Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Author Interview--Liz Tolsma
Anne: The interview today is with Liz Tolsma, author of the book I reviewed yesterday, Daisies are Forever. To read that review, click HERE. Be sure to visit her website (click on her name). She has a cool contest going on!
Liz, one question the readers here always expect an answer to: What inspired Daisies are Forever?
Liz: About 15 years ago, I heard my aunt tell the story of her days in Germany during the war. My mom told me she had a hard time during the Great Depression and WWII, but I don't think I ever realized that she was in Germany during the war. I was amazed by her words and by her courage. Even though I hadn't started to write then, I knew someday I wanted to tell her story.
Anne: My grandparents had a neighbor who had married a German lady. I wish now I could have heard her story! What is your favorite part of being an author?
Liz: Creating stories. Why? I love making up tales, and I always have. For me, the wilder and crazier, the better. I've always had this dramatic flair.
Anne: Any profession has downs as well as ups, no matter what is is. What is your least favorite part of the pitching-writing-publishing process?
Liz: I've decided that I don't much like substantive edits. Why? It's hard to take a story that I like, rip it apart and put it together again in a short time frame. I have to admit, though, each time I do it, I see why the editor has made the suggestions she has. It always comes out better in the end.
Anne: Your book is filled with such great characters with such different personalities. Which is your favorite?
Liz: I like the old Holtzmann sisters. Why? They were a hoot to write. It gave me a break from the hard and heavy subject matter and a chance to have fun.
Anne: Some writers like to totally plan things in advance, but others write "by the seat of their pants." So, are you a plotter or a panster?
Liz: Very much a pantster. I've tried to plot with disastrous results. The story changes too much along the way. I much prefer making up the characters, putting them in situations, sitting back, and watching what happens.
Anne: Sometimes editors want to cut out portions of your books. Which part of Daisies Are Forever would you stand up and fight for keeping in?
Liz: Good question! Without giving anything away, I would have to say the last few chapters of the book. It was emotional to write and difficult to read, but the world needs to understand that things like that happened to many ordinary German women. The book wouldn't be realistic without it.
Anne: I so enjoyed this book. What's next on your horizon?
Liz: Right now, I'm in the middle of the dreaded substantive edits for my third WWII novel, Remember the Lilies. This one is set in an American internment camp in the Philippines during the war. I love picking little-known parts of the conflict and bringing them to light.
Anne: Thank you so much for your time today, Liz, and thank you for letting us take a glimpse into your writing life. May your days be filled with the Spirit of the Lord, writing be filled with His inspiration!