Elizabeth Maxim

Interview with Elizabeth

Being a Writer

How long have you been writing?  Since I could write.  I did a poem in gold crayon on a red construction paper heart for my mom before I started preschool.

I won my first writing award in first grade.  It was a story about a deer.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?  I declared that I was going to be a writer before starting preschool but over the years a number of people discouraged me, telling me that writers didn’t make any money.  I was told I should be a lawyer, a doctor, or an engineer.

Something more prestigious, according to them.

I loved science and math so it didn’t bother me.  I actually turned away from writing between second and sixth grade to focus on math, science, and music.  I played clarinet.

When did you start writing again?  After my brain surgery which happened just before sixth grade started.

In eighth grade, one of my stories was selected to be produced as a play at school.

The summer before ninth grade, I was sitting in my maternal grandfather’s office one night and saw a stack of spiral notebooks.  I picked one up and began writing.  I wrote poetry first but then an idea for a fiction story came into my head.  I wrote for hours, right into the middle of the night.  I was thirteen.  I’ve been writing ever since, many times in the middle of the night.

But you kept up with science and math.  Science and math explain how the world works; even what people term the paranormal.  I worked in tech for decades where I married the disciplines in my career.

I still love science and math.

What was your most exciting moment in writing?  I have two of them. I was in high school, on a 12-hour bus trip, and I was writing a novel.  The girl next to me began reading it and then passed on what she read.  The next thing I knew many people on the bus were asking where the next chapters were and making positive comments on the story; even the guys.  That was cool.

And the 2nd?  When I was starting college, I had to write a paper before placing in any class.  They came to me and told me I “placed out” of any requirements and asked me to tutor engineering students in writing.

And did you?  Oh, yes, and a few of them got A’s.

I guess I have three.  My writ/lit teacher signed my year book Waiting to read your first novel.  

You said your first passion is fiction?  I love it.  I got into nonfiction by circumstance.  When I was completing my doctoral thesis, my adjunct professor suggested I turn my thesis into a book, which I eventually did.  It was actually suffering from EMF Sensitivity that launched my nonfiction career.  I told my husband, “If other people are suffering like this, I’ve got to help them.  This is miserable!”  So I began documenting my experiences.

This is Riding the Waves, Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity?    Right.  Then I decided to follow my adjunct professor’s advice.

You mean After Here:  The Celestial Plane and What Happens When We Die?  Yes.  I found throughout the years after my Near-Death Experience that telling my story helped people in a variety of ways.  It brought a lot of people peace.  I decided to follow my professor’s advice and make it available to a wider audience.

How have other personal experiences influenced your writing?  I’ve lived all over the US.  The cultures, the different climates, the local customs have all found their way into my stories, typically to provide an authentic setting.

I fictionalize the story but I weave in the real.

For instance, in Kerry’s Game, set in San Francisco, the story revolves around a Gold-Rush era ship buried beneath a bed & breakfast.  Several Gold-Rush era ships are buried beneath buildings and homes throughout San Francisco.

The Old Ship Saloon which is featured in the story, is one.  I was a patron while living in the city.  Bill and his staff are just awesome.  The food is good and the atmosphere perfect for someone who loves old brick and history.

Knowledge is power and experience is power to share. 

In nonfiction, I share information that empowers people to make educated decisions.  I try to remind people that when it comes to important aspects of life such as their health, they are the ones in charge; they have the final say

Doctors are consultants, advisors; not their parents.

In fiction, this is illustrated by strong, independent characters who control their own destiny.

I also draw from experience with the paranormal but there’s a separate section for that.

What’s challenging for you?  You can take the girl out of corporate…

I’m very analytical.  Especially given how I’ve had to approach the health issues.  Allowing myself creative freedom while still living that Midwest work ethic can be a difficult balancing act.

What’s next?  I have several projects in the queue.  Most of them are fiction though I do have a few nonfiction projects as well.  I also have the two websites, emfconductor.com and elizabethmaxim.com.


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