Friday, September 6, 2013

Interview with Lizzy Charles, author of EFFORTLESS WITH YOU

It's a pleasure to have Lizzy Charles here to talk about her new book, Effortless With You. I met Lizzy through Query Kombat, where she was one of our fantastic judges. Query Kombat helped keep her busy as she waited patiently for her book to release, and now here it is! And it is not only available to buy, it's a five category bestseller on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Would you share a blurb about Effortless With You, Lizzy. What genre and age category does it fall into and what makes it unique? 
Lizzy: Effortless With You is a contemporary young adult romance novel. The age category can’t really be defined, as I wrote the novel with intention for it to cross to readers well into adulthood. Many adults have enjoyed the novel, as themes of parenting, mental health, and bullying run firmly throughout Effortless With You.

Here’s the official blurb:
 School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can't end fast enough.

To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls' dreams, but definitely not Lucy's. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he's the most beautiful jerk Lucy's ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there's more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs.

Did you have a favorite scene when you were writing it and why did it mean the most to you?
Lizzy: My favorite scene is the basketball scene, where Lucy finally steps out onto the court and completely kicks Justin’s butt. It means the most to me because it’s the first piece of fiction I ever wrote and, other than a few choice words here or there, never changed.

What’s the most amazing compliment your book received?
Lizzy: Honestly, the best compliments I receive come from individual readers. I’ve loved my book blogger reviews, they shock me in their awesomness and send me to my knees. But the compliments I get through email, facebook messages, and direct messages, are the ones that really stick with me. My favorite is when readers thank me for either accurately reflecting what it feels like to be a teenager or reminding them what it felt like when they were a teen. I think that’s a pretty high compliment. I really wanted to truthfully reflect the emotions a teenage girl goes through, in a mature way, throughout Effortless With You.

I’ve always suspected writers of romance fall a little bit in love with their characters. Is that true of you?
Lizzy: That’s a great question. I definitely love Justin, the love interest in my story, but not in a swooning type of way. I try to write love interests that I can respect. Justin’s honestly not “my type.” He’s an outgoing, business minded jock. I married an introverted musician who’d rather discuss faith and politics than watch sports.

How long have you been writing and is Effortless With You your first book?
Lizzy: I’ve been writing for three years. And, yes, Effortless With You, is my first novel. From first sentence to print, it was exactly three years. I spent two of those years learning how to write and revise, before sending a single query.

As a mom with two small children, how to you find time to write? I imagine you crouched over the computer, snatching in two minutes. What’s the truth behind your time management skills?
Lizzy: I don’t have any? .-) Honestly, I just write when the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes I think I’m crazy to be trying to do this with a three year old, one year old, and being pregnant. I work part-time as an evening neonatal intensive care nurse to cut childcare costs, so on the evenings I don’t work, I write after I get my little ones in bed. My best writing ideas happen on my drive into work, so I’ll jot down notes on my breaks. Also, occasionally my unit is overstaffed, so I can get the day off. On those glorious days, I bring the laptop to Barnes and Noble, buy a soy chai tea latte, and go to town.

I know you are represented by Jamie Bodnar Drowley. Getting the Call is such a highlight in a writer’s life. Give us the quick lowdown on how it took place.
Lizzy: Jamie Bodnar Drowly was always my dream agent. When I was querying, she was a new agent that I’d heard amazing things about from other author friends. I was drawn most to Jamie’s professionalism, kindness, and brain activity. Brain activity? Yeah! She’s an orthodontist. As a nurse and writer, I LOVE that she’s driven by both her left brain and right brain (Can you tell that I’m a nerd and love science?). The fact that she’s owned orthodontic practices gives her great people skills, business skills, and contract negotiation skills. Not to mention, she knows how to work hard! That’s a tough profession, not to mention the schooling. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t admit how much I admired her from afar! I really thought she rocked!

As for our call, it was something that I think neither of us expected. I’m normally extremely nervous on the phone, but somehow, talking with Jamie is like speaking to a sister. We got along so well. After giving me feedback and advice on my manuscript, I was shocked when Jamie offered. I was so thankful she was taking her time to give me advice. When she offered representation, I lost all sense of professionalism. I threw out a lot “Are you kidding? For real? Wait, What!?” lines. We had a great laugh together!


When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

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