Author Spotlight- Interview with Historical Fiction Writer Elizabeth Martina

Tell us about yourself and how we can connect with you.

I live in the mountains and have plenty of beauty surrounding me. It is mostly calm except for my 75 lb Bernese Mountain dog, Hansel, and a husband who has many projects going all the time. My two adult children live far enough away that they can’t just stop in. But my son is now collaborating with me on my latest book.

I write historical fiction novels and novellas. I write a blog on my website ( which talks about almost anything historical. For example, I have an ongoing series on Founding Mothers (women colonists of the 1600s) and an ongoing series on clothes and hairstyles from the past. These blog posts also show up on my Facebook page, “ElizabethAMartina, author” and my Twitter account, @eamartina.

I love getting letters and comments, which can be sent to or to my website.

What genre do you write in?

I am all about history. Historical fiction, cozy mystery historical fiction, and straight history.

How do you come up with plots or characters for your book?

I am a genealogist as an avocation. My latest WIP is a result of research into the past for several people. The characters are there, in history, waiting for me to introduce them to the world. I often adapt real events into plots for the real characters. I was a fan of the Nero Wolfe detective series in high school and watched every detective TV show years later. I have gotten a few plot ideas from those shows. These plot ideas have been used in the Hadley Sisters Mysteries series. Promotion!

A year ago, I needed a break from a serious project. One day I was thinking of my college years living in Boston and how Boston looked before I got there. I had developed an affinity with Nero Wolfe detective stories and wanted something in that style, a cozy mystery with a slight bit of humor. My mind wandered and I had a story about two socialite sisters who get involved in criminal investigations. The time is 1939. The place is Boston. The sisters, in their early 20s, live an idyllic life. It is something out of a movie of the era, with lovely homes, beautiful clothes, and maids. But the girls are too intelligent and curious to live that life. A murder in the first book changes their world and they learn how to research and use gossip to get answers. It doesn’t hurt that they are dating Boston police detectives.

The sisters are very much the two sides of me, serious and organized (Betty) and impetuous at times (Kate). I have to be careful of their conversations and keep them in character. They have become my friends and I can tell what their reactions are going to be long before I get to a conversation.

The books are the Hadley Sisters Mysteries. The four books are The Matter of a Murder of a Maid, The Matter of a Missing Stutz, The Matter of a Misplaced Document, and, due out in June, The Matter of a Distressed Dressmaker. The books are short, 25,000-31,000 words, making them an easy weekend read. All are available in ebook and paperback at Amazon.

Amazon links for the first three:

The Matter of a Murder of a Maid

The Matter of a Missing Stutz

The Matter of a Misplaced Document

What was your favorite childhood book?

My interest was in biographies for children and the Betsy-Tacy series, by Maud Hart Lovelace, in elementary school. These two solidified my historical perspective. I also learned that I loved the ongoing series.

How did you get started?

Brought up in the US, but influenced by stories about my Italian relatives who immigrated half a century before, I learned the art of story-telling from my grandmother. Although I have always written stories, I really got started writing when my grandmother died. I wanted to write a story about her sad childhood. When I showed it to my mother, her initial comment was, that’s not how it happened! It turned out there were half a dozen variants in the family. So, I learned the art of genealogical research to find the real explanation. And ended up writing a book about a murder. My great grandmother’s murder. It is my first book, The Ragman Murders, which is also available at Amazon, by the way. After that, I was hooked on genealogy.

If you could learn how to make any food what would it be?

I am Italian, which means I think about food and cook more than occasionally. How I have stayed slim all these years is nothing short of a miracle. No matter what book I have written, there is always at least one scene of people eating or cooking. The first book described getting ready for an Italian Christmas Eve dinner as the characters prepared salted cod. I can cook anything Italian but I am not too good at cooking meat. I let my husband take care of the steaks. That is on my bucket list of things to learn.

What projects are you working on right now?

Four novellas later, I am putting the two sisters, Betty and Kate Hadley, on hold while I take up that more serious project, again. This is a little-known piece of history, telling the true story of the colonists who were the second and third generations in Jamestown, Virginia, and how they expanded the colony. The men and women who comprised those generations were determined to fight and win. Many are larger than life characters. There were two political upheavals during that time that no one knows about. Analyzing those upheavals gives us insight into the next 200 years of politics and slavery in the southern US. This may grow into a series of historical novels, although I haven’t decided yet.

Thank you Elizabeth for this lovely interview!

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Graduated from Johnson and Wales University in Denver in 2016 and has a degree in Culinary Arts. She loves reading and watching anything with fantasy, magic, quests, and dragons. A native of Colorado she loves gardening, yoga, hiking, painting, watching anime, and playing tabletop games. Look for her books on Amazon

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