Lizzy Ford, author of Katie’s Hellion, is making a stop by our blog to share some interesting tidbits about her life, her writing, and her books. We are pleased to have her here. She’s even gracing us with an excerpt from Katie’s Hellion. Welcome, Lizzy.
Interview with Lizzy Ford
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
For my latest release, Katie’s Hellion: I had a dream that features the now infamous metro scene, where Katie runs into a little kid that people try to tell her is her son. The rest of the story just built around it.
What do you think readers will appreciate most about your book?
So far, readers have loved Rhyn, the outlawed immortal, and the interactions he has with Katie. The two of them are destined to be mates but frustrate each other. In one scene, he’s read a book on how to treat humans and brings her a bunch of raw fish he pulled straight out of the ocean, which is what he thinks humans eat. They’re both very strong characters, and Katie can hold her own with him, which is something else readers like.
I named the lead character after one of my fans, Katie, who found me soon after I published my first book and has been one of my top cheerleaders since.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. I love flawed characters, and I love that she’s flawed BUT realizes her mistakes before she makes the biggest mistake of all. I guess I hope I have that same sense to realize when I’m wrong before I make mistakes, too.
Tell us a bit about your writing process.
I guess chaos is a good word. Haha! I work on multiple stories at once, never do outlines, and basically see the movie of the story in my head. It changes, so I type as fast as I can to capture a scene before the movie in my head just randomly changes. Sometimes I write in layers, where I’ll finish one character’s point of view, then layer in other characters. Sometimes I write from start to finish with the layers already intact.
I normally revise twice when I’m done, then ship it to my editor, Christine LePorte, who has been just a godsend. She does copyediting in addition to identifying character and plot issues. I spend a day or two fixing the issues she finds then send it back to her for another review. We have an awesome partnership, and she’s an incredible editor.
Why did you decide to become an indie writer?
I tried on and off for 10 years to get an agent and sent many a story into the Great Slush Pile in the sky. If I received a response (which didn’t happen often), it was normally a form letter. At the end of the day, I want people to read my books, and decided I can put them in readers’ hands without agents or publishers.
Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?
It was needlessly long. I told myself for years that Someday, I’d be a real writer. When I met my husband Matt, who’s an IT genius, he introduced me to the epublishing world. I decided that putting off becoming a writer until the magic, perfect Someday was stupid when I could do it today. It’s another full time job, but at the same time, I’ve never felt so satisfied or happy with my life as I have the past few months.
What is the best writing tip you’ve learned?
Hire an editor! Equally, writing is a business and a full-time job.
What is the best promotion tip that helped your book sales?
All my books are free everywhere but Amazon, and I respond personally to any comments on my website or emails from readers. This seems to be a really good combination. I tell folks to read my book for free then buy it if they like it. It’s worked well. I sold 30-40 books a month until May, when I sold 468. I’m on track to sell between 675-700 for June. Considering I started self-publishing in January, I think this is a great start.
Can you tell us a little about your next project?
I have a bunch. My goal this year was to release 12 books. I’ll end up releasing 10, with two of those (the first two I released this year) being re-released after my editor hacks them a part! I normaly release books at the last weekend of the month or during a long weekend, so we have time to upload them everywhere and start the marketing ball rolling.
Here’s my line-up:
June (to be released 02 July)
Maddy’s Oasis; contemporary western novella
Mind Café (revised/edited for re-release)
Kiera’s Moon, contemporary sci-fi/fantasy
Katie’s Hope (Book Two, Rhyn Trilogy)
Damian’s Oracle (revised/edited for re-release)
Rebel Heart, futuristic romance
A Demon’s Desire; contemporary paranormal
Damian’s Assassin (revised/edited for re-release)
Special paperback trilogy release of: Damian’s Oracle, Damian’s Assassin, and Damian’s Immortal
Damian’s Immortal (ebook version)
Links to Lizzy Ford’s books:
My website: http://www.guerrillawordfare.com/
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/LizzyFordBooks
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Lizzy-Ford/e/B004XTTYOC/
Free ebooks: http://www.guerrillawordfare.com/ebooks/
Amazon: Katie’s Hellion: http://www.amazon.com/Katies-Hellion-Rhyn-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B005347RCW/
They’re also available on Barnes and Noble, all other eReader stores and multiple websites where free books are posted.
Read an Excerpt from Katie’s Hellion
Gabriel turned the pages of the Oracle’s book, watching as words scribbled themselves across the parchment, updating a chain of events that changed with every decision made by the Council That Was Seven. Only the long-dead Oracle possessing the book and the deities could see the Past, Present, and Future.
He saw only the Present, like fractured scenes of a movie where the actors continually changed their lines and settings. Words leapt from the pages to form hologram-like images dancing over the book. Friends and strangers alike acted out their stilted scenes before dropping onto the page as words again.
Show me Rhyn.
He always peeked at his friend, whom he’d dropped off in Hell to serve an undeserved sentence. Rhyn’s powers were beyond even Gabriel to control, and the unfortunate immortal was a loose cannon that’d accidently almost destroyed the world more times than he could count.
Gabriel’s lover and master, the deity Death, materialized beside him at the Oracle’s altar in the center of an ancient fortress in the Sanctuary. Each of the four Sanctuaries sat on an island straddling the human and immortal worlds and housed an immortal treasure, such as the Oracle.
