AN INTERVIEW WITH LIZ DEJESUS
If you look back 3 posts, you'll find my interview with author Marissa Meyer. In that interview, Marissa said that one of her fav indie authors was a young lady named Liz DeJesus. So I connected with Liz and we've become long distance friends. What she knows about publishing helps me, and what I know about it helps her.
Miss Liz is an impressive lady. While corresponding, I discovered that English is NOT her first language, but after reading her book First Frost, I would never have known if she hadn't told me. But more on First Frost later. I'd like you to meet Liz DeJesus.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Everyone needs stories. They shape and define us. Stories, words have power. Stories can be used for everything. Entertain. Teach. Reach out to someone. Empower. Overcome. I know that there are some books that I feel helped save my life when I was at my lowest. Those moments when I was all alone, there was always a book nearby. Always a character that made me feel as though I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Anyone that is an avid reader has at least one book where there is one sentence (or even a word) that changed the way that they saw themselves or saw the world. We need stories. Words are the only things that will live on long after we have perished.
What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Bianca?
How real she is to me. And how loud her voice is in my head when I’m writing for her. Sometimes when I’m writing scenes for her and she’s going through a particularly hard time, you can often find me crying as I’m typing. I’m also using a lot of the emotions and angst I felt as a teenager and putting it all into Bianca and the other characters. Her best friend, Ming, the charming prince, Ferdinand and the love interest, Terrance.
What advice would you give to indie authors getting ready to publish?
Read your contracts carefully. And listen to your editor. They’re not trying to change the story. They’re trying to make it better. Also learn how to market your book. You can’t simply publish your book and expect for it to sell without you putting some work into it. This means searching for bloggers and reviewers that read the genre your book is in. They are an indie authors bread and butter.
What were your favorite books/authors as a child?
I loved the Sweet Valley High series. I also read The Curious Clubhouse by Christine Govan A LOT.Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love
Who are your top 5 favorite best-selling authors, now?
Are there any indie authors/books that you would suggest?
Don’t know if this qualifies as indie but I love Merry Shannon’s writing. My favorite book of hers is Branded Ann. Another great author is Kerri Hawkins, she’s the author of The Blood Legacy series. AMAZING. Definitely pick up her books.
And if you could be any character in any book, who would you be? And why?
Oh wow. Good question. Hmmm….I would have to go with Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I would want to visit Wonderland and meet all of those interesting characters. (This link isn't as fun as the Cat in the Hat link *boing*boing* but there's a nice surprise waiting for you.)
Thank you to Liz DeJesus for the great interview and all of your help.
Paul G Day - Young Adult/Children's Author
Sam Whitehouse - The Prophecy of Three
(I'm so excited to bring these two guys to readers, I can't hardly stand it.)
A little writing tip!
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
- Anton Chekhov
Dare to Dream!