Hi, Lia. Let’s get started. What is your book NOT about?
It is not about space wars or overcoming some centralized, epically evil, authoritarian threat. There are no Death Stars or Evil Empires or anything like them.
What is your book about?
That’s always a loaded question because there’s the plot version of “what’s it about” and the deeper meaning version of the question. The plot is about a restless teen girl who was born and raised on an orbiting space station in a galaxy far away. She’s sick to death of life in a flying pitstop and wants to go down to the surface of one of three habitable planets in the system. After a freak encounter with an alien, events lead to her wish coming true … sort of. She’s banished to a reformatory on one of the planets. But once she escapes and reconnects with the alien, things get very interesting.
The deeper meaning “what’s it about” answer is what leadership, power, freedom, friendship really mean. It’s definitely a coming-of-age journey even as she is taking on a dangerous quest and obtaining mystical capacities that make her superhuman.
Sounds interesting! What is your favorite line from your book?
I’m afraid all the lines I would choose would make zero sense if taken out of context, but when the main character, a girl name Caz, says (sarcastically, at the time), “I want to be an interspecies diplomat when I grow up”, it sums up pretty well the unexpected arc of her story.
What celebrities would play your main characters if it were a movie?
In the role of Caz, I’d need a feisty, intelligent gal—a young Winona Rider or Keira Knightly, maybe. As Alf, her hunky but enigmatic male counterpart, I’d definitely want a young Chris Pine. Mmmmm.
Take me through a day in your life.
Summer is chaos, so let’s not count my recent daily schedule.
Once the school year gets going, I start at 6am, driving my daughter to a 0-period class. At that point, I typically check messages on email, Facebook, and Twitter to deal with anything that needs urgent attention. Beyond that, I spend some time in the scriptures, preparing Sunday school lessons, and practicing the piano to play for our worship services. Twice a week, I take a deep-water aerobics class (I am, in fact, part manatee). Mix in some light cleaning around the house, any errands that need running, and the endless stack of laundry, and my morning is mostly filled.
Starting at noon, I shut out the world and hit the computer to work on current project #1 (usually part of a series), usually with a goal of 2K words. Then I take a break and work on Clean Indie Reads stuff, check book stats, and consider marketing tweaks to make. If time allows before the gang arrives home from school/work, I’ll put some time in on WiP #2 as well (usually a stand-alone). Three times a week, I assist/take classes in Martial Arts for about a 2-3hour block in the evening. If not, I’m doing the dinner thing with the family and helping kids with homework. When the house grows quiet, I settle in for a half hour or so of my favorite YouTubers, and then I close out the night either beta-reading for a fellow author or reading a CIR author’s book to review. That’s the Monday to Friday routine, anyway.
Show me a picture of your writing spot.
The left side there is my planning “board”. It’s a school display thing with pockets. I write ideas for scenes, etc. on notecards as I think of them and slip them into the line for the appropriate book. There’s also a list of future book ideas. The rest is pretty self-explanatory, I think. There is also almost always a calico cat sitting across my arms as I type or perched on the shelf beside me. She is my mews muse.
If you could spend the day with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you do?
Gosh, that’s tricky. There are so many options, but lately, I have often thought of Robin Williams. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a normal conversation with him about life, the universe, and everything when the cameras are off, and there’s no need to perform. I think he was a brilliant man with many insights into the human condition that sometimes got overshadowed by his zany, high-energy humor. I’d love to just go for a walk and/or hang out in a comfy living room and pick his brain about anything and everything that he found fascinating. ZERO pressure to be funny. Just time to be relaxed and real.
Oh, man. I would love to have a chat with Robin Williams too. What do you do when you are not writing?
See the aforementioned daily schedule. Truly, my biggest hobbies outside of writing are reading and doing martial arts. I never seem to get tired of either of them.
What is the weirdest thing you have had to research for writing purposes?
The differences in various kinds of silver-colored metal ores—what they weigh, what their texture is, and how they’re mined, etc. It’s rather mind-boggling how many things there are to take into consideration. I don’t envy either geologists or miners.
What was your favorite book as a child, and what is your favorite book now?
As a child, I probably read the Narnia series three or four times through, often reading aloud to my friends while they played with dolls or whatnot. Nowadays, for sheer storytelling that never gets boring with rereads, I’d have to say the Harry Potter series. The world-building and layered messages in both series are exquisite.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’ve just discovered the “Beaumont and Beasley” series by Kyle Robert Shultz (of Clean Indie Reads). It is brilliant fairy tale satire where the real world and the magical crunch into each other with exciting action and splendidly witty dialogue. The narrative voice has me laughing out loud on every page.
What is the strangest fact about you?
Strange? Whatever do you mean? I’m perfectly normal, just like every other author I know.
A lesser known fact, though, is that I used to be a performer. In my youth and early adulthood (eons ago), I was known for everything from jazz singing, to opera, to musical theater, and I received quite a few accolades and recognition for it. In my prime, I had a three-octave working range and could imitate several famous artists of the day and days gone by. Now, alas, thanks to a radioactive treatment to cure a misbehaving thyroid, I have a gaping hole in the middle of my range which makes me croak and crack like a little old lady unless I sing down in the Karen Carpenter range of my voice.
Wow, that’s really cool! I keep my singing confined to my car. What writers inspire you?
Well, as per my favorite books, C.S. Lewis (in all sorts of books, not just the Narnias) and J.K. Rowling inspire me to create worlds wherein I can examine the bigger questions of life. Douglas Adams and Bill Bryson (the British nonfiction writer) both inspire me to master the English language in such a way that any subject can be both humorous and accessible. And I simply must give a nod to Michelle Isenhoff, a CIR author from the earliest days of my career. Her writing is crisp, poignant, poetic, and totally readable. I dream of attaining her level of craftsmanship someday. She can write any genre she wants, and it’s freaking amazing. If you want, I can list about a dozen other CIR writers who regularly blow me away, too.
Why do you write?
The short answer is to turn off the movies in my head (story scenes, of course), so I can sleep at night. The medium answer is that it’s much cheaper than therapy. The long answer is that I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write something. It’s just part of who I am. For 30 years, it was mostly humorous sketches, but it has evolved over time to be a way to explore all the social / political / anthropological / scientific “what-ifs” that stir my soul.
What are you working on right now?
I’m tidying up book #5 in my Northwest Romantic Comedy series, “Crazy Little Crush” (releasing in September). I’m also getting ready to re-release a Fumbling Fairy Tale short story, retitled to “The Unwanted Princess” (a twist on Snow White). Before the end of the year, I’ll release the final book in the rom com series, “Love from A to Z” and one more Fumbling Fairy Tale, and then I’ll return to my science fiction series, “The Gypsy Pearl” for at least two more sequels and a stand-alone epic fantasy.
How can readers learn more about you and your work?
I have the obligatory author website at www.LiaLondonBooks.com and an Amazon author page, of course, but to get more “up close and personal”, I have a Facebook group for fans where we can talk about upcoming projects. Folks there often get to read books free and/or ahead of the release dates, and they can ask questions about any of my writing endeavors. That group can be found at “Lia’s Awesomesauce Readers”.
Thank you for joining me and good luck with your release in September!