Elizabeth Rogers was born in New York City and lived in West Virginia for over twenty years. Her career includes working at Living magazine in New York, teaching middle school in Virginia and West Virginia, and duties as a federal clerk and courtroom deputy in Richmond, Virginia. She has been published in the New Mexico Historical Review. She is a member of the Virginia Historical Society and is active in several Virginia writers’ clubs.
What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by people who have contributed to changes in the American way of life. I like the informal “take” on their stories. I’m also inspired by people around me and their social habits. I find a great deal of amusement in the interaction of people and their dogs and how they share their animal fondness with others of the same inclination.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write with abandon and then examine what interests me later by reading my diary notes. When I finally discover the core of what interests me I rewrite the material completely. A week or more later I’ll read the last version of what I’ve written and begin to look for a “lead” and a conclusion. I’ll let another week go by and read the last material to see if it makes sense before I try to do a final version. That final version will inevitably have to be revised at least once. I create character sketches & constantly add/revise them. I try to save snippets of what I’ve liked from other authors to help me find what I think the readers can relate to in order to choose both my topic and the presentation. In my book, I created a timeline, then the last thing I did was to create a story board of my scenes. Even then, I had to create timelines for each of the issues in my story & fit them into the main timeline.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I listen to my characters. It isn’t easy when they come from a different era. The writer has to explore the era thoroughly in order to “hear” their responses to their environments and the people/situations around them.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t short-change what it takes to write well. I wish I’d started with a book or short stories that were more contemporary. I’m always looking for a secret that’s been hidden and those secrets can be from contemporary as well as historical characters. I’d advise anyone planning a book to have an editor (both of content and text) to critique your work. It will save you from so many rejections.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried many editors for advice and learned something from all of them. I chose a publisher who was interested in my subject, was a respected reviewer, and had expertise as a historian and writer. I had varied responses to the publisher I chose, but I suspect I chose the right one. My publisher gave me advice on all levels. I wasn’t at all familiar with the self-publishing route and doubted I could do it correctly alone. The self-promotion was one of the most fearful aspects for me. I don’t care to spend a lot of time on self-promotion, but prefer to write and publish further material.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
As long as there are libraries there will be physical books. I think it’s important to direct your children to libraries and teach them to love reading. It is as important as traveling – to learn how many ways of life there are in the world and to appreciate the diversity of cultures and individuals.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Historical fiction, mental health, biography
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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