Book Nerd Interview
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
Probably during the 2nd grade, when I submitted a great story about a unicorn and lose to a kid who wrote about a soccer game. I was insulted some boring story had won and knew I wanted to be a writer to put my own stories out there about the fantastical creatures in my mind.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. We learn, grow, laugh, fear for all these characters we hear about and without stories, our imaginations would be totally useless. Imagination is important, not just as kids, but as adults, too. It’s how we stay young at heart! Plus, doesn’t everyone want to get swept away into a literary escape?
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
It’s okay to take your time with your work. If we rush (which I’m prone to do thanks to impatience), then we’re not putting out our best work at the time. It’s okay to take a step back so that the WIP has a few weeks to settle, then go back and try again. As an indie, we make our own deadlines and while it’s important to do your best work, it takes more time for some than others--and that’s okay.
In your new book; Gifted: A Donovan Circus Novel, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
Essentially, it’s about a world of people who call themselves “Gifted” which of course means they all have unique powers. Sort of like X-Men, but only one power per person. In order to hide themselves from humans, lots of them are in traveling circuses. Lucy, our main character, rejoins her childhood circus after she loses her parents and must prove her worth while figuring out how to belong, who to trust, and what she wants. Then a troupe member is murdered; the blame is pointed at Lucy and now she has to clear her name, all the while avoiding the killer and learning more about the Donovan Circus history.
It’s unique, that’s for sure. There’s a strong theme of belonging, as well as trusting others. Lucy gets turned around several times on that fact and usually any answers she gets leads to more questions. It’s action-packed, I’m told, and full of that old-school Buffy the Vampire Slayer type of wit.
If you could introduce Lucy to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Probably Katniss from Hunger Games. Lucy is headstrong like she is, but I feel like Katniss would tell Lucy to stop complaining so darn much and just GO DO IT already. Whatever “it” might be.
Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
I wanted to give readers a story that was supernatural, but didn’t contain the usual vampires/witches/werewolves. That stuff is great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes we need a break from the “norm” of paranormal we see. This is the kind of story you don’t really see everyday and hasn’t been done before (at least I think. I hope. Egads).
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently working on a YA title, which I’m hoping turns out to be a trilogy the way I’ve set it up. It actually takes place in the Gifted world that we see with my first book, but with completely different characters and storyline. A teen, Nova, goes through a tragedy and decides to go after a crazed killer--who may or may not be gifted, too. I also plan to start working on the 2nd novel in the Donovan Circus series soon.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Everyone probably says this, but reading other writing styles has always helped me develop mine. I have a very short, concise style of writing, but there are so many authors who are different and write beautifully. It’s nice to examine other styles from authors you really enjoy, plus you get to read, so that’s always a plus.
Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My best friend Erica. If she’s not around, I usually vent to my mom. Or the dog. I’m not picky about who I complain to :)
When was the last time you cried?
I’m Irish; we don’t cry, we drink!
What are you most passionate about today?
Today? Milkshakes. But usually, it’s safe to say I’m passionate about animals (SPCA), whether it’s volunteering, donating items, or just loving on my own pound puppy at home.
What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
Pizza. You can put anything on it and it’s (almost) always delicious. Plus, I hear it’s a vegetable now. I haven’t had pizza all week, actually. Must go fix now!
Where can readers stalk you?
Twitter: (Handle: @LizCLong) https://twitter.com/#!/LizCLong
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/lizclongauthor
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.
You can purchase Gifted at the following Retailers:
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