Elizabeth Watson believes author Elizabeth Chadwick influenced her writing style and was a gateway to her writing in the genre of historical romance, which attributed to her latest release, The Maiden’s Defender. But before writing, she was a clinical research coordinator and obtained her degree in archeology. She currently lives in Hedgesville (WV) with her husband, four sons, a yellow lab, and a cat.
“We love this region, even though we moved here and were not born and raised here,” she said. “Our kids have put down their roots in Hedgesville and know it as home. Our property is wooded, and is gorgeous this time of year with all the leaves changing. A beautiful place to live!”
Elizabeth loved writing as a child, but over the years became estranged to it until her Harry Potter-obsessed sons begged her to write them a wizard story. Once bitten by the writing bug, her husband challenged her to write outside the box and dabble in another genre, where she created her first historical romance, Prince of Lions.
“I had a lot of misconceptions about the romance genre before writing in it; I’d never read one, considering them trite,” she said. “But once I picked up Sarah Zettel’s Paths to Camelot series, and devoured Elizabeth Chadwick’s book Shadows and Strongholds, I was so enthralled by the medieval world, the adventure and intrigue, and the timeless love stories, that I’ve become an advocate for the genre because of it.”
While continuing her graduate archeological research in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, Watson was intrigued by the medieval period, but found it often portrayed as dark and shrouded in warfare and armor. Having lived in a foreign country, it allowed her to experience the historic markers, buildings, and remnants of history.
“One of the oldest Anglo-Saxon church sites was right around the corner from our flat. Castles and museums housing ancient artifacts abound. It was impossible not to be inspired by the mystique of the time period, as well as the plight of women,” she noted.
Watson’s story idea for The Maiden’s Defender was brewing while writing another book in the series, and takes place at the end of the 3rd Crusade. Part of her writing process, which helps her to remain focused on the genre, is to listen to period music. She also does a fair amount of research to fill in information that she’s not familiar with, but allows each book to take its own course.
“Many ideas come from period music,” she explained. “Because we lived abroad, I drew inspiration from photos of the places we’ve been, from the trinkets we brought home, and from historical events. My mind is always shaping a new idea, and when that idea begins to develop and grow stronger over the weeks and months, I know I’m onto something, and finally commit it to paper.”
When asked what advice she would give to wanna-be writers who are trying to get a book published, she said, “Join writers’ groups, and find a good author society for your genre. Don’t give up. Those who persevere are the ones who find success. And be patient. Overnight success can take years.”Review by Robin Murphy