Today’s interview is with Ellie Lieberman, author of Society’s Foundlings, Solving for X, A Dragon’s Treasure, The Memory Tree, and many more – you can find the full list at the end of the interview.
Ellie writes a mix of novels, short stories and children’s books, and her newest publication is The Witching Hour, When All That’s Left Are Stories: Diaries from the Dystopia – which is a collection of dystopian sci-fi short stories.
A tech witch’s rather brilliant plan to take down a dastardly corporate giant suddenly becomes much more challenging, thanks to her bleeding heart.The Witching Hour
Follow her on social media to get updates about her books
WEBSITE – KO-FI – VOCAL – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – INSTAGRAM
Questions about the writing process:
Do you prefer stand alone novels or series as an author?
As an author, I have written both stand alones and series. I am currently writing a series of novels, my Be book series, which has been a very different and very fun experience. I enjoy both greatly and cannot say I prefer one over the other.
What’s the hardest scene to write?
One of the books I’m currently writing is the third book in the Be book series, Where the Heart Is. The central character is the Queen from the first two books. She is a very tragic figure and there are a lot of really hard scenes to write because of the turmoil of what she goes through and the ultimate descent of her character. It is not a light book to write.
How long have you been writing?
My mother says I learned to write so I could write my stories. I became a writer at her keyboard. The sound of her typing her own stories became my lullaby each night. The highlight of my day was when she read to me what she wrote. It inspired me to write my own. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil and it has a lot of threads tied back to those moments with my mother.
Plotter or pantser or somehwere in between?
I am a total pantser. I write what comes, put it in the manuscript where I think it might go, and when I feel like I have a decent amount written, I quilt the different parts together.
How much have your book changed from first draft to published/now?
My Be book series was fourteen years in the making, starting when I was twelve for a school project that I could not turn in because it kept growing well passed the deadline. It took two banker’s boxes full of printed manuscript and countless lost to the computer gods. The thing that changed the most over the course of time was the sheer size of it. What started as a single story has become a series of at least four novels and two potential short story collections, with quite the cast of characters and a setting full of cultures and landscapes and history.
Thoughts about writerly things:
How do you handle the positive and the negative reviews?
I will continue writing and publishing regardless, but positive reviews really are a confidence boost. They are wonderful for combatting that always dangerous imposter syndrome and the feeling is absolutely incredible. It’s a high I could ride all day.
And, they do wonders for marketing and further sales.
Negative reviews, I’ll be honest, are a bit of a blow to the gut. Not everyone is going to connect to my stories. Not everyone will like them. Everyone has the right to rate and review as they see fit and, arguably, a book with a couple less than stellar reviews can even look more legitimate, especially in the self publishing world. But, it really hurts.
As authors we pour our hearts and souls into what we write. They are part of us. It is a scary thing to share and when someone does not like it enough to share that with the world, it can take a bit to recover.
They say the key to it is to grow a thick skin and to find the areas of improvement in your writing through the critique being offered. What has helped me was to honor the hurt of a one-star review, let myself sit in that pain. The acknowledgement and allowing myself the right to feel that hurt did wonders for being able to move past it.
Re-reading the more glowing reviews helps a lot, too
What’s the most important thing in a hero?
I tend to like heroes with the best of intentions, with their fair share of flaws, who try their best to act on those intentions but don’t always succeed. I either go for the righteous rage girl with a sword or sweet sunshine cinnamon roll and sometimes those who are both.
What about in the villain?
Very unpopular opinion, but I think sometimes a villain does not have to be redeemed and depending on the narrative, it can serve as a great injustice to the protagonist to show the villain as anything other than a two-dimensional bad guy. Sometimes the villain is just a monster and I think there is value in those stories, too.
Tea or coffee? Maybe soda?
Tea one hundred percent! I cannot stand coffee and while there are certain sodas I enjoy, my go to tends to be tea. I am particularly fond of unique loose leaf herbal blends that I’ve found on Etsy, at some of the events I attend, or even make myself.
If you could choose any side character from your book to write a spin off story about – who would it be?
In my Be book series, there are quite a few side characters that actually wind up getting their own novels, short stories which will wind up being featured in a collection, or eventually become main characters themselves.
Do your family and friends support your writing?
I am very fortunate to have a lot of support from my family and friends. They listen to me endlessly talk about my stories, discuss them with me, read my work, offer suggestions and help, promote my work, go with me to events, and, perhaps most importantly, never let me give up on my dreams no matter what else is going on in our life. I am truly lucky and grateful.
What do you do when not writing?
When not writing, I am often illustrating or working with the fairies on my handmade business, Acorn Tops, where I make fairy and scented creations to enchant your world and bring magic into your everyday. Some of these creations include hand carved fairy doors and scented bookmarks. I sell them alongside signed copies of my books at in-person events and in my Etsy Shop.
What book format do you prefer your books to come in?
I prefer my books come in as many formats as possible. I’d love my books to be accessible to as many people as possible. Someday I hope to have them available as audiobooks and it would be amazing to have them available in braille, as well.
Favorite music right now?
I have a very eclectic taste in music. Lately, I have been listening to songs on repeat that fit the WIP I’m currently working on, the third book in the Be book series, Where the Heart Is. There is a lot of Sara Bareilles in that mix, especially songs like Orpheus or Someone Who Loves Me.
Do you have any pets?
I have an American Pointer. They are known as pocket pointers because they are the smallest of the pointer breed. The ongoing joke is that they are truly called that because they would be in your pocket all day if they could. His name is Britches. He also has an abundance of nicknames including Bubbe Diddles and various forms of Pants, i.e. Cutie Pants, Stinky Pants, etc.
A big thank you to Ellie for wanting to join me in this little interesting interview. And remember to check out her books, and follow her on social media.
Full publication list:
Solving for X
A Dragon’s Treasure
The Memory Tree
Be (book 1 of the Be series)
The Goddess In the Garden: Ode to My Divine Anger, Re-membering with Goddess: Healing the Patriarchal Perpetuation of Trauma, A Girl God Anthology
The Witching Hour, When All That’s Left Are Stories: Diaries from the Dystopia
The Butter Thief (book 1 of The Basil Basset Books Series)
The Lion’s Tooth (book 2 of The Basil Basset Books Series)
Ben’s Little Tomato (book 2 of Ben’s Little Books Series)
Peggy’s Little Pumpkin (book 3 of Ben’s Little Books Series)
Barb’s Little Bee (book 4 of Ben’s Little Books Series)
My Basset Has the Sneezles
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