Tuesday, November 12

The Healing Summer: An Interview with Author Liz Flaherty

I know y'all already know Liz, but I really wanted to talk to her about THE HEALING SUMMER, which released just a couple of weeks ago. The book is the story of Steven Elliot--you may remember him from ONE MORE SUMMER. He's Grace's brother. ONE MORE SUMMER is my all-time favorite of Liz's books, so a trip back to Peacock, Tennessee, was a treat!

NAN: Liz, your new book, The Healing Summer, is just out and I have to tell you, it’s one of my favorite new books this year. Can you talk a little about the book’s genesis?
LIZ: Its beginning actually came about several years before I actually wrote the book, because it started where One More Summer ended. Just as in real time, time had passed in Peacock, Tennessee, too. Wounds had…well, not healed, but gotten better. Authors don’t have favorite books—it’s not allowed! 😊—but they do have ones with stronger holds on their hearts. When One More Summer’s hold wouldn’t let go, The Healing Summer happened.

NAN: One of the best things about your writing is how real your characters are. I love that Carol is a hairdresser when so many romance novels have heroines who are “high-powered…” well, you can fill in the blank. Did you have to do some research for Carol?
LIZ: Well, I did and I didn’t. I already knew her—and loved her—from One More Summer; the shop was already there. I’ve gone to the same beauty salon for about 10 years. I’ve had the same stylist—hey, Denee!—and it’s one of my favorite businesses in our small town. Most of the back-and-forth from Carol’s Clip Joint started from a conversation in Hairtique, and I mined it shamelessly—all the while laughing a lot and having my natural blond hair made…more natural.

NAN: One More Summer is one of my very favorite novels—it’s a comfort read for me, so I love going back to Peacock, Tennessee. What was it like for you to make the trip back in The Healing Summer?
LIZ: At the risk of sounding hopelessly sappy, it was like going home. I’d spent so much time and so much heart there that going back to write Carol’s story was a warm and comfortable place to be. Getting to see the people from the first book and to accompany them on more of their journey was like a gift. I guess it was from me to me, but somehow Peacock and its stories have lives of their own, separate from me. I loved being invited back.

NAN: Steven is a little bit of a lost soul in One More Summer and actually not my favorite character, but I love how he’s grown and developed in The Healing Summer. Talk to me about his arc and tell me, is it hard for you to write male characters?
LIZ: It is hard for me to write men, which you knew before you asked such a mean question. 😊 My thought processes and my vocabulary just don’t lean that way. Truthfully, too, Steven does have a startling capacity for being a pain. But there’s such a big heart in there and he’s been hurt so much, and he carries off a ponytail so well that I just have to love him. I always worry about people I write being too much alike, but I don’t think I’ve ever written another Steven.

NAN: Do you think you’ll be going back to Peacock again in another book? Any character nudging you to tell their story?
LIZ: You know, there is another story. I didn’t mean for there to be, but sometimes that’s the best kind. It’s still percolating, and I’m not sure I have the writing time to do it justice, but I want to know what Reese does when she grows up.

NAN: What’s coming up next? Anything in the works that you’re ready to talk about?
LIZ: My next Christmas Town story, A Place to Hang Her Heart, will be part of an anthology in February—we switched up holidays—plus we’re releasing last year’s stories in two anthologies. If you missed them, they’ll be coming soon!

NAN: A few quickies here:

NAN: Best money you ever spent as a writer? 
LIZ: Every writing retreat I’ve ever been on.

NAN: Favorite season to write about? 
LIZ: I don’t have one, really. I like all of them.

NAN: Trip you’re longing to take? 
LIZ: Duh. Prince Edward Island.

NAN: One book that always makes you cry? 
LIZ: I don’t recall titles, but there are scenes… When a dog died in a Kristan Higgins book. When the heroine talked about her husband’s illness and death in a Pamela Morsi one. When a hero has wept in nearly any book. In The Healing Summer, I cried over Miranda every time I had to talk about her. I’m a fan of crying over books. I still sob when Beth dies in Little Women.

NAN: So glad you could take the time to talk to us, Liz, and I hope y'all head to your nearest book retailer and grab your copy of THE HEALING SUMMER. It’s amazing!
LIZ: Thanks for interviewing me, Nan. It was fun!

Buy Links
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2n8X2OR
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2pTzO0F










Retired from the post office and married to Duane for…a really long time, USA Today bestselling author Liz Flaherty has had a heart-shaped adult life, populated with kids and grands and wonderful friends. She admits she can be boring, but hopes her curiosity about everyone and everything around her keeps her from it. She likes traveling and quilting and reading. And she loves writing.

Social Media Links:
Email: lizkflaherty@gmail.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizkflaherty/

11 comments:

  1. Nice interview. Love getting a little behind the scenes info from an author.

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    1. Me, too, Janie! It's always fun to find out what an author was thinking while they wrote their story.

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  2. Loved getting a little more insight to Liz! Great post.

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  3. I loved your interview, ladies. It was great getting your thought processes about your writing and your books.

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