Interview: Elizabeth Langston (2013 debut author)

Today we have author Elizabeth Langston on the blog. Elizabeth releases her debut YA novel this Fall though Spencer Hill Press! Enjoy the interview and let me know your thoughts on Whisper Falls!

The Author: Elizabeth Langston

I live in the southeastern part of the United States, a two-hour drive from both the North Carolina beaches and the Appalachian Mountains. I have two daughters (21 and 17), one husband (a geek like me), and zero pets (too many allergies.) My family loves to travel, watch movies, and argue over which restaurant gets our business that night.

I’ve spent my entire working career in the computer industry—writing software, not stories. My interest in fiction came more recently; I waited until my younger daughter entered kindergarten to start my first novel.


Many of my author-friends discovered writing in school. Not me. I was all about math and computer science. However, I didn’t mind writing—at least, not as much as the average geek—and found myself editing a lot of content for work-friends.

Then, a few years ago, I submitted an original article to a technical journal. Not only did they buy it, they also told me that I had "great diction and a distinctive voice." Insane as it sounds, I translated that feedback into "write a novel."

My first two books were awful, more like instruction manuals than romances, but I didn’t give up. I studied craft and kept writing until I got my own happily-ever-after: a contract to publish Whisper Falls.

The Book: Whisper Falls


How am I going to keep this answer to a manageable length?

The concept burrowed into my subconscious during a Twilight Zone festival. I loved everything about the episode "A Message From Charity" except the ending, which made me crazy. The story haunted me with What-if’s.

In a separate (but intersecting) plane, I researched the colonial and federal periods of America with a plan to write a "pure" YA historical. Then I uncovered some material on indentured servants. My brain flooded with possibilities. Susanna took over for Charity. North Carolina in 1796 took over as the setting.

I put my hands on the keyboard, and the story just leapt from my fingers.

Whisper Falls Blurb:  

While training for a mountain bike race, high-school senior Mark Lewis spots a mysterious girl dressed in odd clothing, standing behind a waterfall in the woods near his North Carolina home. When she comments on the strange machine that he rides, he suspects something isn't right. When Susanna claims to be an indentured servant from 1796, he wonders if she's crazy. Yet he feels compelled to find out more.

Mark enters a 'long-distance' relationship with Susanna through the shimmering and temperamental barrier of Whisper Falls. Curious about her world, Mark searches through history to learn about the brutal life she's trapped in. But knowledge can be dangerous. Soon he must choose between the risk of changing history—or dooming the girl he can't stop thinking about to a lifetime of misery.

How does it feel to be releasing your debut novel, Whisper Falls, Fall 2013?

Wonderful, surreal, and humbling.

Your secret vice is dance reality shows. If your protagonists Mark and Susanna were to dance together, which dance would they do and to which song?

Viennese Waltz to "You and Me" by Lifehouse.

Susanna would adore the waltz for its blend of elegance and romance. Mark would be happy that the dance has serious body contact and absolute clarity about who’s in charge.

Why should we pick up Whisper Falls when it releases, fall 2013?

I struggled with how to answer this question until a few days ago. I was out on an errand when, out of the blue, my teen daughter said, "You know what my favorite line is from Whisper Falls? It’s when Susanna says…"

And there is the reason. Mark and Susanna stay with you. What they go through is intense. How they deal with it lingers past The End. That’s why you should pick up this book. Individually, Mark and Susanna are great characters. Together, they’re amazing.


Bookie Questions:

Favourite genre and why?

Magical realism—the genre I write in.

There’s something alluring about keeping a character in his ordinary, boring world while forcing him to accept a secret, supernatural twist. I could read (or watch) more magical realism stories than I can find.

That’s why I’m so glad my agent found Spencer Hill Press. Big publishers like to buy books with paranormal creatures, and I have none in Whisper Falls. Happily, Spencer Hill is open to books with all kinds of supernatural elements.

Favourite YA author and why?

Megan Whalen Turner. Her voice is lovely and spare. I "read" my first Attolia novel on an audio book. The words poured over me like music. The book had everything: characters with depth, a suspenseful plot, and a romance so subtly written that it had me in its grip before I noticed.


Debut author/ upcoming author we should check out?

Katie McGarry. Her debut, Pushing the Limits, came out in 2012. It’s a raw, honest YA contemporary.

Favourite 2012 read and why?

I know a lot of authors. I like them all and I want to stay friends. So instead of revealing my favourite, I’ll tell you my most memorable read (by someone I’ve never met), which is The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. (It released in 2011, but I didn’t read it until 2012.)

Paranormal is my "cilantro" genre; I really don’t want any, but I get why other people do. It’s odd that I picked up The Iron King at all, but I couldn’t put it down until I finished.

A book series you love and why?

Lois Lowry’s The Giver. It affected me deeply, perhaps more as an author than a reader. That series gave me permission not only to step outside existing boundaries—but to invent my own. Book 4, Son, came out in 2012, twenty years after Book 1. That’s quite a feat.

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Twitter: @langstonetc








  1. Congrats on your debut with Spencer Hill! I love stories with a supernatural twist!

  2. Congratulations on the new release, Elizabeth! Very glad to see this interesting intersection of contemporary and historical on the shelves as we are fans of both :-).

  3. The new cover is so cool! I like it. Can't wait to read the book!

  4. Thanks to Megan for hosting me today and for being the first to show my new cover. I love it!

  5. This book sounds awesome! Great interview.

  6. I love the cover and the book sounds great. And I agree, Spencer Hill rocks!!!!!