Today I'd like to welcome author Liz DeJesus
to Fallen Angel Reviews. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today Liz
Thank you so much for having me here today.
Please tell us about your upcoming book The Jackets
Here is the official blurb for my book:
The Jackets is a collection of short stories in which I explore the connection between colors and emotions. Love unrequited, love fulfilled, and unrelenting reality crushing hopes and dreams are some of the experiences symbolized in the jacket colors that structure the rhapsodic explorations of the stages of love as experienced by young women.
Red is the color of love at first sight for Laura. Orange are the flames of passion for Mia. For Penelope, brown is the color of nature-of the ancient gods and their unfettered love-making. Each chapter explores a unique perspective: a writer trying to find her muse; a young woman trying to flee an abusive relationship; a cashier getting lost in the woods and finding more than she had ever bargained for.
In this intriguing blend of fiction and fantasy, the women in these stories hope for relationships, break out of them or find themselves involved with mythical gods and creatures. These fantastical pieces make for entertaining reading and give insight into young women's eternal search for romance.
What was your inspiration for The Jackets
For the longest time I didn't drive so I had to walk and take the bus in order to get to work. While I was walking to the bus stop I started wondering 'What if someone was watching me from their window right now?'. Then I started picturing who this person was, what he looked like, what he might be thinking as he watched me walking past his house. Like most writers, I just start asking myself a series of 'What if?' questions.
When did you first start writing? What made you want to become a writer?
I started writing when I was 11 years old. Then I turned my attention to poetry when I was 13 and that became my main focus for the longest time. I didn't start taking writing seriously until I was 18 years old, and that was when I felt I had enough life experience in me to try and write a novel. Ever since then I've been writing short stories, novellas, and novels.
I really wanted to become a writer because of my mother. I was also really shy as a kid and writing in my journal was the only way I knew to express myself. I honestly can't imagine myself not writing. It's like breathing for me, there's no way I can stop writing or trying to tell people the stories I have swimming inside my head.
What satisfies you about your writing?
Whenever I start writing a new story it's a very exciting moment for me. And when I'm in the middle of the story I'm desperate to find out what's going to happen to these characters. I don't normally use outlines when I'm writing, I just let my characters take over and let them do whatever they want to do. Every once in a while I have an idea as to how I want the story to end and 99% of the time I stick to that ending. My favorite part is when the story is completely finished (once I'm done revising, rewriting and editing a million times). The most satisfying part about writing is when someone tells me that they enjoyed my work. That's a natural high for me.
Almost every author at some point or another suffers from writer's block. Have you ever had that problem? How do you deal with it?
LOL. I don't have time for writer's block! I have a 2 year old son and another baby on the way (my little boy is due in September) so I have to take advantage of every free minute of quiet time I can get my hands on. But the little bit of advice that I give to other writers that are suffering from writer's block is to write badly. Sounds insane…I know, but trust me it works. It forces you out of your rut, makes you want to go back and revise what you've written. The point is to keep that pen attached to that piece of paper until you find something that truly inspires you.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?
Every time I finish writing a book I'm always surprised by where the inspiration for it came from. Sometimes it's a dream. Sometimes it's the look on someone's face. Other times it's a commercial, a song, or a photograph. I'm constantly surprised by how much I still have to learn about the craft of writing fiction. I want to keep learning, I want to stay curious about life, stay observant and attentive.
What can your fans look forward to in the next six months from you?
I'm currently working on a romance novel titled Zoe's Tears, it's about a young woman who runs away from her abusive fiancé. And I recently finished writing a fantasy novel titled First Frost. This book is about a seventeen year old girl that helps her mother run a fairy tale themed museum, and what happens when she realizes that the items in the museum are real. I'm hoping this will become either a trilogy or an ongoing series. I've submitted this book to several publishers and agents and I'm waiting to hear back from them sometime soon. Wish me luck!
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
I like to keep it simple, a good pen and a notebook. My favorite is the Moleskine notebook. I don't know what it is about those notebooks but I'm compelled to fill them up every time I buy a new one.
What book has influenced your life the most?
Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore…although it's not really a book it's a graphic novel. But his ability to tell a story made me realize that there is no 'right' way to write a book. His series taught me to simply follow my heart.
How many hours a day do you spend writing?
Sometimes as many as 2-3 hours, but they are scattered throughout the day. And other times I get no writing time at all. It really depends on my son's schedule and what mood he's in that particular day.
What would you consider your most interesting quirk?
I tend to space out when people talk to me, but I always remember exactly what they were saying even though it looks like my brain is in another world.
If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Her bite is just as bad as her bark.
Now for a little fun. Please finish the following sentences:
The first thing I bought when I sold my first book was…
a pair of red high tops.
The best present I ever got was…
the desk my husband bought me when we were still dating. (I still have this desk.)
I'd love to meet…
My favorite place in the world is…
Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your works?
lizdejesus.webs.com and liz-dejesus.livejournal.com/
Thank you for spending time with us today Liz
Interviewed by: Tammy