I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I love the worldly, eclectic feel of the area. The best of every tradition and culture is at the touch of my fingertips around here. You can walk drive one mile here and find a place that serves tacos, pho noodles, chicken pot pie, samosas, and hamburgers all in that same span of distance.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- And a writer. I have four children ages 7 and under, so I’ve been told many times I’m Superwoman. Guess I always knew what I was going to be, wink wink.
Tell us about your latest book.
The Movie Star’s Wife will be released on July 13th from Breathless Press. Here is a summary:The wife of a major movie star commits to helping her dearest friend conceal a secret from the public eye but is tempted away from loyalty by the promise of true love.
Juliet James, aka Julie Streets, is a former starlet married to one of the biggest action stars in history. He’s handsome, sexy, and her best friend. There’s only one thing keeping them from falling in love. Enter a world of glamour and riches where all of the indulgences of heaven are there for the taking, but the trappings of a marriage of convenience have made life a living hell. A chance meeting prompts Juliet to change her situation when she comes across a romantic interest she just can’t stay away from.
The next story out will be a novella titled The Ashes of Windsorfrom Devine Destinies, the mainstream imprint of Xstasy Books. This story is a post apocalyptic romantic drama. As Inari Giles looks forward to the end of her high school days and a bright future at an Ivy League university, nuclear war strikes the city of New York. She is thrust into the world of the fallout, grasping for the strength to survive. Peter Huntford, her beloved boyfriend, vows to bring Inari to Arcadia, an island paradise untouched by environmental damage that will only accept young women of childbearing age through its gates. She refuses to leave his side, for she possesses an intense desire and love for him. Will he find a way to bring her to safety, even at the cost of his own life?
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Writing, like beauty, is subjective. We are drawn toward a certain style and have a certain preference for how an individual author crafts a story. When you’re an author, you want people to love your writing as you are writing mainly to entertain. The fact that not all will is a difficult fact for me to accept, but I simply remind myself to write for the readers who do love my work. The readers who enjoy my work are some of the most important people in the world to me and I love hearing their feedback.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Write for the story first, genre second. We’re so often told that genre based work is what sells and maybe that is true in most cases, but when I think about what books have stood the test of time, books like The Great Gatsby, Gone With The Wind, Great Expectations (I could go on and on) were not slaves to genre. So writers shouldn’t be.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I have so little time to write compared to all of the other tasks I need to complete that I have not had this issue yet and hope to never have it. I did give some advice to a songwriter friend of mine which worked for him, and that was to perform some kind of meditation in action, like jogging, yoga, etc. Something where the body can move with fluidity but the mind can think. I’ve had some really great ideas course through my mind during this type of activity. They were not all useful, but they opened doors in my mind.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I cannot say pinpoint one as a favorite because I have enjoyed so many, and I have loved some books by the following authors while others I have not been able to finish. Some authors I adore are Natsuo Kirino, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, Teresa Le-Yung Ryan, Danielle Steel, and Cormac McCarthy. Their characters are so very real.
What books have most influenced your life?
There have been so many. Books to me are life itself. Great Expectations brought words to the hunger and longing I experienced as a child. The Book Thief reminded me to always remember my humanity and to treasure it and hold it close. The Count of Monte Cristo helped me to realize that life itself will exact revenge upon a person’s transgressors. I will even go so far as to say many of the greatest books encompass supernatural words for what other medium tells a story so clearly from an individual’s heart?
How did you deal with rejection letters?
I chew them up and eat them. Ha! Thankfully, they come to me in digital format. Before I used to feel sad about them. Now I take them well. If editors are kind enough to include why they didn’t like the manuscript and enough editors give me the same feedback, I’ll go in and make some changes, then send it out again.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A thick skin, first and foremost. Software that will help you map out the story. And Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.
Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
I write mainstream romance so if the love scenes will make my grandmother cringe or the gory descriptions will make a reader feel sick I won’t go there.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
I do weird things everyday. I ask winery cashiers if they’ve ever refused to sell to someone, I ask doctors about the grossest case they ever had, I ask strangers what they think of the daily news headlines. It’s not so much how they actually feel about those situations that really perks my interest but their patois and their way of looking at things gives me insight into the personality of a potential protagonist or antagonist.
Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.
Please visit my website at www.lizrnewman.net
Facebook at www.facebook.com/LizRNewmanAuthor
Thank you for the interview!