I can’t read anything this indie author writes without smiling. Liz is intelligent and insightful with a great sense of humor – just the right amount of wacky. She posts the best pics to Twitter, hands down, and I fully believe that one day I will be the one to say “I told you so” when it’s revealed that Liz is actually an undercover agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.
In the meantime, let’s get to know the real Liz Long…
Super Rapid Fire Question Round
What is your all-time favorite book and why?
I think that would have to be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. To me, it’s the first book in that series that really shows emotional angst for Harry between being a teenager, dating your first crush, and of course, being hunted by Lord Voldemort. We get to see our characters developing into real wizards with the DA (like Neville growing into being a badass), plus the introduction of accepting those deemed a little strange, like Luna Lovegood. We feel our first real loss with a major character as well as the real danger now that dark wizards are out in the open by the end. It’s a full scale of emotions and really sort of sets the rest of the stage for the series, IMO.
Are there popular fictional characters your book’s characters could relate to and why?
Oh gosh, it’s probably still a little early in the game for me to presume I can be compared to another author. BookBub compared my Donovan Circus book to the Hunger Games, with a female character destined to discover who she is and stand up for her world. I’m sure my circus folks could hang with any X-Men character, while my characters from WITCH HEARTS would get along well with the Halliwell sisters from Charmed or Sookie Stackhouse and her friends.
Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?
One of my favorite lines is one Lucy says in the first chapter when explaining why she’s rejoining the Donovan Circus:
“I wanted to be normal amongst the freaks.”
Family and a sense of belonging are heavy themes in my first book and this line sums Lucy up perfectly. Lucy has never been “normal” anywhere in the human world. She thinks – hopes, really – that she can find her place in the gifted world in the circus she used to know. She’s been a loner her whole life because of her gift and now that there’s an opportunity to be a part of something, she’s happy to include herself in the strange gaggle that is the Donovan gang.
What type of music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?
I listen to a lot of soundtracks, especially movie scores, like Avengers, Sherlock Holmes, and anything else that contains some action type of music. Honestly, nothing has been more motivating for me lately than to hear a reader I’ve never met before tell me how much they loved my work and can’t wait for another book to read. It’s such an amazing feeling to affect someone’s book list and I’m honored to be a part of it. It’s a total kick in the butt to know people are eagerly anticipating another title and makes me want to write that much faster.
Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you’re writing?
I love Skittles to snack on during the process, though my teeth beg me to stop. I’m also never opposed to a fresh new 20 oz. Diet Coke within reach, but that’s only once a week at most. The rest of the time it’s H2O!
Can you tell us what you’re working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?
I am currently working on the second book in the Donovan Circus series. Next up is an NA fantasy novel with a unique twist on Reapers.
The “Long” Story
Liz Long is lucky enough to have a dream career in magazine publishing as an editor and writer, yet still have time to create adventures on the side. If you catch her staring off into space or talking to herself, don’t worry – it’s just her imagination at work.
Liz graduated from Longwood University with a BA in English, though her professors might be disappointed to hear she reads more fantasy fiction than literary novels. She also loves action and thriller genres. This book probably won’t change your life, but she hopes it steals you away from reality for a while.
Even in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.
Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.
When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.
How does a witch stay safe if a killer can get through her protection spells?
Witches like Ruby and Courtney can take care of themselves. So when Courtney is murdered, Ruby’s world crashes to a halt. The only thing keeping her grounded is the return of Courtney’s brother, Cooper. He seeks revenge, but Ruby wants to help other witches stay alive. To do that, she’ll have to reunite with her old coven’s High Priest, who also happens to be her cheating ex-boyfriend.
If that wasn’t awkward enough, when the killer gets too close, Cooper temporarily moves into Ruby’s place while a police officer tails her every move. Cooper’s presence distracts Ruby as they fight their desire against their need to stay safe. Then Courtney begins to haunt Ruby’s dreams and secrets are spilled, things from Cooper’s past that could get them both killed. The killer continues to stalk Ruby and the more she discovers, the more she fears she won’t be able to keep her heart in her chest.
Here’s a Special Excerpt from Witch Hearts…
Cooper and Ruby hopped on his bike and drove back to her place. She even managed to peek out from beneath her helmet to see the city whip past her in a blur. When they finally came to a stop, she untangled herself from him – albeit a tad regretful about it – and handed him back the helmet.
“Thanks again for everything tonight. I know it wasn’t the most fun you could have, but I want everyone to be safe,” she said.
“I understand. I’m glad I went, too. I don’t want anyone else in danger. Plus, you’re good company.” He stood up as he said it, hooking the helmets on his bike.
“You don’t have walk me in or anything. I don’t want to keep you any longer than you need.”
He snorted. “You’re not keeping me from anything. I want to do it, but especially because I want to make sure you’re safe.”
Ruby bit her bottom lip. Her nerves fluttered a bit at the thought of a possible goodnight kiss. She could hardly believe how immature she sounded in her head.
It’s your best friend’s brother. This is Cooper we’re talking about, a voice in her head screamed at her.
Another voice spoke up. Yeah. It’s Cooper. And your thoughts about him have never been exactly brotherly.
Shaking both voices away, she swiped her key fob by the entrance door and Cooper held it open for her. They took the stairs up to the second floor and walked around the corner to her apartment. Ruby stopped as soon as she saw her door.
“Something’s wrong,” she said.
“What? How can you tell?” He looked up and down the hallway.
“There was a barrier when I left. Remember I checked, put my hand on the door when we left? My spell was in place.”
“There was a soft glow on the door,” he said absentmindedly, as though remembering. His eyes narrowed and Ruby could see his veins throb in his neck as his jaw tightened.
“Only witches would be able to see it, but it’s not there.” Ruby took a few steps forward, placing her hand on the door, which was now simply cool and wooden. She retrieved her key and turned the lock, but Cooper stopped her.
“I’ll go in first.”
He swung the door wide open; he held his hands up in case of a fight or a spell, but silence greeted them. Cooper did a quick sweep of the apartment while Ruby waited in the entryway. He returned with Aziza in one arm and a letter in his hand.
“This was on your coffee table,” he said grimly. “Aziza was hiding behind the couch. She hissed until she realized it was me.”
Ruby took the note from him. As she opened it, Cooper stood beside her to read over her shoulder.
“Not all witches are equal. Some are born with extraordinary gifts; anyone can practice, but few are truly powerful. You are one of the lucky ones, Ruby. I apologize about your friend Courtney. She was powerful, but nowhere near your capabilities. I’m afraid that in order for my powers to thrive, yours must come to an end. I’ll be seeing you very soon. –X”
Thanks to indie author Liz Long for stepping into the spotlight this week. Find out more about the YA Author Club at http://yaauthorclub.blogspot.com.