I was able to interview author Lizzy Ford, the hyper-prolific author of the "Rhyn Trilogy" and "War of Gods" series, both launched in 2011, as well as multiple single title young adult fantasy and paranormal romances. Lizzy's books have reached into the bestseller lists on both Amazon US and Amazon UK in multiple categories. Through her unconventional online marketing strategies, Lizzy has gone from selling 20 books in January 2011 to around 5000 books in September 2011 and from over 7,000 free downloads of her work in January 2011 to over 40,000 downloads in September 2011.
The Lizzy Ford team consists of: Matt, IT and search engine optimization expert; Christine LePorte, freelance book editor; Dafeenah, graphics artist; and Toni, English-Spanish translator.
Lizzy is considered by most to be the ultimate writing freak of nature for her ability to write and epublish a new book every 30-45 days. She is also a regular contributor for the Curiosity Quills website and is an active member of a small guild of nine passionate, talented writers, the Indie Eclective. Lizzy's books are available from Amazon, BN, Smashwords, iBooks/iTunes, and all other eReader libraries.
Below is a bit of information on the War of Gods series and Lizzy's responses to the questions I posed to her.
~Damian’s Oracle Book One~
Caught in the war between the White and Black Gods, Sofia and her rare gift bring victory to he who grabs her first. Her difficult transition from human to oracle forces her into a new world, where she struggles in her role as Damian’s mate and to help a mysterious man who’s supposed to be dead.
~Damian’s Assassin Book Two~
After thousands of years as the White God’s right hand man and chief assassin, Dustin no longer believes in the human capacity for good, until he meets sweet, sunny Bianca, a Natural whose gift of healing will change not only his fate, but destroy the Black God and bring about a new one.
The White God’s most trusted friend, Jule, has his powers stripped by the Watchers, who seek to punish him for crimes committed thousands of years ago in the immortal realm. His only hope to rejoin the battle against the Black God is to find the mysterious Magician, a woman afraid of her own powers but who has the ability to save both him and the war.
*What was your life like before becoming an author?
I published my first book this past January. I guess my life was pretty much the same prior to releasing the first book up until recently. I worked a full-time job and wrote on the weekends (or when I had a chance) since I was seventeen. In the past month, I lost the full-time job and am now a full-time writer, which is what I’ve always wanted to do.
*What sparked the idea for your series?
The War of Gods series started with “Damian’s Oracle,” which detailed how Damian met his mate. It was just natural for Damian’s brothers to find their own mates, too, in continuing books.
*How personal is your writing?
My writing is very personal, in that, I put a great deal of me into everything I create. I don’t write for money; I write because it’s my calling. I won’t ever profess to write the Great American Novel, but I do write stories most readers are able to relate to in some way, normally through flawed characters who are given tough choices.
*Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
The emotion comes first. Many of my stories start with single scenes of strong emotion, some of which come from dreams. “Damian’s Oracle” started with a vision of Sofi (the lead character) thinking she was turning into a vampire. Another of my books, “Katie’s Hellion,” started with the scene where Katie is on the subway trying to figure out why this cute little kid claims she’s his mommy. The intense emotions behind these scenes are what plant the seeds for the stories to grow.
*What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Don’t get discouraged, and if you’ve spent years being rejected by the traditional publishing industry (as I did), then go off on your own. With today’s advancements in digital publishing and the horizontal expansion of freelance professionals (such as book editors and cover artists), it’s possible to produce a professional book and compete with publishers.
*What is your favorite authors/books?
My favorite author of all time is Jane Austen and her book “Pride and Prejudice.” I read it every year!
*If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Probably Jane Austen. I admire her writing so much. Every time I think I’ve learned all I could from one of her books, I learn something new in how she portrays characters.
*What was your favorite part of the book(s)?
My favorite part of “Damian’s Oracle” is when Sofi peeks into the dining room and watches the immortals eating pizza. She realizes she’s not only different from every other human, but she’s unique among the immortals, too. It’s basically a conveyance of how I’ve felt throughout life, different even among my writing peers, so it was an awesome scene to write.
In “Damian’s Assassin,” my favorite part was when Bianca is walking on waves. That came from a dream, and it was just such a neat concept!
In “Damian’s Immortal,” I’ve loved the initial scenes with Yully, who has been manipulated by the bad guys to believe she must kill the good guys. Her confusion is so raw and real to me.
*What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)?
The ending. I hate endings! I go on a journey with the characters I create. Every one of them is unique, flawed, and real to me. At the end of the book, I have to let them go.
*Where are you from?
I’m originally from SW Ohio, though I’ve traveled around much of my life.
*When and why did you begin writing?
Writing is a compulsion. It’s a part of me, so I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
*When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably in the third grade. Ha! I knew I loved writing then, though I didn’t decide I was meant to be a writer until a few years later.
*What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote my first novel when I was in junior high. I don’t remember what inspired it, but it was an awful sci-fi saga about two friends and entitled, “Last of the Power Users.” Yeah, it was bad.
*Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t notice it, but people tell me I do! Ha! I write scenes like they’re movies. I guess I’m a very visual writer, which makes sense. I tend to see the books unfold in my mind just like a movie and try to convey that in my writing.
*Tell us your latest news?
I’m getting ready to release “Damian’s Immortal,” book three in the War of Gods series on 02 December! I’m so excited, and my readers have been waiting all year for this one. I’m also planning to release the first in a Young Adult witch trilogy around Christmas.