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Corfu, Greece
Liana Metal lives in Greece, on the island of Corfu. She is an EFL teacher(MAEd -Applied Linguistics), book reviewer and freelance writer. Liana is also an artist. Her drawings/paintings can be found both online at www.aggelia-online.gr and at several shops in Corfu town. To contact the artist visit http://LianaMetal.tripod.com or her blog at http://LianasKerkyra.blogspot.com Η Ηλιάνα Μεταλληνού διδάσκει Αγγλικά στην Κέρκυρα, γράφει άρθρα και ιστορίες για έντυπες και ηλεκτρονικές εκδόσεις σε όλο τον κόσμο και ζωγραφίζει. Μπορείτε να την επισκεφθείτε στην ηλεκτρονική διεύθυνση http://toasprosaligari.blogspot.com και http://www.coffeetimecorfu.com

Storytime

Storytime
A book for kids/ 3 stories in English

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Interview with Lea Schizas!

Welcome to the second part of the September presentation event!

Lea Schizas is with us today to talk about her writing life and work.

Enjoy!




Interview with Lea Schizas, the author of Doorman’s Creek and Bubba and Giganto: Odds Against Us.


Tell us about yourself first.


What can I say? I’m certifiably nuts, always busy and swamped, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Stressed brings out the creative juices in me and I get more things accomplished than when I have peace and quiet and all the time in the world.


But the sane part of me is a mommy of five children between the ages of 16 and 31. I’m also a mommy to a Bull Terrier and a Shi Tzu.


When did you start writing?


I always joke that I mistook my mommy’s umbilical cord as a neat writing implement. In other words, I can’t remember NOT writing in my life.


What genres have you written?


Published, I have a YA paranormal suspense thriller (Doorman’s Creek), and a YA drama. However, I am writing mystery, paranormal, romance, sci-fi, and fantasy currently, along with a vamp/werewolf genre for an extra ‘bite’ of glee.


Is that your first book?


Actually, Doorman’s Creek the screenplay was my very first full manuscript I wrote. About a year or so later I turned the screenplay into a novel.


Tell us about your book. What is it about?


Let me just explain that I love writing for the YA market because using teens as my characters I have the leeway to really spice things up with tons of surprises since teens react impulsively at times with their actions and reactions.


The book is about three teen boys, best friends since childhood, who are in search of a cave in Doorman’s Creek they had spotted on a previous outing but never had the time to fully investigate. Within the dank cave they discover more than they anticipated…a skeleton and an unknown entity that pits them smack in the path of a serial killer.


My main character develops a sense of ESP right after the contact with the skeleton and sees through the eyes of the killer. Once a family member gets killed the boys realize they need to track down the killer before anyone else gets killed.


There are tons of surprises and twists and turns in the book and I had a blast writing it.


What inspired you to write this book?


I remember seeing the movie Eyes of Laura Mars with Faye Dunaway I believe where she sees through the eyes of the killer and had it always in the back of my mind to come up with a young adult story but incorporating some paranormal substance to the book, too. When I restarted my career late 90s that impulse to write this type of a book was still quite strong and I went for it.


How long did it take you to write it?


It took me about 3 months to write the screenplay but about a year to finetune and add background, the five senses and other areas to round off the novel.


Who is the publisher of your book?


Vickie Kennedy, publisher of eTreasures.com read and loved the book and immediately contracted it.


Where is it on sale?


You can find Doorman’s Creek at the following venues:

http://etreasurespublishing.com/Lea_Schizas/doormans-creek.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Doormans-Creek-Lea-Schizas/dp/0974053740/ref=sr_oe_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246146850&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Doormans-Creek/dp/B001DUGODI/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222607389&sr=1-7


Tell us about your other books/work.


The other published book is a Young Adult drama – Bubba and Giganto: Odds Against Us. It’s the story about two kids from opposite sides of the track – one is a tough kid battling fun of his name Bubba, and the other battling bullies at school. One of the two friends hides a secret that will prove to be a deadly move at one point. The whole concept of the novel is to show kids the affects and reasons behind bullying, solutions, and also to give one possible reason for actions by a bully.


