Author Erika Liodice dreams, creates to succeed, and inspires others to do the same. With passion and determination, she became a debut novelist in late November, 2011 when her first novel Empty Arms was published as an ebook in Kindle and NOOK Book editions. And only last week Empty Arms was released in paperback. One might say that Erika’s arms now hold her dream come true.
The story is based on a life built on secrets, half truths, evasion, and lies. Not exactly a reader’s choice for a tender, warm-hearted selection, yet the ebook has garnered 5 ***** ratings and the following praise:
“Empty Arms is a compelling novel about haunting secrets, risk and consequence, and one woman’s journey to build a future out of the scattered ashes of her past. A beautiful debut.” ~ Therese Walsh, author of THE LAST WILL OF MOIRA LEAHY
Catharine Chase’s entire life is built on a secret. In 1972, at the tender age of sixteen, she got pregnant. An embarrassment to her parents, Catharine was exiled to a maternity home to carry out her pregnancy far away from the watchful eyes of their tight-knit community. What they didn’t tell her is that she wouldn’t be allowed to keep her baby.
With her daughter’s screams still echoing in her ears, the medical staff told Catharine she’d move on with her life and have more children, they promised she’d forget. But they were wrong. Catharine never forgot Emily. And when she and her husband, Paul, learn that they can’t have children, she risks her job, her marriage, and her family’s reputation in a desperate attempt to find the daughter she never wanted to give away and reclaim her only chance to be a mother.
The Divining Wand has scheduled a visit from Erika on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 however — between now and then — let’s meet the author through her “official” bio:
Erika Liodice is an award-winning blogger and founder of the inspirational blog, Beyond the Gray, where she shares her journey to publication while encouraging readers to reach for their own dreams. She is a book reviewer at Reader Unboxed and a contributor to Writer Unboxed, The Savvy Explorer, and Lehigh Valley InSite. Empty Arms is her first novel.
And now it’s time to get to know Erika at her upclose and revealing best.
Q. How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A. Chasing my dreams, inspiring others to chase theirs.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Confucius
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Sipping wine with my husband on a sunny afternoon overlooking a body of water.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Losing my husband. He’s my best friend; I couldn’t live without him.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. On a tropical island basking in sunshine.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Henry David Thoreau because I derive much of my inspiration from “sauntering in nature”, I spend a good deal of time pondering my purpose here, and I love to travel. Plus, like Thoreau, I spent many years working at passionless day jobs in order to support my writing dream.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. Jodi Picoult because she writes about tough topics that challenge my beliefs and change the way I look at things.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. In my writing it’s: my stomach tightens. I was horrified when I realized how much my protagonist’s stomach was tightening! Fortunately, I discovered this during the editing phase and was able to correct it.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. To speak many languages fluently. English is my native language and I studied Spanish for 11 years, but I would love to know a few more so I can converse with all of the interesting people I meet during my travels.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Building a life that I absolutely love.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Over-committing myself.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I put my heart and soul into everything I do.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Not going to art school.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. Sometimes I think it would be fun to be the sun because I’d always be warm and I’d get to travel around the world every day.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I think people immediately notice that I’m tall and blonde, but I hope they also notice that I have a big heart and love to laugh.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. I’ve loved Nancy Drew since I was a little girl. The Nancy I grew up with was multi-talented, self-reliant, clever, and fearless. She was great role model and I loved getting lost in her adventures.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. I love to hate Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada. She’s so evil, but I also sort of wish she’d let me borrow her clothes.
Q. If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. Bethany Hamilton (the surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack). I’d like to tell her that I don’t know how she ever got back in the water but that I admire her determined spirit, positive attitude, and commitment to her passion.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. When people complain about things that are within their control.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Being my husband’s wife. Too sappy? Okay, bargain hunting on Craigslist.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Professional vacationer.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Good sense of humor, honesty, and kindness.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Macaroni and cheese.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. 1) “The Scientist” by Coldplay, 2) “Innocente” by Delerium, 3) “In the Waiting Line” by Zero 7, 4) “Blindfold” by Morcheeba, and 5) “La Femme Parallel” by Thievery Corporation.
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. 1) The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, 2) The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, 3) The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, 4) The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve, and 5) The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares.
Book Giveaway: And the winner of Sarah McCoy’s The Baker’s Daughter is: Jennifer Downing. Congratulations! Please email diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with the delivery address (home or email download) and your choice of book format.