Hi, Anna! Thanks for having me on your blog!
Hi Lillie, Welcome to Anna's Book Blog. I'm glad to have you here. To start off can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
Well, I came to writing after I became disabled. I'd always loved reading and writing, but never seemed to have time to put my skills to use. When I found out I wasn't going to be able to work anymore, my doctor told me to find a 'hobby'. LOL! I guess I showed him! Writing is a passion and publication, a dream come true. I'd probably go crazy now if I didn't write, the voices sharing my gray matter want to be heard.
Life After Death is your debut novel, can you tells us a little about it? In my story, the heroine, Chelsea Karmikel, is a little accident prone (I have to use real life experiences in this case, lol), and through her own clumsiness, she almost causes her own death. Then this weird ability to begins, something that has been passed down throughout her family, she becomes a seer. Her new reality includes ghosts, and they all want something from her. But there are other things hidden from her sight, the Inbetween is one of them, a way station for souls, and the Nevernever, the place where souls can get sucked into, but can't get back out… they become a meal for those inhabiting that dark place. Into her life walks her gorgeous hero, Brad Rearden, a private detective investigating his aunt's death. He suspects Chelsea's taken advantage of his good natured aunt, a stranger as her soul beneficiary… until he touches her. As Brad and Chelsea get to know one another, one thing becomes apparent, they were meant to be together. Another darker force wants Chelsea too, the Nevernever has had a taste of her light and demands more. Brad has to protect Chelsea, to lose her would be like experiencing his own living death. But, his aunt's murderer also wants Chelsea. It becomes a race against time, who will win? The murderer? The Nevernever? Or will Brad be able to keep Chelsea in the land of the living?
What is your writing day like? Well, I wish I could say I sit in front of my laptop all day, spilling virtual ink onto virtual pages… I've found I need tuned into an engaging movie… it becomes white noise for me…. it makes listening to the voices easier somehow, lol, or maybe it's just my weirdness. If I can't have the television on in the background, music will do in a pinch, David Bowie is my current favorite, but if I writing an action scene, hard pounding rock is needed, something like (for the oldies) Ozzy Osborne or (for the newbies) some pop music like All Time Low (I love, love, love All Time Low!)
When you're not writing what kind of books do you like to read? OMG… Who don't I read would probably be easier! Old favorites: Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris (I had a fan girl moment last April, I actually got to meet her!), Dean Koontz, Mario Acevedo, James Patterson, Vicki Pettersson, Beth Kery, Robin Burcell, John Sandford… my list could go on to infinity. New favorites: Hildie McQueen, Louann Carroll, Lynn Rush, Kendall Grey, Avery Olive, Lara Nance, Danica Winters (all indy authors or small publishing houses). I read a wide variety from mysteries, chillers and thrillers, erotica, sweet to saucy romance…mostly paranormal sprinkled a smattering of contemporary, all kinds of YA and urban fantasy.
What has your road to becoming published been like? Ah… the road to publication… well, it's a lot more disappointment that joy, lol, there's nothing like submitting one of your babies to a publisher only to be told it's not for them. But, the unmitigated joy of receiving an email that says we love your book is unparalleled! For me, I had a few near misses before submitting to Crimson Romance (the ebook imprint of F + W Media), they've been nothing but helpful, and the editor I worked with, Jess, is fantastic. I've only been seriously writing for about three and a half to four years, and I'd never submitted anything to a publisher before 2011. So, some might think it was an easy journey, but they'd be wrong. It takes a lot of hearing "no" before you refining your manuscript to what a publisher is looking for… It's a lot of hard work… real blood, sweat, and tears! But, so worth it in the end.
What are 3 things that are "must haves" for you when you sit down to write a book? I must have my white noise, but not just any white noise, it has to be engaging as well. Copious amounts of water, writing is thirsty business, especially those sexy love scenes. *wink* :) And, last but certainly not least, my laptop and iPhone, (and my iPad most of the time). I use them interchangeably for research, calling friends to ask questions (Does this sound alright? My sister is probably sick to death of me.), contacting other authors I know, both my email or by phone, for a pep talk, reassurance, and celebration.
If you could give your lead characters one piece of advice, what would it be? To Chelsea, I'd say, opened your eyes, woman!! Believe in the unbelievable! Life is too short, grab what's good and forget the rest. To Brad, I'd say, look before you leap. You could end up missing out or messy up what you need the most, love.
What inspired you most while writing Life After Death? I've always enjoyed a good ghost story, and somehow, this one grabbed ahold of me and would not let go. I got to thinking about what might happen to a person who's died and brought back to life? Would their life change? How would it change? What if a piece of the afterlife got entwined with their own? What would the repercussions be? That's how I came up with Life After Death (at least in my mind… it's what happens to Chelsea… her life after her untimely almost demise). And besides, that Chelsea Karmikel is one mouthy seer!! Talked my ear off! LOL
If you could cast your lead characters, which actors would you pick? Emma Stone would be perfect as Chelsea, because she's a tiny bit of a klutz, a little bit saucy, but really knows how to grab the drama and make it her own, she has the humor to bring Chelsea to life. Zac Efron, like he was in the movie The Lucky One… hard hitting, loyal to a fault, sexy as hell and larger than life, willing to take on the devil to save his one true love, he'd be perfection as Brad.
What is next for you? Well, right now, I've have a couple of books out with publishers (it's really hard as an unagented writer to get noticed by a publisher). One of the writing contests I entered last year earned me a rewrite with a well known publisher, so it's a waiting game to see if they like the revisions. If they don't, it will be on to the next publisher because I LOVE this story!! I also have a YA novel out with a publisher for a look, only time will tell if they're interested. I'm also writing a paranormal romance, a steampunk romance, a middle-grade/YA, and a retelling of the Scarlet Pimpernel (because that story rocks my world, sexy Englishman out to save the French nobles from persecution and the guillotine, action and adventure and sexy to boot!). As you can see, I'm busy and maybe, overly ambitious! I hope to have more publishing news in the near future.
Again, a big thanks to Anna for having me on her blog. Anna's Book Blog has always been one of my favorites, she reviews the best books!! And no one can rival her library!
If you like to know about my writing or heck, about my life in general… I can be found at…
http://myblog2point0.blogspot.com/ (Tink's Place)
If you'd like to "like" my author page, I'd sure appreciate it!
If you'd like to "like" Life After Death on B&N, again, much appreciated!
Life After Death
By Lillie J. Roberts
Chelsea Karmikel has led a pretty uneventful life…until she finds herself electrocuted. Now, she’s discovered her family’s secret heritage. She’s a seer of the dead, lending her sight to help those in need. Ghosts are her new reality.
Her mission is to encourage those who have lost their way to follow the Watchman, the crazed guide for the Inbetween…a way station where souls move from one existence to the next. But, there’s something deeper and darker than the ghosts who come to her for help. If Chelsea’s not careful, those eager to swallow her soul’s light may devour her alive… if she allows herself be drawn into the Nevernever.
When Brad Rearden, a darkly handsome, insufferable private detective and walks into her life, he touches off a wild-fire of desire that entraps them both, scorching them with need.
Together, they work to solve the mystery of his Aunt Deloris’s death, because Chelsea’s next on the murderer’s list. But who will catch whom—the murderer or Chelsea?
Life After Death can be purchased at these stores:
GIVEAWAYThanks to Lillie I have a copy (Kindle or epub) of Life After Death to giveaway. To enter leave a comment along with email address. Open to everyone. The winner will be announced on April 25th. Good Luck!