Podcast #233 – Elizabeth Sumner Wafler Tells Her Story of Making a Career Pivot
This week I am speaking with Elizabeth Sumner Wafler. Elizabeth is a former school teacher, an aspiring women’s fiction author, and an editorial and writing coach.
Let me read you a snippet from her website:
As an evocative writer, I bring strong images, memories, or feelings to mind. You will find my work filled with vivid metaphors, unique prose, and detailed descriptions that make you feel part of the scene. And alliteration. I go gaga over glorious alliteration. That’s the kind of book I enjoy reading myself. My stories will always involve friendship and a love interest for my main character. You’ll find swoon-worthy love scenes, but the sex will be “behind closed doors.” You will find conflict at every turn, tension on most pages, and “cliffhangery” scene and chapter enders. I hope my overall style pleases and resonates with you and further deepens your reading experience.
I enjoy working with other writers through my freelance editorial business Four Eyes Editorial. I live with my husband and cairn terrier in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where I can be found reading on my screened porch, at a yoga class, at a farmer’s market in search of the perfect heirloom tomato, or at one of the area’s vineyards, enjoying a glass of Virginia wine.
This episode is sponsored by Career Pivot. Check out the Career Pivot Community. Make sure and pick up my latest book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life Third Edition.
Now on to the podcast…
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First Half of Life
Elizabeth didn’t know what she wanted to do next.
She’d been a lifelong reader, majored in education, and loved teaching little ones. When her husband had an opportunity to move for a job, she went along for the ride all the while thinking about what she wanted to do next.
She began thinking that maybe since she read so much fiction she could write her own fiction. However, she didn’t know how to go from being a successful teacher to an unsuccessful author.
Since she knew she needed a supportive community, she joined the Women’s Fiction Group and began learning about the craft.
Within a year of interacting with them, attending, and listening to webinars, she somehow became the Director of Craft Education.
Becoming a Writer
She started writing her first book and was able to self-publish on Amazon in 2016.
After not selling very many, she hired a development editor to guide her. The guide taught her everything and gets all the credit.
Elizabeth would write a chapter and send it to her guide for review. When Elizabeth asked her what one word came to mind when she thought of Elizabeth’s writing, the agent said “evocative” because Elizabeth’s writing evokes memories or emotion.
Sometimes, when people see the word, “evocative”, they think it means the same as “provocative.” It doesn’t.
Becoming a Coach
After learning how to write and have her books published, Elizabeth thought she could be very good at sharing what she learned especially from her first editor. She had the right mix, especially because she was a teacher and could teach as well.
Her slogan was, “Because four eyes are better than two”, and it really took off.
The coaching business has been steady, even though there is always a feast or famine. Elizabeth loves doing this but never thought she could do it.
Coaching Services Offered
Elizabeth teaches them how to make writing grabby, full of imagery, and include great metaphors. She helps her clients make their sentences “pop”.
She helps them understand what women’s fiction is, the emotional growth of a female character, and how to take her to a fulfilling life.
Elizabeth also offers a free chapter analysis with her edit notes. They know that they can take it or ignore it but either way they have it.
Elizabeth’s goals for the future would be to have all four of her books published and happy. She anticipates the second and third one on the Best Seller’s list. She also plans on continuing with her editing services.
To reach Elizabeth:
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