Interview with Liz Lipperman
Affaire de Coeur's
December Calendar Girl
Liz Lipperman is a best-selling, multi-published author of mainstream mystery/suspense, cozies, and romantic suspense novels, all naughty and nice. Starting off thinking she was a romance writer, she finally gave in to the evil villains that kept pushing their way into her stories.
Welcome Liz Lipperman. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us.
Where are you from?
I grew up in a little town in Ohio called Bridgeport.
Tell us about your family.
I married my HS sweetheart 45 years ago. We have two kids, a wonderful daughter-in-law and son-in-law, and four adorable grandkids. Right now we have a two year old Malti-chon (Maltese and Bichon mix) named Lola who rules the house.
Do you have another job other than writing?
Not anymore, I am a retired nurse and write full time.
What is your favorite place to eat?
There is a small Italian restaurant called Salernos, I love-love their Chicken Cacciatore.
Anything Mexican and Italian!
If I came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find?
Lots of pickles and lunch meat, I love bologna sandwiches.
Where do you like to go when you want to run away?
I have a wonderful deserted island, with the water splashing my legs as I sit in the sand and write.
Attending any conventions/conferences this year?
I have been thinking about Malice Domestic again this year.
Do you have a critique partner?
I have a wonderful critique partner who writes very similar to me. Her name is Joni Sauer Folger and she writes both cozies and paranormal romances. Check her out.
Do you have a social/political cause you are passionate about?
I am a firm believer in St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes, and when I get what I ask for, I zip off a donation to St. Jude’s Hospital. Somewhere up there, Danny Thomas is smiling at me.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
I saw this on Facebook not too long ago and it has become my mantra. Not my circus—not my monkeys. I remind myself of this every time I want to get involved in someone else’s drama.
Tell us your latest news? Current projects? We hear you have some great news to share.
Yes! I just sold mass market print rights for Chicken Caccia-Killer to HQN Worldwide Mysteries. I’m working on a novella from my Clueless Cook series titled SMOTHERED, COVRED, AND DEAD, and the third book of my dead sister talking series, tentatively titled MISSION TO KILL. I am working on a deal for those last two books since all four books of the series were contracted by Audible.com. The first two, HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE and JAILHOUSE GLOCK just came out this week on audio. Yay!
What is the easiest and hardest thing about writing?
I am the most undisciplined person I know, and I find my hardest task is making myself write. The easiest thing for me is plotting.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I thought I was a romance writer back then and wanted a story of a nurse in jeopardy—SHATTERED was born and still remains my favorite.
What ignites your creativity?
Anything that has to do with writing—conferences, talking with other authors or readers.
What challenges have you faced writing a love story or a specific scene?
I just could not write a sex scene for the first book. I tried everything, including candle-light dinners and sexy lingerie but nothing worked. Finally, I wrote one sitting in the hot car one sweltering August day in Texas as I waited for my daughter to come out of the orthodontist’s office. Go figure!
Is your writing area/office organized or strategically placed chaos?
I’m a dinosaur and still write longhand, so I can be anywhere with a pad and pen. We’ve just recently downsized and moved to a gated active adult community and my new house has a wonderful sunroom that will be perfect for writing. That’s if we ever get all the boxes unpacked!!
Interesting questions you have been asked by your fans …
I am always asked if I am clueless in the kitchen like my heroine. The answer is no. I am one of nine children and grew up on casseroles and easy recipes, and most of the recipes in the backs of my books are my own personal ones. I do like bologna and fast food, though.
Do you listen to music while you write or do you need complete silence?
I will refer you back to the part where I said I was totally undisciplined. Any little thing distracts me, so I need complete silence when I write.
What author would you like to meet and have a cozy lunch with?
I have been fortunate to have been able to share a meal with a number of my favorite authors at conferences. However, I would love to sit down with James Lee Burke. I totally suck at descriptive writing, and that man is an expert at it. When he describes the dew on the leaves, not only can I see it, I can actually smell it.
Name one actor/actress you would love to get naughty with? (If you were free to do so)
I love-love Robert Taylor who plays Sheriff Longmire in Longmire. He is so ruggedly handsome and down to earth and sexy—OMG!! Unfortunately, the series (used to be on A & E) was cancelled despite the fact that it had a huge audience of older viewers. Seems advertisers are looking for the younger generation. (Who do they think has more money to spend???) I just read where they’re looking for another channel to pick up the series, and it would make me really happy to see it back on the air.
Any life experiences tangled in the storylines?
Always. A Dead Sister Talking series is about 5 sisters, one of who dies and comes back to help her sisters solve her own murder (in book 1) and then shows up when one of them is in trouble. I grew up with 5 sisters, one of whom died way too young, and although my sister was nothing like my potty-mouthed ghost Tessa, the relationship of the other 4 is spot on. My sisters all call them their books and my younger sister even fussed at me for making “her” too dull and boring. Her book is the one I'm working on right now, so I’m trying to spice her up a little so she’ll get off my back.
What books do you have on your favorites shelf?
I am a mystery/thriller reader and have James Lee Burke, Clive Cussler, Richard North Patterson, and way too many more to mention. The thing is that when I write, I can’t read. It goes back to that easily distracted thing with me. I get so caught up in someone else’s characters that I have a hard time getting back in to mine. Consequently, my TBR pile is gigantic—but I will get to it.
Any new authors who have caught your interest?
There are too many to mention. My CP (critique partner) is an awesome writer.
If you could say one thing to the next generation of authors, what would it be?
Publishing is in the middle of a revolution with self-publishing at the forefront. Don’t settle for a crappy contract just because you think it’s prestigious. Write and publish the way you want to. And never quit writing, even when you think you are blocked. The wonderful Nora Roberts always says that unlike a blank page, even crap can be turned into something brilliant.
How do you come up with your titles?
Since I always have humor in my stories, I try to come up with titles that show that. The only title that I didn’t come up with was my very first book which I had titled Ducks in a Row. Fortunately, my editor at Berkley, who also has a great sense of humor, came up with Liver Let Die. That encouraged me to get creative with all my other titles in that series. To answer your question, I usually start with a great title and then plot the book around it.
My favorite holiday memory is sitting around a huge table that completely filled out the living room and eating Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I am one of nine children, as I mentioned earlier, and there were a lot of us. More recently, I love watching my grandchildren open their presents at Christmas. There is nothing better than a child's “light up the room” smile.
What would you like to say to your readers?
I love you!!!! And have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Click the covers to purchase Liz's books from Amazon.
Visit Liz’s website: www.lizlipperman
You’ll find easy links to her Facebook, Twitter, and blog.