Thursday, February 3, 2011

Interview with Elizabeth Kolodziej & Give Away

Did you see our review of Vampyre Kisses HERE?


When I ordered Vampyre Kisses by Elizabeth Kolodziej, it was totally because of the cover & the title.
This is the best blind book buy I have ever made! Not only did I love this story, but I love the author. Elizabeth agreed to do an interview with us!!!

BCM: How long have you been writing?
  • EK: I have been making up stories and writing since I was little. I have always seemed to have a wild imagination. Writing was always a way for me to easily express myself considering I have a difficult time speaking.
BCM: Have you always been a fan of reading supernatural characters?
  • EK: I grew up on it! My mom was always reading Anne Rice or something like that. She even dabbled with the Masquerade. Buffy was a family program we would all sit down and watch. It has always been in my life and I guess I just grew up on it.
BCM: Were any of your characters in Vamphyre Kisses based/inspired on real people:
  • EK: Kind of. I am big on fantasizing (like day dreaming), and I am normally the lead character. But then I see how great of a story it could be and the main character (ie me) starts becoming someone else entirely. I also take certain traits from certain friends of mine. I really should try doing it! It seems like everyone I know wants to be a character in my book. For the second book I did get inspired by someone in particular though. A man by the name of Robert Bartlett. He wrote the book Real Alchemy, which I used for research for the second book. I ended up emailing him and he answered all my questions so nicely. He and his wife are both just terrific. So when I needed a certain alchemist in my book I thought of him while writing that character. :)
BMC: How did you come up with the story line for Vampyre Kisses?
  • EK: I would love to say there was some awesome story behind the story line, like I was walking through the woods and a bird flew on my shoulder whispering it in my ear, but truthfully, it just happened. I just go with the flow and let the story take me where it wants to. I always have a basic idea though. I’ll even make bubble charts, but somewhere along the line it all ends up changing. The second book didn’t end up anything like what I had planned out! It’s crazy.
BCM: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
  • EK: I can truthfully say no, no I did not. I use to want to be an actress/singer on Broadway. From my early teens to late teens I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was always writing though. It just never occurred to me until I was around 20 that it was something that had always been a passion. It was something that had always been in my life. For instance, when I began writing Vampyre Kisses, I wrote it for fun. It wasn’t until I finished it that I looked at it and thought, “Hey! Maybe I can do something with this.” But that came to me not from a money stand point or living off of it, it came to me because I wanted to inspire others the way writers like Tamora Pierce and Kim Harrison had inspired me to write and find my passion in life.
BCM: What is a typical day in your life like?
  • EK: Rarely normal. Hehe. Typically I go to work from 9-5 where I am lucky enough to be able to spend a big portion of my day talking with fabulous writers and readers on twitter or putting together marketing ideas. After work is usually spent with my dog, friends, family, Roller Derby Team, or actually sleeping. Sleep… such a rarity. Working on two hours at the moment.
BCM: Do you have any advice for budding writers?
  • EK: 1. Don’t ever take no for an answer (but don’t be a stalker either) and 2. Take advice from others but always listen to your instincts and characters when you are writing your story. My characters have never steered me wrong.
BCM: How many books are you planning for this series?
  • EK: In the VERY least there will be probably 4. I know for CERTAIN there will be 3. I will have to do a third one after what happens in the second one. Oh it is so devilish but the way this turns out. I can’t even wait for me to write the third book!

