Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Author C. Elizabeth On Writing Backwards

It’s always fun to meet ‘new-to-me’ authors, discover new intriguingChar books, and be able to share all of that with you. I do that today as I welcome author C. Elizabeth here as the special guest blogger.

C. Elizabeth is on her second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! Her debut release is the contemporary romance, ABSOLUTE OBSESSION. Here’s a brief synopsis: Triggering an intervention of fate, 42 year old Rose Gerbaldi, discovers her heart and soul have been forever united with beautiful, 30 year old, British movie star, Michael Terrance – - a discovery that compels her reality to fiercely reclaim her, ultimately devastating the very lives fate had so lovingly entwined. Forsaken by a woman he’s never met, unable to control the debilitating agony, Michael seeks solace on the darker side of Hollywood. Meanwhile in Western Canada, having been doubly devastated, Rose relinquishes to a life of loneliness. Both are certain they’ll never again find that for which they long for – - each other. Foolish people – fate is infallible. 

At the end of the post C. Elizabeth and Pump Up Your Book! invites everyone to an Author Chat/Book Giveaway Party. Now C. Elizabeth joins us to talk about writing her book backwards in ‘Back to the Beginning.’

One fateful day in November, 2009, a flow of words started forming in my head and within a half an hour the ending to a story that had yet to be written revealed itself to me, along with the title, ABSOLUTE OBESSION. Now this ending was stubborn, refusing to go to the back of my mind, constantly replaying over and over again, like a song that gets stuck in your head and you end up humming it to yourself for the rest of the day. Except what I was hearing wasn’t music, it was words, lots and lots of words that formed into chapters, all being dictated by Michael and Rose – telling me their story. 

Absolute-ObsessionNo, Michael and Rose didn’t want to tell me their story through the normal process, they decided they wanted me to think I was crazy by telling it to me backwards. Every chapter started at the end and worked its way to the beginning, easily revealing all their names, their personalities, what they looked like and not to mention the weaving of the plot in reverse so the outcome was known first with each twist and turn. Needless to say with approximately 93,000 words bouncing around in my head, it consumed me while I changes were being made here and there, until things flowed nicely and then finally, there was nothing more to be done, except write it down.
I had never aspired to be a writer and had never written a thing before in my life. Because of that I opted not to tell anyone, thinking that if I did they would think me foolish and laugh at me. However, Michael and Rose were very persuasive in their plight to get their story out for the world to read, not letting up at all and at times so overwhelming it felt like I was going to burst. 

Once my fingers hit the keyboard, I can honestly say it flowed so quickly that I don’t remember the words as they lay across the screen and only when the last paragraph was finally in its rightful place just above the words “the end” did the whole story come to light. The first draft of ABSOLUTE OBSESSION took 11 days to write, even the quotes that are at the beginning of each chapter were written before the chapter was, me knowing exactly what was going to happen next.


Elizabeth, thanks so much for guest blogging. I love how Rose and Michael’s story came about. That is most unusual.

Here is a bit of background on C. Elizabeth. She lives in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. She stumbled upon writing, it found her. She finds writing a peaceful escape and is very excited to have her characters come alive in her readers’ minds. For more on C. Elizabeth and her writing, visit and blog with her at, connect with her on Twitter at!/search/users/CElizabeth4 and find her on Facebook at

You can read an excerpt from ABSOLUTE OBSESSION. Here is the book trailer for your enjoyment.

Now for the giveaways, contests and prizes. Join C. Elizabeth at the Pump Up Your Book Live! November Author Chat / Book Giveaway Party on Friday, November 18, beginning at 8 p.m. (EST)! You could win a beautiful copy of ABSOLUTE OBSESSION simply by attending the chat and asking her a question. That’s all there is to it! For details on the chat, visit the official chat page for the November authors at Pump Up Your Book Live!

What are your thoughts on a book that is written backwards? If you’re a writer, have you ever had your characters work you backwards through a story? Thanks so much for stopping by today.


  1. C. Elizabeth, thanks again for guest blogging and sharing the unique way your book came about. Wishing you much success.

  2. Thank you so much for having me. It's nice to be able to tell how it truly happened. As you said, it was most unusual. Congrats on two years, that is exciting and I'm sorry to hear about Gum Drop. They are family. Thanks again.

  3. This is a neat way to write--backwards. And frankly, it doesn't matter how we get the story out of our minds and in written form. It matters that we pull that baby out!


  4. Mason - Thanks for hosting C. Elizabeth. And a very special thanks for helping spread the word about my raffle. That means a lot to me :-).

    C. Elizabeth - I admire your choice to go with your inspiration even if it didn't come "in order." We all have different ways to tap our story creativity and yours is really innovative. I wish you much success!

  5. Thank you all for the kind words, it has been quite the journey and those crazy characters are still talking, four more books on the way, and they're all still coming from the back end -- makes for an interesting day. :)

  6. Wow. Backwards hasn't happened to me. Yet. But a few years ago, a character woke me up early one morning - one I'd never met before. She made me get up and go straight to the computer. She stood next to my chair telling me what to write and tapping her foot because I couldn't type fast enough to suit her. By noon, I had a complete short story that needed only a little tweaking before it went on submission and sold.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.