Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Liz: Hello, Fiona. My name is Elizabeth Godfrey, and I am 29.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Liz: I am from a small town in North Louisiana named Haughton.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.)
Liz: I went to public school until eight grade. At that point my Mom, and I, had enough of the public-school system. I did home school until I was seventeen. During my teen years, I competed in pageants, modeled in Dallas, TX, and worked on television shows and movies. (A background that would later lead to writing.)
When I was done with high school, I got a job at a bridal boutique. I worked in bridal/retail for several years. I married my high school sweetheart in 2009, and we had our daughter, Calista in 2010.
In 2013, I took the plunge of going to college. I am still working on my degree. I’ve changed majors three times because I haven’t found one that I love yet.
I have two fur babies. A black lab named, Pup, who is my constant writing, and running, companion. Then there is, Summer, our smallest fur baby. She is an apple head chihuahua that weighs less than three pounds.
I spend my days writing, chugging coffee, and trying to keep up with my daughter.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Liz: I’ve been nominated for the 2017 Readers Choice Awards by TCK Publishing. My debut novel, Once Bitten Twice Cursed, is available for voting in the Thriller category.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Liz: I’ve always been a writer. I started sometime in my teen years. A story titled Ten Years, and Nothings Changed, rests on a floppy disk somewhere forgotten. When I was seventeen, I took an art class. My art wasn’t that great, but one project earned me a talk with an English Professor. The art teacher gave out torn pages from a book. The assignment was to make a story from the words, and then, draw a picture about it. I’d always loved telling stories, and was excited for the project. When I presented my piece, the entire room was silent. The teacher noticeably had goose bumps, and sent me across the hall to an English class. The English Professor was amused, and urged me to enroll in full-time classes. Adult life took over after that, and I was caught in non-writing purgatory for a few years.
As wife, and Mom, I again found bliss in writing. It became my escape more than reading.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Liz: I still do not consider myself a writer. It is weird when people introduce me as an author. I am just thankful people read what I’ve written.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Liz: It was in 2013 that a friend, who is a director, approached me with a pilot script. Its title was “Bitten” My work on that pilot sparked a fire with something I had always loved. Vampires. From the ashes of that forgotten script the creative wheel in my brain began to turn. It hasn’t stopped since.
I was captivated by a story that was never told to the world. I made it my mission to discover the journey, and tell it to others.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Liz: I looked at the base of the story. It’s about a girl whose life was changed by a vampire bite. As I wrote further, and she described the curse she had to live with, I knew that one bite changed it all. The demon Cursed her. Then she was cursed again by losing her human life.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Liz: I tend to write best from experience. I will visit a location, and make notes, which forms the base to the story.
The hardest part of the YA genre is where to draw the line at acceptable, and too dark. If I take a character too far, I am always afraid they lose their appeal. If I don’t take them dark enough, or far enough, how will they grow? How will the readers connect with them? It is a constant battle to balance it all.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Liz: The locations in my books are real, mostly. The town of Oakland, Louisiana is what my hometown, Haughton, began as. It is still a small stretch of road on Highway 157. I use local history to give me inspiration. The Magenta Plantation is a real place in Elm Grove, Louisiana. The theme park in my first novel was a real place until it closed in the late 90’s. The haunted school, Oakland Cemetery, and the house in New Orleans on Dauphine Street are all real places.
As for people and events, the only significant event that, I took a real situation from is Hurricane Katrina. In Once Bitten the character, Sam describes his experience during the hurricane. This came from a friend of mine that was the inspiration behind Sam’s identity. I use traits from friends to help develop some of the characters I write about.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Liz: Not as much as I would like to. As I said I write best by experience. Finishing my most recent novel was difficult. I had to make a trip to New Orleans to map everything out.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Liz: My covers would never happen without the help of, Mandi Coleman. She takes an idea and turns it into brilliance.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Liz: Life changes without warning. What we have planned rarely works out. You must learn to be content with the hand you are given. Play your cards, and come out on top. You’ve got to cherish today. Laugh and love when you’re given the moment. My books are for strong women. Women looking for strength, and women who are building their strength.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Liz: Several authors have spiked my interest recently. Donald Glyn Gardner, Delizhia Jenkins, Elisabeth Popolow, Jean Connolly and C.N Pinkard. They are all indie authors with fantastic books.
My favorite author is, Richelle Mead. Her books had my attention long before the vampire hysteria over Twilight had died down. She is the only author that has kept my attention from one series to another. Her books suck me in until I have that feeling that I am somehow part of them. Why do I go back for more? It’s her descriptions, and plot twists that do it. She can mingle an insane number of characters, and I feel connected to each one of them.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Liz: A few people kept me writing, and focused. My History Professor Mr. Fontenot always gave me new things to keep my research going. A wonderful friend, Will Wittmer, started reading my ramblings early in the process. He always wanted more, which made me keep writing. Last, is the man who gave me the vampire bug early in life. Lord Chaz Howell. A New Orleans tour guide that kept me amused with stories and history.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Liz: I hope so. If the powers that be wish to grant me that dream one day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Liz: Not that I can think, but I am sure one day, I will.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Liz: I learned so much. Most valuable, I learned to not be afraid. I must be proud of what I do. I have to talk to others about it, and not hide behind a computer.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Liz: She is a young lady I had the privilege of teaching. Shelby Gordon. She is a local, and is amazing. She has the attitude and flare Karly has in the books.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Liz: Don’t stop. Writing the book is the easy part. After that things get hard. You’ve got to embrace the good and bad. No matter what keep writing.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Liz: They are the most supporting, and loyal people on the planet. I have the best group of readers. They share posts, come to events, and so much more. I love each one of them for all they do.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Orange is the new Black by Piper Kerman
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not a specific title, but I had a shelf covered in Sweet Valley High books.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Liz: Laughing is a hard emotion for me. Something has to be so dumb sometimes to make me really laugh. Today, I was shopping, and observed a lady taking the caps off the laundry crystals. She was filling one to the top. Turning to me she said, “I am not paying for wasted space. If chip bags came resealable, I would do this with them too.” That made me laugh.
Crying is also difficult until I allow my emotions to take over. I cry when I write most of the time. I put everything into words that I cannot say in everyday life.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Liz: Anne Boelyn. Her story fascinates me. I have many questions for her majesty.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Liz: Writing will always be my number one hobby. Occasionally, I attempt to bake. I’ve conquered the art of cooking with my daughter. It is, mostly, mess free now. When I get the time, I like to make funky art.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Liz: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my all-time favorite television show. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals come in second. Supernatural is third. Followed by True Blood and Roseanne. (Didn’t see the last one coming did you.)
I am also a closet reality television fan. Big Brother is the only one I continue to watch.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Liz: Food is my happy place. I love Mexican the most.
My favorite color is purple.
As for music that changes all the time, but Nickleback and Evanessence are two of my favs.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Work in television and movies. That was the career path before I got married. I would still love to expand that and maybe work in stunts.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
That’s something I’ve never thought about. Perhaps I would take a cue from Buffy.
“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I use Facebook and YouTube the most. All of my books are also on Amazon.