Award winning author Lizzie T. Leaf
Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf
started life in Kansas, continued her growing in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado. She has numerous e-books in varying lengths and her first print book, Struck by Lightning
, won dual 2007 Beacon awards, in addition to being a finalist in two other contests.
In addition, Making Christmas
, a Christmas Historical novella set during the Civil War won Love Romances Café Best Historical for 2011. Beyond Magic
, the first book in the Magical Love series won the 2012 Award of Excellence Best Paranormal/Fantasy/Sy-Fi
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals.
When not creating mischief for paranormal beings, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She also serves as President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers. Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband during her free time, on which most of friends ask…“what free time?”
Connect with Lizzie at her website, Facebook, Follow her on Twitter,
And keep up with her happenings on her blog.Lizzie was gracious enough to answer a few questions for her readers:WPMP: Do you listen to music while writing?
Lizzie: Most definitely. The kind of music varies, depending on the book or the scene. When I worked on Making Christmas, I listened to a lot of music from the Civil War era. For really heart wrenching scenes, I like Phantom of the Opera.
WPMP: What is your favorite outfit?
Lizzie: I don’t really have one. At home, I like comfortable…shorts in summer, jeans in winter. At conferences I try to dress professionally with a touch of splash for fun. I love hats and scarves, too.
WPMP: How long did it take to have your first book published?
Lizzie: Less than two years after I became serious about writing. Or at least that’s the timeline for the contract. The actual release date came a few months later…probably around the 2 year mark after deciding that writing is what I wanted to do with my new life.
WPMP: What authors inspire you?
Lizzie: I’m inspired by everyone who has the courage to put their words down and let others read them. They become fair game for anyone who does to praise or slam and that takes personal strength.
WPMP: Where do you get the inspiration for your plots/characters?
Lizzie: Any and everywhere. Some comes from past memories, others from someone waking down the street, or at the next table in a restaurant. Plus, movies, news casts, talk shows and at times, just taking a look around at the environment you’re in at that moment.
WPMP: What is your favorite dessert?
Lizzie: Ice cream!!!!! I can eat a carton at one setting. Of course, I’ll be sick afterward, but I do love the stuff. Especially chocolate with peanut butter swirled through it!....YUMMMY!!!!!
WPMP: Has it become easier to complete manuscripts the more you have written?
Lizzie: For me it varies. There are some books that fight every word through the process. Then others flow threw my fingers onto the keyboard like water, the characters sitting on my shoulder whispering the words and suggestions. Love it when that happens!
WPMP: Do you have any trunk novels?
Lizzie: Oh, yeah. Buried really deep in the back of the closet!
Award Winning Author Jasmine Haynes
Award-winning Jasmine Haynes is the author of sensual and classy erotic romance and a 2007 Rita Finalist, two-time Holt Medallion winner, and winner of the NRCA. She writes for Loose-Id and Berkley, including the Fortune Hunter Trilogy and her Courtesans Tales. Coming in 2011, she brings readers a breath-taking new erotic trilogy from Berkley Heat, The DeKnight Tales, starting with Past Midnight
in May. She also masquerades as Jennifer Skully, writing over-the-top, hilarious romantic mysteries and is the winner of the prestigious Daphne du Maurier award. Look for a brand new Jennifer Skully novel this summer! And of course, Jasmine is the author of the award-winning Max Starr psychic mystery series. Look for the Max Starr Series in print!And now, an exclusive interview with Jasmine:
Jasmine: Thanks so much for having me. A little background on myself, as Jasmine Haynes, I write erotic romance for Berkley Heat and LooseID, and am the author of the paranormal mystery Max Starr Series. I also write funny romantic suspense as Jennifer Skully.
WPMP: Do you follow a strict writing schedule?
JH: Definitely. My day starts with my promo stuff, like Facebook, Twitter, my blog, guest blogs, and interviews. Then I start writing about 10 am. If I’m working on a first draft, my goal is to write 2500 words a day, and if I’m in the revision process, the goal is to revise 3 chapters a day. when I adhered to that schedule. I used to be an accountant and we’re very regimented, LOL!
WPMP: Do you write in an office?
