Sunday, September 16, 2007

Meet Author Lea Schizas

"DOORMAN’S CREEK by Lea Schizas has to be one of the best books I have ever read, period. Part mystery, part paranormal thriller, it’s an incredible read that starts with a bang and just keeps going. From the moment the novel starts, you’re taken on a whirlwind of secrets, murder, sacrifice and death that just gets better with every page." --- The Book Pedler

I’m honored to be hosting Lea Schizas today during the virtual book tour for DOORMAN’S CREEK, her intriguing mystery novel published by eTreasures Publishing. It’s such a treat to catch up with this distinguished -- and extremely busy woman of letters. An award-winning author and editor living in Montreal, Lea is the Founder and Editor of two Writer’s Digest 101 Top Writing Sites and the recipient of several Preditors and Editors Awards for Apollo’s Lyre, an online writer’s Zine, and the online writing critique community The MuseItUp Club. She’s also the founder of The Muse Online Writers Conference, The Muse Marquee, and Muse Book Reviews. Her other books include THE ROCK OF THE REALM, a Young Adult fantasy/adventure novel, ALEATORY’S JUNCTION, and THE MUSE ON WRITING.

I’ve wanted to ask Lea so many questions for such a long time -- and am very happy she graciously agreed to the following interview.

1. Where do you get the inspiration for your writing, Lea?

LEA: Oh Betty, I wish I could say something clever like I have a favorite author who I try to copy, but the truth is my inspiration comes from within. I love to write. There’s nothing on this earth that beats escaping for a spell and becoming your character for a few hours. Maybe that’s why all of my characters are so different: alien warrior, teen boy with an uncanny gift to envision past and present murders, a teen girl who finds out she’s a princess…to another realm, a squirrel who constantly argues with a six-legged hamster, a little girl who finds out one bright morning she’s turned into a Barbie doll. Each of them so different and in various genres.

2. How do you find time to do so many things – and not just with your own writing but to help other writers?

LEA: Part of the answer is what I wrote above, a love for what I do. When you have a strong passion for your work, there’s always time. And my family knows when I am on the laptop (okay 23/24 hours a day) they ‘try’ not to bug.

I write and edit everyday, regardless if it’s one paragraph I get done or a whole chapter, these two things are done vigilantly each and every day. When I’m not on the laptop, I have a binder (used to have notebooks but got to the point I had so many scattered all over the place I switched to a binder with tons of paper inside), and when I’m sitting outside drinking coffee, reading a book, or just relaxing, I’ll write in-between. Most of my own stories are first hand-written and then typed into the computer. This way, I always have the story in front of me where I left off instead of having to depend sitting by the computer all the time.

Each day I focus on one or two different commitments I’m involved with. For instance, I may have a few files open with stories I need to edit for publishers, and for a break in-between, I’ll work on one of my sites or newsletters.

I have monthly folders, each containing that month’s deadlines I need to meet. In most cases I meet them all. But there have been a few occasions I have been late.

As for promoting authors; this is a networking business, and to put it bluntly- you scratch someone’s back, they’ll scratch yours. I take pleasure in helping an author since it doesn’t cost me anything to put their newest release in my site, to mention their links/blogs, to interview them or any other promotional step to help them out. By helping them I am in reality also helping myself spread my own good name out there.

So to sum it all up: I write/edit/promote each day because hard work is necessary in order to survive in this writing world.

3. What was your biggest challenge in writing DOORMAN’S CREEK?

LEA: My biggest challenge was converting it from a screenplay to a novel. I love writing dialogue and found the screenplay came easier for me. However, making it into a novel took over a year compared to the mere two months for the screenplay. I had to flesh out the characters more, add descriptive details to see the surroundings and add some of the five senses to bring the reader right into the story.

4. What did you enjoy most about it?

LEA: Funny you should ask but the most appealing aspect involved my chapter endings. I wanted to leave each chapter with a hint of something to come. Although many writers love to write a chapter as a complete story in itself with no cliff hanger to give a reader the option of placing a bookmark, I love the reverse. I want to make them want to peek into the next chapter to see what’s coming up.

5. What’s the most important thing you would like people to know about DOORMAN’S CREEK?

LEA: That it’s like a big puzzle where the reader flips back and forth assuming one character may be the killer and then switching to another until the final conclusion comes to play. I’ve always been intrigued with stories that sway you to continue the read to find out if you were right in your conclusions to the answer, “Who did it?”

6. Who are your favorite mystery authors?

LEA: I don’t have any favorites but some of the authors I loved to read were Agatha Christie, Robert Ludlum, LeCarre, and Stephen King. And I said ‘loved’ because right now, as a book reviewer, I only read books I need to review so have no time to pick up a book just because he/she is my favorite author. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by many first-time authors and their work.

8. What advice would you like to give wannabe writers?

LEA: Ah, you said the magic word: wannabe. This is quite different from ‘newbie’ writers. Let me explain then I’ll advice. Wannabes do a lot of talking but no action ever comes forth. Newbie writers also may to the talk but they are constantly striving to improve their craft, and possess one quality that is missing from wannabes- submitting their work to publishing houses.

So my advice to writers just starting out is to write everyday. Once they believe their piece has been edited to the hilt, to put it away for a few days and then go back and look at it again. I am sure they’ll find something to change. Many fall into the trap of believing their first draft is ready to go and then get disappointed when the rejections keep coming in. There’s a lot of competition we are facing nowadays and , as writers, we must tighten our work in order to be the ones in the acceptance pile.

And one last advice: never doubt yourself and avoid the naysayers. Remember the passion you felt when you first started writing, keep that close to your heart so when someone says, ‘Why bother writing?’ you can answer ‘Because I love what I do.”

Thanks so much for visiting Memosaic today, Lea. It’s a great pleasure to host you!

To order DOORMAN’S CREEK, go to For more information about Lea Schizas, check out her website at

Synopsis of DOORMAN'S CREEK: When Kyle Anderson and his two buddies decide to explore a cave hidden within Doorman's Creek, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton... and an unknown entity, throwing them right into the path of a serial killer. Faced with a sudden gift of visions into past and present disappearances, Kyle must now track down who the murderer is before another family member gets killed. If you enjoy paranormal mysteries, this one is a must-read!

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  • Great interview. I'm in the middle of reading Doorman's Creek and it sure is a page turner.

    Good luck with the rest of your tour, Lea.

    Cheryl M.

    By Blogger Cheryl, At 5:47 AM  

  • Thanks for dropping by, Cheryl.

    It was such fun to host Lea as part of her Virtual Book tour!

    By Blogger Betty Jo, At 5:20 PM  

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