Jenna Austin is a young, widowed artist raising a teenage son on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As the costs of living in paradise rise, she struggles to make ends meet. Life isn't easy, but she manages.
When her car breaks down, she trudges on. She assumes life can't get any more complicated than it is. But it can. . .
Chance brings her nose to well-formed chest with Tres Coulter, the handsome, affluent aid to Governor Hunt. Jenna and Tres share a history; they also share a love they thought long lost. Their lives are about to be altered forever as the deceptions of the past transform the very foundation of the present.
The price of happily ever after may be too steep to pay once the past comes due. . .
The preceding is the back cover summary of New Martinsville resident Elizabeth Seckman's debut book, "Due Date," which was released on June 6.
The new author, self-described as a professional daydreamer, is also a full-time wife and mother of four boys ranging in age from 12 to 18.
A graduate of Tyler County High School, Seckman attended Marshall University, where she received her bachelor's in counseling. Afterwards, she worked as a social worker for years until her third child was born. After a while, Seckman then contemplated either going back to work or heading to graduate school to receive her master's degree. It was at this time that she chose instead to further explore her love of writing.
The choice is a fitting one, as Seckman has always enjoyed reading and writing. For instance, Seckman remembers that by fourth grade she was reading Danielle Steele and Barbara Cartland books. She laughs when remembering how, around the same time, she "collaborated" with a friend to create a two-page romance novel.
The road to the publication of "Due Date" has not been a purely easy one, as Seckman states that the process of finding a publisher is "so depressing" and comes with "lots of rejections." Ironically, the day before she first heard from her publisher, Karen Fuller, Seckman says that a historical romance idea she was advised to create received a "kick in the teeth" from a publisher who had previously felt that Due Date was not strong enough for a debut novel. While she says that "Due Date" will not be everyone's flavor, Seckman says that so far, the feedback from her readers has been positive.
Being an author isn't purely writing either. Seckman explains that to begin the writing process, she first works on a timeline, a structure, and beta readers (voluntary novice editors). She also noted that the ending is what she develops first.
Seckman jokingly says that her edited draft ends up looking like it has "spotted yellow fever" from all the editing and highlighting that her critique partners do.
Goal-wise, Seckman strives for 500-1,000 words per day and works on three different books at a time, so that after a month or so, she can spend time away from the book and allow it to "get cold." In addition, Seckman does not do any writing in the summer and instead works on editing. Plots are solidified in plenty of different places, including both while driving the car and mowing the lawn.
Seckman reads a wide variety of writing, including Little House on the Prairie books, Gone with the Wind, and John Steinbeck. When asked about fellow writer Stephen King, Seckman states that he is "grittier, but his style rocks." Seckman borrows a quote from the popular author when saying, "Books aren't written; they're rewritten."
For aspiring writers, Seckman urges to "just keep trying." She states that success doesn't happen the first time with just one rough draft.
Currently, Past Due is available for sale at The Book Store on North Street in New Martinsville and at Kristy's Hair Magic at the intersection of state Routes 180 and 18. The book is also available in print and E-Book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, All Romance.com and World Castle Publishing.
A book signing is scheduled at The Book Store on July 6 from 10 a.m. to noon and from 4-6 p.m. The book will be for sale, or readers may bring in a previously purchased copy.