Interview & Giveaway with Elizabeth McKenna

Books-n-Kisses is please to have Elizabeth McKenna on the blog today to talk about her newest release Cera’s Place. 



Q1)  Can you please share with us a little about yourself

Elizabeth: I’m a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. I live in Wisconsin with my husband (whom I have loved since I was sixteen (is that the proper use of “whom”? I can never remember)), two teenage girls (who are smart, talented and beautiful), and a sassy yellow lab (who is also beautiful but rules the house much to my dismay). I telecommute, so I’m able to fit in my professional, family, and creative writing duties throughout the day. I love to travel with my husband and sleep. (I really love to sleep…)
I always thought I took after the Irish side of my family until I visited Germany this past summer. I found a country that is as worried about cleanliness and following the rules as I am. They are my soul mates.
Q2)  Have you always wanted to be an author?
Elizabeth:  Yes, but I’m a big self-doubter and creative people have always intimidated me. In college, I started as an English major but then switched to Journalism. I tend to write concisely and I wasn’t comfortable with the other English majors who could write paragraph long sentences (I’m still not). So, my path veered off into non-fiction writing. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I tried to write fiction.
Q3)  What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Elizabeth:  Before I start writing for the day, I have to check my list of websites (Hotmail, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.). I’m OCD, so I guess it is my ritual. I can’t concentrate until I do.

Q4)  Can you please tell us about your latest book(s)?

Elizabeth:  Cera’s Place is set in San Francisco 1869. Cera runs a saloon but, unlike other such businesses of the times, she doesn’t allow prostitution. Over the years, she has helped women escape their terrible lives and become “respectable.” Jake is an ex-soldier haunted by his Civil War experiences. He’s on a mission to find the daughter of a friend who died in battle. One of the subplots of the novel is based on actual events. During this time period, since the majority of the Chinese population in California was male, Asian women were kidnapped and forced into prostitution in America. The Anti-Prostitution Act of 1870 made it illegal to import women for criminal or demoralizing purposes. Cera and Jake team up to fight a gang that is kidnapping Chinese girls for the local brothels. Of course, in the process they fall in love.  
Q5)  How did you come with the idea for this story?
Elizabeth:  I’ve always loved rugged heroes, so it was easy to choose a western type of story for my debut novel. The Chinese subplot came from research of the time period. I made Jake an ex-soldier because I have a relative who has done a few tours in Iraq. It is a challenge trying to be a “regular person” after that. I have so much respect for the men and women in the military. They give up a lot to protect us.

Q6)  Can you share with us your current work(s) in progress?
Elizabeth:  I’m working on Moonlight in Venice, another historical romance set in the 1750s. I love the cover art I found for it (see my website). The storyline involves murder, theft, art, Freemasonry, Carnival season, pregnancy, and cataracts – and love, of course, lots of love.
Q7)  Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?
Elizabeth:  I would love to meet J.K. Rowling. Her hard covers sit on my bookshelf like priceless artwork. I had to buy my girls their own copies since they weren’t allowed to touch mine. I would like to thank her for giving us so many years of enjoyable reading.
Q8) What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Elizabeth:  I have this quote by Milton Lomask plastered everywhere, “There’s no right way of writing. There’s only your way.” Not everyone will like your writing – and that’s ok. With that said, however, critiques are important. I had several writers/editors review Cera’s Place and I learned so much from them. I am grateful they took the time to help me.
Q9)  Can you share with us something off your bucket list.
Elizabeth:  Does quitting my day job to write fiction full time count? If not, touring Italy with my girls is high on my list. My husband and I vacationed there before we were married. The food was fantastic – those people really know how to eat. I would love to experience it again with my family.
Q10)  What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
Elizabeth:  I’m dying to see what Suzanne Collins puts out next. My girls and I can’t wait for the Hunger Games movie. We are Camp Peeta.
Q1)  Is there anything else you would like to add?
Elizabeth:  I’d like to thank Books-n-Kisses for giving me the opportunity to talk about Cera’s Place today. As an indie author, I get kicked around a lot, so I’m always looking for new friends! I really hope your readers like Cera’s Place. I tried to make it both historically accurate and entertaining. Feel free to contact me (elizabethmckennaauthor@hotmail.com) with any comments or questions!
Links:
Elizabeth McKenna’s website / Facebook (Elizabeth McKenna) / Facebook (Cera’s Place) / Goodreads (Cera’s Place)


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8 Responses to Interview & Giveaway with Elizabeth McKenna

  1. Sophia Rose March 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    I really enjoy historical fiction and romance and I have not read much about this period in San Francisco history so I find the backdrop and plot intriguing.

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway opportunity.

  2. lgm52 March 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    This sounds great…would love to read it. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. bn100 March 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I enjoyed the interview. The setting and time period make this an interesting read.

  4. Elvina Hanson March 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Sounds interesting, can't wait to read.

    erhmsh@hotmail.com

  5. Hilary W. March 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Ohhh the book looks really good! I love historical romances!!

  6. msmjb65 March 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    I don't read many historical romances, but this one looks like it would be great!
    MJB
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  7. Na March 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    I also admire military men and women. They make great heroes in real life and books!

  8. Sassy Rose March 30, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Congratulations and best of luck with your new release Cera's Place. It looks like a fantastic story.

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