Lizzy Ford is a best-selling author who passes a great deal of her time hob-knobbing in Amazon’s top TEN list (yes, top TEN), but she’s hanging out here today. Even better, she brought an e-copy of her trilogy for one lucky reader (*cheers and applause*) so you guys get comfy and stay with me all the way through to see how you can get your hands on that prize. In the meantime, please meet Lizzy Ford!
Welcome, Lizzy, and thanks so much for being here today. You’ve experienced incredible success with your immensely popular WAR OF GODS series. For readers who may not be familiar with them, can you briefly describe each book in the series?
The “War of Gods” series is a paranormal romance series depicting the ongoing struggle between good and evil – and the immortals and their human mates who are caught in the middle. The first book, “Damian’s Oracle” (released October 2011) is the story of the White God and his Oracle, the cool beauty, Sofia. The second book, “Damian’s Assassin,” (released November 2011) is about the White God’s assassin and the woman who heals his heart and body. The third book (released 02 Dec) tells the tale of the White God’s chief immortal and the mysterious, beautiful Magician he risks his life to save.
Wow, what a great summary. (And intriguing plot threads!) At what point in your writing did you determine this would be a series? Was it your decision or did the characters decide for you?
More like my readers’ decision! The first book had the potential for follow-on books, but it wasn’t until I started receiving feedback that people really did enjoy it – and wanted to know more – that I decided to write a series. I posted a blog post a few months ago asking readers what they wanted me to write for next year. There was an overwhelming request for a sequel to one of my single-titles, so I’m going to do write one. I write fast enough that I leave several slots open in my writing and publishing schedule for readers’ requests.
How gratifying it must be to have your readers so enthusiastically demand more! And, to be able to leave room in your schedule to write for them is amazing. On that very note, you are described as “prolific,” and that almost seems to be an understatement. How many words do you kick off in the average day, and when do you do all of your plotting? Does it come to you as you write, or do your characters poke at you and demand to be heard during the time allotted to your day job?
I’m a freak of nature. Ha! I recently left my fulltime job to concentrate on writing fulltime. When I was working fulltime, I wrote every weekend (10-12 hours) then concentrated on social media/blogging after work during the week. Now, I usually write about 10-14 days a month and spend the rest of the time blogging/social media/connecting/marketing/etc. I can write a book in a week, but I normally end up looking and feeling like I’d gone through a warzone, so I normally allocate about 2 weeks a month to write a book. I can write 5-6K words a day at my normal pace. When I’m motivated, I can bump that up to 10K+ words a day.
As for the process … I guess I’ll start with the demons. J I call my muses ‘demons,’ because they don’t leave me alone. I’m an avid dreamer, and I have a crazy-active imagination. A lot of these dreams are scenes for books or characters or something that helps me create the new story/world. The demons create the stories in my head using dreams and other ideas/stimuli I run across during the day. I basically put them in the oven to bake until they’re ready. I can bake multiple projects at once, so I’ve got my January single-title, book 4 of War of Gods, book 3 of Rhyn Trilogy, sequel to Kiera’s Moon, and book 2 of The Foretold Journey in the oven right now. When it’s time to write, I focus on the book at hand and write.
I rely a great deal on intuitive writing, in that, I write with the knowledge that I don’t always know where I’m going. I write knowing there’s a piece of me I can’t connect with during my waking hours that is guiding the story’s development. Sounds strange, but I don’t outline or plan my stories outside of the mental demons-baking process. Some of the books that are part of a series will receive some planning, because I have to push a much larger world and plot forward.
And that’s how books are, um, … baked. Haha!
Um, dang, woman. I’m pretty sure my jaw is on the floor. You truly have a GIFT! (I feel like I should say a lot more, but I just sort of hear the choir in the background and I’m almost speechless.) Now that we’re all glued to the edge of our respective seats (or unable to pick ourselves off the floor, as the case may be), let’s snag a reader or two. If a reader is unfamiliar with your work, which of your books would you suggest he or she read first? Why?
I would say to read “Damian’s Oracle.” It gives you a feel for both my writing style and the types of paranormal characters I’m intrigued with. It also introduces you to a few of my main themes that you’ll find in many of my books: the struggle between good and evil; imperfect characters that are still worthy of finding love; and the idea that life is full of tough choices.
