This week Tag Line Tuesday is happy to sit down with Lizzy Ford, serial writer in worlds of gods and oracles, adventure and romance. Well, not literally “sit down with,” but I guess nobody types standing up, right?
Ed: Hellion-o, and please answer each of the following biographic questions twice, once with the truth and once with a lie.
LF: Lizzy Ford / Sarah Edmondson
Ed: Where you from, Mrs. Edmondson?
LF: Cornfield in Midwest US / Mountains of N. Idaho
Ed: Day job?
Ed: Dream job?
LF: Writing / um, not writing
Ed: And of course, Why do you write?
LF: Demons will kill me if I don’t / I have A Problem
Ed: You may now go back to full honesty, if you want, for THE LIGHTNING ROUND! (zap)
Band: Don’t have one!
Food: Chocolate fondue
Game (any kind): Um, not a board game. Or card games. In fact, I really don’t like games.
Album: Don’t have one!
Color: Sometimes pink, then sometimes teal, and occasionally purple or green
Animal: anything with big ears (unless it’s a monkey or anything with more than four legs.)
Piece of clothing: socks
Movie: Pride and Prejudice (1996 version – none of that remake BS)
(Ed: In that case, I won’t tell you that’s a remake of the 1940 Laurence Olivier version)
TV show: “Once Upon a Time” and “Ancient Aliens”
Drink: Zinburger’s chocolate milkshake
Song: The Filet o’Fish song from McDonald’s
Line from a song: “If it were you in that sandwich / You wouldn’t be laughing at all”
Pizza topping: cheese
Quote: “It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.” My hubby, Matt, when I go emo on him and tell him I’ll never make it as a writer.
Ed: Sounds like a smart dude.
Finally, three random things about yourself, please.
LF: 1- I have a bulldog and a shiba inu
2- I cut my hair short for the first time in 15 years this past summer in the middle of a pre-mid-life crisis that had been going on for 2 years.
3- I don’t believe in Santa Clause
Ed: That’s no problem, as long as Santa still believes in you.
I so hope that doesn’t get me any search hits for “Santa’s Fat Can.” But I digress…
Let’s talk about books, as writers are wont to do.
What’s the biggest consideration when you are deciding what book to read?
Ed: What genre do you enjoy most?
LF: Romance, followed by fantasy
Ed: That would explain you writing romantic fantasies/fantastic romances.
What genre would you read only if you lost a bet?
LF: Non-fiction computer books
Ed: Do you have a favorite author, and do you think they influence your own writing?
Ed: Do you have a favorite book, and how many times have you read it?
LF: “Pride and Prejudice!” Probably 50-60 times. I’m a serial writer, so this is my “Catcher in the Rye.”
Ed: See, I’ve been waiting for somebody to answer like that, ‘cuz I tend to read my favorite books over and over again, too.
What’s the first book you remember buying with your own money?
LF: Hardy Boys books from Wal-Mart.
Ed: Any books you have been told you should read, and know you probably never will?
LF: Almost every classic written. I escaped those with cliff notes and vague responses to essay questions in school. (Sorry, Ed, but this is why I don’t get your quotes. I’m a redneck idiot!)
Ed: Yeah, but Austen is often lumped in with “the Classics,” so your neck might not be as red as you think.
Ever lied about reading, or not reading, a book?
Ed: Ever read a book you were sure you were going to like, and not liked it?
LF: Most books. I rarely read books all the way through.
Ed: Tee-hee. It’s usually when I’m reading a book I don’t like that I toss it aside and re-read a favorite.
Ever grudgingly read a book, and loved it?
LF: No, not yet.
Ed: What’s your favorite line from a book? (not your own)
LF: I love the “To be or not to be speech” in Hamlet. “To sleep – perchance to dream; ay, there’s the rub.” I never grew out of the emo-teen stage! Ha!
Ed: You’re sure you don’t like Classics?
And now, moving on from books in general by books that have you in common: The ones you write.
How, and when, do you tend to come up with titles?
LF: Titles usually come last, after the book is written. I’m a fan of titles that are two words and involve one of the lead characters somehow. (Damian’s Oracle, Katie’s Hellion, Kiera’s Moon, Rhyn’s Redemption) I also double-check them on Amazon, so if someone searches for the book, mine is the first (if not only) one that pops up.
Ed: How do your characters get their names?
LF: The demons pick them out.
Ed: (Picturing demons with Baby Name books)
If you could live in the world / with the people of one of your stories, which one would it be and why?
Ed: Probably the world from the War of Gods series (Damian’s Oracle, Damian’s Assassin, Damian’s Immortal, The Grey God.) There’s a great deal of hope and clean delineation between good and evil, and the good guys are all hunky and treat their women well.
