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September 27, 2009 / theoldsilly

Celebrate With the Old Silly and Meet Elisabeth Lee, Novelist

100 anniversary 2Before we get into our feature for today, I’d like you all to have a nice slice of celebration cake. This is the Old Silly’s one hundredth post on this new blog. Yep – 100 posts published in just over three months. So. Grab a desert plate and a fork, help yourself to a big piece – oh – don’t forget the milk, we got whole, 2%, skim, and – bada boom! – chocolate for those who like to live on the edge.

Okay. I see smiles all around, so let’s get on with the show. We have a very special guest today. Ahm – excuse meQuirky? Could you not smack to loudly? Thanks, hun. Ahem – now, as I was saying …

A week ago, I posted a review of Elisabeth Lee’s novel, For Glory. For Glory coverThe review post was as well received as the Old Silly thought it worthy – very good! And as promised then, today I am posting an exclusive interview with author Lee. She has informed me that today she is rather busy with prior commitments, but she will be available in the early eve to stop in and answer questions and/or interact with you all. So. Please enjoy this interview, leave a comment, and if your comment begs an answer or an interaction of some sort, please blog in later tonight to get her response.

Oh – and before the interview, here’s a one minute long clip of Elisabeth talking about her protagonist in For Glory, Carlyle Hudson.


Okay. Got that? Let’s proceed with the interview.


Marvin: Elisabeth, first of all, thanks for being with us today and taking the time to grant me an interview. As you know I enjoyed your novel, For Glory, a great deal, and last week’s review of it that I posted was very well received. I’m sure our readers will enjoy getting to know more about you, the author. Is For Glory your first novel?

Elisabeth LeeElisabeth: Thanks for inviting me!  Yes, For Glory is my first book.  I had so much fun writing it that I followed up with a sequel, Flashes of Glory, which has just come out.

Marvin: In your author bio it states that you are a Ph.D. in Victorian Literature, a graduate of the University of Colorado, at Boulder, and that you now reside in Lawrence, Kansas, where you work as a private school administrator and teacher. How much does your background, education, experience, etc., in literature have an impact on your style of writing?

Elisabeth: Great question.  Honestly, I don’t think it is so much my education or my profession that has as much to do with my writing as the love of reading and books.  I fell in love with books and dove into each one, breathing its air and inhabiting its world.  My style of writing is a bit salty for Victorian tastes, I think.

Marvin: And as a teacher now, what grade levels and courses do you teach?

Elisabeth: I now live in Denver and teach at a progressive school for gifted students.  Children are allowed to progress at an accelerated pace, so my class ranges from 9 to 12 year olds. The curriculum is individualized, so I teach everything from writing, reading, geography, history, science, philosophy, to…the moon!  It is a very dynamic environment, to say the least.

Marvin: The book you sent me to review (and thank you very much, by the way), had a loose-leaf insert that stated you developed the protagonist, Carlyle Hudson, “in part in response to an industry that is heavy on 20 and 30 something female characters,” going on to say that in your experience boomer women in particular often prefer an older, more complex character. I can certainly see the wisdom in that. Did the “follow the boomers, provide what they need and want” savvy marketing principle have anything to do with your decision on how to write Carlyle? Many a marketing guru extols that axiom, since the boomer generation is by far the largest consumer segment of our society and will remain so for the next decade or so. Or, was it more of a personal preference and/or what you relate to best, or a combination of the two, or perhaps none of the above but something else that gave you your impetus for developing her character?

Elisabeth:  I love it that you enjoyed my book, Marvin!  I think the core of it is Lyle herself.  She continues to interest me and make me laugh, with her assumption that she is tougher than she really is, her poker playing, her fierce independence, her love for her dog, Glory, and her aunts.  The marketing piece came later.  I do believe there is an audience for Lyle, but I am learning that it is wider than I thought. The 20 and 30 something readers are enthusiastic about Lyle’s bring-it-on style.  How wonderful!

Marvin: You have lived in Boulder, Denver, Lawrence, San Francisco, and New York. How much influence does the variety of urban lifestyles and places you’ve resided at have on your writing?

Elisabeth:  You know, I think that urban experience does inform my writing a great deal.  Small town life is a mystery to me.  Lyle is uncomfortable with it, too.  She can navigate Las Vegas and San Francisco with confidence, but Lawrence?  She feels very much an outsider, even having grown up there. It makes her feel vulnerable, you know?

Marvin: In For Glory, Carlyle’s sister, who has been murdered, is a best selling author. And clues as to who the murderer might be and exactly what, why and how she met her fate are found within her unfinished manuscript. A nifty plot element, I might add. Also the way you’ve written up her aunts and the whole Hudson family brand of women. Quite the unique cast of characters! Is there anything autobiographical/familial about Carlyle, her sister, and/or the Hudson family women in the way you’ve written them?

Elisabeth:  My family was not at all close, and certainly not as warm and loving as the Hudson clan.  I think one of the rewards of writing is that you get to explore possible realities.  What would it be like, you ask.  And then you get to find out.  The aunts, the L&L’s especially, tend to take over whenever they appear.

Marvin: Another main character in the book is the dog, Glory. Carlyle hasn’t previously cared much for dogs, but soon takes a fondness to Glory when the animal is, against Carlyle’s initial objections to the contrary, placed in her care. How about you? Do you like dogs? Have any pets?

Elisabeth: I happen to have a smooth haired Fox Terrier that looks exactly like the one on the cover of the book.  Quite the coincidence!  I inherited her from my daughter.  Once I fictionalized her, I loved her even more.  She is indeed, quite the character.

Marvin: How about some more information on Elisabeth the person. Married? Kids? Favorite pastimes other than writing?

Elisabeth: I am married, have two grown daughters who live way too far away.  I love movies and books, like to snowshoe, am fond of embroidery.  I like to read and write poetry as well.  Right now Kay Ryan is my favorite.

Marvin: Name one career – if there is one, which would give you as much satisfaction as teaching, writing, and publishing books. Or even a close second if, say, for some reason you had to change your lifestyle and career.

Elisabeth: Change?  Whoa…  If I got to choose instead of just fall into something, I’d like to be an artist and paint very large, complex paintings that no one understood but really liked a lot.

Marvin: What is your writing regimen like? Are you a fastidious outliner, a disciplined writer with a schedule, or more of a ‘write when the inspiration hits, let ‘er rip and see where it takes me’ organic sort of writer? Or a combination or something else altogether?

Elisabeth:  I start with an outline but have no real schedule. I make adjustments to the outline as the story develops and characters do things that surprise me.  Sometimes new characters appear and I have to deal with the changes they cause.

Marvin: What was the most difficult challenge you faced and had to overcome en route to being published?

Elisabeth:  Revision, definitely revision.  It is so hard to take advice, especially good, perceptive advice, and go back in and sort it out.  Keeps one humble.

Marvin: Do you do your own editing, or do you have a professional editor, or both?

Elisabeth: Editing is not my forte.  I am fortunate to have a husband who is an excellent editor.  How we stay married during the editing/revision process is a mystery.

Marvin: You have a new release out, Flashes of Glory – and you said it is a sequel … give us a quick glimpse of the plot and content, please.Flashes of Glory

Elisabeth: Same characters, more poker, shifting locales (though we do end up in Lawrence with the Hudson clan).  Lyle wakes up in her apartment in San Francisco with a black eye, a ruby ring, and a Bentley.

Marvin: Elisabeth, thank you again for being with us today. In closing, what advice would you care to give to aspiring authors who might be reading this? And also, please feel free to leave us with any parting words you’d care to share.

Elisabeth: My advice is to keep writing.  Believe in yourself rather than depend on other people for approval. This interview has been a pleasure, Marvin.  Thank you.


Okay, people let’s show Elisabeth some love in the comments, and ask away any questions you may have. Her official book website is: and to get your copies of her books, go to this page on Amazon.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Cactus Annie / Sep 27 2009 7:26 am

    Really enjoyed the interview. I like the sounds of Carlyle Hudson – you’re a very animated speaker when you talk about her on that clip, Elisabeth!

    • Elisabeth Lee / Sep 27 2009 12:06 pm

      Thanks, Cactus Annie! There is just something about Lyle that gets me going. I wish I could be more like her!

  2. Cactus Annie / Sep 27 2009 7:26 am

    Oh and congrats on the 100th post, Old Silly! Keep on keepin’ on! 😉

  3. Elizabeth Spann Craig / Sep 27 2009 7:54 am

    Great 100th post! Thanks for the chocolate. 🙂

    I enjoyed the interview. It sounds like a fantastic school you’re with, Elisabeth, and I love the concept of your book. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. Enid Wilson / Sep 27 2009 8:00 am

    The sequel sounds intriguing too! Thanks for the great interview. And we have gusty sand storm in Sydney, could that be the Old Silly visiting us? To celebrate his 100th post.

    Bargain with the Devil

    • theoldsilly / Sep 27 2009 9:06 am

      Nah I don’t do sand storms, Enid. But if they ever name a hurricane heading your way, “The Old Silly” – head for the outback fast as you can! 😉

  5. Stanley Berber / Sep 27 2009 8:44 am

    I’m a boomer myself and I’d like to meet this Lyle – love feisty women in thier 50’s! lol 😉

  6. Helen Ginger / Sep 27 2009 9:16 am

    Loved her advice to aspiring writers. So often, when we’re new, we tend to believe what anyone says about our writing. It takes a while to begin analyzing comments instead of racing to make changes.

    I like the protagonist in Elisabeth’s books. She sounds interesting and real.

    Congrats on 100 posts on this blog, Marvin.

    Straight From Hel

    • theoldsilly / Sep 27 2009 9:38 am

      Thanks Helen, appreciate it. And yes, Carlyle is a very believable and complex protagonist. Lee had done a fine job bringing her to life.

  7. Ron Berry / Sep 27 2009 9:23 am

    Congrats on the 100th post. If I EVER get back to my writing I’ll get close to that. I still need to update my website.

    Anyway, For Glory sounds quite intriguing. I’ve reviewed many books but this one sounds quite different. If you ever do a book tour, let me know.


  8. Sylvia Dickey Smith / Sep 27 2009 9:37 am

    Loved the interview. Love the long white hair and the enthusiasm she shares with her protagonist. Also loved loved loved the cover for Flashes of Glory!

  9. Jean Henry Mead / Sep 27 2009 10:15 am

    Wonderful interview! The black eye, ruby ring and Bentley sold me on the books. I can’t wait to read them.

    Happy 100th blog, Marv. They just keep getting better. 🙂


    • theoldsilly / Sep 27 2009 12:44 pm

      Jean I KNEW you would love Elsabeth’s kind of books – she has the same kind of strong, complex boomer age protagonist you use. 😉

  10. ReformingGeek / Sep 27 2009 10:32 am

    Very nice. I wish Elisabeth great success.

    Congrats on the 100th. Keep it up.

  11. quirkyloon / Sep 27 2009 10:53 am


    (mouth full of chocolate) Gweat (chomp, smack, chomp) winterview!

    And danks forth (chomp, smack, chomp) forth the-th shouth outh andth the-th chocolath!


    Can I haveth some-th morth?

    *smile with chocolate in her teeth*


    • theoldsilly / Sep 27 2009 12:45 pm

      Sigh, have another slice, Quirkster … no please – the show is over, make all the noise ya wanna! 😉

  12. Elisabeth Lee / Sep 27 2009 12:08 pm

    What a great blog! Thanks for the opportunity, Marvin! Hope you have thousands more posts to come!

    • theoldsilly / Sep 27 2009 12:48 pm

      Why thank you, Elisabeth – it’s been a pleasure having you on here with these features, too! 🙂

  13. Elspeth Antonelli / Sep 27 2009 12:35 pm

    Hurrah for a strong female protagonist! These sound like very interesting books, thank you for bringing them to my attention.

    Congrats on your 100th post in a very short period of time; I admire your dedication. I’m about half way there…


  14. yvonne lewis / Sep 27 2009 1:30 pm

    Congratulations on your 100th ( blog) not birthday, I am so pleased changing over has been a success.
    Loved todays blog,


  15. John Standish / Sep 27 2009 3:55 pm

    Really enjoyed the interview, thank you both! Kudos on the 100th post, Marv.

    Elisabeth – curious … will there be more Carlyle/Glory books in the series? Sounds like a great character to go for it with, I’m gonna pick up the first one and check it out.

  16. Stephen Tremp / Sep 28 2009 1:09 am

    22 comments on the weekend when people are busy with this, that, and the other thing. You continue to amaze me, Marvin. What a following you have. No wormholes in this post, but that’s okay. I won’t hold it against Elizabeth Lee.

    Stephen Tremp

  17. Rosena Brustkern / Jan 21 2010 5:33 pm

    Can I ask you who does your site design or is it a template?We like reading people’s sites; however will only spend a lot of time on the sites that are valuable.

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