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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Interview with....

Elizabeth Lyon
       by Dana Mitchells

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In her own words: Elizabeth Lyon

“I was born in Toledo, Ohio, transplanted to Phoenix, completed my education in Los Angeles, and I have lived in Eugene, Oregon for nearly twenty years. My children moved out on their own: one and two years ago, respectively. Almost magically, after I shop, they appear at lunch times. They also visit me on weekends and are a tremendous help with this old Velveteen rabbit-like house, which I am preparing to sell. I occasionally pay my daughter Elaine to do clerical or research work related to my writing or editing career.

My professional titles are: author, editor, teacher, mentor. I am the president of Editing International, LLC, a partnership of three editors. Personally, I am called Mom. When an editing client called me that, I decided it was past time to pull back on all that nurturing energy—just a tad. My formal education included a Masters in Social Science/Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from Azusa Pacific University, California (1977). I earned a B.A. in Sociology from Whittier in 1972. I have almost minors in humanities and anthropology. I actually have no degrees or coursework in journalism, editing, or literature. However, throughout childhood through college, I was a nerd-ette: wore thick glasses, was out-of-it socially, and read constantly—everything. Lasik surgery took care of my eyesight and I finally got a good haircut this last year. My motto: If you wait long enough, all things change.

To date, the following books have been published: Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write, The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit and A Writer's Guide to Nonfiction. These three were published by Perigee (Penguin Putnam). My first book, Mabel: The Story of One Midwife, was self-published, though distributed by Midwifery Today magazine. In May 2004, Perigee will publish A Writer's Guide to Fiction, and in Sept 2004, M. Evans and Company will publish National Directory of Editors and Writers for Hire.

I have written articles that were published in The Writer and Writer's Digest, with one from each magazine reprinted in The Writer's Handbook and The Complete Guide to Novel Writing. Other articles have appeared in online e-zines, writer organization newsletters, and my first publishing credit, Mothering Magazine. I may have an essay on my experiences on 9-11 reprinted in a Beford Reader.

For the past five years, I've taught the master classes in novel craft at the Writer's Retreat Workshop, a 10-day "boot camp" for novelists that takes place at the end of May in Erlanger, Kentucky. It was started by the late Gary Provost with his wife, Gail, and is a fabulous live-in workshop for novelists. I no longer teach writing or publishing classes at any college or university. Occasionally, one will invite me to do workshops or to speak to a class. Most of my teaching is by invitation of writing groups or organizations, either through their conferences or for private seminars I offer over a several-day period.

One of my greatest joys, fulfilling a promise to myself after the 9-11 tragedy, was to re-energize writing for my soul. Since summer, I've been taking a class in memoir writing and enjoying this thoroughly. In a way, this class is skill-building and preparation for a book-length work I'd like to write that is a blend of memoir, essay, and spirituality. At age 53, I am picking up many threads of myself that I left behind when I concentrated on raising a family as a single parent.”

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