JH: I have a home office with a lovely view. In fact, I was inspired to write my Rita finalist Somebody’s Lover while looking at the view outside my window. The book is about a family of tree trimmers and the view that particular day happened to be my very attractive tree trimmer climbing around in my trees, LOL!
WPMP: Do you listen to music while writing?
JH: I know a lot of writers are inspired by music, but I actually prefer silence when I’m writing. However, the song which inspired me while I was writing Dead to the Max was “You’re Gone” by Diamond Rio. Funnily enough, in Baby, I’ll Find You, my latest book under my pseudonym, Jennifer Skully, the title of the book is inspired by the song my hero writes.
WPMP: How long does it typically take you to finish a manuscript?
JH: I just finished The Principal’s Office, Book 3 in The DeKnight Trilogy, which took me a little less than three months to write and revise. It’s a full-length book at 90,000 words. Novellas like Kinky Neighbors, which is about 40,000, take six weeks.
WPMP: How do you decide on character names?
JH: I have a large file full of fun names. Many of them come from spam or reading the credits of movies! A writer is never bored, not even while sitting through credits or sifting through spam. I also have a cross reference file for all the books so that I don’t duplicate names. But ultimately, a name has to strike a chord in me. And sometimes it can be something quite random. I remember sitting in an airport, and hearing the name Angela Rocket over the loudspeaker. I got the ahah moment and knew that was the perfect name for a character in Power to the Max, the 4th book in the Max Starr series. LOL, later I heard the name repeated, and it was actually Angela Crocker, but I still used Angela Rocket because it was so right for my character.
WPMP: Do you ever suffer from writers block? How do you deal with this?
JH: I’m never short of ideas; I fall asleep by making up stories. So writer’s block to me is when the story just isn’t working. I push through and keep writing, but ultimately I have to figure out where I went wrong, what was the mistake I made in the storytelling and go back to fix that wrong turn. Sometimes it doesn’t even get fixed until revision time. In What Happens After Dark, Book 2 of the DeKnight trilogy (available Nov 1), there was something off with my hero, and it wasn’t until I discussed it with my editor that we both realized it was his back story. I completely changed it because it wasn’t working, and the story is so much better for that.
WPMP: Where is your favorite hiking trail?
JH: My favorite hiking trail is in Big Basin State Park, CA (fairly close to my house). You can walk from the top of the mountain all the way down to the ocean. It’s about 13 miles, and there’s a gorgeous waterfall along the way. Of course, that means you need someone to drop you off at the top and pick you up at the bottom!
WPMP: What Authors inspire you?
JH: Bella Andre inspires me, her stories are fantastic and emotional and her productivity is amazing. I’m also inspired by writers like Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Crais. They all create heroes that a romance reader can adore. I especially love Robert Crais’s Joe Pike character. He’s such a tough guy, and yet there’s always this soft spot leaking through.
WPMP: If you could be a guest star on a television show, what show would you choose? JH: I’d want to be on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I know, it’s an old show, but I loved it! Every time it started to get boring, Josh Whedon threw in an amazing twist that turned everything around and made me dying for the next episode. But gosh, if I had to pick something new, then I’d like to be on Dexter, another of my favorite shows. Same thing, the writers of that show know when to throw you a curveball. This last season (which I just watched on DVD) almost made me cry. I think I’d like to be on the forensics team with Dexter.
WPMP: What is the best gift you've ever received?
JH: My husband bought me an MP3 player, and I’ve been hooked on audio books ever since! I love to read, but since I’ve become a published writer, my time is so limited that I was down to reading perhaps one or two books per month. But with the MP3, I now listen to at least three books a week, while I do my morning speedwalk, clean the house, do the dishes, and iron my husband’s shirts. The MP3 has given me my reading life back!
Jasmine: Thanks so much for having me! Readers can find me at www.jasminehaynes.com, www.jenniferskully.com, and they can read all about the Max Starr paranormal mystery series at www.jbskully.com. I’m also doing a free erotic read, a chapter every week, on my blog, www.jasminehaynes.blogspot.com. I invite everyone to come by!
A big thank you to Jasmine Haynes for allowing us to interview her for the Author Spotlight. We also want you to know that we've reviewed her book Past Midnight and Dead to the Max. And check out the Giveaways page for your chance to win a copy of Past Midnight!!