Hi Liz, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi Patrick! *waves frantically* I'm 27 and an indie author living in Roanoke, VA with my husband and dog. I've had all sorts of interesting jobs (newspaper, radio, book stores, publishing) and am now happy to say being a writer is one of them!
Why do you write fantasy books and what do you think makes them special?
I always read fantasy books as a kid. Other books were fine, of course, but there was something about losing yourself in a kingdom or adventure not found in reality. I think escapism is important--as a kid raised in a divorced household, I often ran away to other lands and times when I had to shut out my own reality. I loved the idea of giving people a place to hide for a while! I also think it's really important to stimulate creativity--I'm personally hoping my publishing fantasy stories will later appeal to my nephews, who I hope never lose their imaginative streak.
What do you think makes a great story?
Interesting characters--if I can't be invested in a character's thoughts of actions, it's much harder to pay attention. I also like it when a story holds my attention--they aren't describing meals or plain walking--every scene must have a sense of urgency, pushing the story along. It keeps me from putting the book down!
What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
Gifted, a Donovan Circus Novel. Sort of X-Men meets the circus. Lucy, a Firestarter (one who can create/control fire) rejoins with her Gifted circus to belong, but winds up standing out for more reasons than she ever thought possible.
Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
Anyone who likes fantasy stories as well as superheroes or comic books. It's sort of like X-Men meets the circus, so I'd love to hear what fellow nerds think about it.
Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it the latter, how long do you think will it go on?
The Donovan Circus Novels are technically a series. Each book will be stand alone, however; while each book has many of the same characters and of course, circus setting, there will always be differences: new cities, new characters or Gifts, new horrors or adventures. I've got enough ideas right now to get me at least through 3 or 4, though they always hit me at strange moments, so I could have enough for 6 or 7 if you ask me next week.
I read your synopsis and thought that it sounded like "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern. Could it be that you were inspired by it? What is the difference between your work and hers, what is similar?
"The Night Circus" came out long after I came up with my idea for "Gifted." I began writing Gifted about 3 years ago, and I remember my heart stopping when I saw her title about to release. When I read it, though, I was relieved--only one major similarity came to play: the circus setting. Hers is a totally different era and focuses mostly on the coming together of two people and their love. My story is much more action-adventure, with only a little romance. I would definitely recommend reading "Night Circus" though. It's incredibly well-written; she's much more extreme in her details than I think I could ever be!
Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
I always knew I wanted to name it "Gifted, a Donovan Circus Novel" actually. It just made sense to me to start off with a bang and hopefully make people wonder what being "Gifted" meant. Plus I wanted to make sure the subtitle indicated there would be more to come from Lucy and the Donovan gang. (Please don't ask me what the next title is--I have NO idea!) :)
What was the hardest part for you working on your book?
There's a term we use in regards to writing out our novels--Pantser or Plotter. I'm a pantser, which means I kinda write down everything whenever it hits me, without any real order of things. Since I was only writing for myself, I was just throwing words up in the manuscript whenever I thought of it (and I'm really bad at writing stuff out of order, then having to go back and connect the dots later). This led to headaches later as I got closer to final edits and publishing because I thought I'd never finish finding the errors or swapped scenes!
Do you already know what to do next?
Yes! I bought a program called Scrivener, which is my new best friend when I sit down to write. I can still write completely out of order, but I can keep everything in pieces, which at a quick glance, is much, much easier to switch around in a notecard as opposed to a scene in a 300 page Word document! Plus it's got great features when researching, developing character backstory, or just plain writing up notes you think about as you're constructing scenes. It's the best $40 I could spend on writing.
Where can we find more about you and your books?
My book is available for both Kindle and paperback on Amazon. I also maintain a blog and am downright obsessed with some Twitter and Facebook.
Any last words?
Thanks so much for having me! I hope you all enjoy running away to the circus with me--just watch out for fireballs! Have a terrific week!
Thanks Liz for taking your time.
About the Author:
Liz Long has been writing fantasy stories since she could spell the word "unicorn" (second grade). She fears a zombie apocalypse, though admits it would give her a good reason to stay inside and write as long as she wanted. She is a proud graduate of Longwood University with a degree in English.
Liz lives in Roanoke, VA with her husband Jason and their Jack Russell terror, Fisher. For more about Liz, please visit her website.
Gifted, a Donovan Circus Novel
by Liz Long
Even in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.
Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.
When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.
Links: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Goodreads
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