OK, getting back to my series of interviews, today’s guest is Liz Strange, author of the paranormal romance novel MY LOVE ETERNAL, which is forthcoming from Lyrical Press, and all-around good person. For those of you who don’t know who Liz is yet, keep that name in mind. Big things are ahead for Miss Strange. Big. Things.
Hi Liz, how are you doing? Aside from over the moon about your upcoming book, of course. OK, That wasn’t an interview question, honest. I have some of those coming up. But first I wanted to say it was a real pleasure working with you. For those reading this who don’t know, I was one of Liz’s beta readers for this project, and I’m extremely proud of her for having her very first novel published by up-and-coming small publisher, Lyrical Press. Congratulations, Liz!
OK, now down to business. Heh heh.
1. Give us a little bit of background about yourself. Where are you from, what do you like to read, etc.
I live in Kingston, Ontario, a medium sized town along Lake Ontario. I am a single mom with four kids (ages 5-14) and I currently work as an Administrative Assistant in a Psychiatric Hospital. I love reading horror, paranormal, fantasy, and mysteries. I also enjoy scary movies, spicy food, rainy days, anything on A&E, soccer (ok, I really only watch it for Cristiano Ronaldo), martial arts, sci-fi, and boxing. I have a fascination with Ancient Greece, Incan/Mayan/Aztec civilizations, the German soap opera Forbidden Love, and True Crime stories.
2. Your book, MY LOVE ETERNAL, is darker than most books in its genre, was that intentional? If so, why?
Um, yes and no. I guess I’ve always been drawn to the dark side- right back to my first vampire novel, which was Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot. I not a big fan of “romanticizing” or watering down vampire stories. I’m more old-school in my views. My vamps are killers, and are accepting of that part of their nature. Now, that’s not to say they don’t have any endearing qualities. They love, have friends, hobbies, etc, even raise a family. So in that sense My Love Eternal was born from my view (or preference) of the beloved undead. I also really like a good scare, or even a well-done gross-out scene, whether in literature, TV or movies.
3. When is the release date for MY LOVE ETERNAL?
The book will be out in 12-18 months, hopefully closer to 12. I will have all updates available on my website.
4. Tell us a little bit about MY LOVE ETERNAL. Give us a brief description of what goes on in there.
Well, essentially MLE is the story of the relationship between Rachel and Giovanni. Rachel is a young woman working at a hospital in my hometown of Kingston when she crosses paths with Giovanni. She’s intensely drawn to him, even after witnessing some violent acts on his part. Only problem-he’s been dead for 300 years. After handing over her heart and life to him, she finds herself swept up into a vendetta that’s sole purpose is to find and destroy Giovanni. They are constantly on the run, not only from the Demarais, but also from any who might figure out their true nature. There are scares, steamy sex, and secondary stories involving Giovanni’s maker and an orphaned boy that the vamps bring into their lives as an adopted son. There’s a couple of twists near the end that’ll surprise the reader! Can’t say anymore, you’ll have to read it.
5. How long did it take to write?
I originally wrote this story back in 1994. The first version was more of a novella, and it all honesty it wasn’t that great. But the bones of a good story were there. I’ve dragged it out every now and again over the years, but put it through a serious revision last summer. Then through a series of hits and misses I hooked up with an author that I am a big fan of, who not only offered edits and suggestion for the first part of the novel, but also directed me to the Absolute Write website. There I met the wonderfully gifted and funny author-David McAfee. David agreed to be my beta reader, and helped to get the manuscript into good enough shape to grab the attention of a publisher. Thanks again David-you rock!
NOTE – I swear, I didn’t put her up to that.
6. What’s it like working with Lyrical Press? I hear they are a lovely bunch of people.
Working with Lyrical Press has been wonderful. Renee Rocco is very nice, prompt and 100% supportive of all her authors. I feel very blessed to have been signed by them. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the publishing world. Actually the whole time there is great. I really feel that this publishing house is going places—and fast! Everyone get over to their site and check out their authors! http://www.lyricalpress.com
7. For now, MY LOVE ETERNAL is slated to be released as an ebook. Are there plans for a print version, as well?
Yes, initially is will be released as an e-book, but hopefully will also be available in print. When I have more information I’ll share it.
8. Do you have any favorite authors? I know that’s a tough question because there are so many, but if you had to pick a few authors whose work really speaks to you, who would they be?
Well, I enjoy anyone who writes about vamps-Anne Rice, Laurel K. Hamilton, Tanya Huff, Raven Hart, P.N. Elrod. Just to name a few. Some of my other favourites are Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Karen Slaughter, Michael Slade, Sue Grafton, and many more!
9. Do you have any hobbies or pastimes? What do you do to relax after a long day?
Well if I’m not working, writing, or doing something for or with my children I like to exercise, watch movies, and spend time with friends. I don’t have time for hobbies, but I would love to learn to shoot guns, ride a motorcycle, parachute, and speak another language. I also hope to travel-Greece, Mexico, Peru, England and Easter Island are at the top of my list of places to see before I die
10. What is a typical day in the life of Liz Strange?
No rest for the wicked. I have four kids to get up, feed, make lunches for and drop at school/daycare before getting to work. After work I pick everyone up again, get dinner and chauffeur to the various activities of my kids: dance, choir, soccer, ball hockey, etc. If I’m lucky I will get to the gym by 8, and then I’m soon to bed myself. On the weekends I have to do everything I don’t get to do during the week-groceries, housework, laundry (the bane of my existence!), cutting the grass. In amongst all this I have to find time to write!
11. What has been your favorite part of being an author so far? Your least favorite?
My favourite part about being an author is bringing my characters to life. I love to write, always have since I was a little girl. My least favourite parts are the querying process and waiting for responses. The next obstacle will be the review process- I’ll have to toughen for the negative ones! Yikes!
12. So what’s next for Liz Strange? Any plans for a second book?
The second book has been written and I have sketched out plans for the third. The series is called the Dark Kiss Trilogy. After finishing up this project, I will move onto something new and unrelated. Hopefully you’ll see book 2 coming from Lyrical Press also.
13. I’m stealing this question from another interview. Heh heh. Give us one line from your book. Don’t put it in any context, just give us the line.
And with that last glimpse of my love, bloody and wild with lust, I slipped over the edge of darkness.
And there ya have it; Liz Strange. Thanks for stopping by, Liz. If you want to check Liz out online, visit her at Liz Strange.com. Having beta read and commented (and yes, even line edited, sorta) MY LOVE ETERNAL, I can tell you there are some very interesting aspects of the book. Some twists that are, well, just different. I’ll be posting more about this one as the release date approaches. Until then, stay tuned.