From the time she learned to read to the present, Liz Talley has always had a fascination with books. As a child she remembers reading Little Golden Books instead of napping. And, oh, the first time she read a romance – The Thornbirds – she was hooked. She ate up the SuperRomances on the shelves of her aunt’s used bookstore, borrowed her grandmother’s medical romances (loved those nurses’ caps) and snuck her dad’s westerns so she could read the “romantic parts” (which lasted about a page). She inhales books, no doubt about it.
Currently Liz lives in North Louisiana with her high school sweetheart, two beautiful children and a menagerie of animals. Liz serves as the president of her local RWA chapter and Vice-president of the Golden Network. She loves strawberries, fishing, retail therapy, and is always game for a spa day. When not writing contemporary romances for Harlequin Superromance, she can be found working in the flowerbed, doing laundry or driving carpool.
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Thank you for inviting me to blog at Petticoats and Pistols. I’m so glad to drop by for a visit, and being that you gals are dedicated to Western romance, I think you’ll find my material right up your alley.
First, I think I should introduce myself. My name is Liz Talley and I’m a new author. In fact, I’m a debut author. My first book came out less than a month ago with Harlequin Superromance, so trotting around blogs and being a guest author is new to me, but I’m having a good time meeting new people.
You know, I had always heard you should write what you know. It never really struck me as something I needed to listen to until I started writing contemporary stories. When I first began writing, I dipped my toes into writing historicals – Regency historicals, to be exact. I had some success. Finaled in some contests. Even finaled in the Golden Heart with a Regency manuscript last year. But when I started writing a contemporary series set in Texas, something clicked. As the words poured out of me, I KNEW I was writing what I was meant to write. The characters, the setting, the dialogue – these things I could do easily because they were part of who I am.
I grew up in small town Louisiana, a hop, skip and jump away from East Texas, where I’ve set my stories. My town had brick streets, old churches, and a fountain in the park. Little shops dotted Main Street and the Dairy Queen still made the best burgers around. The people of my town were characters in their own right. They were hardworking, honest people whose speech was peppered with Southernisms that made sense, darn it. And, we had our fair share of crackpots and hypocrites just to balance out the good ol’ boys and pie-making matriarchs. I couldn’t have asked for a town more rich in loyalty with down-home sensibility and a touch of whimsy to base my fictional town of Oak Stand upon.
So when I started Vegas Two Step, it was natural that I fell back into my childhood and found inspiration. The library in my story materialized into the one I haunted as a girl. It was an old historic home with high windows and rambling nooks and crannies. If I close my eyes, I can see the green linoleum tiles and see the dark wood surrounding the beveled glass. I can still feel the weight of the old skeleton key that unlocked the bathroom door (because after my long bicycle ride, I needed that key.) The town square became the shady Academy park with its fountain and brick-paved paths. Tucker House, the large home of my heroine, was Mrs. Monk’s white Victorian with its shadowy porches and heavy presence. Main Street with the Western Auto and green stamp store found its way into my book too. So much of my hometown showed up in the words I placed on the page as my hero and heroine found love on the front porch amidst the day lilies, big boy tomatoes, and weathered rocking chairs.
As authors we can’t seem to help ourselves. Our memories archive the strongest research – the sights, smells, and sounds of our experiences. For me, the research was easy. I just wrote what I knew.
How about you? What part of your past has shown up in your stories?
Order Liz’s book from Amazon! Vegas Two-Step
A post-makeover vacation fling. That’s all Nellie Tucker wants from Jack Darby. After all, a librarian from a small Texas community doesn’t have a lot in common with a cool business guy like Jack. Sure, their week in Las Vegas is wonderful, but Nellie has her real life to get back to.
So imagine her surprise when Jack suddenly appears in her hometown. And not only does he appear, but he seems intent on setting down roots—here. Nellie doesn’t know whether to jump for joy at getting another shot with him, or run and hide so he can’t discover how unglamorous she truly is. The way he’s chasing her, however, it seems the choice might not be hers!