Loving Eliza Trivia

Thanks to those who mentioned an interest in learning more about Loving Eliza! I have down other books I’ll do trivia on in the future. Here’s the order: Bid for a Bride, Bride of Second Chances, A Bride for Tom, The Accidental Mail Order Bride, The Earl’s Wallflower Bride, The Marriage Contract, and Boaz’s Wager. I’ll work on more after those are done.

For now, let’s get to Loving Eliza!

loving eliza new ebook cover 3

  • This is the book I wrote that launched my very first spin-off series from the Nebraska Series. Eliza was introduced in His Redeeming Bride as the prostitute Neil Craftsman often went to in the past. In the scene at the bar when she told Neil she only played along with the other men in tricking him because she had a son and that she didn’t want him to find out about her, I became interested in her character and wanted to learn more about her and her past. To do that, I had to give her a better future. That was how Loving Eliza was born.
  • I didn’t originally plan to make Loving Eliza the first book in a new series. It was supposed to be a standalone romance. One of my beta readers at the time, however, mentioned wanting to see Eliza have a child. I didn’t want to give John and Eliza a biological child because I personally knew a couple of people who weren’t able to have children, and I wanted to show that not every couple is able to have them. So what I opted to do was give John and Eliza a child to adopt. That was how Loving Eliza became the first book in the South Dakota Series.
  • I named the hero after my deaf son, John. I wanted to give the hero a disability, but I didn’t want to make him deaf like my son. I opted to make him mute. That way he could hear what Eliza, who was a chatterbox, was saying while also giving him trouble communicating so that people assumed he was mentally handicapped. The reason the people thought John was mentally handicapped was because a lot of people I came in contact with thought that about my son (including one of his teachers). This was a source of frustration for me at the time. Now I just tell people right away my son is deaf. It’s amazing how many people jump to conclusions about someone who can’t hear. (I’m sure parents of children with other disabilities get frustrated by the reactions of others, too.)
  • Another reason I made John mute was so that I could put myself into the shoes of a character who wanted to communicate with the world but had difficulty doing so. This was my attempt to gain better insight into what my son went through on a daily basis. The strategy worked. After that, the communication he and I shared improved significantly. While a writer might not know exactly what it’s like to be someone who is different from them, writing in that character’s point of view goes a long way to understanding that person a lot better. This is why I’m in full support of writers going outside their comfort zones and writing a character who is different from them. It opens the door of compassion when you put yourself into someone else’s position and imagine how the world is from their perspective.
  • Eliza, by far, was the easiest character I ever wrote. Every scene pretty much wrote itself. I got an appreciation for going deeply into a character’s point of view from this book, and ever since then, I have embraced this technique in all of my work.
  • Piggybacking off of the last point… When I write in a character’s point of view, I go through everything they do. It doesn’t matter what the scene is about or what the character is going through. So when Eliza was hungry, I was also hungry. Those scenes where she was struggling with hunger pangs were equally uncomfortable for me. I got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore and ate a full course meal before writing any more scenes where she was hungry, but while writing them, I would feel hungry anyway. I knew I wasn’t hungry, but my stomach would growl and pester me to eat. So when I finished the scenes, I would grab something to eat, and my stomach was finally satisfied. It’s amazing how the human brain can influence our body. Needless to say, Eliza and I were both relieved when she was no longer facing each scene hungry. 😀
  • Before I wrote this book, I didn’t care for the color yellow. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it, either. I picked this color for Eliza because I wanted to create a deeper meaning to the color yellow. (I do this from time to time in order to give the story a more personal touch.) The sun is the color yellow. Also, the word “sun” has the same sound as the word “son”. To me, Jesus Christ, the “Son” of God, has always been my main source of hope. I wanted Eliza to latch onto that same concept as she came to accept everything that had happened to her. I didn’t always want her to look up at the sky, so I decided to have yellow flowers. Those flowers were really reflective of Jesus Christ. Ever since that book, I have loved the color yellow.
  • I, personally, hate Romeo and Juliet. I’m not a fan of books with sad endings. I love The Scarlet Letter because of its message that good can come out of a bad situation. (Plus, it had a really good twist halfway into it.) This is why Eliza hated Romeo and Juliet and loved The Scarlet Letter. I don’t always impose my personal preferences onto a character like that, but in Eliza’s case, both of those fit for her personality, so it made sense to do it.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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6 Responses to Loving Eliza Trivia

  1. Glenda Harvey says:

    Loving Elisa may be my favorite of your books. I just re-read it a few weeks ago. It’s probably about the fourth time I’ve read it.

