Every Wednesday, I'll be featuring a writer, hopefully introducing you to some new authors and books that I know you'll love. Today, we welcome Elizabeth Isaacs, author of The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope and the upcoming sequel, The Secret of the Keepers: Kailmeyra's Strength. Welcome, Elizabeth!
A bit about Elizabeth:
If Nora Johnson hadn't been on campus that day she would have never known her true destiny. Helping her friends move into the dorm that she wanted to call home, Nora accidentally collides with mysterious stranger, Gavin Frey. His very first touch sends flames through her heart. The world seems different-something within her has changed.
Her newfound joy is shaken when she discovers that Gavin is not who he appears to be and she has been thrust in the middle of a war of mythical proportions. Negativity has allowed all things evil to flourish, the earth is under siege. The fate of creation hinges on the power within her heart. Will she be strong enough to survive?
A gripping tale of unbounded love and ancient power, The Light of Asteria will take you on an epic adventure filled with war, treachery, and demons, as well as unimaginable delights.
KC: Tell us about you in 10 words.
EI: *Big breath* I’m a dog-loving-music-teaching-arts-camp-coordinating-author-mom.
KC: Whew! Here's another mouthful: If you tweeted about your latest release, what would it say (140 characters or less)?
EI: The most adventurous book I've ever written. The Secret of the Keepers is the sequel to Asteria. Full of fantasy, intrigue, and romance.
KC: Ooohh! I can't wait! (BTW, lovelies, Asteria is awesome, if you haven't read it yet.) If you could spend the day with any of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
EI: I’d spend the day with Rena. She could teach me how to sculpt and paint and then we’d hit up the latest bookstore. She’s honestly one of my favorite characters. She loves to laugh so we’d get along great.
KC: Aw, she's so great. What a fab day you would have together. So what’s your favorite part of being a writer?
EI: As Ray Bradbury once said “your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” That’s my favorite part of writing. I love creating worlds where people can escape, where after the last page is turned they feel better.
KC: What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
EI: Making time for the craft. I bet I haven’t watched three TV shows this year, and I haven’t slept late in I couldn’t tell you when. My writing day starts at 4 a.m. I write until 6:15, get ready to teach, and then start writing again from 9 until midnight. I rarely take a day off.
KC: Wow. I thought I knew what being a sleepless writer meant, but even I get more sleep than that. So besides the fact that you'd never sleep again, what else do you wish you would have known before you became a writer?
EI: I wish I would have been better prepared for the feeling of vulnerability that comes with people reading your story. The first few months The Light of Asteria was live I was a basket case. It’s gotten better, but I’ve often said sharing your writing is a lot like walking naked. It’s that same feeling of complete exposure.
KC: Yes! So true. Now, what made you decide to go indie?
EI: Honestly, I stumbled into the publishing industry. The Light of Asteria was originally written for my daughter as an example of what true love is supposed to be and the power of forgiveness. I never really intended to share it with the world. But then her friends wanted a copy, people got wind that I had written a book, and I started looking into publishing. When I researched the idea of going traditional, I soon understood the sheer amount of time needed to pursue an agent, publishing house, etc. Kate was a junior at that point, and I wanted her friends to have a copy before they headed off to college, so I went indie.
KC: What do you like most about being indie?
EI: I love everything about being an indie writer. The freedom to choose your critique partners, your beta group, your editors, and book designers. It’s all decisions that you make. No one is going to slap a cover on your book for the sake of “trends”. No one is going to make you change that plot point to something that an analyst says is more marketable. It’s your baby.
KC: Agree! If a writer came to you asking advice about going indie, what’s the most important thing you would tell them?
EI: Do your homework. Be aware that the self-publishing industry is a huge market. The bigger companies don’t have a business plan designed to make money selling books. They have a business plan designed to make money off your dreams.
Also, take time. Let your words steep. Find a critique partner and beta group to share your work with. Whatever you do, realize that you cannot edit your own work. You’re too close to it. Your brain automatically puts in those missing words, or overlooked homonyms. We need editors, and there are plenty out there who are reasonably priced. Avid readers don’t care if there is a typo every now and then, but everyone gets frustrated when bad grammar pulls the reader out of the storyline.
KC: What’s the last book you read and what’s next?
EI: The last book I read was Hope Collier’s The Willows: Haven. It just came out this week and I enjoyed it immensely. The next book I’m planning on reading is Lisa Kleypas’s newest book entitled Because Your Mine. I’m a sucker for historical romances. I read them occasionally during down times, and the reason I picked this one is because it’s not out until October, and I’m still in the throes of getting Keepers ready for publication. Reading time is scarce these days.
KC: I'm right there with you with Genesis. No time to read for fun, but we'll make up for it, right? Ha! Okay, now, what book or author can you read over and over again?
EI: There are so many. I’m a chronic re-reader, and so anything I read once I read at least ten times. It allows me the freedom to jump into a story and not have to worry if I’ve missed something.
My favorite books though would come from authors like: JK Rowling, Ray Bradbury, Tolkien, Maya Angelou, Stephen R. Donaldson, and recently I’ve been re-reading Lisa Kleypas’s Hathaway series. I know. I’m all over the board, but I love diversity!
KC: Diversity is always good, especially for authors' reading choices. And hello, fellow-chronic-re-reader! Glad to know I'm not alone. Now one more - Ebooks or Dead Tree Books? Why?
EI: Selfishly, It would have to be dead tree books. I love to smell them, the way they feel in my hand. I love to break the spine and lay them flat. But I can no longer deny that we are wasting precious resources, and so I’ve recently gone the ebook route.
I do still go to our local indie bookstore when I simply need a soft cover, and I shop the local consignment bookstore as well.
KC: Where can we connect with you?
EI: You can find me:
Personal blog: http://www.thelightofasteria.blogspot.com
Writing group blog: http://www.chirenjenzie.blogspot.com