That said, my readers would probably tell you, “Katie’s Hellion” (Book One, Rhyn Trilogy). The world is messier in the Rhyn Trilogy, with there being a plethora of flawed characters and the line between good and evil is blurred. The Rhyn books are favorites of my diehard fans.
It sounds as if you create strong characters in well-defined worlds, and it’s awesome your readers dig you with such enthusiasm. (I love the sound of a “messy” world, by the way. Thick, entangling plots are faves of mine!) Which genre are you drawn to as a reader? Do you prefer to read in the same genre as your WIP or do you mix it up?
I used to read a lot in the romance genre in general, with preferences for paranormal, fantasy, and more historical romances. I haven’t read much lately, because I’ve been writing a lot. Though, I’ve started to read YA books and found I love them.
I hear you on the lack of reading time. (Too bad I can’t relate on the production front, LOL!) Let’s switch gears a bit. Looking back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters, which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? What makes it so alluring?
Hmmm … tough question. I guess the best scene is actually from “Katie’s Hope” (book 2, Rhyn Trilogy.) At the end of the book, the two main characters are both faced with the choice of death or saving the other. It’s not intimate in the bedroom sense, but the moment they both realize someone worth dying for is someone worth loving, is pretty intense in my book.
Definitely a powerful moment! (Love the “book” pun, LOL.) From love to war . . . have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits? If so, who won – you or the character?
I pretty much let them do what they want!
The only person who sees my stories before I digitally publish them: my editor. She made one hugely important suggestion about “Katie’s Hope” (Rhyn Trilogy, Book Two) that probably saved the book! I’m very glad I did it. The issue was that I’d started out way too slow. The pacing of the Rhyn books is much faster, and there’s more dialogue. I killed it with a few pages of prose upfront in the original version, and my editor gently told me heck no! She was 100% right, too.
That extra eye is awesome, but I’m also impressed you do all this without critiques or beta (test) readers! How do you keep track of plot elements or twists?
In series, I’ll leave myself clues in the books, so I go back and reread the previous books to make sure I didn’t miss anything I need for the next book. Within a book … I weed out anything that doesn’t fit when I revise.
In your case, you don’t go months between the first and last lines, LOL, so I imagine that helps as well. (*Whistles and looks around*). Which of your novels most reflects who you are as a writer? Why?
The one I haven’t released yet. I’ve always thought my upcoming book, “Elle’s Journey,” felt magical. I don’t know if it reflects who I am as a writer, but it’s the story that’s been buried for over ten years that I’ve always really connected with.
It’s amazing to connect powerfully with a story—I bet it will really resonate with your readers, too! What are you currently working on?
I’m getting ready to release my debut young adult fantasy novel, “Elle’s Journey” (Book One, The Foretold Trilogy.) I started out writing fantasy, but I spent the year writing and releasing various types of romances. I wanted to give my fantasy world a go and decided to try the YA market.
Best of luck to you with that release, Lizzy! Let’s take a closer look at DAMIAN’S ORACLE now.
Caught in the war between the White and Black Gods, Sofia and her rare gift bring victory to he who grabs her first. Her difficult transition from human to oracle forces her into a new world, where she struggles in her role as Damian’s mate and to help a mysterious man who’s supposed to be dead.
LIZZY FORD | bio & author links
Lizzy Ford is the hyper-prolific author of the paranormal romance series: “Rhyn Trilogy” and “War of Gods” series; and the YA fantasy trilogy, “The Foretold,” all of which launched in 2011. She has also authored multiple single title young adult fantasy and paranormal romances. Lizzy’s books have reached the bestseller lists on both Amazon US and Amazon UK in multiple categories. Widely considered a freak of nature by her contemporaries for her ability to write and publish a new book every 30-45 days, Lizzy attributes her success to a team that consists of her editor, graphics artist, I.T. Sherpa, and her rabid readers. Lizzy’s books can be found on every major ereader library, to include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Smashwords.
Don’t y’all go scootin’ off to those buy links just yet! As promised, Lizzy brought with her an e-copy of her WAR OF GODS trilogy set and one lucky reader will leave here with it. Simply comment with your email address, and if you’re so inclined, please share which of Lizzy’s books is at the top of your reading list. Already read them? Which was your favorite? Let us know, and you might win!
I’d like to thank you all for joining me today. Lizzy, it has been an honor, and please don’t be disturbed if you’ve caught me trying to sniff some of your super-productive mojo. A girl’s gotta try, right? :c)