Triumph over Grief: An Interview with Elizabeth Ludwig

Welcome! Today I’m so excited for you to meet Elizabeth Ludwig, author of Tide and Tempest. She possesses the unique ability to make readers (okay, me) laugh, shriek, and cry all within a very short time span. Comment below for a chance to win a copy of Tide and Tempest. And now, meet Elizabeth…


Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for visiting today. I’m so excited to learn more about you. Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

This is a fun one! Here goes…

I love playing with computers. In fact, my kids call me a computer geek wannabe! I’m not good enough with techie stuff to actually do anything fancy…just good enough to get in trouble.

I am an avid football fan (Go Steelers!!). When I’m not cheering on my team, I’m thinking about cheering on my team.

My dachshunds get me. They really, really get me.

I know exactly what you mean about not being techie. I’ve finally reached the point where my oldest kiddo now helps me problem-solve technology issues at home.

Can you list three of your favorite opening lines to novels? In what ways did each captivate you?

From the moment I cracked open my first book, I have loved to read. Here are three of my favorite opening lines that captured my interest from the start:

I’d never given much thought to how I would die—though I’d had reason enough in the last few months—but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyer

I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After. – MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs

Sunlight slanted a direct route from heaven through the sanctuary windows. Were the dust motes riding that beam sturdy enough to carry her weight, Miri Brayden would mount up and fly out of there in a heartbeat. – A HEART DECEIVED by Michelle Griep

Now, I realize that these are three very different genres, but what I loved about the opening lines was that they all had some kind of hook. They all raised some kind of question in my mind that made me want to keep reading.

Well, despite the different genres, all the opening lines hooked me too! What is your favorite genre to read? Write?

Honestly, I don’t have a favorite genre to read. If a book is great, and the storytelling vivid, I’ll read just about anything (just take a look at my favorite opening lines, LOL!) My favorite genre to write, however, is most definitely historical. There is something about the language—the chivalry of a bygone era—that makes me want to spend time researching and writing.

I like that–the chivalry of a bygone era. Such an outlook leads to fascinating characters. Tell me a bit about your main characters. Who did you have the most fun creating? Why?

Originally, I had intended for Edge of Freedom to be a two book series, so Book #3, Tide and Tempest, was the only story that wasn’t planned. It has turned out to be my favorite. I love, love, love this hero and heroine—Keondric and Tillie. Their story amazed me, and their love was just phenomenal to write.

Also, I share a common grief with Tillie—the loss of a child. I think that’s why she resonated with me so deeply. I really hope her triumph over guilt and grief speaks to readers.

Wow. What a touching response. It’s obvious to me why readers are able to connect with you. Now, which famous actor or actress would play your main characters in a movie? 

EL - Male Character

Oh! I have to show you a picture. I found this browsing the web one day, and I knew immediately that he would be the blueprint for my hero, Keondric Morgan. The actor’s name is Antonio Cupo. Isn’t he dashing??

EL - Female Character

My heroine, Tillie McGrath, would have to be someone small in stature, but big on courage. I chose Autumn Reeser to be my mental model because she’s just so doggone spunky!

Be still my heart! Keondric is dashing!


What message do you hope your readers will take away after reading your novel?

I had an interviewer ask me once what my books were about. “Besides the romance and suspense,” he said, “what would you say is the theme?”

Normally, I do all right in an impromptu interview, but the answer that rose to my lips surprised even me.

“Grief,” I said. “These books are about losing someone you love and finding the faith to go on.”

“Grief? Isn’t that sort of an odd theme for a romance?”

I shook my head. “Not really. True love, the kind that God gives, always involves sacrifice.”

After I’d had time to ponder that conversation, I realized deep down what I’d always known to be true. These books are about loss, but not the crippling, demoralizing, paralyzing kind. They’re about cutting away everything that hinders us from relying fully and completely upon Jesus. They’re about entrusting the people and things we love most in the world to Him. And they’re about learning to cast aside every unspoken fear and throwing ourselves on the infinite grace and mercy of the Savior. That is what I hope readers will take from these novels.

Share your favorite Bible verse and the ways in which it impacts your writing.

My favorite scripture, one I sign all my books with, is Habakkuk 2:2-3. It says:

2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

I received these verses at a time when I was really questioning my call to write. Now, it is a reminder to me that God is faithful to complete the good work HE has begun.


Two years ago, her fiancé perished during their voyage to America. Now she discovers it may have been murder…

Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she’s left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream–to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman’s deathbed confession reveals her fiancé’s  demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well–dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiancé.

To get to know Elizabeth’s characters better, check out Tide and Tempest, released March 4, 2014 and available for purchase at, and

Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Rocket, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies (co-authored with Janelle Mowery), earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year Award. This book was followed in 2009 by “I’ll be Home for Christmas”, part of the Christmas anthology collection, Christmas Homecoming.

In 2011, her second mystery, Died in the Wool (co-authored with Janelle Mowery) was nominated for a Carol Award. In 2012, the popular EDGE OF FREEDOM series released from Bethany House Publishers. Books one and two, No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, respectively, earned 4 stars from the Romantic Times.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas. To learn more, visit or visit her on Facebook.

Congrats to Vanessa Morton, winner of last week’s giveaway. As always, thank you for hithering and venturing to another world with me!

12 thoughts on “Triumph over Grief: An Interview with Elizabeth Ludwig

  1. Be still my beating heart also! 🙂 Autumn Reeser is pretty spectacular too for my tastes. Plus she has the first name and probably the personality type (cognitive preference) my Autumn Harvest Selene (and her husband Alain Harper – who is not too dissimilar in looks from Alex Pettyfer, by chance) possess. (Oh, that would be ENFP.)

    Great interview, ladies. When I read such things it makes me want to write. 🙂 In fact it makes me want to abandon everything else and write. 😀 (Again, good job!) The problem is I now realize I can do two major things in my working life, but not three, and the other two are essential to fulfilling my divine and personal calling in life – which means that except for occasional short fiction, the third thing (writing speculative fiction) has to go. In fact the other two things have been pressing me so hard of late with their fruitful results that I’ve had to keep putting off my promised blog on the subject of writing. This morning I can finally get to it.

    Meanwhile, I wish both of you success in your writing careers, with all the honesty of heart you can put into them.

  2. These paragraphs are interesting:

    My favorite scripture, one I sign all my books with, is Habakkuk 2:2-3. It says:

    2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

    I received these verses at a time when I was really questioning my call to write. Now, it is a reminder to me that God is faithful to complete the good work HE has begun.

    For me the literal and prophetic application of these verses is what matters as the touchstone. What it is really coming down to for me, ladies, is how to carry this out by extension in my life in the best possible way. There is such a thing as stewardship and mine may not be yours, much as I love writing of all kinds. Through what I do as an apologist already I can reach millions; through what I do as a Hebraist and musician, I can reach thousands. Through what I do as a SF writer, so far I can reach… dozens… and even that “through a glass darkly”. To increase that outreach and to give a “product” divinely and humanly worth giving, at least in novel-length form, would take more than I can devote to the effort.

    Your interview here is one of the several excellent posts I’ve been seeing on writing blogs recently which are helping me think and pray about the subject. Thank you.

  3. Enjoyed the interview. Reading what your “message to your readers” is makes me anxious to read the series.

  4. Your second book in this series really stuck with me, which when I read as many books as I do, they have to be amazing to stand out!
    I love the depth of the scenes and characters that you put into your books! Great job! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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