BCM: What challenges have you conquered being self-published?
  • EK: When you are labeled has a self-published author there is so many doors that are closed to you and so many people that say you can’t accomplish this or that. I look at them and think, well not many self-published authors get into Barnes and Nobles but I did! This means people like my writing and that is the biggest challenge to conquer when you are self-published. In my humble opinion anyways.
BCM: I know that you are currently working on book #2. How is the writing going? When do you think we get to enjoy this book? (I cannot wait for this book & Liz gets to hear about it from me regularly).
  • EK: Personally, I see the mistakes I made in the first book. I listened to my readers when it came to what they liked and what they didn’t. I truly believe the writing for the second book is 100% better. This book even surprised me. If at the end of a story I look back and think, “wow that is such a good part there and the story line really ended well there”, then I know I did something right. Because, when it comes down to it I am my hardest critic. There are short stories I go back and read and think they are utter trash. Like I don’t even know what I was thinking! But this second book! OMG! The story line is so good. I just really love where my characters took me and the surprise at the end is going to blow people away.

BCM: I know your using Beta Readers for book#2, did you use Beta Readers for Book #1?
  • EK: No and I think that was a big mistake on my end. When you first get into this writing business you don’t know everything though. They don’t teach you all the secret ins and outs when you are in college. I think if I had it would have turned out even better than what it is now. But, I can’t dwell on that. I was young and now it is almost six years later and I know much more about what I am doing and who to turn to for help. And I must say I am so excited about the beta readers I have! Sharon and Diane are amazing. They don’t lie to me but they aren’t harsh and overbearing on me. It makes a HUGE difference to be critiqued and not criticize. 


    Ok I’m babbling now. But I could talk about writing all day if you tempted me! Haha.
     ♥'s and fangs, Elizabeth

Everyone here at BCM would like to extend a huge thank you to Elizabeth for the opportunity to interview her and for allowing us the honor of hosting such a great giveaway of her books. Thank you, Elizabeth! 

To enter the chance to win an E-copy of Vampyre Kisses or a Paperback Signed copy of Vampyre Kisses by Elizabeth, fill out the form below: 
  • you must comment on this interview by: +1=What you liked about the interview or you can Ask Elizabeth a question 
  • You must be a BCM follower to enter. Giveaway limited to U.S/Canada only.
  • As always, you can earn an extra entry (each) for +1 tweeting and +1 facebooking this giveaway (post your links in the entry form)
  • To earn an extra 3 points, Follow Vampyre Kisses blog, LIKE Vampyre Kisses on Facebook & Follow Elizabeth on Twitter (leave your follow/like name in the entry form so we can find you).
  • Contest ends on 2/10/11
This contest is NOW CLOSED! Thank you Elizabeth for answering our questions & this awesome contest.


Thank you to everyone who entered and GOOD LUCK! Winners will be announced this weekend! GOOD LUCK!!! 02/11/10

34 comments:

  1. Great interview and giveaway! My question for Elizabeth: What are your writing habits? Is there anything you absolutely have to have?

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  2. I have read a lot of supernatural type books but never Anne Rice. Do you recommend her books?

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  3. I'm not a writer so I always enjoy reading about the authors journey. I didn't know about beta readers, I can see how helpful that would be. I think it's wonderful that Elizabeth listens to her readers as she does.

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  4. I love like the rest of us there is never a typical day! Book sounds very intersting!

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  5. Hi! I want to first give a big thank you to Mindy for having me on here. I just love this chick!
    Next,
    @Christin, When I am working on a story I try to write every day or every weekend. But there are times when I just don't feel "inspired". Those are the worst times! I also like to be alone when I am writing. Except for my dog Sherlock at my side. Though he can bug me he reminds me when I need a break and we go for a walk. :)

    @TheGirlOnFire, I personally haven't read Anne Rice. My mother has. And she totally recommends her. Except for some of the books at the end. Her books are actually on my TBR list. I really should read them but for some reason never did.

    If you have any more questions please feel free to ask!

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  6. My question for Elizabeth: Have you ever envisioned yourself being where you are today as a writer?

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity!

    moonlightgleam(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. @Moonlight Gleam, when I decided to publish my own book I didn't really know where it would all lead me. I really didn't know how much determination I had until I did this. But when you find your passion in life I think you will do anything to keep it. Even learning the business side when your not a business woman but become one anyways. hehe. So no, I didn't.

