Tuesday, February 15, 2011

M - Interview with Author BFF Elizabeth Mueller

Deirdra: What made you decide to become an author?

Elizabeth: The love I have for creating worlds, people and places and ideas. I enjoy losing myself in my work. It’s a great form of escapism for me.

Deirdra: When did you start writing?

Elizabeth: I started writing back in 4th grade with short poetry. I soon fell in love with the idea of creating my own plots and began with short stories. As I grew into my teen years, I threw my angst thoughts into much more complicated poetry. The creative writing class I took my senior year helped open the door to full-length novel writing.

Deirdra: Is there anyone who has inspired or influenced you in your career?

Elizabeth: The only person I can say that has influenced my writing is my Heavenly Father. He gave me a priceless coping skill of imagination. I grew up in an abusive home and turned to art and role-playing/story skills and whipped up hours and hours of imaginative tales. Being extremely fond of escapism in those days, I latched onto to it with my entire soul and here I am now!

Deirdra: What is the most exciting thing that has happened in your career?

Elizabeth: When I discovered that there are others who share the same passion and zeal for writing. That was a great eye-opener for me. I am not the only crazed person who geeks out over stringing 50,000+ words!

Deirdra: For you, is writing a full time job, part time job, or a hobby?

Elizabeth: Definitely full time! It’s not just writing that I do, but networking with other writers like myself, keeping up with a personal blog, editing my current novel as well as touching on my other novels waiting to be unraveled. I replenish my writing well every quiet moment I am blessed with since I need quiet to do so.

Deirdra: What genres do you write?

Elizabeth: I get lost in the magical world of high fantasy, taste the thrill of YA romance, the adventure in tweeking real life into urban lore, toy with the paranormal stuff, and ride into the sunset with historical. I’ve also twisted mundane into fresh with contemporary. One thing for sure, is that I weave a wisp of romance in most of my works, unless it’s a flat out romance novel. I have a few thrillers in stored away in my “to write” file along with steam punk and science fiction.

Deirdra: Writing a novel is time consuming. What is the most effective method you have found for managing your time?

Elizabeth: You are so right when you say time consuming—boy is it ever. It’s not just the free-writing (creating) that takes time, but especially the editing. A once-over edit is NOT enough. There’s the necessity of first readers, critique partner or group and so on.

This is one of the most difficult challenges I face above all. Time management. I’ve created lists—which fail unless I approach them realistically and apply it from most important. I squeeze networking with other writers as part of novel-writing (career). So that must be balanced in as well along with critiquing others work. As a mother of 4 kids ranging from 5 to 14, I soak in the quite moments while they are at school and after I tuck them in. During the summer time, when there’s no school, I let them stay in their rooms for an hour of “quiet time” to read, draw—be creative, while I am writing. I still use bedtime for writing.

Deirdra: How does physical fitness and nutrition affect writing?

Elizabeth: I feel that in order to keep a sharp and healthy mind, eating nutritiously and keeping fit are vital. There’s no health to the brain with lack of exercising—which stimulates blood flow, real brain food I think. Then eating right helps balance and support a bright mind. I become lethargic when I don’t exercise, hence, no creative chi comes to me!

Deirdra: Do you have a favorite writing snack food?

Elizabeth: Yes! I have a 30 oz mug with me that I strive to keep filled with water at all times. I also love trail mixes without chocolate. This is hard for me, too, because I tend to eat the entire cup of mix in one bout rather than enjoy a bit here and there.

Deirdra: Where is your favorite place to write?

Elizabeth: I love to write on my bed. I prop myself against the headboard with about 4 pillows. Sometimes I sit in the living room with my feet on the ottoman, or on the kitchen table. Other times, which are rare, are at the library. Other exceptions are in my daughter’s room on her floor while she sleeps. I enjoy that the best.

Deirdra: What is your favorite physical fitness activity?

Elizabeth: I love yoga and weights and isokinetic exercises. To get higher impact stuff in, I blast the music volume and DANCE!

Deirdra: What is the most difficult thing about being an author?

Elizabeth: Aside from time management, it is how others treat me. I have a burning passion for it to the point that I become scatterbrained. I’m like, “oh, oh, oh! This and that and—oh!—and that and this!” with no breath.

Imagine trying to curb that passion when others nod politely and say, “that’s nice.”

Writing is isolating stuff. I feel it’s a MUST to find someone who is on the same level of dedication and zeal and love that you have, and partner with them for support.

Deirdra: What is the best thing about being an author?

Elizabeth: There are two best things for me. Escapism, and authors. I fly with the Pegasus, dash with the unicorns, laugh with the mermaids, feel “first love” many times, and overcome trials. The feeling you get while reading a good book is the same thing I get out of writing. Every time.

The next thing is the authors themselves. I can be in a room full of authors and NEVER feel alone. I move from table to table, introducing myself without speculation from others. We all have so much common interest to share, it’s like a reunion with kindred spirits.

It’s the best thing ever!

Deirdra: Is there anything that gives you writer’s block? How do you solve that problem?

Elizabeth: There is only ONE time that I hit writers block hard. It was with my urban fantasy novel, Eros. You see, I was so used to writing books with tangible villains. And this book was the first one without a villain. I put the story down and thought and thought and wondered how I was going to continue. After much medication, I turned to prayer. Okay, this is really personal, so—ahem—during my prayer, I had an impression to take a bath. A bath? Okay. Well, so a bath I took. I eventually fell asleep and dreams crept into my head. The next thing I knew, I was waking up, filled with inspiration on how I was going to continue the book.

That was the very first writers block I’ve ever had in 27 years! I haven’t had one since.

Deirdra: Where do you get your character’s names?

Elizabeth: I have a list of creative names in my sketch binder. But I they also strike me as I write. I can feel, taste, hear, and see my setting along with its people and places. For example, Moggie from Rock Star. Zag is his twin brother. Rhoda’s Bar and Grill is where they hold many of their concerts. Rhoda is the bar owner, she’s pretty cool. Moggie’s real name is Morgan, Zag is Zachary. The inspiration hit me that their nicknames were born from the twins as toddlers. They couldn’t pronounce each other’s names. *Grin*

So it’s the way with every one of my books.

Deirdra: What is the best complement you could receive from a reader?

Elizabeth: Ooh! It’s when my readers ask for more and ask if I’m considering a sequel. Whoot!

Deirdra: What are your goals as an author for the next three years?

Elizabeth: My goals are to complete Rock Star’s polishing for submission and hopefully have an agent by 2015. Also to complete my editing journey for at least three more novels and ready for submission as well, along with a few more novels written. I just love being a writer. J



To learn more about Elizabeth and the awesome work she does please visit her blog at http://elizabethmueller.blogspot.com



3 comments:

  1. *HUGS* Thank you so much for interviewing me. I had fun analyzing myself. I look forward to our fairy tale stories! :D

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  2. Elizabeth is super! That was a great interview!

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