AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: LIZ STRANGE
Liz what is your most current work we can find?
A Fresh Set of Eyes, the second novel in my David Lloyd Investigations series was just released June 28th with MLRPress
Tell us a little about A Fresh Set of Eyes and what inspired it.
Actually the story in A Fresh Set of Eyes was inspired by the famous West Memphis Three case, which I have long been fascinated by. But the original story of David Lloyd himself came from an incident in my hometown where a young police officer was attacked and injured badly while out one evening, and my support of GLBT rights.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I’m a total write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type author, though I do a lot of research. I am a total knowledge junkie, I love it!
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I decided to take a crack at mystery writing because I have long been a reader and fan of the genre. I’ve read everything by Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Sue Grafton and Michael Slade. After the idea for the character of David Lloyd came about, I thought I had a nice angle and went for it.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I have a few. The secondary characters of Kieran and Daniel from my Dark Kiss Trilogy always nagged at me, so I wrote the spin-off novel The Embrace of Life and Death. I also really love David Lloyd, who’s such a fun character to write—he’s tough, sarcastic, smart, loves his family and has a soft spot for the unfortunates in life. I real complicated man, like people truly are.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Again, I’m going to have to say David. First I’m not a man, and I’m not gay, and I large part of David’s story involves his relationship with his partner Jamie Brennan. Plus I wanted to be true to Canadian law enforcement and the legal system, which he lives his life by.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Well I already mentioned the beating incident that inspired David, but all of my paranormal/fantasy stories are peppered with mentions or allusion to all kinds of world mythology and folklore.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
A satisfying ending for myself and the reader. That’s always the hardest part for me.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I love musicals and any movies about dance. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Singing in the Rain.
I’m also a screenwriter. Last year I made the finals at the international “Shriekfest Film Festival & Screenplay Contest”. I have a couple of other projects on the go.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I love Glee, does that count?
What TV Shows are you addicted to?
My top current favs are: Supernatural, Dexter, and Spartacus. I do also like True Blood, Grimm, Shameless, and have just started watching a new Sci-fi show called Continuum.
My top fav of all time would have to be X-Files, with a close second by Torchwood.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I like listening to music, but with a chaotic life like mine (work full time at a hospital and single mom to four) I write whenever I get any spare time.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Not really, other than to keep me focused and happy.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Oh, I love this! I would like Sasha Roiz, who plays in Grimm for David and Kyle Schmid (Blood Ties, being Human) for Jamie.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I got an email, so I was at home. I told my kids, then my mom.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Early teens I guess.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
When I go to a bookstore I always look for Laurell K. Hamilton, and take a gander through the mystery, fantasy and horror sections. I like books that combine genres.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m a secretary to a VP at a hospital.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all-time favorite?
Hmm, just saw the new Spider-man, that was cool. I love any movies by David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino. I love action, horror, fantasy, sci-fi.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I am actually working on book 2 of my recently contracted YA fantasy series, The Daughters of Annwn, which is based on the mythology and history of Wales. I’m very excited about this, another new genre for me. The first book should be out before Christmas.
I am also working on a couple of guest articles and a new short story a hope to submit for an anthology.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Oh, Anne Rice.
How do you pick your characters names?
I often use interesting names I’ve heard of or read, but if it’s a specific place or time period I’m careful to do my research.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
Both. I think love can be instantaneous and can also grow over years.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I say, “Have you ever written a novel? When you have, let’s talk.” I got a lot of that with my first series, The Dark Kiss trilogy, not just because of the romance but also because it had vampires.
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark all the way!!