Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sit-Down Saturday with Liz Flaherty

Today we’re celebrating the release of Liz Flaherty's Every Time We Say Goodbye.

So, Liz, where did you get the idea for this novel?
I spend time with a friend, Nan Reinhardt, at a lake, which made me think about living on one. Cole Porter’s cousin gets her nails done the same place I do. I’m on the bone marrow donor registry, which made me wonder about stem cells. I love watching high school marching bands. There—does it make sense yet? Hmm...maybe you better read the book.

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?
Someone mentioned a song title in a blog recently, so now I have an earworm. It looks to me as though Jack is asking Arlie, “Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?” In actuality, of course, Jack isn’t nearly as articulate as Anne Murray.

How long did it take you to write?
Probably six months—I’m not as fast as I used to be. Sigh.

What is your favorite scene?
I’m not sure it’s my favorite, but at one point Jack sits in a medical facility with Arlie while she has a procedure done in the bone marrow donation process. It’s a long, boring time, but it’s what a true friend and a true love would do.

Who was your favorite character and why?
Oh, easy! Charlie. He’s Jack’s son, and he came out of the woodwork, I swear! I’ve never yet written a book that had much to do with the original proposal for it, but this is the first time a smart aleck twelve-year-old ever showed up and stole the show.

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be?
Ryan Gosling—there’s just something about him I love—and Katie Findlay (she was in Hallmark’s production of The Bridge). Her coloring is all wrong, but everything else about her is perfect.

Tell us one thing you learned during research.
Much about stem cell donation and its importance. About being a drum major—thank you, Kyra Jacobs and everyone else I ever knew who was in marching band! About Cole Porter songs. Oh, did you say one thing?

What music would match the mood of this novel?
“Dancing Queen.” And you’ll have to read the book to know why.

This is your 12th book, counting a couple of novellas. Exactly what does that mean to you?
Since I still remember thinking I’d never be able to finish even one book, it’s immensely satisfying. It’s also, as I’ve said often enough to make anyone near me roll their eyes, the best job in the world.

What do you plan to work on next?
I’m working on a holiday novella and on the next story from Lake Miniagua. Both at once. It’s...er...challenging.

What are you reading for pleasure right now?

Marta Perry’s The Rebel. There are many Amish in our community (and in Every Time We Say Goodbye, by the way) and I am both fascinated by and very respectful of their culture. Not to mention, I love Marta Perry’s writing voice.

Liz Flaherty thinks one of the things that keeps you young when you quite obviously aren’t anymore is the constant chances you have to reinvent yourself. Her latest professional incarnation is as a Harlequin Heartwarming author and she is enjoying every minute! 

25 comments:

  1. Liz, I so look forward to reading this, but also want to know when you're going to do more books set at McGruffey's.

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    1. I'd like to, Pam--I left some of my heart there.

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  2. Congratulations on your new release, Liz! I look forward to reading EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, too, especially with the great teasers you included in your post.

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    1. Thanks, Kate. I think--and have no reason for it--this was the hardest book I ever wrote. I hope it doesn't read that way.

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    2. I bet it'll make it your best yet, Liz!

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  3. I love this peek into your writerly brain! All these tidbits were too tantalizing. I had given up on waiting for the print version to mail out (a long story) and have searched every local Walmart with no luck (seriously, I called 3 locations in two towns and two other bookstores). I'm heading over now for an e-book version! My only issue is getting ahold of these books! Cathy Shouse

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    1. Oh, bummer! Thanks for coming by, Cathy, and good luck with what you're working on now.

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  4. How fun to be the seed of an inspiration for a setting of yours! I love how your mind works because I recognize that meandering path that turns into a story. Isn't it funny how one little thing--an article, a friend's lake house, a song title...can trigger a novel? Loved EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE and yes, I'm humming the tune even as I write this! ((Hugs))

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    1. It is fun, but I truly would like to develop a little bit of focus somewhere along the way! :-) See you soon.

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  5. Oh, Liz-I'd nearly forgotten about my marching band days input! So glad it helped, and can't wait to read GOODBYE. And the cover...oh, how I love this cover.

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  6. Congratulations on your new release, Liz! I've been on the bone marrow donor registry for years and have a sister who went through a stem cell transplant in January, so thank you SO much for working that important information into your wonderful story. Cheers!

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    1. Oh, Jim, thank you! I've been on the list, too. I hope your sister's doing well.

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  7. Liz, I absolutely love your title!! Congratulations on the new book. I look forward to reading it.

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    1. Thank you, Leigh. I love the title, too. Cole Porter had it first, of course, but I'm so glad marketing came up with it.

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  8. Congratulations on the new book!! Sounds quite interesting.

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  9. Love your title, too, and LOVE "May I have this dance . . ."!
    Your creative process sounds as convoluted as mine, and I agree that what began as my theme or point is often elbowed aside by characters who see other things in what's happening. Congratulations on what sounds like a great read.

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    1. Thanks, Muriel. It always seems as if everyone else's process is so...neat. I don't think mine's ever going there.

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  10. Liz, I'm three-fourths of the way through reading your book, and loving the story and how you've woven in the quilts and the heroine's midwifery. I can't wait to find out how the two get together in the end.

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    1. Oh, thank you, Roz! I never intend to have quilts, but they always show up--I'm about to just give into it. I hope you like the ending.

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  11. Congratulations on your release, Liz! You have me so curious about "Dancing Queen," I love that song!

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    1. Me, too, Jill. Even more after writing the book.

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  12. I signed up to be a stem cell donor once and assume I'm still on it. This book sounds so good! Can't wait to read it. And I miss McGuffey's...I hope you return to it one day.

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