Author Spotlight


Immersed with ...

Liz Craven


I stumbled across Liz Craven completely by accident. I was looking for something to read and found Prophesied, the first in her Interplantary League. I could not believe how quickly she had me hooked. I love good science fiction and add romance to the that  and you canít pry me away. So I knew that I had to talk to Liz about this series and what she had coming out. Iím glad to say that she was happy to talk to me and answer my questions!


Tell us a bit about your recent Series from Samhain, Interplanetary League. 

The Interplanetary League Series results from a lifetime of nerdiness. I wore glasses in kindergarten, Iíve been to a Star Trek convention, and Iíve attended comic book conventions.  (My mother is so proud.)  I suppose years of movies and shows that deal with human engineering had me feeling sorry for the creation, be it Frankenstein or Kahless.  (For the few who get the reference: Yes, thatís how you spell it.  I was surprised, too.)

The first in the series, Prophesied, focuses on a woman conceived to be the fulfillment of a prophecy which ends the millennia long war between two houses.  To unite all factions, sheís wed to the son of the rebellion leader mere hours after her birth.  A lonely childhood punctuated by assassination attempts has Lia seizing the first opportunity to escape.  Talon spends years searching for his missing bride and is stunned to find her less than willing to be ďrescuedĒ and returned to her rightful place.

I had intended Prophesied to be a stand-alone novel, but the imaginary people in my head had other ideas.  Immersed follows Talonís sister, who joins an interplanetary medical exchange program.  Her brother pulls some strings and Ilexa finds herself ensconced on a tribal world under the watchful eye of his best friend, Thane.  In attempting to adapt to their traditional lifestyle, she manages to turn the entire tribe upside down.  Her actions make her enemies, and Thane finds himself having to choose between her and his people. 


Do you have a special story in mind for Vardin? Because I'm really intrigued LOL!

I had not initially planned to write Vardin's story.  In fact, I had not intended him to play anything other than a minor role in Prophesied.  He's one of those characters that wrote his own way into the story and is probably the most popular character of the series.  I do plan to write his story (I don't think he'd let me not), but it will be a while yet.  He still has his work cut out for him with Talon's family.


Is there a character that has just made you want to do a story for him/her?

Funny you should ask that.  I've been toying with the idea of writing a short story about Mauri, a minor character from Prophesied.  Something about her really intrigues me, even though I know very little about her (so far).  I'm hoping she becomes a bit more forthcoming.


When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?

I wish I could have the story plotted out perfectly in outline form.  I know a number of authors who do that and I hateóI mean admireóthem.  When I write, I know how the story begins, ends, and a few things that happen along the way.  The more I try to actually sit down and draft a plan, the more my characters rebel.  Thane and Ilexa were particularly difficult.  No matter what I wanted they did as they pleased.  I spent hours screeching at pads of paper and my computer screen.  (My characters are not real peopleÖMy characters are not real peopleÖMy characters are not real peopleÖ)


Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?

I donít draw inspiration from people for my characters.  People confuse and baffle me.  I do however use the things that happen to my friends in my contemporary writings.  Be warned!  The more humiliating the better!  For those who read my first book, Carjacked, Lily has a particularly embarrassing moment in a barbeque restaurant.  That actually happened to a friend of mine who worked for a State Attorney Generalís office.  She was in the rural part of her state and they stopped for lunch.  The place was packed with mostly men.  Her investigator (a man) picked the restaurant for the very reason that embarrassed my character Ė and my friend!


Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.

Sadly, Iím not interesting enough to have secrets. (See, question 1, supra.)


Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Tuesdays.  Every Tuesday, I go to a local restaurant here on St. Croix and spend four or five hours sitting at the bar writing.  They have two-dollar margaritas and have gotten to know me so well, when I show up, they plug my laptop into the coffee pot.  I donít have to place an order.  My chicken skewers and drinks show up by magic.  (Thanks, Penny!)


What do you need before you start writing?  Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice donít flow?

I have some Miquelrius notebooks I picked up in Spain.  They are A4 grid paper, which is much smaller than US graph paper.  As someone who writes in pencil and has tiny handwriting, these notebooks are a must.  I find that Iím much more creative when I write by hand.   (I wrote Immersed completely by hand.)  Also, I have to be out of the house.  If I sit at home, I turn on the TV or surf the netÖI donít do anything important like clean or cook. 


Does music influence your writing?  If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?

Not really.  Iím a metalhead.  If I turn on music I love, I find myself headbanging and singing along, which is not conducive to writing and irritates the neighbors.  No, Iím not talking about my musical preferences.  As a child in church, my mother would lean over and suggest I just mouth the words to the hymnsÖwhen your mother thinks you canít sing, you really canít sing.  On the rare occasion I listen to music as I write, I lean heavily on classical, Celtic, and Dead Can Dance.


If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?

Honestly, Iíve never thought about it.  I know some people cut out pictures of models and keep a notebook with the pictures to describe their characters, but not me.  Iím not a visual person.  Words convey sensation, emotion and sound to me, not images.  To tell the truth, Iíd probably want unknowns.  The idea of anyone Iíve actually seen playing my characters is disturbing.  (Except Johnny Depp.  That man can act!)


Where were you when you got your first contract?  Who did you tell first?

I was living in North Carolina when Carjacked was contracted.  I was so excited I almost peed myself. (I mentioned my motherís pride in me, right?)  I immediately called one of my dearest friends, the poor soul who had been stuck reading and rereading the manuscript.  After her, I told anyone who would stand still long enough to listen.


What are you currently working on?

Right now, Iím working on the third Interplanetary League book, tentatively titled Escaped.  Itís Bastianís story.  Iím also working on a contemporary fantasy that takes place on my beautiful island.


Where can readers find your books? (currently for Kindleóin print in May),,,,, and, among others.


Any other tidbits about other books you have published you would like to share?

HmmmÖCarjacked is probably the book that best shows my dry voice.  Also, I have a short story series about shape shifters that Iím often asked about.  I have recently finished the third in the series and hope to submit it to publishers soon.





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