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I’ve got more dirt  – ahem – another author interview for you! Our guest today for Behind the Quill is the fantastic Liz Jasper, award-winning author of Underdead and Underdead in Denial. She’s been one busy woman! But I was lucky enough to catch up with Liz right after she released her latest novel, Crimson in the VERY Wrong Fairy Tale.

Here’s what she had to say:

Me:When did you first realized you wanted to be a writer?LJ: I’ve been writing since I was a kid, though back then it was mostly because I liked folding the papers and stapling them in a center like a real book. I moved on to writing terribly earnest poetry in college.  In grad school I was a bit swamped for time so I stuck to dirty limericks. A friend and I used to pass them back and forth in statistics class and once we got the giggles so bad we had to leave. I want to apologize to that teacher. Ahem. Again.

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Me: How did it feel to publish Crimson in the VERY Wrong Fairy Tale? What did you do when it was finally launched? And was this experience different from when your Underdead mysteries were first launched through traditional publishing?

LJ: It feels great. Is it different? Yes and no. I still get the most wonderful happy feeling when I hold a published book in my hand. (I do a happy dance–fully on Snoopy version–when a book is published and that doesn’t change.) What I love about doing the indy publishing route on my own is that this book is just how I want it. But a lot of it is the same. I still work with an editor. And a copy editor. And a cover artist. (All of whom are fabulous.) And I have a great group of author buddies (some of whom I’ve known since we all had the same publisher) so that camaraderie is still there. And that is key. To me anyways. But now I feel like I get to know readers better and that part is a big bonus. Love getting fan mail. LOVE.

Me: If you could be a character from any one of your books for a day, which one would you be and why?

LJ: Hmm. Drat it, let’s be honest here, I’d totally go for one of the evil characters. Beyond that, dunno. Vampire or demon. Vampire or demon. Gah, too many fun options!

Me: If Crimson in the Very Wrong Fairy Tale was made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters’ part?

LJ: I’m so bad at this sort of thing. The characters are SO clear in my head that it’s hard to match them to people.

Me: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

LJ: I love writing the big ending scenes. When I conceive of a book they never come in the right order. To date, they always start with some sort of joke and then how it goes absolutely haywire in a big way. For Crimson it was what if a nice girl discovers she’s a princess, only it’s the demon sort? And then I grin and the big bang powerful scene of why this really matters comes next very clearly like I’m watching a movie.

Me: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with in future novels?

LJ: I started writing a mystery series that is still in a drawer (for good reasons–it was the tester pancake book). But I’d love to take it back out and fix it. There are a ton of characters that I really love in that book.

Me: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

LJ: I think the toughest criticisms are the reviews that say something inaccurate. I just want to be able to fix it. At first, though, honestly, it was that first “eh” review. I realized that writing is just like dating in many respects. I had to accept that some people get my sense of humor and love the books and others don’t. It’s just so great when someone DOES get the books that by now I don’t really worry about the other reviews. After all, people like what they like. Everyone in my family are big readers and while there are many books we agree on, there are a lot we don’t.

Me: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

LJ: No idea. Deer in the headlights going on here.

Me: When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do?

LJ: Right now I’m doing a lot of studying. Oh. The. Joy. I love to hike, hang out with family and friends, cook. I’m a big messy cook. You won’t find me shopping. I loathe shopping. Especially shoe shopping.

Me: What are your three favorite forms of procrastination?

LJ: Chocolate, reading, watching tv and hogging the cat.

Me: I’m a chocolate lover, too – especially dark chocolate. YUM. Thank you so much, Liz, for sharing a bit about yourself with us today and good luck with all that studying!

Here’s a little more about Liz Jasper:

Author photo by Andy Johnson

Liz Jasper always enjoyed writing, but in college and graduate school dutifully studied things that would make her “marketable.” Fortunately, she loved her stint as a middle school science teacher (most of the time), her time working as a business analyst and still really enjoys her most recent career switch into financial planning.

And yet…while teaching, doing five-page math problems in graduate school, and doing some serious bonding with Excel, she kept haunting bookstores and compulsively read her way through the library system’s fiction sections in three counties. She took unreasonable joy in fact that, while she very properly interned for a bank during business school, part of what she did for them was write magazine articles. The award she’s secretly most proud of? Her high school English department award.

Being a clever analyst, she eventually admitted she’d always wanted to write novels. And then she went ahead and wrote one. She shoved that in a drawer, took some classes and started again.

Why does she always end up writing paranormals? After five years teaching middle school followed by way too much crunching numbers, writing about blood-sucking demons is only natural.

Want to know more? Then check out Liz at her website, follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter!

So, what did you think? Do you have other questions for Liz Jasper? If so, post them in the comments and I’ll see if I can get her answer a few of them for us.