired early to pursue writing full time. My friend says I’m not retired, I’m “refired” and I have to agree. I’m living the dream. My husband Rich and our children are very supportive. We live in Michigan, U.S. surrounded by the beautiful Great Lakes. Rich and I have an agreement that I don’t cook on writing days because I do things like forget to put water in the pan to steam the broccoli or neglect the chicken in the oven. Fortunately, Rich is a wonderful cook!
It was a whisper. As I was driving through a particularly busy stretch of highway in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada a sentence floated into my brain: “This house held secrets…” On and on the sentences came and there was nothing I could do about it since I was driving and Rich was sleeping. As soon as I was able I wrote down the words that my muse, Boris, had fed me. Along with the words came the image of a house and memories of legend and tragedy from my childhood. The legend was of the White Lady who haunted a park in my hometown, Rochester, NY. The tragedy was a suicide discovered by a young boy in my neighbourhood who looked across the street one night and saw, through an attic window, a body hanging from the ceiling. The attic window was actually two small windows close together and every time I passed that house, those windows were like a magnet drawing my eyes. I knew the White Lady and a house with those windows would play significant roles in my book. I had a very clear picture of what the house would look like.
While we were visiting my family in Rochester, we drove to the gorgeous Finger Lakes area in the middle of the state. Rich suggested I set my book there and I loved that idea as I’d spent time in that region as a child. As we drove along, we passed the house. That’s right—the house I had imagined in my head with the exact windows was right there on the side of the road, abandoned and forlorn. We stopped and Rich took all kinds of pictures, one of which became my cover for The Cavanaugh House. I knew I had to write this book.
Art imitating life, that happens to me too, in the most scary of ways sometimes. What other books have you had published – are they paranormal also?
I’ve published two historical romances set during the American Revolution: Love’s Destiny and Love’s Spirit. Now, I always taught my writing students to “know your audience,” so these books might not be very popular in England LOL. Emily Wentworth, an English girl becomes the ward of Jonathon Brentwood, an American Patriot because of a provision in her father’s will. Emily thinks Jonathon will be “older and not as robust” as her father; Jonathon thinks “Little Em,” as George called her, will be about ten-years-old. When they meet, both are surprised and sparks fly. These two books are not paranormal, but they are rated sensuous on Amazon so they might make a reader’s heart beat faster.
They sound great – and personally, I love American history. How would you describe your writing process? Do you outline or sit down, type the first sentence and then fly by the seat of your pants all the way?
I am a complete pantser. I sit down and begin to write and let the characters (and Boris) take me where they will. I have an idea about the general direction of the story, but I am often surprised where I end up. Each day I read aloud whatever I wrote the previous day, and sometimes it’s like I’m seeing it for the first time. My characters often dictate what will happen, and if I don’t comply, they don’t speak to me anymore. Sometimes there will be a knock on the door, and I won’t know who it us until my character answers it and sees for her/himself. It’s quite exciting.
Elizabeth, you are I are fellow pantsers too! What are your future writing plans and any new releases on the horizon?
I am currently working on a sequel to The Cavanaugh House as yet untitled. My readers are requesting more about these characters. After that I will write the third book in my Love’s Destiny series. I’m also working on three children’s books that I hope to pitch to agents/publishers soon.
What’s the best bit about being an author? (And go on, what’s the worst?)
The best is the excitement and energy I feel as a new story begins to be revealed to me. I love hearing my characters speak, watching what they do, and being constantly surprised by them. Plus, I get to work in my pajamas and drink tea whenever I wish.
The worst part is when I’m stuck and my writing doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It’s dispiriting and can make me wonder why I pursue this craziness.
The best outweighs the worst. ☺
Any tips for writers just starting out?
HOKBIS. Hands on Keyboard, Butt in Seat. Write, write, write. Even if you never show it to anyone—write. I read a quote somewhere to the effect: “People who write sit down at the desk. Writers stay in the room.” That’s a paraphrase, and Stephen King or Ron Carlson might have said it. But it’s true. You must “stay in the room”.
Finally, you’ve been stranded on a desert island, what five things would you take to get you by until help arrives? (Assuming help arrives that is!)
1. Rich, of course!
2. A good paranormal mystery
3. Plenty of chocolate
5. A Deck of cards
What a delight to be on your blog today, Shani. Thank you so much for inviting me.
It’s been great to have you! To find out more about Elizabeth, here are the links:
Elizabeth’s books are available at: