I hope many of you have entered into the INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY where the winner is given either an ebook (not U.S residents) or a paperback copy of a book generosly donated by Elizabeth Camden herself! Over the last couple of months, I have had the wonderful privillege to have contact with a wide range of amazing and talented christian Authors. Elizabeth Camden is so exception. Her novel “Against The Tide” really drew me into her world, capturing me in the adventure. So, who exactly is Elizabeth Camden you ask? ……………..
I am a college librarian in central Florida by day, but by night I can be found pounding out inspirational historical novels the moment the sun goes down. I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others.
I decided to become a librarian because I can think of no other career in which you get such a wide exposure to all aspects of recorded knowledge. I have been an academic librarian for fifteen years, where on any given day I get to research the sonnets of Shakespeare, learn what makes pelican feathers pink, or compile demographic statistics for starting a new company.
I married relatively late in life, which turned out to be an odd kind of blessing. I had gotten very good at leading a solo life, and although I was not particularly content being alone, I had become reconciled to it. Then when I was in my mid-thirties and just a few weeks after buying my first house, I met the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. My years as a single woman taught me many things. I learned to be independent and resilient. I learned how to manage my investments, earn and save enough money to have investments, mow my own lawn, fix the rickety appliances in my sixty-year old house, and spend the holidays on my own when travel to family was not possible. Most importantly, it taught me never to take my husband for granted. I give daily thanks for the blessing of being able to share a life with my favorite person on the planet.
As for who I am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE “AGAINST THE TIDE”?
I wanted to write a story for Bane…. who was a minor character in my debut novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill. In that book, Bane was a seventeen year old daredevil….charming, amoral, cunning. He wasn’t a bad person, he simply had no moral compass and had fallen under the influence of a corrupt drug lord. Bane was simply so charming as he went about performing his vile, wicked acts. Bane gets saved at the end of The Lady of Bolton Hill, but he is in a tight spot, with the country’s biggest drug lord having put a price on his head.
People were screaming for a sequel, and I wanted to write on. My problem was that Bane was SO charming, SO smart and clever, that I needed to have a really terrific heroine who wouldn’t be overshadowed by him. Thus, I had to come up with the amazing Lydia, a resilient girl who masters languages and weathers storms equally as well as Bane.
I wanted Bane to be at Lydia’s mercy….so I gave her these amazing skills that even Bane didn’t have (I mean, how many people can read six languages?) I also wanted him to fall hard for her, so she needed to have enough vulnerability to slip beneath his cool-headed demeanor. I had fun plunging them both in to that situation!
I REALLY LOVED THE HISTORY OF THE BOOK. IT REALLY OPENED MY EYES ABOUT THE OPIUM TRADE. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO RESEARCH?
Research is easy for me…. I am a research librarian for my day job, and there is a wealth of information about the opium trade in the late 19th century. I read through old newspapers, legislation, and plenty of books about opiate addiction. Research is one of my favorite parts of writing.
IF YOU COULD MEET ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS, WHO WOULD IT BE (MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE BEING BANE 🙂 )?
Bane would scare me to pieces! I think I’d want to meet Daniel Tremain from The Lady of Bolton Hill so he could play me some music on his cello. Daniel isn’t the warmest character…. He’s dark and brooding, but he plays wonderfully romantic cello music that can bring women to their knees. I’d like to hear a little of that music!
YOU WERE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO CO-WRITE A STORY WITH YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTIAN AUTHOR. WHO WOULD YOU PICK?
Wow…. I’d be a miserable co-author, so I wouldn’t inflict myself on anyone! Writing is such a deeply personal thing and I would struggle trying to meld my vision with anyone else. I know some folks can successfully co-author, but I think there is a reason this is rare. Writers tend to be real introverts, and I’m certainly in that camp.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTIAN AUTHOR? WHAT BOOK(S) OF THEIRS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
I like Davis Bunn. He writes stories that blend adventure, mystery, and romance. The perfect combination, in my opinion! I also like Francine Rivers, especially Redeeming Love, simply because she writes such intense, deeply emotional stories.
JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER IS SOMETHING I AM REALLY GUILTY OF! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE INSPIRATION OF THE COVER FOR “AGAINST THE TIDE”?
The one thing I asked for was “Please don’t show the heroine looking directly out of the cover.” Wow…they sure followed my advice on that one! I didn’t expect to see the back of her head, but I liked it. I have an aversion to a close-up shot of a heroine’s face on the cover of a book. I like to be able to imagine what they look like, so the suggestion of a dress, hair color, and setting is far more important to me.
I also asked for a less “feminine” tone, which they delivered on. My earlier covers look very gentle and sweet. The contents of the books really aren’t, so from here on out I believe my covers will look a little more dynamic and suspenseful.
IF YOU COULD TRAVEL ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD IT BE AND WHY? AND LIKEWISE, WHAT LANGUAGE WOULD YOU LOVE TO LEARN?
I’ve always wanted to visit the Holy Land….to lay my hand against the rocks of the Wailing Wall. I love visiting historic sites, and is there any more profoundly historic site in the world? I would like the chance to be there, feel that sun, and breathe that air.
AS A CHILD, WHAT WAS YOUR DREAM ASPIRATION?
I remember reading the end of Charlotte’s Web and Trumpet of the Swan, both by E.B. White. I was destroyed by the unhappy endings! I actually remember needing to be consoled by my mother I was so upset. I vowed that when I grew up I would write a happier ending for those novels. This was well before I understood the quirks of plagiarism and copyright law…..but I still have a commitment to telling stories with a happy ending.
BESIDES WRITING, WHAT OTHER HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE?
ARE THERE ANY UPCOMING NEW RELEASES THAT YOU WICH TO GIVE US AN INSIGHT OF?
My latest book is Into the Whirlwind, which is about the great Chicago fire of 1871. Those of you in Australia may not be familiar with the event, but Chicago is (was) a huge American city that burned to the ground in 1871. By the grace of God, the most important sections of the city (the railroad depots) did not burn, so they were able to cart the rubble out and rebuild relatively quickly. My heroine is a woman who loses everything in the fire….everything except hope, determination, and a good head on her shoulders. She’s also got two handsome men who are in love with her, so the book is really a love story set against the big, sprawling backdrop of the fire. It has been said that great catastrophes bring out the best and the worst in people, and this was certainly true of the Chicago fire.
Thanks for asking me to visit your blog, Johanna!
Your are most welcome Elizabeth! I know I had lots of fun coming up with questions and then reading your responses! Thanks also for the Giveaway!! May God bless you richly. I know I enjoy reading your books, especially Against The Tide, and I’m sure your other up-coming adventures are going to be just as good 🙂
Enjoyed this interview? Well, I hope you did 🙂 Make sure you hop on over to her website: http://elizabethcamden.com/ to find out a little more about Camden and the interesting life she leads, as well as deleted scenes from books, and other possible cover designs!!