Elizabeth George

in conversation with Jacqueline Winspear

Recorded June 20th, 2020

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Elizabeth George in conversation with Jacqueline Winspear
Saturday, June 20, 2020

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Elizabeth George’s Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel offers readers a master class in the art and science of crafting a novel––a subject she knows well, having taught creative writing both nationally and internationally for over thirty years.

Elizabeth’s crime novels have been celebrated by the New York Times and translated into 30 languages and featured on television by the BBC. She is also the author of a young adult series set on the island where she lives in the state of Washington.

A longtime instructor of creative writing, she has taught at colleges, universities, writers’ retreats, and conferences internationally. She most recently taught a live online creative writing class for Hedgebrook Women’s Writers’ Retreat on Whidbey Island. She is the recipient of the Anthony Award, the Agatha Award, France’s Grand Prix di Literatture Policiere, and Germany’s MIMI. She has twice been nominated for an Edgar Award, and she is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of humane letters from California State University Fullerton, and an honorary MFA from Northwest Institute of Language Arts (Whidbey Island MFA Program).

She has also written the longtime best selling creative writing book Write Away, has edited two volumes of short stories, and is the executive chair of the Elizabeth George Foundation, which makes grants to poets, emerging playwrights, and unpublished novelists.

The English tradition offers the great tapestry novel, where you have the emotional aspect of a detective’s personal life, the circumstances of the crime, and the atmosphere of the countryside which functions as another character.”

– Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George’s Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel offers readers a master class in the art and science of crafting a novel––a subject she knows well, having taught creative writing both nationally and internationally for over thirty years.

Elizabeth’s George’s crime novels have been celebrated by the New York Times and translated into 30 languages and featured on television by the BBC. She is also the author of a young adult series set on the island where she lives in the state of Washington.

A longtime instructor of creative writing, she has taught at colleges, universities, writers’ retreats, and conferences internationally. She most recently taught a live online creative writing class for Hedgebrook Women’s Writers’ Retreat on Whidbey Island. She is the recipient of the Anthony Award, the Agatha Award, France’s Grand Prix di Literatture Policiere, and Germany’s MIMI. She has twice been nominated for an Edgar Award, and she is the recipient of an honorary doctorate of humane letters from California State University Fullerton, and an honorary MFA from Northwest Institute of Language Arts (Whidbey Island MFA Program).

She has also written the longtime best selling creative writing book Write Away, has edited two volumes of short stories, and is the executive chair of the Elizabeth George Foundation, which makes grants to poets, emerging playwrights, and unpublished novelists.

Visit the Book Passage website to have any of Elizabeth’s books delivered right to your door.

You’re sure to enjoy these Book Passage favorites:

The Punishment She Deserves: A Lynley Novel

The Punishment She Deserves- A Lynley Novel

Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel

Mastering the Process- From Idea to Novel

Careless in Red: A Lynley Novel

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Get ready to join Elizabeth in conversation, Saturday, June 20th.

In the meantime, we invite you to take a moment now to help shape this upcoming conversation.

Check out the list of questions submitted by other registered attendees, and then vote to support any that match your interests.

Feel free to add your own question. Then spread the word to make sure others have the chance to help move your question to the top of the shared list.

  • 8

    votes

    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?

  • 7

    votes

    How do you track story elements in your writing process? What sorts of tools do you use? Do you use any visual maps?

  • 6

    votes

    You’ve said “the English tradition offers the great tapestry novel” — can you elaborate on what you mean by “tapestry novel” and what distinguishes the English tradition from the American?

  • 6

    votes

    Is there hopefully another Lynley novel in the works?

  • 2

    votes

    It’s 4:27 p.m. and I can’t see interview. Please help.

  • 2

    votes

    Why did you feel the need to kill off Helen? I still haven’t quite forgiven you for that!

  • 2

    votes

    I’ve read many of the Lynley mysteries and love them! However, as I noticed their increasing length, my interest fell off. This seems to happen with highly successful writers, making it look like that they do not feel they need to discipline themselves through tighter editing. Do you consider a book’s length before completing the editing?

  • 2

    votes

    What’s the best way to find an editor best suited to our work?

  • 2

    votes

    I’m thinking about taking a writing class or workshop. What should I be looking for in a writing teacher? How important is it that the teacher write the way I want to write?

  • 2

    votes

    If you weren’t a devoted and successful writer, what other career do you think you would have settled on?

  • 2

    votes

    Can we get more stories about Barbara?

  • 2

    votes

    How do you know when your work on revising a draft of a novel is completed? To what extent does your editor play a part in the revision/completion process?

  • 1

    votes

    I can’t wait to read “Mastering the Process”! Here’s a slightly different approach to writing: Why do you write? What unique thing does writing do for you?

  • 1

    votes

    At last year’s Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, you said that you sometimes have difficulty describing the emotional lives of your characters. Could you explain how you deal with that creative challenge?

  • 1

    votes

    Will there be any new episodes filmed of the BBC “Linley” series? Even though Barbara is very different in the series as opposed to the books, I thought the series was very good and would love to see more of your stories represented on the screen.

  • 1

    votes

    Is anything happening.? I can’t click on “Watch” and can’t think what else to try.

  • 1

    votes

    Whats the difference currently between the British and American publishing industry? For memoir?

  • 1

    votes

    Jackie, what’s next for Maisie?!

  • 1

    votes

    Has the program started? I don’t have audio or video though have signed in.

  • 1

    votes

    You’ve developed such memorable characters and written such suspenseful novels. What, in your opinion, is the most important first step an author needs to do as they begin conceiving of a new book?

  • 0

    votes

    Can you tell what you feel about the editing process of a book? As a separate question, what about getting input from others?

  • 0

    votes

    Would you please take a moment in every book to let us know that Simon and Deborah are okay? (I’m only half joking.)

  • 0

    votes

    Who is your best cheerleader? Agent, publisher, fan, family/friends, or yourself?

  • 0

    votes

    I just began reading your linley series. I love your writing. How did you discover these unlikely characters?