In the Mind of Elizabeth London – 30 Years of Happily Ever Afters

This week we’re jumping over the hump with our featured workshop presenter and all-around guru editor, Elizabeth London!

Elizabeth will be giving a workshop at our conference in October. The Top Ten Ways You’re Showing Rather Than Telling is just one of many fabulous workshops we have scheduled.

For more information on our conference, on when registration opens, and other popular questions, please visit our website at

Please welcome Elizabeth!

What advice do you have for other writers?

I thought an editors perspective here might be interesting. 🙂 I do get asked a lot what one thing I’d share with new writers and while my answer often changes based on my mood (and which manuscript I’m currently working on) I find that I give the following advice to new and established authors I work with: slow down and take your time. It’s a delicate balance, especially in the realm of ePublishing where current market trends indicate that in order to be successful, an author needs to build their backlist as quickly as possible. While I don’t disagree with that in theory—and you should absolutely abide by any due dates you’ve agreed to with your editor and publisher—remember that you’re looking at a long term career path. Take a few extra weeks or months—whatever it might take—put your first draft down for a week or two, go back, make all the structural changes you know it needs, then polish it and then send out on submission or to your editor. I can’t tell you the number of manuscripts I see, especially in slush but also from established authors, that could have really benefited from a second or third pass. Strike to learn from every edit and incorporate that knowledge in each future manuscript. An author who doesn’t grow or change may keep their readership—but an author who strives to evolve their standard of excellence with each book will grow their readership and that’s what ultimately determines the success of their backlist.

That’s a good point, I do see a lot of “newer” authors trying to rush the process. Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

I have (and adore) my iPad mini. I use the Kindle App for all of my reading, including new submissions.

Mr. Stone just bought me one yesterday! *grin* If you could have one special, supernatural power, what would it be?

Why do I only get one? In that case, I want the ability to mimic other people’s special abilities—that way I’d have them ALL!!! (MWHAHAHAHAHA!)

*laughing* I love it! What makes a man attractive to you?

Intelligence, passion and drive—and if that all happens to be wrapped up in a 6’2” wall of muscle? All the better.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?

For my thirtieth birthday I took lessons on the flying trapeze—would have been far less interesting if I wasn’t so terrified of heights.

Is this the point that I tell you, you don’t look a day over 21? *chuckles* How would you describe yourself in five words?

Driven, funny (never on purpose) chocolate lover, daydreamer, introvert.

What are you reading now?

Slush pile submissions, of course.

What is your favorite quote?

This changes based on my day, my mood and my Pinterest activity, but here’s one I keep on hand for long days, mornings and chocolate withdrawal: Quit Slackin’ and Make Shit Happen—Unknown.

What comes first—characters or the plot?

As an editor I prefer stories that originated as strong and compelling characters—they’re the ones I pull from Slush and they’re the ones I look forward to working on the most. For me, plot is really about the mechanisms the author chooses to best showcase—and grow—their character throughout the story. I’d sooner forgive a weak plot over two-dimensional characters.

Cat or dog person?

I have both. Two cats and a bullmastiff that thinks she rules the house—the cats like to dissuade her of that idea.

Okay, Liz, get ready, we have our rapid response portion. Don’t think about your answers, just say the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?

Favorite color: Green.

Favorite number: 7

Wine or liquor? Depends on the season and my mood. Usually, wine.

Tea or coffee? Tea, but I drink both.

Decaf or caffeinated? Decaf.

Boxers or briefs? Puh-lease. Commando.

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.

Frozen (the movie) or Tangled? Tangled.

Channing Tatum or Johnny Depp? Channing Tatum.

Thank you, Elizabeth!


Want to meet or attend Elizabeth’s workshop? Make sure you check out the information on our conference at and register come June 1st!


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