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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Interview of Author Liz Jasper

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Liz Jasper.

Latest Book: Underdead In Denial
Buy Link:

Liz Jasper is a former teacher turned analyst and the award-winning author of the UNDERDEAD mysteries. She lives in California near hiking trails, great public libraries, in a house where the resident cat gets fatter and lazier every year. Perhaps because she and Liz have a small Cheetos addiction.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The easiest scenes for me to write are the big climactic scenes, the sort when my protagonist's world is dropped out from under her. Actually, no, I take that back. It's not when her world is dropped out from under her--it's when she finally realizes it. Big difference.

I like to write the sort of book that you can curl up with on the couch after a lousy day--and then forget about the day and giggle. Cozy, romantic mysteries, young adult adventures, that sort of thing. Except I add a paranormal twist which throws my character for a loop. For me that's the hook, the exciting pull that makes me as a writer want to keep working out what comes next.

And yet the funny thing is that I get a lot of really great fan mail from readers who wouldn't normally reach for a book with, say, vampires in it. They had a friend shove the Underdead books at them and quickly they are sucked in and cracking up. But then I suppose I've found a ton of great books that way--from friends recommending them.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The beginning. Everything hinges on it. And plot set-up aside, I want readers to get a clear feel for who my characters are and where they are in life. That way when the bomb drops, they care and want to know what happens next. In the UNDERDEAD books it's important to know that Jo yearns for the sort of nice, fun life she feels she was promised after growing up watching FRIENDS reruns. But she doesn't have it. She's working her tail off teaching and in her free time she's wiped out and sleeps. And then she has that dream dangled in front of her. The gorgeous, genuinely charming man. The romance. The fun life every twenty-something should have. But does she get that? No! She gets vampires and detective and bodies and she still has to deal with her annoying colleagues.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Oooh, hard to say. Jo's mother always cracks me up because she is so opposite to my own. Jo's mother is the sort who dresses up for the supermarket. You know, always put together and salon perfect. My mother could give a rat's patoot what she wears when she buys milk. I based Jo's mother very loosely on one of my friends mom's whom I adore. Between the two inherent wins here--knowing my mother is going to look on in horror when she get asked if I based the character on her, and thinking of my friend's mom--I always write those parts with a grin.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I don't eat when I write as I'd never write. But I do write a LOT about chocolate in the UNDERDEAD books. And as a former science teacher, do not doubt that I feel very strongly about the importance of testing out chocolate for the good of my writing. And, showing my honor and dedication to science, I do my testing with rigor: large sample sizes and long time frames. Drat it, now I need to go to the store and stock up. This was a mean question. ;)

Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: I've read a ton of romance books. I have a hard time reading mysteries when I'm writing them and I read enough non-fiction for work. There are a lot of wonderful romances out there. I tend to be partial to the ones that hit you from the side and knock you over, which means I'm a sucker for a mystery series with a good, ongoing romance. I like poignant. I like a bit of yearning in there. Oh great. Now I'm going to the bookstore AND to the store to get chocolate.

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: Ditch the computer immediately! Finally, an easy question.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Both Underdead and Underdead In Denial are available in eBook pretty much everywhere and in trade paperback at Amazon and B & N. You can easily find links to the way you want to read the books on the buy page on my
My main website and blog:
Facebook main page:!/authorLizJasper
You can fan me at facebook here:!/LizJasperAuthor

In the sequel to award-winning UNDERDEAD, eighth grade science teacher Jo Gartner is back after a deceptively quiet summer.

Apart from the hormonal teens she has to deal with everyday and her sensitivity to sunlight everything seems, well, almost normal.

She probably shouldn’t have volunteered to help the hot new teacher on campus with his Haunted House fundraiser.

Because that’s just asking for the real vampires to show up…

And the next thing she knows there’s a dead body.

And the cops are back.

And Jo is forced to decide which side she’s on, once and for all.

“What do you want, Will?”

He stepped forward and touched his lips to mine in a light kiss that sent traitorous quivers along my nerve endings.

“I thought that was obvious.”

“I see. Absence makes the heart grow fonder? A little trite for someone of your age. How old are you, anyway?”

His face lit with a sudden grin. “I have missed you, Josephine Gartner.”

A bittersweet pang beat against my chest. I ignored it. “You didn’t come to see the play? The drama kids will be disappointed. They worked so hard littering the town with posters.”

“I came to see you. You decided to live in this world.” A wave of his hand took in the administration building, the academic quad, and the gym hulking in the distance. His gaze remained fixed on me, suddenly serious. “There’s a place for you in…mine, when you want it.”

“Is that what you want? To be my boyfriend?”

“Are you offering?”

A rusty Toyota idling at the gate pulled out onto the street and I realized with a start that the teacher’s parking lot was deserted.

So did Will. The air crackled with the awareness between us. He shifted closer. Only a fraction of an inch separated his hard, lithe body and mine.

He said, “‘You meet your destiny on the road you take to avoid it.’ Carl Jung.”

“Better than sitting and doing nothing. Jo Gartner.”

He pulled me hard against him and kissed me. I had forgotten how good he was at that. I forgot that I was supposed to be scared…

Chattering voices pealed like warning bells from the path around the side of the administration building. I shoved Will away.

By the time the group rounded the corner into the parking lot, Will was leaning casually against the SUV parked next to me, gorgeously unruffled, appearing every inch the chivalrous male. He wasn’t looking at the group. His midnight gaze was fixed on me. He watched and waited as I somehow fit my key in the lock, got in, started up my car and drove out of the parking lot.

When I gathered the courage to look back, he was gone. Another black shadow in the night.

Anything else you’d like to add? Yes! Look for CRIMSON IN THE VERY WRONG FAIRY TALE this Winter/Spring.


Tina Donahue said...

I'm with you on beginnings being hard. You have to set the tone, pace, throw in enough description so you have a sense of place and what your characters look like, all while keeping the action moving. Whew. It ain't easy. :)

Great excerpt - may you have many happy sales.

Cara Marsi said...

Interesting interview. I love the title of your books. They sound really good. I too live with a fat, lazy cat, a cat who bothers me constantly when I'm writing.

Your picture is very good too. Good luck with the books.

Liz Jasper said...

Hi Tina,

Exactly. Which is why, once again, I submit that we need to be granted elves who will write the beginings for us. I mean come on!

Liz Jasper said...

Thanks Cara! My cat is too fat and lazy to bother me while actually writing (which I admit is rather un-cat-like) but she does manage to get in the way by sitting on me and preventing me from getting to the computer... :)

Ginger Calem said...

Totally cracked up at 'ditch the computer!'. Having read both Underdead and Underdead in Denial, I know how utterly wonderful they are. Love the interview, Liz.

Prudence MacLeod said...

Hmmm, yep, that's going on my TBR list. Nice hook. :)

Sandy said...

Liz, you are the first person who answered the question--What would you do if you found yourself on an island with a man and a computer?

Good for you! lol

Liz jasper said...

Thanks Ginger!!!

Liz Jasper said...

Thanks Prudence. Definitely heed the chocolate warning. :)

Liz Jasper said...

Lol Sandy. The trick is not to over think it ;)

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