Hi it’s Stitch here…
It’s been a while since my last interview, but I’m ready to get started again. Today we got to chat with Elizabeth Schoberg
When did you decide to become an author, and what impact has it had on your life?
I never made a conscious decision to become an author. Creating has always been a very important part of me.
I have always loved stories. As a young child growing up in the suburbs of Washington, DC in the 1940s, trekking to the local movie theater every weekend with 50 cents in hand for admission and a gorging of popcorn and candy was my ultimate treat. Back then you could view the main attraction many times without fear of eviction, and I took full advantage. By the time my father came down the aisle searching for me, I had memorized every word, song, and dance step that had made its way across the silver screen that day, and my parents would enjoy my own presentation when I got home. I would embellish the story to suit my own fantasies.
In 1987 my firstborn son left home for a sound studio in California to perfect his sound engineering and music skills. Several months later I had written a screenplay titled “Beethoven’s Band”: the story of a dysfunctional relationship between a father and his musician son as it had occurred in my basement over the previous 10 years. To my dismay, someone else’s movie, “Beethoven”, was released shortly thereafter.
Creating in general has had a significant, and sometimes annoying, impact on my life. Daily occurrences become potential plots. Everyone from family members and neighbors, to auto mechanics, garbage collectors, and the crossing guard on the corner, are viewed as possible heroes or heroines. A future fictional character is constantly blowing in my ear.
On the other hand, writing can be very fulfilling, as well as a lot of hard work. As always, my mission is to make a difference in someone’s life. It may be as simple as providing entertainment, or presenting a different perspective to solve one of life’s many challenges.
I have created stories in most genres, but few have made it to print or screen. The dreaded fear of rejection took hold of me, and years went by while I concentrated on my career in Human Resources. But I did believe someday I would find my voice … and allow it to be heard.
Always a big break through when you can handle the fear of rejection!
What is your latest work and what motivated you to write it?
Both of my published children’s books, “Chirp’s Lullaby” and “No Bullying, Bertram” deal with child grief. The first was in response to a mother’s plea for a way to communicate to her young children why their new baby was not yet coming home. “No Bullying, Bertram!” deals with a different kind of child grief: the loss of self esteem. For the younger child, this toy shop tale tells the story of an unhappy bulldog, Bertram, and a timid purple puppy, Penelope. The other toys in the toy shop teach Bertram that happiness is found when you make someone else feel special. Make others happy and you will be happy, too.
I was introduced to the shorter story years earlier when I became a reader for a neighborhood nursing home where my mother-in-law had been cared for during the end of her life. I wanted to give back to this facility for treating her with dignity and love I also wanted to add something special to the lives of the other residents. I was told to choose something childlike, and short, as the residents didn’t have a long attention span…and bring fudge brownies for dessert. I couldn’t find anything in the library to suit me, so I began to create my own stories: Short stories, evoking memories of days gone by…and I always brought brownies for dessert.
In my attempt to do something special for the caregivers and residents at the facility, I found something wonderful was happening to me. I learned to create a story quickly and effectively. One that would bring laughter and tears to a group of elderly residents; some who had not spoken in months. They enjoyed our gatherings, and I evolved as a storyteller.
When my mother passed away in 2004, I began to focus on the blessed childhood I had experienced. My parents were exceptional people in an extraordinary time.
My mother’s admittance to Georgetown University Law School in 1935 was rejected because she was a woman. Undaunted, she moved on to George Washington University Law School where she graduated and was hired by the US Government.
My dad was a cameraman for Pathe News. Seeking the perfect shot for his newsreels, Dad used daredevil antics: being strapped to the wings of biplanes, hanging off the exterior of the Empire State Building, and walking the suspension cables of the George Washington Bridge. He first met my mother while shooting a newsreel from the ceiling of the US Capitol rotunda. She walked into his camera shot below and he responded, “Hey, brown eyes. Could you move over to the right just a little. I need a clear shot…if you don’t mind.” She did mind and it was hate at first sight. They were married a year later.
Dad moved on from newsreels to cartography for the US Army Corps of Engineers. With no formal education, but a genius for geography, he devised the US Map Cataloging System used by the US and Great Britain. And while WWII raged around the world, my father battled alcoholism on the home front.
My parent’s story is my passion. I look forward to sharing them with the world. “Lillie’s Pond” is their story.
Next will be a series of cozy mysteries based on a group of women who remained friends and traveling companions for over 70 years. Their unusual adventures were also a part of my life. My inspiration begins in writing what I know. I could not ask for a more interesting cast of characters than those who have slipped in and out of my life over the years.
We look forward to seeing these new adventures, they sound fantastic!
Where do ideas come from? What aspects of life influence you?
As I said previously, my inspiration comes from what I know. Most interesting to me is overcoming life’s challenges. Allowing myself to write and freely share with others is my greatest personal challenge. I now choose to give up fear for the joy of fulfillment in the pursuit of making a difference.
What do you do to improve yourself as a writer?
I listen. I study. I read. I learned many years ago from Australian author, Marg McAlister, that a book must be your best friend if you want to be a successful author. We attended many writing seminars together in the US years ago and I never saw her anywhere without a book peeking out of her pocket. Marg takes great joy in the accomplishments of her students, and knowing her has always been a great asset to me. There is no better teacher, mentor…and friend.
Names of books?
2000 (contributor) “What To Do When Your Baby Is Premature” A Parent’s Handbook for Coping
with High-Risk Pregnancy and Caring for the Preterm Infant.
Joseph A Garcia-Prats, MD / Sharon Simmons Hornfischer, RN, BSN
2013 “Chirp’s Lullaby” A bird’s eye view of a new life in the NICU.
2015 “No Bullying, Bertram!”
(both available on Amazon)
Tips on handling rejection:
I’ve come a long way in my perception of rejection. Today I look at it as an opportunity to improve…to excell. We reject our own work when we edit. We strive to make something better understood or more enjoyable for the reader. My focus is always on how my writing can make a positive difference in someone’s life. To that end I am constantly using rejection from myself or others to reach my goal. No one can please everyone, but not writing at all because I have fear is no longer acceptable to me. The writing is greater than the writer. Get on with it.
Where may people contact you?
Lillie Pond Press
6112 Deerbrook Rd
Baltimore, Maryland 21228
Thanks for joining use Elizabeth Stitch says has reviewed your two books so watch this space!
If you would like to be a part of Stitch Says email my human at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep reading, keep writing!