Interview with F. Elizabeth Hauser

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love to be able to tell a story on paper, and thrill when I can get my readers into the thoughts and emotions of my characters. My characters are like family to me. I feel like I know them that intimately. I love to create a story based around characters and how they experience events, and how those events change them. I'm not afraid to address some pretty raw experiences that result in powerful emotions.
What are you working on next?
I am getting ready to publish Called to the Work and then I have another novel, the first one I ever began, the one that writers stick in the drawer and don't pull out for years...that will be going through refining and my editor's critical review, and then more refining, until finally it will be ready for publication later this year. It is titled Unintended Consequences. I hope you will enjoy them both. Both stories address unexpected changes in the lives of the characters and the impact those changes wrought. As is so often the case, when things don't go as planned, it affects far more than the individual character.
What is your writing process?
Once I have a cast of characters well in hand, and I know who they really are, I develop a story outline. From there, I use a technique I learned in the NANOWRIMO 30 day first draft challenge. That's how I wrote the full length novel that I eventually broke into three volumes of The Homesteaders. Those second two volumes are in the pipeline as well, but the technique involves writing the first draft of at least 50,000 words during the month of November in 30 days. Of course, I don't have to wait until November to use the technique to get my first draft on paper.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
It is so hard to narrow it down to five favorites. That said, I'll try my best.
1: Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow. He illuminated the life of one of our great founding fathers who I knew essentially nothing about. He is not only a great writer, but he does meticulous research, and it shows. I was totally engrossed in this book, and came away with a huge respect for Alexander Hamilton and what he did for our country.
2: Washington: A Life, also by Ron Chernow. It might be the longest book I've ever listened to, but it was so good, I've listened to it twice. I've read and listened to many books about George Washington, and this was the best of all.
3: The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, by Daniel Mark Epstein. This was also perhaps the most enlightening book I've ever read or listened to on the life of Abraham Lincoln, and his very personal relationship with his wife. It illuminated their meeting, their current and past loves, and their eventual courtship and marriage. And their lives together from that moment forward.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Puget Sound area in Washington State. My next novel is intimately connected to the places I know there. My whole family of origin remains there. It is likely to be the backdrop for future novels as well.
When did you first start writing?
Aside from college English assignments, one of which was so horrible it pains me to remember it, the majority of my writing over the years was of a nonfiction nature. That assignment was a short story. I was clueless and had a terrible time writing anything fiction. I had written newsletter articles, letters, and more papers than I can count. A few of my instructors told me they thought that my future career should include something in writing, because they thought I was very good at it. But I didn't give fiction a try until 2009. I had read very little fiction in my life, until I subscribed to Kindle and Reading fiction opened a whole new world to me, and I've been writing it since then. Because of the other concerns in my life that take a great lot of my time and energy, it often takes me a long time to finish writing a book from start to publishing. Once it's written, the revising and editing can go on for months and months before it's "ready." And then I click the SEND button and exhale!
What's the story behind your latest book?
Well, I knew the two main characters in my current novel, Called to the Work. I had their faces and personalities before me as I wrote. But, to be specific, I was sitting in church one day, and a story line came to me during the closing song. Ironically, I was the chorister, so I had to direct the congregation in singing while I tried to keep the story line in my head. It wasn't as hard to concentrate on the story line as it was to pay attention to the music. Embarrassed to admit that. As soon as I got home, I dashed down the story. I thought about how a family could be motivated to move across the country, and into a place that they were apprehensive about. And how would each of them adjust to the move? I created a story revolving around the two main characters, and then as the story was told, realized that the boy I thought the story was about, was really just a vehicle for the story that happened to everyone else in the book. This story takes a lot of twists and turns, and some of Joey's experiences were written from the pages of my own life. I don't want to say much know, can't give the whole story away.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love historical fiction, biographies of important people that I know very little about, books about history, such as the Civil War, WWII, etc. I love good novels, and nonfiction of a self-improvement nature.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My phone
Published 2018-08-14.
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Books by This Author

Called to the Work
Price: Free! Words: 116,280. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Inspirational
When the Dyorich family moves to a new state, their whole world is turned upside down. Oldest son, Joey, does not adapt well to this move and gets involved with a group of friends that lead him in a downward spiraling path that lands him with a felony record. As a consequence of his incarceration, he meets a boy who changes his life. And the lives of all of his family.
The Homesteaders: Following a Dream
Price: Free! Words: 41,820. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical
The first in a series of novels, The Homesteaders: Following a Dream, introduces the reader to a young girl being raised by her widowed father in late nineteenth century America. Her dream is to become a doctor, like her father. Clara finds she has only two who believe in her, and then her life is changed when she meets another in the form of a handsome self-educated farm boy.
Fish in a Bird's Nest
Price: Free! Words: 72,310. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
A gripping and authentic story of friendship that blossoms into love, amid cultural, religious, and racial diversity that were usually insurmountable barriers in the early part of the 20th century in America. Choices and their harsh consequences bring two families through pain, sorrow, and unification when children refuse to be captives of social bigotry and cultural misunderstanding.