Ed: What do you think your books say about you?
LF: They probably say that I’m someone who believes life is about struggle, people are flawed and there’s always a chance for redemption.
Ed: Is there anything you have written which you would now like to change or revise, wish you had written differently, etc.?
LF: I’ve revised a couple of books that I didn’t have an editor for prior to self-publishing. As for the storylines … no, never felt the urge to change any of them!
Ed: If you would be so kind, Tell me about your favorite character.
LF: Sofia is my favorite character. She’s a human who becomes an Oracle and soul-reader. In Damian’s Oracle, you get to see her transform, and the heartache and triumph that come with her unique talents.
Ed: Have your favorite character tell me about you.
Sofia: Is this the lady who had me tortured and killed by the leader of the bad guys when she clearly could’ve prevented it?
Ed: I feel ya’, Sofia, them writers are bastards to the people they care about.
Lizzy again, What’s your favorite line which you have written?
LF: “Just don’t ask where I hide the bodies.” (Katie’s Hellion)
Ed: And now, on to the “writing itself” portion of the Minnesota Mulitphasic Personality Inventory (obscure Psych joke)
Plotter or Pantser?
LF: Depends. Series are more structured, and I do more planning for them, whereas the single titles are just little ideas that bloom into books.
Ed: Best/Worst advice you ever got as a writer?
LF: Best – Write what you love.
Worst – Self-publishing is for people who can’t make it.
Ed: Best/Worst thing about being a writer?
LF: Best – Living my dream.
Worst – Dealing with people who aren’t open to what I’m trying to do.
Ed: Why Indie?
LF: Because I couldn’t make it into traditional publishing. Ha! At least, that was my initial reason. I’ve always had one goal: To get my books into the hands of those who can enjoy them. Once I started the indie route, I found it fulfilling and challenging, and I love it!
Ed: Is being a writer what you expected? How so or how not?
LF: It’s much better than I expected. I imagined me sitting around, writing books, going the traditional route, and getting a royalties check every few months. I never imagined how much I’d interact with my readers, or that it was like running your own small business. It’s been AWESOME!
Ed: Have you, or would you ever, collaborate on a story?
LF: I would. I wanted to collaborate with Shea MacLeod on a story, but I got sidetracked, unemployed, and desperate to produce, so I never followed up with her. I’m probably the easiest person on the planet to work with, so someday, I may get back to the point where I can collaborate!
Ed: If you were starting to write for the first time, what would you do different?
LF: Research the industry then strike out on my own instead of buying the BS that I needed an agent and publisher in order to be considered a “real” writer.
Ed: What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?
LF: It’s not so much a linear process as a collaborative project that involves editors, cover artists, IT-gurus, and readers, all of who help me grow my craft and my understanding of the business.
Ed: What’s the moral of the story?
LF: Screw the Man – write and be happy.
Ed: In conclusion, HYPOTHETICAL questions with ACTUAL answers.
Your computer is smoking, wheezing, and sparks are shooting out of the back. You can save one thing off the hard drive. What is it?
LF: Well … if we assume I backed up everything like my hubby tells me to, I’d probably try to grab my favorites out of my browser, so I can find my way back to all the places I need to go online.
If I didn’t back anything up … I’d grab my YA fantasy story I wrote 10 years ago. It’s one of the reasons I continue to write and create, because I keep hoping another story comes along that feels as magical as this one.
Ed: You are looking at the back of a book in a bookstore, reading on online blurb, or whatever. What sort of thing makes you say “yes,” what sort of things makes you say “pass?”
LF: If one of the characters is tortured and self-loathing!
Ed: That was the “yes” answer, I’m guessing.
You have one perfect day of free time, no obligations, needs, or responsibilities. What do you do?
LF: Write. (Duh!)
Ed: Someone “in the business” suggests you change something you feel is a critical part of one of your books, and guarantees it will increase sales. What do you do?
LF: Consider it, toss a coin, check my reaction, write a pros and cons list, go get ice cream, wander around the mall because I forgot I was supposed to be thinking about it, go to the bookstore and silently ridicule all the books I’m outselling, come home, walk the dogs, talk to Julia on Facebook, remember I was supposed to do something, and then sleep on it. The demons always tell me what to do when I’m sleeping.
Ed: You are offered just enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life, if you will just stop writing. What do you do?
Ed: What question do you wish I had asked?
LF: How did you get HERE?
Ed: Thanks for stopping by, El Ef.
Now, the two books Lizzy wished to highlight, with the five word synopses provided by her, as writers *love* when I make them write those. And of course, find out more about these and many other works over on Lizzy’s blog
Synopsis: Beefy immortal finds love, Oracle
Barnes & Noble:
Synopsis: Healer repairs sexy assassin’s heart