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Interview with Elizabeth Goddard

Elizabeth Goddard is an award-winning writer whose romantic suspense novels take readers to unique locales. Her characters skirt danger while risking their hearts most of all. Treacherous Skies, which first takes us to the Blue Moon Café in Belize, is Beth’s newest release.

In Treacherous Skies our heroine has been abducted and placed on a plane in which there is no path to escape--being in the air. What prompted you to write this kind of scene?
I already knew that my premise was based on a Learjet repo man retrieving an airplane that belonged to a drug lord—suspenseful stuff, right? But to increase the stakes, I added an accidental passenger, and I don’t want to give away that passenger’s identity, but the stakes are even higher.

In your new release, what characteristics make Connor a robust hero?
For starters, Connor was a fighter pilot in the Air force and then a test pilot, flying experimental airplanes—his career choices are among the most dangerous.

Do you base your heroes on any people you’ve met or known?
Not usually, although a part of every person I’ve met makes his or her way into my heroes and heroines. That’s probably true for every writer. In this case, I came across a Learjet repo man and after I read about his high-stakes adventures, I had to use the premise.

How many of the locales in which you place your characters have you visited?
I’ve done a lot of traveling in my life both for pleasure and for business, and I’ve visited 48 out of the 50 states. I love to write about places I’ve experienced, and several of my novels released this year are set in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve spent several years in the region and love it.

What inspires you to write?
Story. If I watch a great movie or read a great book, I’m inspired to create my own stories. Simple as that.

What are some keys to plotting a novel that you might share?
Plotting novels is unique to every writer and you have to find what works best for you. I’m constantly exploring new and more effective ways to create the best stories, but I usually end up going back to what has worked best for me in the past. The most important key in my opinion is to find the right premise—something that fits well with your genre and that is less likely to fail.

Your degree is in computer science. Have you found it to be helpful to your writing?
Yes. Writing computer programs requires detailed thought and structure, and to this date, I’m very structured in my thinking when plotting out my novels. The good news is that I’m also artistic, so I’ve learned how to draw on these two strengths and make them work for me when writing.

Among the novels you’ve written, do you have a favorite story or a favorite character?
I often hear writers say their current novel is their favorite, and while that’s usually true for me too, I still think Treacherous Skies is my favorite and that’s because I love the premise and the characters. Everything really clicked for me in this story, including the spiritual elements.

Who or what has most influenced your writing?
Bodie Thoene—I began my journey reading Christian novels twenty years ago with her Zion Covenant series—historical romantic suspense. Both her person and her writing have served as an inspiration for me.

Any tips you’d like to share with aspiring novelists?
Keep working at your craft, making writing friends, and never give up.

Thanks for sharing with us, Beth!

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