A Grave Mistake Meet the Authors Grumpy Old Gods V3

Elizabeth Shaffer’s blurb GOGV3: A Grave Mistake by Elizabeth Shaffer: Loki isn’t a good guy, but sometimes, even he gets the chance to be a hero. (So what if he was in the middle of pulling a prank when the chance came along?)

A Grave Mistake Meet the Author Grumpy Old Gods V3

Grumpy Old Gods Volume 3

Available Now

The Grumpy Old Gods are back in a delightfully spooky edition. Sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, almost always grumpy, cranky, or cantankerous, these modern renditions of aging gods and goddesses will enliven the season and leave you wanting more

A Grave Mistake Meet the Author Grumpy Old Gods V3

Witch or Writer, What do you think?

A Muse About Writing, pets, and family

            Judging by my pets, I must be either a writer or a witch. My husband and I share our home with two black cats and a “dragon.” And they certainly keep our lives interesting!

Author photo family Elizabeth Shaffer

            Our bearded dragon, Hermia, is about two years old, and we’ve had her since she was tiny. She’s named after the character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream because “though she be but little, she is fierce.” When we picked her up from the pet store, the workers told us that she was temperamental and tried to bite them, but when we brought her home, she was just a scared baby. With a little patience and a lot of love, she is now the sweetest girl you will ever meet. She even snuggles my neck every night.

Author Elizabeth Shaffer photo

            Out black kittens are new additions to the family. We just adopted them together a couple of weeks ago, but I already can’t imagine life without them! Shuri is about five months old, and she is our feisty little black panther. If it’s playtime, then it’s time to play and there’s no time for pets. But if it’s nap time, she’ll snuggle up with me and purr for hours.

            Mina is out, other black kitten, and she is our sweet-but-bitey little vampire cat. She loves to combine playtime with snuggle time, so if you’re not careful, she’ll nip and bat at your fingers while you pet her. Mina is six months old, and she and Shuri love playing, snuggling, and making mischief together.

            At one point or another, all three pets have taken over my writing room just in the past month or so that we’ve been in our new house. They distract me from getting things done and occasionally make me late for work. But I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world!

            All books, movies, and shows that I enjoy somehow find their way into my writing. My latest story—”A Grave Mistake”—has nods to at least three of my favorite television shows, for example. But there are two books that come to mind that have influenced my writing more than any others: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Both of those books hold a special place in my book-loving heart.

            I remember the first time I picked up The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I was in my hometown library and I saw it on the shelf. I had heard of it before. A coworker had recently recommended it, and I had seen references to it in other things I enjoyed. The library’s copy had all of the books in the series together in one paperback edition. I pulled the heavy book off the shelf, opened it up to the beginning, and began to read. I was laughing out loud within the first page. I was hooked and took the book home with me that day.

            I don’t remember how quickly I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy because I read the entire series as one book. I couldn’t put it down. I would take it with me anywhere I went. There was just something about the wit and the humor and the unusual way of looking at the world—and the universe—that spoke to me. I had never realized that science fiction could be that funny. And I knew then that I wanted to write books that made people laugh.

            I had a similar experience with Good Omens, and I fell in love with it for many of the same reasons. I finished the book in less than a week—which is fast for me when I have to work a full-time day job in between reading sessions—and I rarely stopped laughing the whole time. I almost never reread books, but I read Good Omens for a second time shortly before the television adaptation came out. And of course, I loved it just as much the second time. And I have to say, the television adaptation of Good Omens is one of—if not the only—film adaptation of a book that I have loved equally as well as the book, and that’s saying something. There’s just so much hope and humor and love and cleverness in the franchise. What’s not to love?

            I hope that one day I can write stories that move people the way these stories have moved me. I want to make people laugh and look at the world differently. After all, if reading isn’t fun, what’s the point?

            I sometimes find inspiration in strange places, but I was surprised when I realized that what had given me the most motivation in a long time—possibly ever—was not a book or a movie or even a specific person, but an event: comic con. Specifically Ace Comic Con Midwest 2018.

            The convention was almost exactly a year ago and looking back, I realize now that it was the beginning of a wave of creativity and motivation that led me from having no published stories to having three short stories published within the same calendar year. After the convention, something just clicked in my mind, and I knew if I didn’t start going after my dreams now, I never would. So I did.

            In the past year, I’ve often asked myself what it was about that convention in particular that made me work so hard to get my stories out into the world. I think part of it was being surrounded by so many other talented, creative people. From celebrity guests to cosplayers to artists, conventions are filled with amazing skill and imagination. Being around that kind of art makes me want to put something amazing into the world as well. But if I’m being completely honest, the strongest reason behind my newfound motivation was more selfish and more wildly optimistic than that.

            Anyone who knows me well knows I have a major celebrity crush on Tom Hiddleston. My love of Loki started with the MCU. I once drove at least an hour just to see a screening of Coriolanus, and last spring my husband and I flew to London just to see Hiddleston live in Betrayal. So when I saw that Tom Hiddleston was going to be at Ace Comic Con Midwest last year, I knew I had to go and get a photo op.

            The photo op was amazing. Hiddleston was amazing. He even smelled amazing. He touched my shoulder, and I couldn’t stop grinning. I was a complete dork, but I was a happy dork. But the photo op was only a few seconds long and then it was over. I wanted more. So at that moment, I made myself a promise. I told myself that I would keep writing and get my stories out there so one day I would be going to conventions as a celebrity guest myself and Tom Hiddleston would know who I was.

            Was that promise to myself ridiculous? Yes. Is it completely unobtainable? Probably. But did it work? Surprisingly, yes. I now have three more stories published than I did a year ago, and I have no intention to stop now. So maybe my ridiculous motivation is paying off.


About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Shaffer is an author from the Quad Cities, Illinois where she lives with her husband and their bearded dragon, Hermia. She writes fantasy and science fiction stories that find the humor in unusual situations. Her first short story, “A Low Key Game Night,” in the anthology Grumpy Old Gods Vol. 1. And another short story in Grumpy Old Gods Vol. 3, “A Grave Mistake.”

Elizabeth is an author who primarily writes comedic science fiction and fantasy short stories.

You can connect with her on Facebook and find more of her stories on Goodreads.

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