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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Elizabeth Winthrop Alsop

author Elizabeth Alsop and her book Daughter of Spies

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? I’m paraphrasing Francois Camoin who said, no civilization exists that hasn’t told stories. Readers can take in truths through stories that they aren’t able to understand any other way. I write to save myself but always in the hope that my work might touch all the readers out there who I will never meet in person.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Don’t stop. If prose isn’t working, try poetry. Write in a journal. Embark on a new project. Remember, writers are never NOT writing. The work is going along in our heads and hearts even when we are not aware of it.

What is your favorite time to write? After I have breakfast in my favorite diner, I write from morning until mid afternoon. Then I take a walk and settle into a coffee shop where I can start again, no matter the crowds, the music or the clink of silverware.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Read every piece you write out loud from beginning to end, be it a picture book for kids or a novel for adults. That’s the only way you will hear the gratuitous phrase, the extra adjective, the unnecessary words.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? There are so many more ways for a writer to reach and engage with readers now than when I first started to publish. Back then, the publisher controlled how and when authors publicized their books. Now, although it can take time, social media and the internet allows the author to connect directly with her readers. I like the feeling of the writer and the reader speaking to one another over the heads of characters.

Elizabeth Winthrop Alsop’s Daughter of Spies: Wartime Secrets, Family Lies is out now with Pact Press.