Chatting with Lizzie T. Leaf
Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Making up stories in my head is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. In school, when the English teacher said, “time to write a short story,” most of the class groaned but I celebrated. It usually meant an A. I did attempt to seriously write at numerous times over the years and I won’t bore anyone with details, but it’s safe to say, life got in the way.
After I became widowed, pouring out grief in a diary eventually led to attempting a short story. When I gathered the courage to show the story to the new man in my life and he asked why was I wasting my time on other things instead of writing, he pushed me off the fence where I’d been teetering for so long.
I joined a writing group, met three aspiring writers new to the group, and we bonded together as critique partners. All three of us are now published.
Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer?
I’ve always loved to read and as I stated earlier, make up stories in my head. The buried dream became reality through the encouragement of my now husband. He’s my rock and when things aren’t going well with a book, he’s there to listen to me grumble and the prod me to keep at it.
Your work is very popular with readers and reviewers; how does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
I love it when a reader emails or comes up to me to say how much they enjoyed a book of mine. The comments I get most are on the characters and the humor. I love humor!
What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Theme or the central idea, setting to give the reader enough information to visualize where the story takes place, enough conflict to keep the story moving forward, a plot that relates to conflict and characters that a reader can like, hate (antagonist) or identify with.
Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
I have a mental picture of what the character will look like and then write their story—their likes, dislikes, fears, family relationships, career, etc.
The one I’ve enjoyed the most so far is Emma in Beyond Magic. Her tourism background brought back memories that made me laugh.
The most challenging, Amber in Call Me in trying ded to figure out the type of personality that could succeed in the world of phone sex.
Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Another release in the Magical Love series is currently in the works. This one will feature Cori, Emma’s roommate.
I’m also working on a Mainstream with a possible YA crossover to it. Or at least my librarian friend, whom I shared the idea with, thinks that’s the case. Time will tell.
Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
Do you have a strict writing schedule? How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I attempt one, but am not always successful. Things come up that divert me onto a path not planned. On good days, I pop into email and the social sites for an hour and then close them out. Sometimes to avoid temptation I’ll move to a laptop that has no internet in order to really focus on writing.
The balancing act can challenge this writer for sure. Family is important to me and at times I put their wants first and then get annoyed with myself because it was something that could have waited.
Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced you work?
I enjoy a lot of authors. Right now I’m caught up in Melissa Mayhue’s series, but have to put reading the new release on hold…dang! Enjoy Robert McCammon, Dianna Gabaldon, Marie Treanor, Sam Cheever, Raine Delight, and have several books of my fellow Passion in Print authors waiting to be read. When someone mentioned my work reminded them of Mary Janice Davidson, I had to get one of her books. After reading it, I felt honored by the comparison and of course had to read more. You see, my list goes on and on…LOL
Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
Probably character driven, but there has to be a plot, otherwise there would be nothing happening. Even strong characters need conflict and a plot to create a story!
Sneak Peek into Beyond Magic, Book 1 in The Magical Love Series
Available at Passion in Print
More information can be found at Lizzie's website HERE
Following the Powers directive to unite soul mates, a Scottish Cailleach's magic will have repercussions in several realms.
Mixed-blood Ian McCabe, grandson of Fae and gods tries to deny his powers.When he discovers mortal, Emma Grant unconscious at the bottom of the steps to his castle, his world starts to change.
Tour director Emma Grant's bus breaks down and her effort to find help results in a fall that knocks her unconscious.She awakens to find the man of her dreams staring into her eyes.
But will his secrets and her distrust of men tear them apart?
"Powers that be,
I ask of thee,
Show me the good,
Show me the bad,
Show me the ones,
I am to make glad."
Hands, gnarled and wrinkled, old as time itself, waved back and forth over the crystal ball. Fog obscured what moments earlier had been clear glass. As the mist dissipated, the blurred image of a man appeared.
The Cailleach gasped and her eyes widened with surprise. "Nae, it canna be."
The face came into focus and she had no doubt about one of the lovers. She knew of no one else on any realm with hair that shade of gold, streaked with fire.
He ran a hand through the top of his unruly mop. Eyes, blue as the sapphire DooNell wore around her neck, stared directly at her for a moment, before turning to the computer screen on his desk.
Still unsure of what to make of the vision, the old hag started another chant and waved her hands across the glass orb once more.
"Powers that be,
Show more to me,
Show me the one fair,
Who needs to be there."
Once again, the fog in the ball swirled, then lifted. The hag stared at the face of a female. Not the young girl she expected, but a woman seasoned by life. The Cailleach watched as the female swept a heavy mane of rich auburn hair from her neck, and stared as if she viewed the hag. A puzzled frown puckered her brow, and her sherry colored eyes darkened. The crone's heart beat a rapid tattoo until she remembered she could not be seen by the mortal.
A woman's voice called from another room, "Emma, where are you?"
"In here, Cori. How was your day?" The one DooNell now knew to be Emma pulled a piece of chocolate out of the bag by her hand and popped it in her mouth before she turned toward the door behind her. "Sure hope it was better than mine."
Through no request from the old crone, the crystal ball clouded over and the image and voices were gone. The mist cleared again and two faces, side by side, now stared from the glass, each pair of eyes reflecting their longing for something unseen.
"So be it." The Cailleach bowed her head in surrender to what the Powers required. She pulled in a deep breath before summoning the energy she needed for the task ahead.
Eyes opened wide, arms outstretched, she set the magic in motion to bring two beings together.
"Winds of the earth,
Currents of the sea,
Let these two,
Find the love,
They need to be."
Slumping back in her chair, the Cailleach sighed. She had done her part to set their discovery of love for each other into play. Now it was up to the universe to carry it forth.
Far harder would be explaining to Oberon why she had interfered in the life of his only grandchild. Neither the Faerie King, nor the entities involved from the other realms, would be happy with her over this potential new love she'd just set into motion.
"Ah, DooNell, lass. May be it, you be getting too old for this business of magical love?"
She sighed and forced her weary bones from the chair. There was much to do if the will of the Powers could succeed, and she had been given the task to make sure it did. Too many worlds were involved to leave the uniting of Emma and Ian to chance.