About Elizabeth Maddrey:
Elizabeth Maddrey is the author of more than ten contemporary Christian romances and three Christian women’s fiction novels. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.
What inspires you to write?
I get story ideas everywhere I look — overheard conversations at the grocery store, watching people as I’m out and about, and just things in my own life that I’m working through or struggling with. And once the story idea gets started, I have to write about it.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a “just sit down and start writing” kind of gal. I tried for a number of years to do a lot of plotting and planning and it simply doesn’t work for me. Now, I let things flow for a while and then, once the story has started to solidify, I put together a brief timeline with generic touch points of where and when I think things are headed and use that to help guide the remainder of my writing. This helps me avoid inconsistencies (or at least, a lot of them – it still amazes me the things that slip through, no matter how many eyes see something before it gets published.)
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen, mostly. I try to avoid talking to them, at least out loud – I’m told there’s medication for that. 🙂 Generally, though, I feel like I get a good enough feeling for who they are that they flow pretty naturally once I get typing and turn off my inner editor.
What advice would you give other writers?
I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learned (that I try to pass along to anyone who asks) is that you need to find the writing method that works for you. I tried to shoehorn myself into the plotter mold for so long and it drove me crazy – but that’s what all the craft books I read said to do. And I did learn a lot from it, but ultimately, letting go of any kind of rigid following of the rules has made me a better writer. So let yourself play and don’t worry too much about the ways you’re “supposed” to do things.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I started out looking for the agent and big five contract like so many. I quickly realized that what I write isn’t wholly mainstream Christian fiction – I tackle tougher topics of Christian living and my character’s problems aren’t fixed with a quick prayer that brings instant peace. So that then pushed me to a small press. I’ve published quite happily with a small press and am now also dipping my toe into indie publishing.
I’d encourage you to explore all your options and really understand the pros and cons of each – because there are pros to each (as well as cons)! You need to figure out what is going to work best for you and for your book – and then reexplore with each book. Because your decision may end up needing to be fluid. The great thing about publishing today is that it can be.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
This really ties into my thoughts on deciding how to publish. I think readers will continue to care less and less about who and how a book was published as long as there’s a good story and a price they’re willing to afford. I think the big houses will continue to want to charge more for ebooks, because they have more overhead they need to pay for, and I think that’ll continue to help out small press and indie authors. Ultimately, I think there’ll always be room at the table for anyone who has a book they want to get in the hands of readers. At the end of the day, I hope authors and publishers will keep in mind that it’s the reader we need to be most concerned with. Because without readers, it doesn’t matter how or what you publish.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Christian Romance (contemporary), Christian Women’s Fiction
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.