Sunday, May 25, 2014
Interview of Author *lizzie starr
Latest Book: Dead Lily Blooms(At Death’s Gates)
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Lily-Blooms-Deaths-Gates-ebook/dp/B00JBKJOP2/
*lizzie always made up games and stories to keep her company. So, a cunning witch lived in Grampa’s weather research station and was only held at bay by waving a certain weed. An ancient road grader morphed into a boat carrying wild adventurers to islands filled with fierce lions and dangerous cannibals, which really looked a lot like sheep. Now, filled with fantasy, love, and romance with a sparkling twist, the stories of her imagination swirl their way into the mundane world. When *lizzie must return to a more routine life, she’s *the Lunch Lady* at a private school. Author and lunch lady~~what a combination!
Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: Pay attention!
When I was first published by a small epress (back in the days when books on cds or floppy disks were the newest of the newest thing) I really just floated along in a haze. There weren’t that many publishers, nor that may books available. So, my minuscule attempts at promotion weren’t all that...terrible.
But it didn’t take long for the first ebook readers to become extinct, and our ever changing technological world really started changing!
I’m still not that active or successful in the promo department, it’s really the hardest part of the process for me. Now, as an indie author, I HAVE to pay attention to how and why technology is changing the way we read. And an author has to pay close attention to every phase of production and promotion. I need to take what works and what doesn’t into consideration, then figure out why. As I focus on writing as my career, I have to keep an eye on the future and how to find--and keep--my niche among the throngs of talented authors from which a reader has to choose.
Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: As the author of a family saga and continuing series, I’ve enjoyed telling the stories of many characters. I love ‘em all. Even the villains. Sometimes especially those unredeemable villains.
For an ultimate, non-bad guy favorite, though--that’s Nightshade.
Nightshade first appeared as a wildly flamboyant walk-on character, the manager for one of my heroines. Through the course of the Double Keltic Triad series, Nightshade surprised me. Turns out he’s not the over the top queen he claims to be. Nor is he content to remain a background character. He’s got a few, uh, abilities, showing deep, covert ops training. And then...oh wait. Nightshade wouldn’t want me to give up all his secrets.
One day I’ll help Nightshade find his own happily ever after ending. And we’ll both be deliriously happy!
Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: There’s usually some form of chocolate close by when I’m writing. My absolute favorite is plain, foil-wrapped Hershey’s kisses.
And there’s usually some background noise. I’ll admit, sometimes it’s the TV but I’ll block out exactly what’s going on there. I love music when I write. Quite often the music reflects what I’m working on. Like I listen to a wide variety of Celtic music while working on my Keltic books. Well now, that makes sense, doesn’t it?
I have a hero who is a cellist, so when I’m visiting his world we listen to cello in a variety of forms--but cello rock is played most often.
Usually though, I just put on a playlist that’s a jumble of all kinds of music. Sometimes I may have to pause writing to belt out a favorite song, but not if there’s people around! I will proudly say that the type of music doesn’t necessarily affect what I’m writing. I’ve written steamy love scenes to both Gregorian chants and Weird Al.
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: Choosing a character’s name is an essential part of the process for me beginning a story. I find I can’t get into a tale unless I know a character’s name.
Some characters have shown up telling me their name. I have, on occasion, had a name in mind and I just needed the perfect character to own it--like the fey librarian Gowthaman.
Other names are a time consuming process. I have a couple of favorite reference books where I look up names by ethnic background and meaning. The meaning of a name is very, very important to me. I also have a reverse name dictionary where I can look up the meaning and discover names to go with it. That was very important in naming a villain who changed his name throughout the series--different names, but with the same basic meaning.
Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: From one of my favorite movies: “Never give up. Never surrender.” These few words are a guide through any part of the writing and publishing process. There will be times when you want to give up. It happens. Just don’t surrender your dream, your talent, your stories!
Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: See above.
I surrendered too many times. While I never totally gave up, had I not given in and wallowed in surrender, there might be more *lizzie starr books already out for your enjoyment. That would make me happy.
Q: What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: Action, thriller. Along the lines Michael Crichton, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Dan Brown, Aiden James. I love reading the fast paced, ‘how are they gonna get out of this’ stories. When the author educates me, or makes me think about an issue, that’s even better. I fear I might write myself into a convoluted mess, though.
Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: I’ve been thinking about this. I can’t say any specific incident, but I know bits and pieces and places show up. Which is not to say a real life happening might not...
Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: I don’t have a consistent book crazy place. Each book is different. Like with many authors, writing the middle can feel like slogging through mud. And sometimes the first draft of an ending makes me roll my gaze to the sky.
It helps if you’re kinda crazy to start out with...
Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: I don’t have enough fingers and toes! There’s an infinite dance of possibilities. And I’m always adding more. As to how I keep so many ideas organized...yes to all of the above. Adding random slips of paper that get lost on the desk, by my bed, in my purse. I keep thinking I’m going to get better organized, but...oooh, shiny. A new idea....
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: I don’t have a favorite holiday. Really. The closest would probably be Christmas, though, because I love giving prezzies. But I don’t need a holiday for that!
Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I love science. Now, ask me if I’m any good at science.
And because of that, I want to name my next cat Schrödinger. And I will sing soft kitty.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: The Queen of the cartoon characters. Really. Other than that--a mom. That didn’t work out either.
Q: Favorite food.
A: Did I mention chocolate? Oh, and I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today!
Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Having my grandfather tell me how proud his father (who had been a dreamer and a writer, too) would be of me--and knowing how much of Grampa’s own pride vibrated in that simple statement.
Q: Favorite drink.
A: Plain ol’ water. Followed by diet Pepsi. Or Moscato.
Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: I don’t do well in the heat, so I’ll pick chilly winter nights. Besides, I love to curl up to read under a soft blanket.
Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Going for a ride in the TARDIS. Oh, I can’t do that? Okay, then me, in the Highlands, the Highlands of Scotland. (Now I’ve got Brigadoon in my head!)
Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: I’d be superfast typing woman--so I can finally get all those stories out of my head and make room for more!
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
For ages uncounted, Master Death has assisted souls in transition. But what happens when love gets in the way?
Someone wants vampyre Lily dead, and a bargain with Death has been struck. Death sends servant Agaar to bring Lily to him, but the task becomes more complicated than either Death or Agaar anticipated.
Lily wanted him.
Like the pervasive, sensual beat of Latin music blaring from the monstrous speakers, thrumming through the blood stream to draw upon the souls of those surrounding her, awaiting her tale, she wanted him.
More than the rising sweet scent of flowing life, she wanted him.
For this night, he would be her obsession.
Ah, but he was young, not much older than she appeared to humans. The laughter rushing through her mind held a strange, mocking tone. After all this time virtually everyone was younger.
She inhaled, searching for his scent through the crowded bar. There. Young enough still to hold the sweet aroma of youth. Lily sensed within him a compelling wildness; a bit of darkness she’d learned held the strangest of appeal. A wildness she vowed to discover, to unleash. And then tame.
But perhaps she wouldn’t subdue him too much Lily smiled to herself, watched him from the shadows and touched the tip of her tongue to the protruding, sharp points of the teeth that made her what she was.