JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Elizabeth Good, author of Just Another Sunday: A Novel
In the spring of 1968, Lia is 15-years-old when her Italian-American family decides to leave Brooklyn for their dream home in the suburbs. But Lia is reluctant to pull up roots and go anywhere, especially to some godforsaken Jersey town.
“I would rather thrive in the grime of New York than be plucked from my roots and transplanted in Nowheresland, just to wither away and die. I swear this is the kiss of death.”
“Just Another Sunday” is a compelling five-year snapshot of one woman’s life, taking us through teenage angst and rites of passage, new love and broken hearts, friendships and betrayal, triumph and tragedy, and one family’s struggle to cope with the inconceivable.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “Just Another Sunday: A Novel”?
Elizabeth Good: My inspiration sprang from two sources: one was external and the other was an internal desire to analyze pivotal events and circumstances of my life as a teenager and young adult.
The external catalyst to my journey as an author is a major character (Jesse David Carlisle) in “Just Another Sunday”. The real Jesse, whom I will call JDC, contacted me through Classmates.com in 2006. This happens all the time, right? Well, his revelations about our very last encounter in 1973 totally blew me away.
JDC’s side of the story compelled me to re-visit that time period and come to terms with how it came to be where I have been and how I got to be where I am now. Many true life events during that 5-year period have been replicated in this book, which I published as a novel, not a memoir, due to fictional elements.
JP: What sets Just Another Sunday: A Novel apart from other books in the same genre?
EG: “Just Another Sunday” fits into a few genres: Coming-of-Age, Young Adult, Family Drama, Religious Fiction, General Fiction. It is filled with late 60s and early 70s nostalgia. However, I would not call it Historical Fiction.
This book will definitely evoke memories of one’s own youth, no matter what decade you’re from. It is compelling and addresses many of life’s issues – teenage self-image, the insecurities of moving, making new friends, first loves, the death of ones dreams, the death of a parent, grief, family conflicts, and much more. But most of all, this book is about Fate (the word deserves a capital letter).
I do believe this book is different. I’ll quote a recent 5-star review on Goodreads: “In “Just Another Sunday”, Elizabeth Good has a story to tell, and she does so movingly and unflinchingly in this deceptively simple coming-of-age novel. The seemingly vapid teenage dialog belies the book’s deeper themes of loss, the crutches we seek and the interplay between fate and the choices we make.”
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “Just Another Sunday: A Novel” getting out to the public?
EG: I am glad you used the plural because just one key wouldn’t cut it. I self-published through Outskirts Press, which a great company based in Colorado. With the expertise of Outskirts Press, “Just Another Sunday” is sold through many on-line outlets world-wide, not just on Amazon and B&N. As a green-around-the-ears newbie, I wouldn’t have been able to do that on my own. I’ve learned so much about the publication process.
But then came the hard part…
An indie author needs a good marketing game plan, learn effective PR skills and must have a firm belief that his or her work has value – those are essential keys. Finding your target audience is also important. That’s the hardest part of this never-ending marketing process. But I am now realizing that my reader base is surprisingly diverse. I didn’t think the male species would like it, but I’ve received reviews and emails from men saying they either loved it or related to it some way!
Speaking of reviews, growing a really thick skin when you read the inevitable bad review is another key to successful marketing, mostly so you don’t become a shrinking violet and give up.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Just Another Sunday: A Novel?
EG: My writing process was obsessive/compulsive. I would zone out for 8 to 16 hours per day – doing nothing but work on my manuscript. I would reconstruct past events, resurrect former relationships, think and speak in 60s and 70s lingo, etc. It was a lot of fun doing all of that.
Then there were months and months when I’d glare at my closed laptop, never wanting to open it again. At times, “Just Another Sunday” was the bane of my life, but I knew I had to complete it. It took a total of 5 years from start to finish. I was driven. I had to finish it because it morphed into a tribute to my parents, more specifically, my Dad. I, finally, after 42 years, worked through a true grieving process and purged all pent-up emotion that I never addressed as a young adult. It was very cathartic.
JP: What’s next for Elizabeth Good?
EG: I’m leaving my husband for Jesse Carlisle. Ha! Gotcha! That captured your attention, didn’t it? I’m kidding, of course. But seriously, marketing is an ongoing effort. That’s my focus at the present. I liken marketing to the lever on a lit disposable cigarette lighter. If you remove your thumb, the flame goes out. It’s exhausting!
I have the skeletal structure of the sequel in my head and in bits and pieces on my laptop. But I enjoy living in the present; it’s where my children and grandchildren are. I don’t want to dwell in the past. Writing “Just Another Sunday” took a mini-toll on me, so I’m not sure if I would survive re-visiting the next chapter in Lia Benedict’s life.
My husband, Len, said that he’d divorce me if I wrote another book. He said he was joking, but I think he meant it! He witnessed first-hand how emotional it was for me to write “Just Another Sunday”. It took a toll on him as well. I’ll get to it eventually, maybe, but for now, I hope you read and enjoy “Just Another Sunday”.
“Thank you, Joey Pinkney, for the opportunity to tell a little bit about my humble journey as an author.” ~ Elizabeth Good