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  8. Thanks for the great interview! So this is totally a newbie question, but what are beta readers? I have seen mention of them everywhere in the blogosphere world lately and I have no idea what anyone is talking about... Thanks!
    ;)

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  9. All of you have such great questions :)

    @Avery, a beta reader is someone that reads and critiques your work for you. They comment on what they like or dislike about the story, if your using the same word to much (mine is lush), if a character had his shirt on a page ago but now its off... Stuff like that. Kind of like an editor but they don't normally do all the grammar and layout just the critiquing of the story.

    I am very lucky to have Sharon and Diane as my beta readers. They are doing such a great job and because of it I think this second book is going to be just amazing. :)

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  10. This was a great interview!! I cannot wait to read your book. Who is your biggest inspiration? Thanks so much!

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  11. @Kristen ... um biggest inspiration? Not sure if you mean author or something else so I'll reply with :) ... Tamora Pierce was a big influence and inspiration for beginning my writing. But I also have a muse who I go to for inspiration who is a HUGE help. and of course all my friends and the world around me in some way or another ends up inspiring me. :)

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  12. Great Interview!!! My favorite part is you stating that you always made up stories. I can remember when I was little, I used to make up stories while falling asleep every night! Thanks for a great interview!

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  13. Hi and thanks for the interview! JUst wanted to know - why go with self -publishing? Thanks! :)

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  14. Thanks Shel_b21 I had so much fun with this interview. :)

    @Ammy Belle ... To be honest, I tried going down the traditional route but I couldn't get an agent to pick me up. I had my manuscript requested and such things but it just didn't happen. I felt like I had a good book though and so I self published. And you know what? I LOVE it. I like having control over everything (control freak).
    Right now I am considering going totally indie and starting my own publishing company. Of course I will only publish my own books but it means I don't have to go through the middle man. It's not for sure yet but something I'm considering.
    I really love the business side of writing along with the writing itself. If I could get a job in a publishing house I so would. :) But for now I just have big dreams and lots to offer people with my writing. So I went and did it on my own.

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  15. Loved the interview. Do you find it hard to write paranormals? Do you think you will write another genre?

    iqb99@yahoo.com

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  16. I found it interesting that she did not intend to become a writer and was influenced by Tamora Pierce. I LOVE Tamora Pierce's books and I was really happy/surprised she mentioned her!

    Patty

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  17. @Danielle Gorman So... it is personally really easy for me to write paranormals because its what I grew up on and know so well. It just comes naturally. I don't know if I'll write another genre book wise. As for shorts, I just did a horror story for an anthology and am working on an erotica for a sizzler submission but those do include the paranormal... hmmm I guess I can't help but add them! I love the supernatural world. :)

    @Patty ... I am always excited to meet someone else who reads Tamora Pierce. I feel like shes popular but its so rare I meet another Pierce fan! eeee!

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  18. Great interview! I like how you said you wrote it for fun, never thinking to market it until after you were done and saw what you had. I think writing for pleasure, for yourself, would make you a better writer in the long run.

    Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

    BellaMarie(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

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  19. Did you have to do much research for this novel?

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  20. Where do you find beta readers? Are they usually friends, other authors?

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  21. Hey! Thanks for the interview. This was really insightful with all the things you said. I really need to get my friends to read the stories that I write more. Most of my stories are about the supernatural and paranormal so they don't want to read them in fear of getting nightmares.


    Do you have any suggestions on what I can use to persuade them into reading my stories and giving me feedback?

    And is there any ways to help me focus on one story instead of always going on to a different story? (I always seem to have trouble with this)

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  22. Good morning everyone! So glad to see some more questions and posts up!

    @Vivien, yes I did lots of research for this novel. I know it sounds strange cause this is a paranormal piece, but research is always needed. For example, I researched different vampire folklore, greek mythology, and witch craft. I went parasailing to get an idea for what flying felt like and I spent a month in Ireland because the end of this story takes place there. I am so big on hands on research.

