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Interview with Elizabeth Goddard

Bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard wants to keep readers on their toes, but she prefers to stay "on the light side" when concocting her thrilling romantic suspense novels. A lover of romantic suspense from her teen years, Elizabeth hit her stride after selling her first historical fiction novel with plenty of mystery.

What made you want to write in the romantic suspense genre?
Funny you should ask. I started working toward publication writing in the historical romance genre. I wasn’t getting any traction, so briefly switched to fantasy and pitched that at the ACFW conference for two years. That’s how I met my agent, Steve Laube. So, there was a purpose in it, after all. I sold my first book, Seasons of Love, which was published in 2007 with Heartsong Presents. Seasons of Love was a contemporary romance but also had suspense and mystery elements. Almost all my books for Heartsong Presents (Barbour) included those elements. Then I sold to Love Inspired Suspense, and the rest is history. That’s my genre, and why not?—I love reading romantic suspense, and spent my teen years reading Phyllis A. Whitney, Victoria Holt, the Bronte sisters, and Daphne Du Maurier—the first romantic suspense writers!

What did you learn while writing Cold Light of Day?
I can’t share you too much because I want all the twists and turns of my story to be a complete surprise. But I can share something trivial. In an effort to make everything about my small town of Shadow Gap realistic and true to the setting, I created a place called the Rabid Raccoon, and included the details that raccoons aren’t native to Alaska, but people have tried to introduce them without success! I learned so much more in my research, but again, anything I share here could be a spoiler.

This book is the first in the Missing In Alaska series. What made you choose Alaska as a setting?
Love this question. I was working on Deadly Target (Rocky Mountain Courage book 2) and listening to podcasts for that story when I came across the Missing in Alaska podcast—and I got chills. Okay, that might not be a solid enough reason for some people, but for me, it was just the confirmation I needed. I had previously written six books set in Southeast Alaska for Love Inspired Suspense. My Mountain Cove series was my most successful series with them, and I had already been thinking about another series set there. I wanted to go back to the region. So after the “chills” I contacted my Revell editor to talk about setting a series in Alaska, and she was on board with the idea. I’ve already done my research and knew the region well.

If someone were to look at your Google search history (all for research, of course!), what types of things would we find?
Everything, of course! I even look up the weather, when the sun sets and rises, what people say and what they eat. Though I don’t write historical novels, that same information is important for different regions, of course. It might surprise you to learn that I don’t spend a lot of time researching criminal activity or how a murder could take place, if I don’t have to, because I don’t like where the research takes me. I don’t want my books to be too dark. I try to keep my romantic suspense intriguing and thrilling, but I want to remain on the light side. To give you an idea—I tried to watch Criminal Minds, but I couldn’t.

What do you want readers to take away from Cold Light of Day?
This story holds messages of forgiveness, trust, and redemption, and compels the characters to do what’s right in all situations. I hope readers experience a wild ride that leaves them breathless.

If you could have coffee with an author, dead or alive, whose work you admire, who would that be? What would you ask him or her?
That’s a hard question because I love so many authors. I suspect the answer to the question depends on the day I’m asked. Today, I’d have to say Jack London. One of my favorite stories growing up was Call of the Wild, and I know Jack London was a disciplined writer. I’d love to pick his brain.

What’s your go-to drink while writing?
Coffee in the morning and then English breakfast tea in the afternoon, with one mug of hot chocolate mixed in there. Ha!

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Believe in yourself and start working toward publication early instead of late!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I’m almost always writing, so I enjoy doing just about anything else, but I especially love reading books by authors I enjoy, when I’m not writing. Surprised?

What books are on your TBR pile right now?
In addition to research books for Missing in Alaska book 3, Jody Hedlund’s Stay With Me, Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time by Tracy Higley and many, many more!

What can we look forward to next?
I’ve turned in Shadows at Dusk, book 2 in Missing in Alaska—which is a bush pilot story, and releases in fall of 2023. As mentioned earlier, I’m diving into book 3 research! I hope readers will visit the Missing in Alaska series website to learn more.
Jessica Baker loves sharing her passion for reading with others and connecting readers with authors. In addition to blogging at A Baker’s Perspective, Jessica is a virtual assistant, proofreader, and runs her own business. Though she wishes she had a library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Jessica realizes the importance of sharing her books with the world to tell the story, and donates many books to her local library. Jessica Baker lives Central New York with her husband, teenage daughter, beagle, three cats, and four ducks.

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