An Interview with Lizzy Charles, Author of EFFORTLESS WITH YOU
Today I'm very excited to share this interview with Lizzy Charles, author of EFFORTLESS WITH YOU, a YA e-book recently published by Swoon Romance.
Lizzy is a fellow Minnesota author, so of course I jumped at the chance to interview her during this month's blog tour.
EFFORTLESS WITH YOU
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.
Because Lizzy and I both write Contemporary YA, my interview is mainly focused on her writing experience.
When did you start writing? Was there a certain book you read and it just hit you – I could do this?
Lizzy Charles: I’ve always loved writing. In first grade, I was obsessed with writing projects the moment I discovered I could take construction paper and fold it into a book. I never had an Oh my gosh! I think I can do this moment from anything I’ve read. I’ve always known I wanted to write a book. It was actually the birth of my first child that made me open my eyes and realize that I needed to at least try for my dream, otherwise how could I encourage my children to try for theirs?
How did you decide to write YA fiction - or did it decide on you?
LC: I’ve always been an avid YA fiction reader. I don’t know if I decided that’s what I wanted to write, but it’s certainly what always pours out of me.
Do you mainly write contemporary fiction or have you explored other genres?
LC: So far, only contemporary fiction. I played with the beginning for a dark fantasy as a writing exercise, but it just didn’t click for me. I do hope to revisit it someday, when I need something new.
How did you come up with the idea for EFFORTLESS WITH YOU?
LC: I wanted to write a story with the dynamic relationship reflective of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. I loved the way Elizabeth loathed the cocky Mr. Darcy. You’ll find that dynamic between Lucy and Justin in EFFORTLESS WITH YOU.
One thing I like to do with all of my projects is create Love Lists - the aspects or details I love most about the story or the characters. What do you love about EFFORTLESS WITH YOU?
- Lucy’s emotions are all over the place. In one thought, she captures so many conflicting thoughts and perspectives. It’s everything I remember about being a teenager.
- The novel features the James. J. Hill House, one of my favorite locations in St. Paul.
- Alex. He’s a secondary character but he’s fun and so enjoyable. I feel an Alex novella or novel coming on....
- Justin... Oh, man, I love that guy. I love that he’s gentle in his strength and not afraid to admit when he’s wrong.
- Marissa. She’s a total witch in the story, but I kind of love her for it. She’s so lost.
Are you a daytime writer or a nighttime writer?
LC: More than anything, I want to be a daytime writer, but most of my writing is done after 9pm on the couch.
(SB: Word. Right there with ya, sister.)
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
LC: EFFORTLESS WITH YOU was pure pantsing. My second novel (still working on a title) was plotting with freedom for exploration. I guess it depends on what my characters are showing me. (Yeah, characters show me things. But I think that’s normal for writers, right?)
(SB: Absolutely right!)
Coffee, tea, or other?
LC: Tea. Always tea. In the Fall/Winter, I’m an Earl Grey gal. Spring/Summer, I’m into Black Peach Tea.
What do you love best about living in the Twin Cities?
LC: It’s gorgeous here. I love that we have four seasons, even though I’m not a fan of Winter. But even that has such quiet beauty. I love the lakes, the people, the theaters, and the gazillion types of food we have in the city. It’s a great place to live.
(SB: I totally agree!)
How has the role of social media influenced or impacted your journey?
LC: I would have never connected with my critique group, Swoon Romance, or my agent if it wasn’t for Twitter. There’s a huge writing community there and I was basically struggling through tar until I reached out for critiques and started entering pitch contests.
Share one crazy fact about yourself that you’d like readers to know.
LC: I like to park on the top of parking ramps. Something about being closest to the sky makes me feel comfortable. Odd, but true. :) (Don’t worry, I only subject myself to this torture. I’ll grab a regular spot if someone else is with me.)
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Lizzy, and best of luck with EFFORTLESS WITH YOU!
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.
Connect with Lizzy
Lizzy Charles on Facebook
Effortless With You on Goodreads