The second interview of the month, I am pleased to have back Liz Meldon. She's been in an interview before along with her fellow anthology authors, and she's written guest posts for me before. I am so happy to welcome her back with an interview all of her own.
i. What were you like at school?
I was a drama kid. I loved doing musicals and theatre productions. I was also really spirited in my enthusiasm for my school, but most of us were. A lot of people have horrible high school experiences, but I had a fantastic time. I was a social introvert, I guess. I had my besties. I did my work. I was a slightly above average student—top 80%. At home, I practised my writing while getting my start in fanfiction. I think I had some of the same problems that a lot of teenagers face: self-esteem, body image, the usual.
ii. What are you working on at the minute?
I’m currently about a quarter of the way through the third book in my erotic romance trilogy, All In. Rough estimates have it coming out this October.
iii. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
I don’t think my main character is all that special—and that’s what I like about her. Sure, she’s friendly, kind, intelligent, and a little snarky, but that can be said for a lot of people. Skye, my MC, is just a regular post-grad woman navigating the choppy waters of adulthood—as two billionaires court her, of course.
iv. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Hmmm. Not sure, but model Masha Radkovskaya is a good face to use, when her hair is red, for a reference.
v. How much research do you do?
Research is genre dependent for me. I do research weather at specific times of year for countries, states, provinces, etc. so I can portray something accurately. I tend not to write historical romances, mostly so I don’t need to do an insane amount of research, or write characters with jobs that I don’t have at least a basic working knowledge of. Otherwise, I research on an as needed basis. Whenever something comes up that I don’t know, I fact check. Even if I’m not reading 30 textbooks and taking notes, I’d like to be as accurate as I can.
For my recent fantasy romance, I spent some time research Roman toilets and whether or not forks were a thing in the year 340 AD, but, given that the bulk of that book took place in Tir na nOg, the heavenly realm in Irish mythology, I had some leeway to play. Still, I wanted things to be somewhat accurate to the time. No running water there, even for the gods.
vi. Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
Nope, but I would love to. I’m always on the hunt for someone to write a killer paranormal romance with.
vii. Do you write full-time or part-time?
I currently write full-time due to an injury that keeps me from working outside the house. My time, however, is split roughly 60/40 between ghostwriting freelance work and my actual author work.
viii. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Since I write full-time, my whole workday is writing. However, my injury requires I take a lot of rest throughout the day, so it’s basically a day of work-rest on repeat until I’m finished. The best days are those where all the work is finished before 5pm. It’s nice to feel like it’s a regular workday, rather than working from just after breakfast to just before bed.
ix. Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. Music—I spend a lot of time daydreaming to music while out on walks. It helps me plot to have an epic song playing while I’m thinking. Awesome movies or TV shows can definitely inspire something too. Books with stronger writing than mine are also a huge plus. They make me want to step up my game and write something better than what I feel I can normally do.
x. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I could never just let a story go where it wants. I used to do that with fanfiction when I first started writing, and that’s why a lot of my works were left unfinished, and the ones that were finished weren’t entirely satisfying. I am definitely the kind to plot at least major points from start to end before I write, then fill in the details as I go.
xi. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I think that depends on a lot of things. However, I write about a chapter and a half per week, as I devote 3 days to personal work. My last book only had 6 chapters, as it was a novella, and I was finished that in a little over a month and a half—thanks, moving apartments, for slowing me down!
xii. Do you ever get writer’s Block?
With certain stories, I can (and have) experienced writer’s block, but I only let it sink in if the story is something I’m tinkering with. If I have personal deadlines to meet, no matter how much I may not want to work on said story, I buckle down, grit my teeth, and charge ahead as best I can. Even 500 words on a project I’m struggling with is a victory. Hell, 100 words is a victory.
xiii. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Love it. And do it with just about all my books. I do tend toward serials more than a series, but I’m in favour of them.
xiv. What do you think of “trailers” for books?
I don’t watch them, because most of the time they aren’t well done. Seeing a bunch of stock images + some words here and there doesn’t excite me about a book. Really awesome teaser graphics have a better impact on me, and places like tumblr and Instagram have the best fan-made graphics.
xv. Advice for aspiring authors?
Publishing is a scary, lonely business. Making friends with people in the same boat is essential to survive. You need each other for support in good times and bad. Fellow authors are not your competition: you need to be each other’s cheerleaders.
Become an author because you love it, not because you’re on the hunt for an easy get-rich scheme. I think readers can tell when you’re passionate about your genre.
Writing is a craft that takes time and practice. Your first book will probably suck, but they all do. I think mine does by comparison to my latest book. Each book will be better because your writing will be stronger and your storytelling abilities have grown. No one is the master of this craft. We’re all just at different levels of experience.