By Dawn Ius
If Elizabeth Goddard had a writing cave, it might look like something from CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY—as with many writers, this award-winning romantic suspense novelist admits the sweet stuff fuels the right side of her brain.
But since hibernation for this busy writer isn’t truly an option, and a killer chocolate overdose is far from healthy, Goddard writes wherever the muse takes her, even if it’s to the local McDonald’s. Anywhere she can keep the creativity flowing, really, because after 18 published novels—yes,18!— Goddard admits she does get a little nervous that one day the stories will simply…stop.
“Not only do I worry if the stories will stop—sometimes they do stop,” she says. “Creativity comes and goes. I keep a list of ideas and add to that when they hit me. Other times, I have to work hard to come up with something new and fresh, which is difficult because there’s nothing new under the sun—and that’s the truth.”
WILDERNESS PERIL marks the newest story to emerge from Goddard’s ideas file, a romantic suspense involving a rugged pilot, a beautiful airplane mechanic, a derelict gold mine, and a group of ruthless killers.
It doesn’t sound like the stories are losing steam, at all, does it? Which is high testament to Goddard’s commitment to her craft. In addition to a busy writing schedule, Goddard is a wife and mom to four kids, all homeschooled. She is an active member on various organizations, as well as a writing mentor. While some might be searching her closet for a super hero cape, Goddard says her secret weapon is much less exciting—and doesn’t require dry cleaning.
“I have one tip, one thing that I use that helps me survive—and that’s a list,” she says. “Without creating a list, something would fall through the cracks. But with a To-Do list, everything gets done…eventually.”
As for her advice on starting out as a writer, Goddard offers a comprehensive list of tips on her newly-revised website. Beyond that, Goddard acts as an eager cheerleader for those just looking to break into the industry.
“I think what I do best is encourage others,” she says. “I have a dear writing friend whom I shared a publishing opportunity with. She sat with me during the Carol Awards and met my editor, and all these things worked together to open the publishing doors for her. I love to help others achieve their dreams when I can, and promote others’ work.”
For her own promotion, Goddard dabbles in social media (follow her on Twitter @bethgoddard, Goodreads and Facebook), but relies mostly on word of mouth marketing and her gorgeous website to capture readers’ hearts.
“I’ve always loved exotic settings, so even my previous website played on that,” she says. “Sometimes I think you have to write a few books before you know what you’re really about as a writer. As it turns out, my books echoed my thoughts on brand all along.”
Though, she admits, the issue of branding remains a publishing conundrum.
“A brand could be something as simple as the author themselves,” she says. “Readers will always love a story from that author, no matter the setting or feel. But if you have a brand, certainly, use that to the fullest. I think that my promotion is becoming more focused now that I know who I am as a writer and who my audience is.”
Goddard’s next-up projects keep that notion in mind. Though many of her books are single titles, she just recently signed a contract to write four novels for a series based in Alaska. While this isn’t her first crack at connecting stories, it’s one way to ensure her fans that the stories don’t stop coming.
For now, readers can dive in to any of Goddard’s books, including the latest release, WILDERNESS PERIL, available now from Harlequin Books.
Elizabeth Goddard is an award-winning author with eighteen novels, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES—winner of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011. After acquiring her computer science degree, she worked at a software firm before eventually retiring to raise her four children and become a professional writer. A member of several writing organizations, she judges numerous contests and mentors new writers. In addition to writing, she home schools her children and serves with her husband in ministry.
To learn more about Elizabeth, please visit her website.