Liz was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario (a fellow Canadian!), where she still resides. She is a massive horror fan, vampire enthusiast, and self-confessed sci-fi nerd. Some of her favourite things include spicy food, soccer, rainy days, books, movies, and musical theatre. Mythology and historical mysteries have long enthralled her, and you will often find them touched upon in her works. When not reading, writing or spending time with her family Liz hopes to travel the world. She has her sights set on Greece, Mexico and Easter Island. You can find out more about Liz at http://www.lizstrange.com/
We'll have details on Liz's generous GIVEAWAY after the interview!
We'll have details on Liz's generous GIVEAWAY after the interview!
♥ Thanks so much for stopping by, Liz. For those who may be new to your writing, and who haven't yet checked out your latest release, please tell us a little about yourself.
Well I tend to write in the paranormal/fantasy/horror genres, but my latest release is a mystery titled Missing Daughter, Shattered Family (David Lloyd Investigations Book 1). It follows the life of a Toronto area former police officer turned PI, whose new case starts to hit a little close to home. As he tries to locate a troubled young women, David starts to reflect on how he is also hiding from a painful past, and living his life at least partially under a veil of shame.
Blurb: When a brutal homophobic attack ended David Lloyd's career as a police officer, his life was changed forever. Five years later David is running his own private detective agency, where a missing person's case comes to his attention. Digging into the circumstances of her disappearance forces David to realize he has not dealt with what happened to him, and that he can no longer deal with his long-time partner's fear of being honest about their relationship.
Solving the case might not only bring peace to a shattered family, but could finally put David's own demons to rest.
♥ The journey from 'aspiring' to 'accomplished' can be a long one, even in the era of small presses and digital publishing. When did you begin writing, and how did you feel when you first saw your work in print?
I have been writing since I was a child, and English/creative writing were always my strongest subjects. I didn’t try to do anything with my writing professionally until about 2007-08, after a tumultuous personal experience. I pulled out something I had written many years before, cleaned it up and began sending it out. It was picked up by Lyrical Press, and was published as My Love Eternal, becoming the first book in my paranormal romance series. I’ve been writing steadily since then, and have released 5 novels, two novellas and several short stories.
I also write screenplays and made the finals for the 2011 Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition with my original piece, Nightwalker.
♥ Did you deliberately choose a genre because there's something specific that draws you to it, something you feel it offers that other genres don't, or was it just 'right' for the story you wanted to tell?
I don’t think I made a deliberate choice to write in the genres I do, I simply write the stories that I love to read about. I love the scary, creepy, dark and interesting. I am also a huge history/mythology junkie, and I like incorporating tales that spark my interest into my stories. This is very evident in my Dark Kiss series.
♥ How does your past influence your writing? Are you conscious of relating the story to your own experiences?
I often use past experiences, people who I’ve encountered, etc as inspiration for characters in my novels. Many of my character names are twists on actual people and/or celebrities who I like.
♥ Do you have a schedule or a routine to your writing? Is there a time and place that you must write, or do you let the words flow as they demand?
Not at all. I work full-time at a hospital and am a single mom to four kids, so I write whenever I have a spare moment.
♥ Wow, just finding time to write is an accomplishment all on its own! For some authors, it's coming up with a title, and for others it's writing that first paragraph - what do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing?
I always find endings difficult. I like to tie things up as best I can for myself and the reader, but I also like to leave enough open that I can revisit the story or characters at a later date.
♥ Sometimes, characters can take on a life of their own, pulling the story in directions you hadn't originally anticipated. Has a twist or turn in your writing ever surprised you, or really challenged your original plans?
Yes. The idea I fleshed out for the origin of vampires is very interesting, and not what I had originally pictured. Again, this comes back to my love for world mythology. I took inspiration for an article I had read about Mohenjo-daro and ran with it, combining it with the world I had created in the Dark Kiss series, and it came together beautifully. No spoliers!
♥ When you're not writing (or reading), what are some of the hobbies and passions that keep you happy?
I love watching movies and spending time with my family.
♥ Is there a particular author who has influenced or inspired your writing? Somebody who either made you want to write in the first place, or who refreshes your literary batteries?
I think my first loves in reading were Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Then it was Anne Rice. When I found the Vampire Chronicles I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! As I got older I started to expand my reading selection and tried some classic literature, fantasy and mysteries. I’m a big fan of H.P. Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde, Tanya Huff, Michael Slade and the wonderful mystery writers like Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell and Karen Slaughter.
♥ Great choices - nice to see Tanya Huff and Michael Slade (fellow Canadians), getting some love! What is the strangest or most surprising reaction to your work that you've ever encountered?
I actually had a reviewer say my work was blasphemous because of the way angels were portrayed in my novel The Embrace of Life and Death. I don’t want to spoil anything for readers who’d like to try this one, but that was unexpected! To each his own, I guess.
♥ Just for fun, who would you single out as your number one celebrity crush, and what would you like most to do with/to them?
I would have to say Rutger Hauer. And I don’t think I can answer that latter part of that question in polite company.
♥ Great choice - so many great movies, but Ladyhawke has to be my favourite! If you could live a day in the world of someone else's story, whose would you choose, and why?
I would love to live a day as Cleopatra. She was an amazing woman-strong, intelligent and not afraid to stand up to her male counterpoints
♥ She could definitely be interesting. Is there a particular theme or message you're expecting readers to take away from your work?
I would hope that readers walk away feeling entertained and challenged a bit in their thinking. I am a very open-minded person, and I love to learn about new cultures, history, religion and ways of life.
♥ Finally, before we let you go, what can we look forward to from you next? Is there a project on the horizon that you're really excited about?
I am working on the second book in my mystery series and trying my hand at my first sci-fi/action novel. I also have plans for a new screenplay, and have a few other projects going on that I’m not at liberty to discuss just yet.
Thanks for having me!
Liz has generously offered an e-book copy of her latest, Missing Daughter, Shattered Family, to one lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment below with your name and email address so she can get in touch. That's all it takes but, as usual, bonus entries abound - get one for following Liz on Twitter, for following Liz on Goodreads, or for following myself on Goodreads!
We'll draw the winners next Friday (November 11th)!