This morning I pick up this week’s guest author and we’re off to Florida, by the beach, glasses of champagne in hand.
“This is a lot better than my writing shack in wintry England,” she says.
“Definitely,” I agree and close my eyes for a short nap.
“Interview,” she says.
“You have to do your interview.”
I crack open one eye. Oops, almost forgot why I’m here. I’ll nap later.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I’m a YA fantasy writer, a wife, mother, educator and friend. I love to imagine, explore and find things out and firmly believe you have to be determined and challenge yourself to get what you want in life. I’d definitely say I’m creative and love using my imagination to make up stories of faraway lands.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
I can often be quite shy! Which is a little tricky now that I have a book published; I obviously have to open up quite a bit especially on social media. I’m getting better at this though.
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?
I’ve always loved reading especially the paranormal and fantasy genres, and with so many talented authors out there, over the years they have helped provide inspiration for my own story.
I do actually have another profession…I’m Head Teacher of a primary school. No day is quite the same as another, and it is often filled with supporting the children’s learning and making sure it’s as fun and engaging for them as possible. I seriously feel I have the best jobs in the world; working in education and writing.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Definitely J. K. Rowling. The way she has created a whole new world in such detail is awe inspiring and it wasn’t long before I wanted to create my own fantasy worlds as well. She has had such an influence on so many people, I’d be very interested to talk to her about her writing experiences especially how she came up with the ideas for Harry Potter.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book be great company?
Enlightenment has the perfect blend of fantasy and adventure for Young Adults upwards. It’s fast-paced, has characters that you’ll want to know and become your friends, and an ending that will leave you wanting to know more about the faey world of Aroben!
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
The prewriting stage is always a lot of fun. It’s usually spent with me reflecting on the characters over a month or so before I put anything down on paper. I can often end up dreaming about them as well or think about the plot and how they would react in different situations. I don’t tend to write too much when planning the plot as I like to launch right into the storyline and see what happens; I find a lot of the time the characters will let me know if they want something changed or I need to re-write a section. By the time I’ve finished my second set of edits, I like to get my editor’s thoughts – I can get so caught up in a story/the world I’ve created, it’s good to step back and see what someone else thinks. All in all, from start to finish, a book can take me about six months before I feel happy with it.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Don’t Give Up! If you have an idea keep working at it a little bit each day and eventually things will slot into place. If the plot isn’t coming too easily, focus on one of the characters or jump into a key part of the story. Whatever way does eventually work for you, remember to have faith in yourself and know that you can do this. It won’t be easy and you’ll feel like pulling your hair out half the time, but when you finally do it…see your book out there for people to buy, it’s the most amazing feeling.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
For me, I follow Babe Ruth’s words of wisdom: “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” I’m a firm believer that whatever life throws at you, never give up on your dreams. I think in today’s society with all the crazy things that are happening, as well as in our personal lives, you have to remain true to yourself and what you believe in.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
I’ve finished writing book 2 – Entanglement and am ready to share it with my editor, book 3 – End Games I hope to finish by the middle of next year. Things are going to get a lot tougher for Thea but at least she’ll have a certain Thill guard who will look after and protect her! 😉
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
The Driel Trilogy
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: 21st April 2016
After losing everything, all seventeen-year-old Thea wanted was to be a normal teenager. Instead, she was attacked by a mysterious creature she thought only existed in fairy tales.
Now thrown into the unknown realm of Faey, Thea is forced to determine the difference between reality and fantasy, in a world ruled by a dark elite and a society wracked by intolerance and prejudice. With the support of her new friends and a mysterious dark haired, blue-eyed guardian watching her every move, Thea will discover that when it comes to Faey, nothing is what it seems.
Will her courage and desire to save this new world from darkness be enough? Or will Thea be the next victim to fall to the dark whispers of fate…
About the Author:
I live in Surrey, England, a short walk from the beautiful Windsor Park, with my husband Richard and our two gorgeous children Noah and Olivia. For me, writing is nothing short of an addiction and I often find myself sneaking out to my writing shed for just a few minutes, which can often turn into hours of pure, unadulterated bliss catching up with my characters and continuing their story.
In-between writing, I teach in a primary school where there’s never a dull moment! I will also often be found Kindle in hand, reading a wide variety of genres but with YA fantasy and paranormal romance at the forefront of my reading list. Although I’m currently writing the second book in the Driel trilogy, other characters involving all things fantasy, paranormal and YA romance are jockeying for position, wanting me to write their story next, so watch this space! It is such a privilege to share my stories with you the reader. Thank you enough for taking the time to find out more about me.
To find out more about Liz, visit her website: www.lizkeelauthor.com