Welcome to the five hundred and thirty-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with paranormal romance & erotica author Elizabeth (Liz) Kolodziej. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. You can also read my spotlight with Liz here.
Morgen: Hello, Liz. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Liz: I grew up in California, but moved to the east coast when I was a teenager (drastic, I know!). I have always been a story teller, writing ghost stories and the such, however it wasn’t until I was around 21 and finished my first novel that I looked at it and said, “Ok, now what?” hahaha. My dad was my biggest supporter and said, “publish it.” lol.
Morgen: I like your dad already. Do you still write “ghost stories and the such” or have you gone on to another genre?
Liz: I am generally comfortable with paranormal romance (can’t get enough of those sexy vamps), but I also write erotica for Sizzler Publishing and am starting a new series involving Steampunk Zombie YA Romance. Any way you look at it though, I love romance.
Morgen: Ah, like me you’ve mellowed (I’ve gone from Stephen King to crime ). What have you had published to-date?
Liz: The Last Witch Series contains Vampyre Kisses, Werewolf Descent and Witch Devotions (9/26) all published under my own company Third Broom on the Left Press (TBOTLP). Then there is I Do Believe in Werewolves published by Netbound. Sexiest Time of the Year by Sizzler. From Demons, with Lust published by Sizzler Editions as well. And The ZombiePunk Series’ first book, Gravely Inanimated, should be out in November. Also, that book will contain the characters from the band V is for Villain. You gotta check them out!
Morgen: Wow, you’ve been busy. Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Liz: All of my books are always available as eBooks and just about all are in print as well. When it comes to the books under TBOTLP I do EVERTHING, while complaining about it, especially the formatting, all the way through. Yes I am a complainer! Ask Mike Saxton. I can’t help it. ::pouty face:: Oh and I do read eBooks, you kind of have to sometimes though I’m a paperback girl until the day I DIE!
Morgen: All but a handful of people I’ve interviewed have said the same (apart from the men who don’t call themselves girls!). We like having something to hold in our hands. Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Liz: Oh man, you’re gonna make me play favorites? My characters are going to hateeeee me.
Morgen: I’m sorry, I’m cruel.
Liz: Well, I love writing each one for particular reasons, however the two I have had to most fun with so far is Kasidy (Demon Protection Plan within the Sexiest Time of the Year anthology) and Faith Scott (Last Witch Series). Kasidy is just so snarky and strong while Faith had to learn to be strong and as come up with some great comebacks that they make me laugh out loud.
Morgen: I love it when that happens. My dog’s got used to my strange ways (noises and arm actions usually). Presumably you chose the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Liz: I have control when under my own company. I think the name and the cover design are the most important parts of a book. Luckily, I have great friends to bounce name ideas off of and a fabulous graphic designer who brings my ideas to life.
Morgen: Friends are keen to do that, aren’t they. Mine are lining up to buy my paperbacks (if / when they come out). What are you working on at the moment / next?
Liz: At the moment I am half way through the ZombiePunk book. I decided to challenge myself and do it in one month. Along with that I am putting together an erotica novella for Sascha. Then there is the bubble mapping for Demonic Charms (working title, fourth book in the Last Witch Series). And a million other things. I’m a little bit of a workaholic.
Morgen: Writing tends to do that to you. Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Liz: Currently I have been able to write everyday and I am proud of myself for that and like every author I get writer’s block. I am the biggest baby when this happens! You don’t want to be my best friend when I go through this… ::wink::
Morgen: <laughs> My friends are very understanding. I shut myself away during November when NaNoWriMo comes along. My lodger Evie has already put herself up for dog-walking duties. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Liz: Both actually. I normally do bubble maps and a little outline, however I don’t always (normally) follow them because I’m the type to get ideas as I write.
Morgen: Ah yes, you mentioned the bubble mapping earlier – I love the sound of that. Most authors I’ve spoken to go with the idea and see what happens (as I do – I’ve done no plotting for NaNo yet). Although I have designed the draft cover (because I registered it on the NaNo website). Do you have to do much research?
Liz: I am the (unofficial) Queen of Research IMHO. Hehehe. I research things to death sometimes or to procrastinate the actual writing. It’s great and awful all at the same time. I love it!!
Morgen: It’s one of my least favourite aspects although I love having the internet. With NaNo, because it’s about quantity over quality, I put ‘MORE HERE’ when I need to research or expand on something and go back to it later. I don’t think you can do too much research because you should know what you’re talking about, although restrain when tempted to include so much that it feels like you’re showing off. Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Liz: Oh of course! At first I did not handle them well. It takes time to build that thick skin, however I have gone back to some people and apologized, explaining “first author syndrome” and most people are very kind and forgive easily while other can’t seem to understand the meaning of the word. But those people I act like a duck ::quack:: and let the insults roll off my back.
Morgen: Best way. I like to think it’s just the right thing for the wrong person. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Liz: The same I give everyone else: don’t fall into “first author syndrome”, which is when you are so quick to print your first novel that you do it all wrong. Listen to those that have been through the process and made the horrible mistakes, along with doing your research of a company, agent, everything! PLEASE!