He sensed Death’s disapproval.
“I know,” he said, and turned the page in the book to continue watching Rhyn.
Death took her human form out of respect for the women of the convent-like Sanctuary that housed the Oracle. She was beautiful, a woman of sunshine, smiles, and eyes that changed from white to black and every color in between. At close to seven feet with eyes and hair blacker than night and a permanent scowl, he was what most expected Death to look like. Yet the lithe woman with the transparent skin and glow was exactly what people saw when they went: a bright, beautiful, peaceful light.
“I want to know if –”
“Immortals aren’t so far off from humans, are they?” Death mused. “They share their weaknesses.”
“I know what really happened, and I hoped others would figure it out. He doesn’t deserve to be in Hell,” he replied.
“You can’t interfere more than you have. How many times have I warned you about breaking Immortal Code?”
“Does nothing bother you?” he asked without heat, knowing the answer. “And technically, I interfered by making him disappear before anyone figured out he’d saved humanity.”
Death smiled serenely and placed her small hand on the book. He met her gaze.
“All things come to me eventually,” she said, quoting the familiar words. “You, too, you know.”
“And someday Rhyn. He’s on my list, Gabriel.”
He was quiet, the words and holograms before him blurring as he thought. The only immortals on Death’s list were those who were about to become dead-dead. He’d always hoped Rhyn would have another chance, that Hell was a place to stash the dangerous immortal until the world was ready for him.
“He didn’t deserve what he got,” he voiced, troubled. “In all my time, I’ve never felt guilt at what I do.”
“You’re my best assassin, and you’re the only one who can trespass in Hell and return. You had to do what you did. If nothing else, you know he’s safe, and so are the little humans.”
“Are you serious about making him dead-dead soon?”
“Let me show you something,” she said, and stepped up beside him. “Keep in mind, you’re not supposed to be anywhere near the Oracle. Only –”
“Deities and whatever,” he finished with a roll of his eyes.
She gave him a stern glare that made him smile. Her human form was tiny enough that the Oracle’s book reached her shoulder level.
Death’s hand hovered over the pages, and she turned them quickly without touching them. She stopped and touched a page with her fingertip. An image sprung from the paper before them.
The earth in flames, with earthquakes swallowing whole towns and buildings burning.
Gabriel shifted, well aware Rhyn was capable of this.
Death gave him a pointed look, waiting for him to jump to his friend’s defense as he always did. It was hard with the scenes she showed him flickering in front of him.
“The Future isn’t set,” he managed at last.
“It’s not,” she agreed. “But if I don’t make him dead-dead, there’s a good chance this is the fate of the human world.”
“I can’t believe there’s nothing that can be done!” he replied with more emotion than he intended.
“You’re going soft, Gabe.”
“Odd, coming from my best assassin.”
He said nothing, watching the scene. Death closed the book and looked up at him.
“Do you believe in him so much, or do you feel so much guilt?” she challenged.
“I believe in him.”
She considered him for a long moment before turning away. He suppressed a sigh, sensing she was beyond mercy for anyone on her list. Normally, so was he. Death held out her hand, and an hourglass with black sand appeared in her palm.
“He could be such an asset to the Council That Was Seven. Right now, he’s useless to them and anyone else, just an immortal whose freakish power should’ve landed him on my list long, long ago,” she said.
She tipped the hourglass, and black sand began to spill.
“I’ll give him a second chance,” she continued. “For you, my sweet, not for him. But I can’t let him stay alive long, or you’ve seen what’ll happen. When the sand is gone, I’ll make him dead-dead, unless he can learn to control his power and to work with his brothers.”
Gabriel stared, surprised, then dismayed, at her conditions. He watched the sand that was Rhyn’s life and met her gaze.
“And, you can’t break the Immortal Code to help him.”
The restriction smacked him hard, as he’d been ready to drag Rhyn out of Hell as soon as Death was gone.
“How do I get him out of Hell?” he demanded.
“You won’t. Someone else will.”
“The leader of the Council That Was Seven is about to make a decision that will alter all their paths. It involves a woman destined to be the first Ancient’s mate and who’s immune to immortals.”
“He has a mate?”
“He might, if she doesn’t die before the sand runs out.”
Gabriel dwelled on this new information. He wasn’t really sure Rhyn would consider being sentenced to eternity with a mate much of an improvement over Hell.
She slid the Oracle’s book carefully into a satchel and replaced it inside the altar before placing the hourglass in front of him.
“Immortal Code,” she reminded him.
“You won’t kill me,” he remarked, hope and frustration filtering through him. “I’m violating Immortal Code by serving you, by locking Rhyn in Hell to keep Kris from killing him.”
“Take him this, and don’t you dare break the Code again,” she said.
A familiar vial appeared in her hand containing what looked like sand. Rhyn’s name was etched in the immortals’ tongue across the top. It was his immortal powers, which Death had yanked from him when she ordered Gabriel to take him to Hell.
Gabriel took it and smiled, cheered by the thought of the most powerful immortal ever born cursed with the self-control of a five-year-old in a room with fresh-baked cookies and no adult supervision. Rhyn couldn’t do what others wanted, not when he couldn’t control his own powers. Gabriel wondered if even a mate and a second chance could help him.