Friday's Interesting People: Elizabeth Craig

I could not proceed with Friday’s Interesting People without one of my favorite cozy writers guesting here. I am thrilled to welcome the lovely and most talented author Elizabeth Craig to FIP.

Elizabeth is a writer of several cozy mysteries with her latest book, Quilt or Innocence, released June 5, 2012.  

JW: I (and many others) know you write cozy mysteries because I (and many others) have read your work. But, Elizabeth, IF you decided one day to write a different genre what would that be?
Elizabeth: If I had to write another mystery subgenre, then I’d choose police procedurals.  But if I chose a totally different genre, I’d like to try historical family sagas or middle-grade fantasy.

JW: You are a talented writer and not because I say so, but because you are. Do you have other talents? What are they? And don’t be modest.  
Elizabeth: I don’t do anything as well as I write, and in that respect, I’m a one-trick pony (although it’s a good trick!) Other than that—I’m good at learning languages, I guess.  I took years of Latin and French. I’m a good mom, most of the time.  I’m very good at being punctual and I’m pretty organized.

JW: Remember back to the first time you had a book published, how did that feel? Does it still feel awesome or like old news?
Elizabeth: It still feels awesome because it was tinged with that element of sheer luck and luck feels like magic. That’s because it was a slush pile book and through the years I’ve realized how much luck played into that book being picked up. I’m not sure I really realized that at the time.

JW: I know you’ve told me before but please tell me again, what is your daily writing schedule like?  

Elizabeth: During the school year, I get up before five a.m. and write.  I usually get about 2 pages done before 5:30 a.m.  Then I do promo-related writing and promo activities (mostly scheduling Twitter and responding to different emails) until lunchtime (and I also do housework and stuff like that then.)  At 1:45 I sit in the high school carpool line and write for another 30 minutes, finishing another 1.5 pages. Once the kids are home, I’m basically done for the day.  In the summer, I still write first thing and I still break my writing sessions in half with an early-afternoon second session.
JW: What are you working on right now? Do you have approximate release dates? 

Elizabeth: Right now I’m frantically working to finish the 4th Memphis Barbeque book, due July 1. I’m editing it now and want to add in another subplot.  That book should come out in early summer 2013. 
JW: As a child, did you have a dog, a cat or an imaginary friend? Did you name any of them? 

Elizabeth: Through the years, I had dogs Penny, Cleo, and Snuffy.  I had cats Snowy, Tar Baby, Harriet, and Ben. Tar Baby was a favorite.  My imaginary friend was an alter ego of mine, Super E. Super E could fly, lived inside a tree, and could be invisible. Being invisible was something I really liked the idea of!
JW: Were you as a child: a. Loner b. Leader c. Bossy d. Follower e. Shy  

Elizabeth: a. I’ve never been shy, but I’ve always been a loner. I’ve always liked watching other people/activities instead of joining in.
JW: What did you believe, as a child, that you found out later was not correct?

Elizabeth: I believed if I threw sand into the ocean, the waves would get bigger. J
JW: What was your favorite book or author when you were in grade school?

Elizabeth: My favorite series were Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden (no surprises there!)
JW: Here are a few random questions for you. Let’s start with, what are you reading right now?  

Elizabeth: Right now, I’m reading House of Silence by Linda Gillard. 
JW: Do you have neat handwriting or “I should have been a physician” handwriting? My handwriting is a disaster! 

Elizabeth: When I sign books, I’m particularly embarrassed. I always got bad grades in handwriting.
JW: Coffee, Tea, both or neither? Coffee!

Elizabeth: I like tea, but it’s not my favorite.
JW: Ok, imagine this: You get to spend a day in one of your favorite childhood books and with your favorite character(s). Which book would that be? Which character(s) would you hang out with? Will you suggest the activity for the day or leave it up to the book’s character(s)? 

Elizabeth: This is funny, but I’d rather not spend the day with Nancy and Trixie.  I’d rather spend it in the 100 Acre Wood with Winnie-the-Pooh. I’d let Pooh decide what to do.  The sad thing is that I’d like so much just to do nothing, like he usually did…but it’s so very hard for me to sit still.  But I’d still really, really like to do nothing.
JW: Thanks so much, Elizabeth for letting me ask my questions. You’re still as authentic and awesome as you were when I first followed you.

