Q&A: Elizabeth Ludwig
In her newest story, No Safe Harbor, speaker, teacher, blogger, and award-winning novelist, Elizabeth Ludwig, crafts a tale of a young lady from the old world who finds herself in the new world desperately trying to find her lost brother and - maybe - her own place in this dangerous place called America.
WHAT INSPIRED NO SAFE HARBOR?
Family members on both my side and my husband’s emigrated from Europe in the early 1900’s. Some of my ancestors were from Spain. My husband’s ancestors were from Holland, Ireland, and Germany. These brave men and women who risked everything in search of a better life were the inspiration for this story. I hope I’ve done them proud!
WHICH CAME MORE EASILY TO YOU, WRITING THE "ROMANCE" OR WRITING THE "SUSPENSE"?
For me, writing the suspense is MUCH easier than writing the romance. I think that’s because of the two, suspense involves action and movement. Descriptions are easier for me to capture in prose than emotions, which are much more intangible.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A BALANCE OF THE TWO IN YOUR FICTION?
I’m a firm believer in building a really strong timeline. That means summarizing the entire novel, scene by scene, before I even begin writing. By doing this, I think I’m able to maintain a pretty equal balance between all of the subplots. So what’s a timeline? Think of a story synopsis, only very, very detailed.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TV SHOWS OR MOVIES OR AUTHORS THAT YOU THINK DO A GREAT JOB OF BALANCING THE ROMANCE WITH THE SUSPENSE?
I’m a huge fan of the TV show, Castle, which just so happens to be about a suspense writer! LOL! I think this show does a marvelous job of balancing romance with suspense. Another great example is Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Or even the Jason Bourne movies, which have a bit of the romantic suspense element.
IN WHAT SPECIFIC WAYS DOES YOUR FAITH IMPACT HOW YOU WRITE FICTION?
Being a Christian is not a religion to me, it’s part of who I am. That means if I’m going to pour myself into the characters I’m creating, then I’m going to have to pour Christ into them as well. Generally, my characters all have some sort of faith built in, but they are most definitely human and most definitely flawed. I hope to show by their actions and through their repentance that following Christ isn’t about being perfect…it’s about being redeemed.