Along the same theme is Libby the Odd Squirrel – about a white squirrel shunned by the gray squirrels until one brave action changes this situation. It’s a picture story book aimed for 4 – 6 year olds and contracted by 4RV Publishing, my publisher for the book above, and due out early next year.


I also have I Don’t Want a Haircut and Robbie and Katie Get a Hairy Scare by Guardian Angel Publishing due for release early next year. These books deal with interpretations of young kids on their first haircut experience. Tons of images for a young reader to enjoy, followed with humor to keep their interest.


Finally, my last contracted book, a nonfiction one, Autism Epidemic: Shaking the System, is a motivational and helpful insight to autism. The book is not only for families with children who have autism, but a great resource for anyone to help bring more autism awareness to the general public and to sensitize them about the needs and overall picture of how these precious children react and act to certain situations. The book will be available in print this fall by Red Rose Publishing.


Then I have all of my other books, way too many to mention here, that I am currently working on.


What are the major challenges that you have faced in your career?


Time! Did I mention TIME! There’s not enough time to accomplish everything on my plate. I have no idea who invented only 24 hours in a day. LOL! Other than that, I can’t say I’ve faced any challenge.


Has the Internet helped you in your writing career?

How?


The Internet has helped immensely. Through the great worldwide web I’ve met and kept in touch with many cyber pals, set up a few online ezines, an online writers conference, many helpful writing groups, and met my clients I freelance edit their manuscripts.


What do you advise new writers to do?


My biggest tip is to never give up if you’ve got a deep passion for writing. Rejections should only piss you off to prove you can do it. Don’t listen to family and friends who state you are wasting your time. People who have no clue about the writing world don’t understand the time necessary to build your good name, to build a readership, to build your promotional platform…keep plugging away and build yourself a tough outer shell. All reviews and critiques won’t be glamorous. That’s just a part of the business. Get used to it.


Thank you Lea!


I hope you all have enjoyed this interview as much as I have!

Happy writing!


Liana



13 comments:

Liana said...

Thank you, Lea, for this exciting interview. I am a great fan of you!

Good luck with your future plans.

Liana

The Old Silly said...

Enjoyed reading about Lea. I think it takes a special talent to write good and effective YA lit, so hats off to you! And I had to chuckle at the "certifiably nuts" comment - lol - me too!

Marvin D Wilson

Nancy Famolari said...

I enjoyed hearing more about Lea and how she got the idea for Doorman's Creek. It's a neat suspense drama.

I also appreciated the good advice. Everything worthwhile takes time. You can't give up if you want to succeed as a writer.

Great interview Liana!

Liana said...

Marvin and Nancy, thanks for visiting!

Deborah Weed said...

Hi Lea, you have such an easy and charming way of answering the questions. I suppose with five children, you have to keep your sense of humor. Thank you for sharing your passion and keep on writing! P.S. I can't wait until the movie version comes out. . .

Stephen Tremp said...

Lea is a very interesting person with much to share with the world, especially with the young readers of today. Thanks for your contributions to putting out quality reading for the YA generation. Stephen Tremp

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Great advice, Lea. I think we all get discouraged by rejection from time to time, but have to forge forward.

I've read Bubba and Giganto and it's great. I'm looking forward to the young children's books coming out. I think my grandson will really enjoy them.

Karen

Katie Hines said...

Great interview. I learned more about Lea! I think I'm going to have to get a copy of Doorman's Creek. sounds just up my alley.

Vivian Zabel said...

We thoroughly enjoy working with Lea. Both the books she has allowed 4RV to do are well-written and appeal to their audiences. The illustrator for Libby has really brought Lea's words to visual life. Children will love listening or reading the words and viewing the illustrations.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Oh, gosh, yes. TIME!!!

Speaking of which, everyone don't forget that Sunday is the last day to enroll in Lea's FREE Muse Online Writers Conference. www.themuseonlinewritersconference.com.
Best,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

Liana said...

Thank you all for visiting Lea!
Good luck to everyone,
Liana

kathy stemke said...

I've read and loved Bubba and Giganto. Doorman's Creek sounds scary and intrigueing.

I'm looking forward to Lea's Muse Conference this year.

Liana said...

Thanks Kathy; I am looking forward to it too!
Liana