Here’s a little more about Elizabeth and her books AND where you can buy them.

Elizabeth’s latest book, Quilt or Innocence, was released June 5. Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently. She blogs at Mystery Writing is Murder.

 Previous releases and links:
Hickory Smoked Homicide (2011)
Finger Lickin’ Dead (2011)
Delicious and Suspicious (2010)
Progressive Dinner Deadly
A Dyeing Shame
Pretty is as Pretty Dies (2009)

Thank you, Elizabeth, for being my guest here today.

Questions for you all: Are you following Elizabeth? Who (author or title) were YOU reading or watching (on TV) when you were, let’s say, nine years old?  What is your favorite genre?


  1. I don't think we ever forget that first time we get something published. And it definitely doesn't get old. Great interview!

  2. Thank you, Elizabeth, for mentioning my novel HOUSE OF SILENCE which, as you've probably discovered by now, also features quilts as part of the mystery. You might like to know my first novel, EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY is about a textile artist. Quilts feature but not in a mystery.

    I'm glad to have discovered abother author who writes about quilting. :-)

  3. Lynda--Thanks! It's a cool feeling, isn't it?

    Linda--I'm 3/4 of the way through the book and really enjoying it--you've got a knack with words and characterization. And yes...I was bowled over to find quilts in the book! It was fun, since I've been deep in quilt research for the last 1 1/2 years. :)

    I'll definitely ready your "Emotional Geology." Thanks for the tip.

  4. Teresa--Thanks so much for hosting me today! I'm enjoying being at your wonderful blog. :)

  5. Teresa - Thanks for hosting one of my favourite author/bloggers!

    Elizabeth - I've often thought of writing police procedurals myself. They are great additions to the genre. But I love the way you've crafted such terrific cosies. They have a solid "edge" to them, but they also invite the reader in to listen to a story. I love that about them. Oh, and it sounds as though you have a non-stop schedule! Is that how you accomplish all you do?

  6. Hello, Everyone.

    Elizabeth, you're welcome. It's my pleasure. I've already told you, in good stalker style, my admiration for your writing.

    Lynda, I can't wait to feel that moment.

    Linda, I need to read your books too.

    Margot, we share this favorite author. I agree, that Elizabeth's cozies have an edge.


  7. I've followed Elizabeth for a long time, too. And Trixie Belden was also one of my favorites.

    Happy Weekend!

  8. Hi Teresa and Elizabeth - you're right Elizabeth is one of the most organised people I've met on the net - but also great company and supportive too ..

    Blogging is great - to be amongst friends .. loved reading Elizabeth's ways of life .. and shortly I will be purchasing one your cozy mysteries ..

    Cheers Hilary

  9. Margot--Thanks! They seem to be getting a little edgier as I go! I'm wondering about this cozy that I'm turning in today--it seems a little dark. Wonder what the editor will say about it...sigh.

    Non-stop. Like you!

    Teresa--I'm looking forward to reading your books, soon!

    Carol--I loved those books. And Trixie got into trouble with her parents, too, which was not something that Nancy had to deal with from Mr. Drew.

    Hilary--Thanks so much! And thanks for being the lovely, supportive blogger that *you* are to everyone.

  10. Great interview! Love reading more about Elizabeth. You're a great writer and blogger, and I like it that you share a bit about your family. I'd also like to go to the 100-acre wood. I'd try to cheer up Eeyore and play Pooh sticks.

    Play off the Page

  11. Mary--Eeyore might be beyond cheering up, but we could give it a go! Thanks for coming by.

  12. What a great interview! She is an amazing writer and her organizational skill must be amazing because of her schedule.

  13. fascinating interview---her book sounds awesome and the one she is reading intrigues me too!

  14. Clarissa--Thanks! I have to be super organized because my memory is *awful*. So sometimes I drop the ball spectacularly. :)

    Lynn--Thanks! Yes, check out "House of Silence." Country house mystery, fun-Gothic...I think you'll like it.

  15. Great interview! I love to hear about other author's writing routines. Thanks, Elizabeth and Teresa!


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