Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Five Secrets from Author G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

Today we learn Five Secrets From G. Elizabeth Kretchmer. Read on to find out what she thinks about Mother's Day and her heroine.  I think you'll find as interesting as I do. And now I really want to read her book.

G. Elizabeth Kretchmer holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University. Her debut novel, The Damnable Legacy of A Minister’s Wife, was independently published in 2014 and will be republished by Booktrope in 2015 under a shortened title, The Damnable Legacy. Her short stories, essays, and freelance work have appeared in The New York Times, High Desert Journal, Silk Road Review, SLAB, and other publications. 

She grew up in Chicago but has lived up and down the west coast for the last three decades and now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and Labradoodle. When she’s not writing, she’s coming up with elaborate reasons to see her three grown sons or facilitating therapeutic and wellness writing workshops. For more information, visit her website and blog at

Hi G. Elizabeth, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about The Damnable Legacy of A Minister’s Wife or you, but will after today!

1) My first secret is that my first name is Gail, which means “my father rejoices” and was a popular name for a very short period of time in the mid-20th century. I don’t use this as my author name because I don’t want readers to do some math, guess my age, and make assumptions about the book because of their calculations. I want them to read the book first, fall in love with the characters and the story, and then try to figure out how old I really am if it really matters, although once they’ve read the book I don’t think it will.

2) I don’t like Mother’s Day even though I had a wonderful mom and I have three sons. So I chose Mother’s Day weekend as a good time to travel by myself to interior Alaska to do some field research for this novel. Of course, it was also during peak climbing season, which is another reason I went then.

3) I had a hard time learning to like Lynn, my protagonist. How awful does that sound? She has certain attributes that I admire (she’s athletic and in great shape), and she has a heart (evidenced by the way she still regrets having placed her daughter for adoption 30 years ago), and she’s extremely talented in her field of passion (mountain climbing). But she’s a flawed individual, and some of those flaws are off-putting, which is why I didn’t like her. 

Eventually, after working on her story (and multiple drafts of the manuscript) for years, I learned to understand her more deeply, and to have compassion for the mistakes she made and for her desire to grow, and now, while I don’t think we’d ever be BFFs, I’d love to at least invite her over for dinner. And I do wish the best for her fictional future.

4) When I wrote the first draft of this novel, Frankie was biracial, and that stemmed from my youth when I went to an integrated elementary school on the south side of Chicago. But over the course of developing the story and the characters, I decided to change her ancestry. One time in history that has always fascinated me is the Iranian Revolution, which was when Frankie’s mother would have been conceived, so, as one thing led to another, Frankie turned out to be 25% Iranian and 25% American. You’ll have to read my short story collection, coming out later in 2015, to find out the rest of her heritage.

5) I’m planning to climb Denali in my next life. I’m also planning to be a neuroscientist and a great singer.

The Damnable Legacy of A Minister’s Wife: A Novel
(soon to republished by Booktrope as The Damnable Legacy: A Novel)

Lynn Van Swol still regrets the decision she made thirty years ago to place her daughter for adoption so she could climb the highest mountains of the world. Frankie Rizzoni is the troubled biological granddaughter that Lynn has never known. And Beth Mahoney, a minister’s wife with terminal cancer, is the only one who has discovered the relationship between the two. 

Worried about Frankie’s future, she designed a plan upon her deathbed to bring them together, but now, narrating from the afterlife, she must helplessly watch as her legacy threatens to unravel.

The Damnable Legacy of A Minister’s Wife is literary women’s fiction at its finest, embracing the universal need for love and survival, exploring the importance of attachment, place, and faith, and asking how far we should go to achieve our goals–and at what cost.

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