For the second day in the guest author interview blitz we welcome Elizabeth Rose.
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I write under the name of Elizabeth Rose. I write mostly woman's fiction at the moment (though I've always had a love affair with fantasy), and I also write poetry under my real name.
What first inspired you to start writing?
When I first wrote fiction, it was mostly for entertainment. I was really into the creating of worlds, like Tolkien and Paolini, and into big fight scenes full of sensual gore. I have a good half-dozen of those kinds of stories stored up, but I could never finish them. Because I could never finish my fiction, I abandoned it for awhile and turned all my attention to poetry.
I recently got back into fiction as a kind of counter-reaction to the current mainstream woman's fiction available today. I truly believe in the power that stories have over the way that we see the world- and these novels that glorify abusive relationships and repeatedly fail the Beschdel test just don't seem empowering or life-giving to me at all. I wanted to have something for women to read that was digestible, but not vacuous. So I ended up trying to write it myself.
How do you get yourself in the mood for writing?
I pretty much just force myself to do it. With 'Till the Last Petal Falls I made myself write for no less than ten minutes each class period (I'm still in college), and did this every day. If I felt stuck, I might go do something else creative to 'unblock' myself, such as decorating or cleaning my house, writing a poem, sketch(I painted the rose used on the cover art). I basically refuse to let myself stagnate creatively.
If you could write anyone's biography, whose would it be?
Oh man, hands down- Terry Pratchett. I was raised on his Discworld novels. My biggest influences in life, in order, have been God, Terry Pratchett, and my mother. I would give almost anything to spend time with him and know more about him and how the Discworld, and my favorite characters, came to be. I think it would be the most fruitful discussion.
Where do you get your best ideas from?
From real life, probably. Every character I write is, at the least, a mash-up of a bunch of people I know. I've been blessed to have a ridiculously diverse set of experiences throughout my life- both really fun and also exceedingly horrifying- and it gives me such a wealth of things to write about. I also draw inspiration from the stories that were told to me as a child. I'm fascinated with the myriad of ways that one story can be told in order to provide different meanings. It excites me.
What is your favourite book? And why?
Oh, man- you're going to make me choose? If I could list all of Pratchett's novels, I would... but I'm going to limit myself to something I've read recently, and that would be 'Good Omens', which was a collaborative effort between Pratchett and Gaimen (another favorite), taking a satirical look at the impending apocalypse and what it truly means to be a 'good' or 'bad' person. I'm a very devout Catholic, and seeing the mature theological view of an atheist/agnostic like Pratchett really challenges my way of thinking in so many good ways. I feel like 'Good Omens' is a call to action- like every good book should.
What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Don't settle for writing something 'entertaining'. Write from the heart. Write something that you are completely passionate about. If that happens to be mainstream romance, go for it. But there is plenty of fluff fiction out there- we don't need more. We need more writing for the heart!
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm currently working on the second title of the 'Once Upon a Reality' series, which will take a look at post-partum depression through the lens of Sleeping Beauty. It's tentatively titled 'To Dwell in Dreams', and I'm about half-way through the first draft. I've taken a step back in order to put more work in on my Honors thesis (I graduate December 2013), but I should be going back to it full steam this summer.
Tell us about your latest work and how we find out more.
Till the Last Petal Falls is a dark re-telling of Beauty and the Beast that challenges our notions of how far romantic love can take us in regards to redemption. Though that may sound charming, it is not a story for the faint of heart.
To order the book, selling at the retail price of $16.95, visit mockingbirdlanepress.com
For more information on me, visit: thesingingroses.wordpress.com
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Thanks to Liz for sharing her thoughts with us, tomorrow we welcome Uzuri Wilkerson to the hot seat.