    @Robin, In my humble opinion I don't really like having my friends beta read for me. I like having my friends read my stories and give me opinions or suggestions but friends can be biased (in a good way!). Sometimes you can have other authors beta read for you but I personally love having readers beta read for me. Going to author/writer sites like yalitchat.com is a big help in finding these people.

    @Irene lol. I don't know what you could persuade them with but you could always use guilt. I'm half jewish and half catholic so I have been guilted into a lot by my parents! :D But I would consider going to a site like yalitchat.com or shewrites.com to find someone who might want to critique your work.

    I can tell you Irene that I am normally working on 3 stories at once. Two that I am actually writing or editing and one that is in my head. There is nothing wrong with working on multiple stories at once but it is good to try and make one of them your main focus while the other sit on the back burner a little. When you get writers block you can turn to the stories on the back burner and work on them because writing is what will bring you out of your writers block. Just a suggestion but there are many things you could try. :)

    Hope this advice helps!

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  23. My "book pimp" Mindy keeps suggesting that I read this book and after reading this interview I definitely CANNOT WAIT! I enjoyed the enitre interview, but I loved how she signed her name <3's and fangs!!!

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  24. Loved the interview! I haven't read Vampyre Kisses but I've heard it's awesome so I'm excited it's going to be a series. Can't wait to read it!

    Elizabeth, do you have plans for a new book or series after Vampyre Kisses?

    Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!

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  25. @Linaramz ... I love hearing that you have heard about my book before. It always surprises me but I love it :) ... So I have never been asked that question before! I think I am so focused on VK as a series that at the moment I don't have another series in mind yet. I don't think I'll be ready to think about another series until I am done with this one. It just consumes me that much. :D

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  26. Great Interview!!

    How do you come up with your Characters Identities??

    I love the part where you say to trust in your instincts and to never take no for an answer!!

    Follow your dreams and you can never go wrong!!

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  27. @Michele, when it comes to my characters identities it was really my characters that came to me and told me who they were. My characters come to me with very basic identities but as I write they develop a life of their own and come in to themselves. Its truly amazing and the only difference between me and a schizophrenic is that I get paid. lol.

    Liz ^_^

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  28. My question: Did you have the idea for a vampire book before the Twilight Phenomenon or did Twilight encourage the idea?

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  29. Great interview. I really want to read this book and excited now to hear this is a series!!!

    Best of luck to you.

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  30. Good advice to new & budding writers. Hope they follow it.
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  31. Hi again!

    So Ms. Dawn! I can honestly say that I started writing this book way before twilight was released. I didn't even read twilight or hear about it until I was done writing Vampyre Kisses. Twilight isn't truly my idea of a vampire book. I respect the author and her book but, it wasn't my cup of tea.
    Authors like Kim Harrison really encouraged me to keep writing Vampyre Kisses. :)

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  32. This sounds like a GREAT book! This will be going on my TBR list.

    So, Elizabeth, if you were fortunate enough to see your book "on the big screen", who would you want to play the lead roles and why?

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  33. Would like to know what quirky things she has to do while writing

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  34. @Laura H. .. OMG! I hate this question! lol. Only because I have no clue. It's hard picking out and actor or actress to be my characters. HOWEVER! I did figure out a couple months ago that I would love if Rain from Ninja Assassin played Zou Tai. He's so dreamy and could totally play a werewolf. Probably need some no named actors for Trent and Faith. hmmmm.. you'll have to tell me what you think after reading the book. :)

    @QueenJane .. quirky things? hmmm. I dunno if I do anything quirky. Sometimes I ask my muse to help and act out scenes with me or I have him over to whine and complain to when I have writers block. Not sure that is quirky though.... um. I have to have the tv on. That's kind of quirky. :) I can't concentrate if it's not. I dunno why. But the sound will be low.

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