I would like to introduce you to Elizabeth Marshall. I met Elizabeth on Twitter. We seemed to connect immediately but then I don’t believe anyone would have trouble connecting with her. I see her smile in every Tweet she sends out and she always spreads her cheerful mood. Add this to being an incredible writer, mom and wife and you have what makes Elizabeth special. She also told me she would tick my tags if I added them on Amazon, now isn’t that a great friend? Please visit her website, I guarantee her books need to be in your eReader.
What is the most romantic moment you’ve had in your life?*Blushing* But I’ll tell you anyway.
I was sixteen; it was a cold and misty July afternoon in South Africa. I had just returned home from a disastrous singing lesson. My teacher was a friend of my father’s, a lady called Eve Boswell (A chart topping singer from the 1940’s and 50’s with the big band leader Geraldo in the UK) – This lady had seen it all, done it all and knew just about everyone from Frank Sinatra to the queen. She had little patience with a vocally challenged sixteen year old whose dreams far out stretched her talent.
Firmly slapped down, nursing my wounded pride and shattered dreams I shut myself in my bedroom and buried my head in my pillow, sobbing. A knock on my bedroom door told me I had a visitor. Slightly panicked I wiped my eyes and took several deep breaths before opening the door.
“Hey can I come in?”
I forced a smile and tried to hide as much of my face behind my fringe.
“Yes, of course you can,” I replied, thinking that I would rather be left alone to wallow in self-pity.
I liked this guy, he was one of a group of friends who regularly came round to the house to play pool with me.
“You want to go into the bar and play pool?” I asked.
“No, not really, I came to see if you’d like to come with me for a drive up to Monteceel.”
“Ok, but I can’t be long. Mum is doing dinner.”
“Don’t worry about that. I’ve asked your mum and she said we can be back at nine.”
Here he had my attention. I hadn’t ever been out so late without my parents and suddenly the excitement of going out with a lad that I fancied a lot, on my own, sent butterflies fluttering in my stomach. Was he asking me out on a date? I couldn’t be sure, but either way I had totally forgotten the shattered dreams of becoming a singer.
That evening we had a picnic on the top of Monteceel and sat together watching the sun as it set, casting its brilliant orange glow over the mighty African mountains.
Andrew did ask me to go out with him that night; he also kissed me for the first time. Twenty four years and five children later we are still married.
When do your book ideas most often come to you?
This is a difficult question to answer because inspiration is something that builds over time. My first story was inspired by a family trip to the Scottish Highlands, but it was really the city of York that provided the spark of creativity that made the writing of that story possible.
The ‘Beyond Time’ series was inspired by a blog I wrote about the ghost of George Villiers, the second Duke of Buckingham, a close friend of Charles the second. He was a womanizer with an extraordinary talent for charming pretty ladies into his bed. It is believed that on his retirement George bought a house on exactly the same site as today’s ‘Cock and Bottle’ public house. Mr. Villiers is said to still be there! His saucy ghost has been caught on several occasions spying on pretty young customers of the ‘Cock and Bottle’ pub.
What is your goal as a writer?
I don’t think I have a specific goal as a writer. The process of writing is, in itself, massively satisfying. Add to this the friends I have made through writing and I consider myself to be phenomenally fortunate. To be able to spend my days doing a job that I love, surrounded by wonderful friends is more than I could ever have wished for.
Name your favorite book or author and why?
‘Forever Amber’ by Kathleen Winsor. My mum gave me this book when I was a teenager and it was the first historical romance I ever read; with it started my love of history. I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t bear to finish the story. I was actually thirty seven before I read the last page. To this day, I regret ending the book.
If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be?
This question isn’t as difficult as you might imagine, and I suspect you will find my answer slightly surprising, as my choice is not a powerful, rich or famous character.
I would desperately love to meet a watchmaker called Robert James Croy Irvine born in 1861 in the Orkneys.
In 1883, he married Rebecca Watson, a dressmaker from Edinburgh at St Giles’ Church on the Royal Mile. Together they set up home at number 7 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh. In the late 18hundreds, the young couple and their children set sail for South Africa, where Robert opened a jeweler’s shop in a place called Newcastle. During the second Boer war his shop was destroyed and his stock trampled into the ground by the Boers, in retaliation of his support for the British.
The Irvine family returned to Scotland where Robert died of a stroke in 1908. He left his wife and four daughters, one of whom (Lilly) moved to England and there married a man called James Martin. At the age of 18, Lilly became the first woman to pilot an airplane. Another of Robert’s daughters (Jessie) returned to South Africa and there she married a man called Robert Pettigrew, (my great grandfather). In 1932, Jessie was widowed and went on to open a chain of butchery shops which went on to become the largest supplier of meat in Durban.
Why would I like to meet this man? Well aside from the fact that he is my great, great grandfather, I am in awe of the man who was born in the Orkneys, married and traded in Edinburgh, sailed his family half way around the world to start his own business, stood proudly British against the Boers and whose dreams were finally trampled for the courage of his convictions.
When it comes to money, what is your one decadence?
Oh this is an easy one. Without a doubt it’s books.
What is your favorite junk food?
I understand the question so I will answer KFC but honestly my Achilles Heel is cheese, olives and port, throw in my husband, a roaring fire, a snow storm and a book and I’m in heaven.
I’ve followed you on Twitter and you love quotes. What is your favorite?
‘If you live to be a 100, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.’ A.A. Milne
What are you going to do as soon as you finish this interview?
I’m going to bath my little girl and tuck her into bed.
Tell us something no one knows about you?I can’t get to sleep at night until I have said my prayers. *embarrassed* My nightly prayers are the same now as those I said when I was six, with a few additions, of course.
If you could be an animal for a day what would you be and why?
I would love to be a Springbok. How wonderful it would be to have the agility, freedom and grace to glide across the African bush.
What are you reading right now?
I actually have a few books on the go at the moment, but unfortunately it’s been a few weeks since I got the chance to sit down and read. Hopefully this will be changing soon and I look forward to some quality time with my kindle.
What is your best piece of advice to an aspiring author?
I don’t really feel qualified to offer advice but if I had to say anything it would just be that a head full of stories does not make a book, but add a heart full of passion and you have your book.
I could not put the book down. It was fast and moving. Even in the midst of the mayhem that this story produced, Paul Anthony managed to use pleasing language to describe the surroundings. It seemed that when he described a beautiful spot, it got marred by the incidents surrounding it. I found that appealing in that it gave me a contrast between “normal” life and the lives of criminals and the havoc they reek on society.
Paul Anthony expressed his horror and aversion to drugs and their heinous effects on society and individuals.
Since I love a fast-paced story, I enjoyed this story-telling. Since I love people, I cheered the antagonists in the book as they fought against difficult odds to stop drug trafficking, even this one time.
So well done.