A Dozen Apologies Spotlight: Author Elizabeth Noyes

2014 February 16
by faylamb

ENoyesElizabeth Noyes—professional writer, aspiring author, dedicated dreamer—lives in northeast Atlanta with her husband and best friend, Paul, who listens tirelessly while she recites all the stories clamoring to get out of her head and onto paper. Her days and nights are a balancing act between working full-time, entertaining three grandchildren, participating in church, and a demand (her own) to write, write, write. She is also an avid reader across many genres.

A Dozen Apologies, a collaboration of authors, is her first published work and will be released on February 14th. Her first full-length novel, a romantic suspense entitled, Imperfect Wings, will be out soon.

Elizabeth, or Betty as her friends call her, wrote our September hero, Elliott Weston:

A Dozen Apologies (or as we in the group have dubbed it—ADA) is a multi-author venture where twelve writers each penned a standalone chapter. Mara Adkins, the main character, is put through the proverbial wringer in her bid to apologize to the men she wronged back in college. (Shades of a done ‘somebody wrong song,’ huh?) When combined, these chapters deliver a seamless, entertaining story.

When I received the invitation to participate in this project, I was both thrilled and dismayed. Here I had an amazing opportunity to put my name alongside eleven incredibly talented authors … but I had to deliver in a way that would live up to their reputations. Quite a challenge for someone not yet published.

Ivan and Maxwell

Ivan and Maxwell

It isn’t often a story presents itself fully developed, replete with a strong and compelling hero, supporting characters that are interesting in their own right, and a plot. But that’s what happened. I read the project criteria—and the idea popped into my head fully formed. I completed my first draft that same day.

Fortunately, there’s a cast of hundreds living in my head. Writers understand this, while others, like my husband, think I’m a little weird. (And yes, I do have conversations with the hordes, sometimes long dialogues and even arguments.) A few of my characters-in-waiting can be quite forceful, clamoring to have their story brought to life. Others bide their time, maturing while they wait. Elliott Weston was one of the patient ones.

Elliott, whose first passion was football, is modeled after someone I view as a real-life hero—Brian, the son of my very good friend. I’ve followed this young man through his high school basketball years, applauded when he earned a full ride to a prestigious South Carolina university, and cried when injuries ended his playing career that first season. I was so proud of him when he remained with the team, kept his scholarship, and earned a degree in Special Education. I even had the honor of attending his wedding. Now, he teaches Special Ed at a high school in Summerville, SC, where he’s also the head basketball coach … with a rabid fan following. On the court,

Daisy

Daisy

at an imposing six-feet-nine, he demands discipline and accountability from his players—lessons they’ll take with them when they leave the hoops behind. In the classroom, he works with “his” special needs students, teaching, encouraging, and instilling confidence that allows them to function without fear in the everyday world. To make things a little sweeter, Brian and his wife are expecting their first child in a few months.

Mara’s occupation came about because we used a dog groomer for many years for our own mutts. I always thought the position required someone special, a person with empathy, patience, strength, forbearance and, above all, a love for animals. In other words, a thankless job.

The dog groomer in the story, Bernice, is a composite of several people—she looks like a lady in my church that I won’t name but has the personality of one of my co-workers and the experience of my daughter’s friends, a Vet Tech.

The dogs in my chapter are also real, patterned after my own grand-dogs. Maxwell and Ivan, the trouble-making Beagles, belong to my son, while Edgar, the Bulldog, actually combines the personalities of two dogs—my daughter’s Old English Bulldog, Frank, and my own sweet Boxer, Louey that we lost to cancer last year. A bittersweet commemoration.

My own volunteer experience with the Georgia Special Olympics provided everything I needed for the kids. Whether children, teenagers or adults, these special people have the sweetest natures and an abundance of love to give. All they want in return is what everyone else wants—to be accepted.

Frank and Louey

Frank and Louey

Mara’s irate boss embodies every obnoxious manager I’ve known through the years. ‘Nuf said about that.

When you consider twelve different people writing independent of each other to create a complete story, the task appears daunting. The finished product is a testament to the efforts of these writers, as well as those who saw it through edits and publication. A special thanks to our publisher/formatter/marketing guru/nurturer/encourager, Tracy Ruckman, for making it happen. What a joy it’s been to work with this group.

A DOZEN APOLOGIES FINAL FRONT COVER (282x425)About A Dozen Apologies:

Mara Adkins, a promising fashion designer, has fallen off the ladder of success, and she can’t seem to get up.

In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better.

Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible.

Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.

Today is the last day to get a free Kindle copy of A Dozen Apologies.

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