Morgen: The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook and http://pred-ed.com are great places to start (I think the US equivalent of TW&AY is the Writer’s Market). Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Liz: Ever seen 2 Broke Girls? I love the way the brunette says “I Love It!” and her gestures. I imitate it all the time. Yes, I am a huge nerd and goof ball on most occasions. Unless I’m going through writer’s block…grrr baby.
Morgen: Oh dear. You clearly love what you do apart from those times, though. I don’t think we have that programme over here in the UK but it could just be that I’ve not spotted it (I don’t watch much TV these days). What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks?
Liz: I make my dog dance for treats. Does that count? Hehehe. I love music and going to conventions. I get out of the house with friends when they are able to pull me out of my writing hole. Well, actually I think it is a nest now…
Morgen: I have one of those, overlooking the garden. Are there any writing-related websites and / or books that you find useful?
Liz: Sunny Frazier is the woman you want to go to and speak with about anything writing related. Her posse (which I am a part of) is mystery genre bound HOWEVER! If they let me in I’m sure they will you if you are the type of author that truly wants to learn! This chick does it all, I promise you that. She is the one I have gone to so much advice so many times and can always recall a time when…hehehe. http://www.sunnyfrazier.com.
Morgen: I interviewed Sunny back in August 2011 and she’s been a great supporter of this blog, sending me (perhaps without knowing it on some occasions) some of her authors. Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Liz: Best place to find me and my writing is at:
- Website: www.vampyrekisses.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/ejkolodziej
- Twitter: @ejkolodziej
- Like me: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vampyre-Kisses/121023447917851
- Zombiepunk: http://www.facebook.com/zombiepunkseries
- Buy links: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Witch-Devotions-book-Series-ebook/dp/B009G1COE4
- Barnes and Nobles: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/witch-devotions-elizabeth-j-kolodziej/1113011305?ean=2940015642674
- Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Witch-Devotions-Book-Last/dp/0983449449
So many ways! And I am always there to help authors that want my advice, contacts, or help.
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Liz: I love cats.
Morgen: Ah… there’s a great tshirt company that’s been advertising on Facebook – their designs are amazing. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Liz: Do YOU love cats?
Morgen: I’ve always been more of a dog person as my father didn’t like cats (and my mother gets my dog to chase them away from the bird table whenever we visit). I had cats when I first left home and although I love my dog I can’t see me having another. Cats are much easier. So I half-love, if that’s possible. Thank you, Liz.
I then invited Liz to include an extract of her writing and this is from Demon Protection Plan in the anthology The Sexiest Time of the Year: Erotic Encounters of the Yule Season:
Officer Tremble finally got the man to walk along with him and pulled him out of the room. I looked back to Officer Kerrigan and found him arguing with the chief. I could tell by the way he was throwing his hands in the air with an expression on his face that looked irritated.
He turned his back on his commanding officer and pulled the door open. He looked at me with dark eyes and hastily walked over to his desk before pulling out his chair and slamming his ass in it.
“Something the matter?” I casually asked while crossing one leg over the other.
He groaned at me before answering. “Looks like your going to need a babysitter. Guess who got stuck with the job?”
My eyes widened at the thought. I swallowed hard. “A babysitter? What are you talking about?”
He heaved out a breath and put both hands behind his head while leaning back. “After Mr. Shultz threatened your life the chief came up with the bright idea of me looking after you until all of this has blown over.”
My lips separated. The thought of having anyone look after me was repulsive. “You’re going to be looking after me?” I all but laughed in his face at the thought of a human protecting a half demon. “What? Your going to take me to a little get away in the woods and we’re going to wait it all out?”
I watched, laughing, as he licked his lips and put his arms on his desk, leaning forward. “Apparently so.” He answered with a sour expression. “Seems, the chief back there thinks you are a key witness in getting this guy put away. He wants to make sure you are kept safe.”
My laughter stopped. I thought over the idea of being out in the woods with this stick in the mud for the next few days or even weeks. “Oh hell no. No way. No way!” I said louder than the first time.
Officer Kerrigan smugly smiled at me. “Yes way.” He replied.
and a synopsis for Witch Devotions…
With Trent gone, Faith, the last witch in the world, feels she cannot go on without him. The pain grows so intense that she shuts out her friends and loved ones to be alone, unsure of what to think about the paranormal world anymore. But when on a trip to see Gordon she realizes what she can do to make the pain go away. A spell.
The spell backfires and Faith has now forgotten the past six months. All the memories of vampires, werewolves, and her magical training have vanished. And the first to find her is Louis.
Webs of lies and deceit have Faith powerless and scared that when Louis gives her the option of becoming a slayer she takes it. With the Goddess Circe interfering, Lilith still missing and Faith unable to remember Trent, no one knows what will happen next!
However, when a stranger enters her life bringing with him secrets to her missing memories, Faith can no longer trust those around her and must figure out for herself who is good and who is evil. The coin is still up in the air and Faith must make a choice of where her devotions lie.
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