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May Spotlight Interview: Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie, a veteran author from the South West of England, has a fun, globe-trotting outlook that folds reality into her fictional novels. I would like you to believe I am also a keen walker and swimmer, enjoying the beauties of Dartmoor and the South Devon coastline—but, as a writer, I’m good at making things up.


Author, Editor, Traveler, Spouse,


Through her years of experience, traveling, and her love of reading, Elizabeth has become an accomplished author of crime novels and short stories.

At an early age, Elizabeth discovered a fondness for storytelling and writing. After making a career in writing for 30 years, she started creative writing. Elizabeth is now an accomplished editor and author with a number of published anthologies, books, series, and even a collection of guides aimed at new, aspiring authors called The Business of Writing.


 

Background


A "keen reader and singer", Elizabeth grew up in Birmingham where she won a writing contest that began a long journey to becoming an author. "I've always been reading before I went to school. I was able to read when {I was} bored... Storytelling went alongside that..."


This literary spark encouraged Elizabeth to go into a writing career for over thirty years. She was a manufacturing consultant and technical writer. Also a small business owner, she published a number of pharmaceutical text books and edited a technical journal.


In 2006, Elizabeth turned back to her love of creative writing and began submitting short stories to writing competitions. Through Chudleigh Phoenix Publications, she was able to publish a collection of her own short stories and a another co-authored with Sharon Cook. She also created the series of guide books for writers starting and running their own small business, called The Business of Writing.


"My debut novel, Gorgito’s Ice Rink, was published in 2014. My second novel, Counterfeit!, was published in 2016. It is the first in a series of thrillers set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals. The second part of the series, Deception!, was published in summer 2017, and the final part, Corruption!, came out on September 2018. My latest novel, Murder at Mountjoy Manor, was published in October 2021, and I am currently working on the next in the series."

 

The Interview


What part of the world do you live? Do you have a favorite vacation spot or special writing space?

I live in Devon, in the southwest of England. My favourite vacation spot is a tiny Greek island called Kea, where I write under an umbrella by the pool until midday each day, before devoting the rest of the day to swimming, eating, drinking and sleeping..


Do you like to travel for inspiration for your writing? Where do you find inspiration?

Yes, travel has always been the inspiration for the last couple of years. {The stories were} located somewhere other than where I live. My my first novel was {in} Russia and my next three novels {were} setting in America. Then back to Russia and Ukraine, and most of my short stories were also based {abroad}. I found {when traveling} I would write based on where we where we were {at the time}. In fact, most of the things that I've written I've always started with the location, then I've added the character...


How/When/Why did you get started as a writer?

I won a newspaper competition when I was 14. That was my first publication. I then spent 30+ years as a technical writer and consultant in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry (writing millions of words in the process) before turning to creative writing in my 50s. I always say "I gave up the day job to tell lies for a living."


How did you end up writing crime novels?

The two big genre that most people read... Crime or Romance. Those tend to be the two biggest. I've read a lot of {James Patterson}… He was the trigger for the first of the three thriller {novels} I wrote about. Counterfeit, deception, and corruption which was set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals. James Patterson's Women's Murder Club, I loved that there were female protagonists. So when I wrote, I actually wanted to do that sort of thing with three female protagonist. Each one of them takes the main lead in one of the {stories} and then another... I think in terms of writing {inspiration}, James Patterson was big for me.


What are the biggest challenges you face as an author?

Marketing, without a doubt. There are just so many books out there, it's very difficult to make oneself stand out from the crowd. I developed my face-to-face marketing first, and that's when I was much better. I did not put much time into the online marketing and then we had the last two years.


Do you find that the followers you had with the face-to-face book signings and in-person marketing are able to cross over and follow you with your online marketing?

My biggest single sales have always my release day, because I have a party here in {the town} I live in. {The town is} small village and I will we sell lots of books on that one occasion … But, yes, I am actually finding that, increasingly, people are moving online.


What are your favorite genres?

I both write and read crime. I also love reading fantasy, but have never had a go at writing it - yet.


Who/What inspires you the most?

I am inspired by anyone who overcomes adversity and keeps going. I have a friend who in the past three years has had so many problems thrown at her that most people would have buckled under the pressure. But she is still there, still smiling, still up for a long lunch in the sunshine - and still writing. I've not told her how much she inspires me. Maybe I should.


What is one book you would recommend that everyone should read once in their lives?

It has to be The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien. I've read it several times; listened to the radio serialization; watched the movies. And every time, there's some new detail to discover.

I {read} the Hobbit when I was a {young} teenager and then I read Lord of the Rings later teenager. {That was the} first time and I've read it since then. But many, many years ago - 50 years plus - the BBC serialized the Lord of the Rings on the radio. Ian Holm, who played Bilbo in the film, was Frodo in the in the radio. I listen to those with my my parents... The radio which allows you to use your imagination, much more than {movies}… the book allows you to visualize {the story}. I remember when I listened to the radio {stories} before and I read the books. So, many years later my husband got the set on CDs, and I carried them around with me when I was working in places like Kazakhstan. I would sit in bed listening to them each night before I went to sleep.


Finally, can you give us a teaser of your current project? Perhaps a favorite quote from you most recent (or soon-to-be) released book?

Each month I send out my newsletter to my readers with a free short story. They feature some of the characters in the village… At the end of the year I took the 12 short stories and combined them in the book. I {plan to} do that at the end of the year as a collection.


The residents of the idyllic-seeming village of Coombesford may not be entirely what they seem. Who is the Little Princess, really? What grudge does the editor of a local paper have against the amateur theatrical society? And what plots does the parking attendant devise on her time off?


The answers to all these questions and more can be found in Coombesford Calendar, Volume I.



 

Learn More...


You can learn more about Elizabeth Ducie on her website, here. Elizabeth is also our May Spotlight on our Local Support page. As an author, she is listed in both our Creative Community, here; as well as one of our newest Market Place listings, here!


Click the links below for details about her published books and where to buy them:




Coombesford Calendar volume I: A year of stories from an English village - available on Amazon:





Jones Sisters Box Set: Books 1-3 - available on Amazon:




Author Business Foundations series - available on Amazon:





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