Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Liz C. Long!
My name is Liz Long and I’m a writer, photographer, dreamer, and Twitter stalker (you can also put “nerdy” in front of all those things). Whether you’re looking for a new fantasy read, need marketing and social media tips, or want some writing advice from an indie author, I promise to provide in the best way possible.
I am lucky enough to have my dream job as the Associate Editor at LeisureMedia360, where I write for magazine publications: The Roanoker, Blue Ridge Country, and bridebook. I love my job and it’s truly the best of both worlds as I both share others’ stories and create them.
Without further ado, here’s her interview.
I love reading the author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Yes! I actually began my career at 12 years old as my middle school newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief and it all spurred from there! I’m a full time writer during my day job too, so I’m just thrilled my English degree is being put to good use.
Why did you choose to write your genre? I’m a huge fan of paranormal and fantasy genres; I think, for me, it’s easier to get lost in those worlds and forget the real world exists. I encourage readers to “escape from reality” and I find magic is definitely a good starting point to forgetting the everyday real world.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? Not counting my nonfiction work, I’d say Witch Hearts was a strange, but very fun, story for me to write. It’s sort of “Criminal Minds meets Charmed” so not only did I have to work in some magic, but also keep readers on their toes with a serial killer and create suspense. Thinking of what scared me to scare readers kept me up several nights!
What are you currently working on? I actually just finished up my YA superhero trilogy, so after I come down off that series high, I’ll probably start working on the 5th book of the Donovan Circus series.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? Let’s talk about Heroes of Arcania – I love superheroes. They’re fun to write and I liked twisting the usual tropes of superhero stories into a unique POV. It was very exciting for me to spin in my city of Roanoke as Arcania, and the rich characters that thrive in and destroy parts of it.
What was the hardest story for you to write? I’d have to go with IGNITED, the 4th book in the Donovan Circus series. It’s just after I killed off a major secondary character, and Lucy has to deal with the aftermath. Her personality is hardened and angry, and it hurts to see your characters hurt. It was necessary and messy and it made her a better character, but boy it hurts seeing them in pain.
What process do you use to plan your novels? I used to be a pantser, but as I get a little older and wiser, I’ve found plotting works a lot better in the long run. Every book has its own notepad filled to the brim with notes and ideas that eventually work their way into the story. I sketch the beginning and the end, and fill out the in-between as I go. Sometimes I don’t even know what happens until I write the scene, honestly, so while plotting is great, pantsing is sometimes necessary. <smile>
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I adore my main characters, but sometimes the secondary ones are who stick in my head the longest due to their personalities or quirks. Delia, Lucy’s best friend in the Donovan Circus series, is Greek, so her English translations are often pretty amusing, as is her penchant for cookies. (She’s a Runner, so high metabolism = no weight gain…perhaps my own real life wish!) [I think that’s everyone’s wish.]
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Oh, for sure. Most of my characters are sarcastic, which is certainly from my own head. Lucy is stubborn and impatient, certainly a testament to my own spirit. My characters might have gifts, but all of them want what everyday people (I) want: to belong, to be heard, to be brave, to be happy.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Yep – I’m a firm believer that when you get stuck, get away from the computer screen and go old school with pen to paper. There’s something about it, for me, where my handwriting has to keep up with my thoughts, and somehow connects the two better. I constantly ask myself “why” from a reader perspective, and even if those details don’t make it into a story, it helps me figure out what needs to get done next and how it can be achieved.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Why? I’m interested in trying my hand at a contemporary thriller or murder mystery. I loved writing my paranormal thriller, but next time it’ll be with regular humans instead of witches. It’ll happen one day!
Which authors inspire you? JK Rowling for sure; Victoria Schwab; Laurie Notaro for her hilarious prose; Casey Bond; Cambria Hebert; and Lauren Miller.
What novel would you read multiple times? I feel like Harry Potter is my immediate go to, but am really looking forward to rereading VE Schwab’s VICIOUS and its beautiful storytelling.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? If I can’t have a unicorn, dogs are a close second. I’m a BIG dog person as I grew up raising them and can’t imagine life without ‘em.
What is your favorite color? It’s a tie between light blue and pink.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Writing is technically my full time job AND part time job – my day job is an Associate Editor for a local magazine publishing company (within that, I’m the editor for a wedding magazine). So the great thing [is] I get to cover local events and stories with nonfiction, then go home on nights and weekends and write fiction stories! It’s truly the best of both worlds! [Very cool.]
Catch up with Liz online at:
Thank you Liz! It was a pleasure getting to know you better. Join me next week when I’ll have Monica Enderle Pierce.