Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood,
she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her
love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her debut novel Cera's Place. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website. She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed
her previous works.
Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's
Connect with her: Website ~
Facebook ~ Twitter
Welcome to the blog, Elizabeth.
Can you tell us what prompted you to first start writing? What was the first thing you wrote?
I have been a technical writer and editor most of my adult life, but I didn’t try my hand at fiction until 2008 when I started writing my first novel, Cera’s Place. One day, my girls had been discussing careers at school and they asked what I had wanted to be when I was their age. I said an author. They said why aren’t you? I started
writing fiction to show them that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams.
Can you summarise your latest work in just a few words?
A young widow discovers her father’s murderer is related to the man she’s falling in love with and must decide between vengeance, forgiveness, and love.
Did you do any research for the book?
I had traveled to Italy and fell in love with it. When I decided to use Venice as a setting, I hauled out my photo album to refresh my memory. I also read the book, A Venetian Affair by
Andrea di Robilant, which is a true love story set in the 18th century. It helped me with historical details. I also, of course, relied on the internet. I found a copy of Casanova’s memoirs online, which was extremely interesting.
are you working on next? Do you have a WIP?
I am working on
a contemporary romance titled, First Crush, Last Love. Here is the description:
Remember your first crush? How your heart raced and your cheeks flushed whenever you saw him? Jessie Baxter does, and it’s happening all over again at her high school reunion. Lee
Archer is The One Who Got Away. Despite Jessie’s best efforts, he only wanted to be friends. Fifteen years later, things are different. Lee wants more, but first Jessie has to unload some baggage—the biggest one being a psycho ex-husband. Will
Jessie learn to trust again and make her first crush into her last love?
McKenna’s latest novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the happiness of true love.
What has been the best part of the writing process…and the worst?
The best part has been meeting people through social media. I am shy, so communicating
via a computer is easier for me than face-to-face. I have made so many new friends since I started writing fiction. The worst part is getting a bad review. I try not to take it personally because I don’t like every book I read, but sometimes the comments
Do you plot your novels or allow them to develop as you write?
For my first novel, Cera’s Place, I just wrote with very little outlining. For Venice
in the Moonlight, I did an extensive outline and followed a traditional 4-part story structure. In my current WIP, I seem to be doing a hybrid of both methods. I think I like the hybrid best.
Have you taken any creative writing courses
and would you recommend them?
I haven’t taken any writing
courses since college, but I follow several writing blogs and have read books on creative writing. I also have my novels professionally edited. I highly recommend having an impartial professional critique your writing. You can’t edit your own writing,
and my editor has taught me a lot. Even though I am an editor and technical writer in my professional life, I can always learn more.
What book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I just finished Rick Yancey’s The Infinite Sea, which is book 2 of the Fifth Wave trilogy. It’s written in first person narrative and changes character viewpoint, so I had to quickly re-read book 1 to figure out what was going on in book 2 (I have a terrible
memory). I really liked both books though – 5 stars. I’m looking forward to the movie in 2016.
A delightful book in which the author captures the essence of Venice in the eighteenth century. The style is easy to read as the author carries you along from the first page. I loved the characters, both good and bad, and enjoyed how the plot all came together
at the end. I really felt for Marietta living in a man’s world yet showing great strength of character. The romance is extremely well done and it just shows that it doesn’t need to be graphic to be steamy. If you like Italy, romantic heroes or
history you’ll love this book.