INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF, "AN AFFINITY FOR SHADOWS" LIZ NEWMAN
Hello Liz, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure to have the chance to get to know more about you and your writing. First tell us about your newest novel and why you decided to write it.
Thanks for having me as a guest. It's great being a part of this wonderful community. My newest release, The Last Day King, is a fantasy/time travel romance based in Arthurian legend. It is a culmination of my obsession with medieval history, Arthurian legend, and the concept of having a soul mate. In essence, a timeless love which knows no boundaries or limits, even those of the physical body. The Last Day King was released by Gypsy Shadow Publishing and will debut as an eBook. The print book will be released as soon as we have receive blurbs from the reviews to print on the back cover.
Tell us about some of your hobbies, things you like to do in your spare time.
Writing is my number one hobby and tied with reading. Beyond that, I'm an existential type of person, so I enjoy activities I can perform while still meditating in action. Jogging, yoga, pilates, hiking; any physical activity I can engage in while allowing new story ideas to percolate in my mind are very enjoyable for me. Cooking and dining out aren't necessarily hobbies, but I indulge in those activities as much as I can, as I am a foodie. Most of my friends find me stuffing a bunch of basil in their noses as soon as they walk into the kitchen. I love to see that content look after they inhale my herb. Hey, I'm talking about basil!
What is the one most rewarding thing in your life right now?
Hands down, the most important thing to me right now are my children and family. Even though being the mother of four young children can be taxing, I try to remind myself everyday that this time with them is so fleeting. That in ten years or even less they'll have their own lives and be off with their friends. Tissue, please.
When reading for pleasure do you tend to stick to the same genre you write or do you like to read other genres as well?
I read a variety of genres as I have eclectic tastes. Music, art, literature, food; ah yes, there's that food thing again. I like to savor life and be adventurous. My comfort zone is in reading romance, but I do pick up any books that sound interesting to me, whether they be set in The Great Depression, Ancient China, or the Red Room of Pain. As long as the writing is good, I'll read it and enjoy it. Which is why I'm not a very good critic. It takes a lot out of heart for an author to get a story down on paper, and talent to have that story published. I appreciate that. In many ways, I have never read a terrible book. But maybe I've just been lucky.
When was it that you realized writing was what you wanted to do with your life?
Writing has always been my calling. I never feel more alive than when I get those words down on paper. If I have to stop writing due to time constraints, I dream about words and stories. What drives me mad is that I cannot remember those words or stories when I wake up. They bury themselves deep into my subconscious and refuse to come out unless I make a concerted effort to connect with the world where I create my own fiction.
When can we expect your next book out and can you give us a sneak peek?
The Movie Star's Wife, a novella released by Breathless Press, will be out on July 12fth. Please check out the book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoOkYs9tTUg
Back in your high school career, who was the one teacher you would say made a profound difference in your life, if any?
The English Honors class I was enrolled in for my junior and senior years made a significant difference in my life. Reading the great classics such as "Walden", "The Great Gatsby", and "A Separate Peace" opened my mind to that innate longing and need for completeness that all people struggle with. Unfortunately, I went to a very strict, religious based school, so after every novel there would always be a lecture as to why the main character didn't need to have that conflict if they had only found God. That didn't help me to like my teacher very much.
I did have a sixth grade teacher who encouraged my writing, who knew what I meant when I wrote that I could smell rain and how the elements can be so much like a dance. Her name was Ms. Stacey Kennedy and I will always remember the warm smile she would bean upon me after she read my work aloud to the class.
What dreams do you have for future generations that you'd like to share with others?
I fear that the leisure art of reading will suffer since our generation, and undoubtedly, future generations will be further pressed for time by giving into distractions. My dream is that these distractions will no longer be a trend. That future generations will realize the sweet indulgence of taking their time when it comes to leisure activities. That they will be more willing to get lost in a novel rather than have a hasty quick read.
One off the board question I like to ask, is what are your views as far as 2012, and do you believe in the Mayan Calendar?
Every fifty years or so, we have this scare that the end of the world is nigh, the rapture, Armageddon, nuclear war, what have you. People get freaked out because of natural disasters, nutty religious groups, or the deaths of people who they consider close to God, and then they think the end of the world is coming. Personally, after the tsunami in Japan and seeing some kooky religious dogma on You Tube about how cataclysmic events of horrible pain and suffering must happen before this particular religion's version of a Messiah could return, and how people of this certain religion need to hasten these events of pain and suffering by causing these horrible events, I did stock up on canned foods, bottled water, potassium iodide, and emergency supplies. So now that I have this cache of items I can take care of my family with, I can live every day without the fear that I will not be prepared. I don't believe anything is going to happen, but if it does, I'll be ready.
The Mayan Calendar is something I haven't really researched, but I think the calendar guy wanted to hop on the field and play a ball game on the last recorded day. Maybe he was gravely injured and didn't want to hand that job to anyone else, so he just moaned "game over" and dropped dead. There goes my dark sense of humor again.
Sorry, I needed to lighten that question up a bit. Just seize the day, everyone. But don't max out your credit cards.
Finally, do you have any advice you'd like to give to other aspiring authors, also please leave us your links where we can find out more about you.
Commit to quality. Write quality stories. Make sure they are the best stories you have in you with the best prose you can craft it with. And write first for your reader base, second to work out your own inner demons.
And last but not least, always find the light from the shadows.
Please do visit my website at: www.lizrnewman.net
You can also connect with me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/LizRNewmanAuthor and on myspace at lizrnewman and twitter at Liz_RNewman