Today I have the distinct pleasure of introducing a talented author, editor, and friend. Lea Schizas wears so many hats that they must take up every inch of her husband’s closet space and then some. I met Lea through the Muse Online Writers Conference--a free, 100% online writers conference she co-founded with award-winning author Carolyn Howard-Johnson. A multi-published author and award-winning editor, Lea is involved in numerous projects--many of which serve to promote the work and hone the craft of her fellow writers. Our focus today will be on her paranormal thriller Doorman’s Creek (eTreasures Publishing), which is available in eBook and print formats.
I still don’t feel like I’ve done you justice, but welcome to The Book Connection, Lea. It’s wonderful to have you here!
There’s no justice to be made. Being here is an honor. Thank you for the opportunity to have some ‘Lea time’.
Let’s get started by finding out more about you. How long have you been writing? What genres are you most interested in? And how do you pronounce your last name? I would hate to think I’ve been saying it in my head wrong all this time.
Okay, let’s take your questions in order: How long have I been writing? The right question to have asked me is ‘How long have you NOT been writing.’ To be totally honest, way back in elementary school I always aced writing competitions, compositions, and anything else connected to reading and writing. So, I won’t tell you how long that has been because then you’ll figure out I’m going to be fifty soon…oops!
I love writing mysteries, dark fiction, and books for children. All three of these genres may or may not include some sort of paranormal hints in the storylines but they would be aimed for the young adult or older crowd.
How is my last name pronounced? SKEES-US the accent placed on SKEES
You’re a wife and mother to five children. How important is the support of your family to your writing career?
Now, you may find my answer a bit harsh but bear with me. I place no importance whether or not my family support my writing career because this is MY passion running through my blood and they may not realize what it means to me. However, it is important to me for them to realize the importance of me wanting to further my writing career. I place more emphasis on having them understand this passion than having them support me because if they understand then the space I need to write in peace is given, whether they’re happy to be quiet for a spell or not. Hope that made sense.
What is your writing process like? Do you write every day? Is there a time of day when you’re more productive than others?
I write EVERY DAY, regardless if it’s only one word, I try to get something down on paper so I feel as though I accomplished something. As for the time of day…any time I get some peace and quiet, which is rare in this household of five kids, friends, phone calls, and a dog needing to go out.
I use a rotational disc method meaning everything I’ve written or writing I place on a separate disc. I take disc one, work on that until my brain is exhausted then I place it at the back of the pile and move on to disc two. This way, I give time for me to rejuvenate my thoughts on any one writing piece by the time I get to it again.
Now we’ll move on to Doorman’s Creek. Can you share with our readers what this novel is about? What was your source of inspiration?
This book is about intuitions and dreams…what happens when two characters begin to experience these two elements and how they join forces to figure them out before a killer strikes again.
My inspiration? An old movie with Faye Dunaway, The Eyes of Laura Mars, where she sees murders happening through the killer’s eyes. In Doorman’s Creek, Kyle Anderson, my teen hero, suddenly acquires this new talent after he discovers a hidden cave…and an unknown entity that pits him smack in a serial killer’s path.
In Chapter One, we meet Kyle Anderson and his parents, Susan and Richard. What can you tell us about them?
Susan and Richard love each other and dote on their only son, but not to the point of spoiling him. They have rules and as a normal teen, Kyle pushes them to the limit.
Susan is a strong-willed and adamant female, always trying to resolve a problem. Richard’s a detective but doesn’t bring his work home.
I have to tell you that you’re making me look real good. I thought no one was a more sarcastic parent than me, but Susan and Richard make me look like June Cleaver. Why did you decide to portray Susan and Richard this way?
No particular reason. I guess that’s the relationship I have with my children, always teasing but strict when it comes to following the house rules. This probably unintentionally went into their background.
Also, I needed to establish a grounding on how much ground Kyle would be able to cover on his own. By having him sneak out in the middle of the night with his friends to visit this cave that has fascinated him, I set the stage of the consequences to come. Without the parents’ rules into play, then Kyle’s sneaking out and venturing on his own wouldn’t have made such an impact.
In this chapter we also meet Kyle’s best friends, Shawn and Bradley. How tight are these guys? Are they going to stick together when the going gets tough?
Ah, well, I can’t really tell you if they’ll stick together or else that will spoil the read. But I can tell you these three guys are really tight.
Shawn is your typical handsome and athletic kid who is all talk, a nice kid who is misunderstood because of his mannerisms. Bradley is a bookworm, the total opposite of Shawn. Then Kyle comes smack in the middle, having characteristics of both of these guys which is why all three get along so great.
This sounds like a fascinating book, Lea. So tell us, where can we get our hands on a copy of Doorman’s Creek?
Doorman’s Creek is published by eTreasures and is available in both ebook and print. The ebook is only 4.00 and the print book is 7.99, very affordable.
To purchase and to read an excerpt, you can link here:
What’s up next for you? I’m sure you have something else up your sleeve.
You’re right on that one, Cheryl. I have several books in the works right now, all with a bit of the paranormal and mystery attached to them. I also have a few children’s fiction and nonfiction books I am almost finished with.
Also, we launched a new project called Musing Our Children, where several writers have banded together to visit schools and make children aware of the benefits of reading and writing. We’ll be hosting a Reading and Writing Appreciation Week on October 15-19,2007 and invite storytellers, writers, and illustrators to join us. For more info, you can link here: http://musingourchildren.tripod.com/
Is there anything you would like to add?
Yes, I’d like to take this opportunity and tell the writers who may read this not to give up, no matter what the remarks from family and friends may be, no matter what anyone else who is full of negativity might tell them.
My first year when I started writing I had one writer turn around and tell me, “You sure you want to be a writer? Stick to hairdressing.” His remark only fuelled me to prove him wrong. Unfortunately, there are many writers out there who lack this inner feeling that they have what it takes to be a writer. All I want to tell them is to remember the passion and reason they write. That will fuel them for a long time to come.
Thanks for joining us today, Lea. It’s always great to hear about what you’ve been working on. I wish you much continued success.
Thank you, Cheryl, for the opportunity to talk about my newest release, Doorman’s Creek. Had a great time and can’t wait to be back in the near future.