She’s super. She’s romantic. And she’s ours!
Pen Name: Liz Talley
Title: Harlequin Superromance author (The “superromance” is defined as being “realistic, passionate, contemporary novels that are longer and more involved than most other romance novels.”)
Resides in: Shreveport
Degree: B.A. English education
What brought you to Tech: I knew Tech was well-respected and would give me the best of both worlds. I was close enough to home to have my mom do my laundry and far enough away to get in some trouble. Not really. I was a very good girl. Mostly.
Why did you choose this career: I didn’t choose it. It kinda chose me. I love to read all types of books, but romance is my mac and cheese...always makes me feel good. One day after reading a particularly good book, a light bulb went off and I thought, “Hmm...maybe I could write a book.” So I started that afternoon.
Where you see yourself in five years: Still writing for Harlequin as they are the leader in romance, but hopefully branched out with another publisher. I’d love to final in some prestigious contests like the Rita and maybe hit a bestseller list. I’d also like to drop 10 pounds. Both goals will be equally challenging.
Your favorite writers: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Kristin Higgins, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and I could go on and on. I also really enjoy reading my friends’ books.
What was your most personal book: So far, “A Little Texas” has been my most emotional book. I sort of felt it more than the others, mainly because my main character has to confront a past she’s avoided for a long time. She must dig into the hurt in order to rid herself of the bitterness that’s built inside her. She can’t find love until she empties herself of the hate.
Which book was most “unlike” you: They all have a little bit of me in them, and conversely they have a lot of characteristics that aren’t like me. I’d say character-wise, I’m not very similar to my heroine in “The Way to Texas.” She’s organized. I’m not. She’s unlucky with love. I’m not. She’s secretly naughty. Okay, I am that. But overall, I draw on my personality a good deal to flesh out my characters, and I’ll use people around me if I need to. So be careful, you could end up in my next book.
Your best memories of Tech: Loved my sorority – AOT, Kappa Deltas! Loved the Quad and the beautiful fountain. I worked in engineering and loved the ladies there who took such good care of me. I had wonderful professors who taught me so well. Notice I said “well” because it is an adverb modifying “taught.” See? Tech rocks.
Your advice to Tech freshmen today: Enjoy yourselves. I know your parents told you differently. They said, “Study hard.” You should do that, too. But remember balance in everything. I graduated Summa Cum Laude. You know who knows that? Um, me. And I guess now you do, too. But I worked so hard to make straight A’s, and no one really cares about that now. Don’t let your parents or professors read this. They’ll be mad at me. But find balance. Study, laugh, work, play, and enjoy being young and beautiful.
What advice do you give young writers: Sit your butt in a chair and write every day. It’s the only way to finish a short story, novel or screenplay. Or thesis if you like that kind of thing. Even if you only write 50 words, you got something down you can work with. A book does not write itself. Also, if you are serious about writing (and most of you are shuddering right now), then join a writing group. Oh, and don’t pay someone to publish you. All money comes to the writer. Remember that.
“If I weren’t a romance writer, I’d be a …:” Ooh, that’s tough. I loved teaching Adult Ed. So I’d go back to that if I weren’t actively writing.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s…:” to get published it takes three things: talent, luck and tenacity. Most people give up. I refused to give up on my dream.
Tell us about your family: I married my childhood sweetheart (I told you I was lucky in love) who also attended Louisiana Tech. He went on to LSU Dental School and the U.S. Navy. I taught for eight years and then had two gorgeous boys. We now live in Shreveport where my husband juggles a busy dental practice with baseball practice. I shop, write and pretend to eat the bon-bons he accuses me of eating while he’s working. I don’t really eat them because then I’d need to drop 20 pounds instead of 10.
What are you working on now: I’m currently working on a series set in a fictional Louisiana town based on Breaux Bridge. I’m truly excited about being able to show readers my love for my native state. Gumbo, gators and football? Oh, yeah.
And, why “Liz”? … My middle name is Elizabeth and I really didn’t want to use my real name, especially with children still in the house. There are some crazy people, you know? You probably know some of them so please don’t give them my real name. LOL.
What’s the best way for readers and writers to reach you? Here’s my website and some sites that I currently blog on: