• Elizabeth Blackwell


    The Kremlin's Candidate (July 2020) | In the Shadow of Lakecrest | On a Cold Dark Sea

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    Tell us about your latest book.

    ON A COLD DARK SEA follows three women who survive the sinking of the Titanic by getting into the same lifeboat. Esme is a rich American newlywed; Charlotte is a crafty British con artist; and Anna is a Swedish immigrant hoping for a better life in America. Each have their reasons for sailing on the Titanic, and each of their lives is transformed by the tragedy. Twenty years later, an expected death forces them to face what really happened in their lifeboat that night.


    What's your writing process?

    Process? What process? I'm not one of those people who writes at X time every day, for X hours--though I'd be a lot more productive if I was! When my kids were little, I used to write at night when they were in bed; now that they're teenagers, I write in the afternoons while they're at school. In general, my writing comes in bursts: there will be a week where I'm totally in the zone, typing away and ignoring everyone, and weeks where I'm completely uninspired and convinced I'll never write anything good again. Luckily, I've come to realize I'm not the only writer who manages to eventually produce a book in this disorganized way.


    Are there themes you like to explore in your books?

    I don't consciously pick a theme when I'm starting a new book--since I write historical fiction, I usually start with a time & place that I want to explore. But one common theme that underlays all my stories is the question of how people deal with dramatic social change. ON A COLD DARK SEA shows how different people have vastly different reactions to the same event--some fall apart, while others transform their lives for the better. My previous book, IN THE SHADOW OF LAKECREST, is set in the 1920s, a decade when women's roles and fashions and expectations underwent a huge shift. What better era for a showdown between a modern young woman and her traditionally-minded mother-in-law?


    Do you listen to music while you write?

    No! I write best in total silence. I'm lucky enough to live in the suburbs of Chicago, where there are many wonderful public libraries. That's where I go when I'm on deadline and really need to be productive.


    What's your favorite genre to read? 

    Just one? I read in lots of different genres, but if forced to choose, it would be historical suspense: stories that have a sense of mystery but also immerse me in a different time and place. Sarah Waters is one of my absolute favorites, because she's a master at mixing an absorbing, exciting story with impeccable historical research.


    What are you reading right now?

    When famous authors get asked this question for magazine/newspaper stories, I always suspect they're not being totally honest and share an "important" book that they read semi-recently. So here's my 100% honest answer: I'm halfway through THE KREMLIN'S CANDIDATE, the 3rd and final novel in Jason Matthew's "Red Sparrow" trilogy about an undercover Russian spy and her CIA handlers. I've been going through a Russian phase.... speaking of which, see my answer to the next question!


    What's the next project and when can we expect it?

    My next book, RED MISTRESS, is the story of an aristocratic young woman who loses everything in the Russian Revolution and re-invents herself as a Soviet spy in 1920s Paris. It will be out in July 2020, and you can see all the details here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z5RQP4Y/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 


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    Elizabeth Blackwell has worked as a restaurant hostess, waitress, TV station receptionist, medical school secretary, magazine editor and freelance writer, but book author is her favorite job by far. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, three children and stacks of books she will absolutely, positively read one day.