Elizabeth is the bestselling cozy mystery author of the Southern Quilting mysteries, Memphis Barbeque mysteries, and Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She blogs at ElizabethSpannCraig.com/blog , named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine WritersKB.com. Elizabeth makes her home in Matthews, North Carolina, with her husband and two teenage children. To receive a free ebook, updates, and recipes, sign up for her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/kCy5j .
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I’ve always loved a good mystery. As a kid in Anderson, South Carolina, I started reading Nancy Drew books in 2nd grade. But even before that, I was a fan of Scooby Doo. I couldn’t get enough of Shaggy, Scooby and the rest of the gang, or of Nancy, Bess, and George. After reading all the Nancys, I tapped into Trixie Belden. I wasn’t opposed to the Boxcar Children, Cherry Ames, or Hardy Boys, either. The coolest thing was the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys TV show that came about in the 1970s. The best episode was when Nancy and the Hardy Boys worked on a case together!
You can probably see the path I was going down. After I consumed all the mysteries available to me in the children’s section of the Anderson County Library, I started in on the Agatha Christies. Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot made me a lifelong mystery fan.
The only thing I liked even better than reading was writing. I started writing stories at the same point that I was introduced to Nancy Drew. I ended up writing hundreds of short stories and created a weekly newspaper for my family. I’ve always said that I am a one trick pony. But, hey—it’s a good trick.
In my 20s I wrote for a while for a local magazine in Birmingham, Alabama, where I was living at the time with my husband. But I still wanted to write a book. Unfortunately, the couple of books that I started in my 20s didn’t really go anywhere, although they were good practice for me.
Finally in my early 30s I decided it was time to make a book happen. I had a rambunctious kindergartner at the time and an infant daughter. But I realized that the time would never be perfect to write a book. Our lives stay just as busy as we get older…just for different reasons. I decided to set the bar very low for my writing session. My daughter would watch Sesame Street for about fifteen minutes before getting distracted so I decided I’d write fifteen minutes a day, every day. I found I could usually manage a page in that amount of time. And then I found that a page a day will result in a (very long) book by the end of the year.
That’s how it all started. As a fan of Miss Marple, I started out writing a mystery series with a senior sleuth…except my octogenarian Myrtle Clover made Miss Marple look like a youngster. I based Myrtle on one of my beloved grandmothers—Mary Ligon Spann, a retired English teacher with a sharp mind and a delicious sense of humor.
Nearly twenty books later, I’m grateful for the opportunity to write books for an audience as well as for myself. Thanks so much to all my readers. I appreciate you!
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