    • Thanks for letting me know this, Glenda! I always love knowing what people’s favorite books are, and the fact that you’ve read it more than once makes my day. 😀

  2. IrishMary24 says:

    It’s perfectly fine to infuse a character with your preferences. It makes a created personality human and relatable. I happen to agree with you about Romeo and Juliet, and well, ALL of Shakespeare’s tragedies. He’s Warning us by calling them Tragedies- you’re not going to like the end unless you love a wasteland (His comedies really are, and you will love them.) I can’t understand people that make judgements about people because of their challenges and circumstances. I have many examples of that statement, but I’ll tell you just one. I worked in a hospital very long ago. I had taken report from the 1st shift and was told we had an unresponsive patient in a room to which I was assigned. As I made my rounds to take vitals(temp,bp, and etc.) I entered that room. It was supposed to be females, but the first bed in there was occupied by what looked like they could be either male or female. The person was very old, and so cute, he/she could have been drawn by Dr. Seuss! And the name was Edmund(name changed), with an obviously female roommate. I said, “Edmund? How did you come by the name Edmund?” “Edmund opened her eyes and laughed. She said, “Well, I came from a very rural area. The local doctor traded in produce, livestock and homemade food, more than money, most of the time. He was there for my mom’s delivery. I was named after him!” We laughed, and I think her roommate was glad to know a mistake wasn’t made there! No One had spoken directly to Edmund before that moment! One misses so much when one doesn’t bother to get to know the people they meet. We can learn from everyone. This is long, but I felt this way when I read this book, and many others that you have written. Love the Trivia, for sure!

    • Fortunately, my school didn’t make me read Romeo and Juliet. Both of my sons had to read it, and then they had to watch the movie, so I got to hear all about it. I already knew the story because my mom liked the movie version, and I went with some friends in college to see the new Leonardo DiCaprio version, which I will admit had the best way to end it since Juliet and Romeo realized that she hadn’t really poisoned herself after he stabbed himself (I think he stabbed himself). I didn’t see that twist before and found it pretty neat. The storyteller in me liked that something unpredictable popped up in something that had been done a lot.

      In high school, I had to read Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice. I actually enjoyed Julius Caesar because I found the tension in knowing what Brutus was going to do. That dynamic of friendship and country was fascinating to me. The Merchant of Venice was hilarious and inspired me to read more of Shakespeare’s comedies. I don’t think I read them all.

      As I mentioned in the email, the experience you had with Edmund was funny. It sounds like she had a great sense of humor. I’m glad you said something to her. How else would anyone have known she was responsive? It’s good that people like you are out there.

  3. Erica says:

    I like how in your books that attention can be brought to situations in today’s world. It’s wonderful to read about the special bond between you and your son. It is a challenge when we want what’s best for our children, especially when they are different, and society can be cruel or just clueless. Brian and John are two of my favorites and I loved reading about their bond. I look forward to the next trivia.
    I see all my favorites on the list and can’t wait🙂
    I have not seen many comments about your Virginia series stories, but I did enjoy them very much also. I especially enjoyed your play The Path to Christmas. Maybe it can be added to the trivia list, along with a any of your Native American stories. Thanks for writing.

    • I’ll probably repeat myself when I do the trivia, but I wanted to give John someone he could relate to since he had a disability. Since John was mute, I didn’t want to make Brian deaf. I wanted John to be able to hear him. But I wasn’t sure if it was realistic that someone who couldn’t talk could communicate with someone who was blind, so I did some exercises with my son where I would close my eyes and have him sign in my hand. I then would sign back in his hand, and it turned out we were able to understand each other this way. So I ended up putting that technique in the story.

      I really enjoy putting in a character who isn’t perfect, whether it’s something physical or emotional they have to deal with. I find them to be the most fascinating characters to work with, and those tend to be my favorites. I even like taking a character who initially comes off as unfavorable and seeing if I can make them grow as the story progresses. Those things are all challenging, and I enjoy challenges.

      Thank you for letting me know you enjoy the Virginia Series. I rarely ever hear anything about those books. I really enjoyed writing those books. Looking back, I can see how much I missed about the time period. The way people talked in those books were very modern. Sometimes I shake my head and at other times I laugh when I go over them again, but then I tell myself that I’ve come a long way in my understanding of the historical time period. I was just learning about the time period, and that showed. But we all have to start somewhere. 😀

      I’m also glad you enjoyed The Path to Christmas. I first came up with it in An Inconvenient Marriage and later decided to complete the whole thing after someone asked for the whole play. Also, thanks for bringing up the Native American Series. That one was the only series I cried at the end. That was very hard to finish. I wanted to stay in that world forever, but there was nothing else to write.

      I’ll add these others to my list. Thank you so much for bringing them up!

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