Interview with Liz Carey

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love reading things on my Android and use CoolReader. I'm not a techie, so I tend to make things as simple as possible. Which, I guess is pretty funny considering I used to be a network administrator for General Electric and the Marketing Director for an ISP during the beginning of the DotCom (or Dot Bomb, as I like to call it) Start Up phase in the mid-90s.
Describe your desk
I have a roll-top desk with a space for my laptop. It sits in a nook just off my kitchen with red walls and a window that looks out over magenta azaleas and wisteria in the spring; wild roses, cosmos and calla lilies in the summer and a beautiful hedge row of swedish ivy and this lovely bush with green and red leaves in the fall. on the left in little cubby holes are bills and things for our house, but on the right the cubby holes are filled with pieces of paper scribbled with story ideas, folders packed with ghost stories for a book on Ghosts of Northern Kentucky I've been working on for six years, photographs that spur story ideas and correspondence that holds the beginning of conversations in an as yet unwritten murder mystery.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in central Kentucky in a small town called Versailles. My family comes from eastern Kentucky, specifically Ashland and Louisa. My mom comes from a family of seven kids and grew up in an area called Mossy Bottom. My Dad grew up on a farm called Cat Creek with his seven brothers and sisters. No matter which side the family gathering is on, you can be sure there are women gathered around the dining room table telling stories - sometimes the same stories we've heard for years and years. I think the love of those stories, the love of making someone laugh, the love of explaining a stand by telling about something that happened, the love of the criss cross of memories and connecting dots to make a point - that's what led me to write. That's what taught me the power of words.
When did you first start writing?
I think I was 13 when I first started to write. My English teachers in high school helped me to see that writing was a way I could deal with my father's death. And they told me I was good at it. At the time, I didn't listen, because I wanted to be a doctor like my father, but when I got to organic chemistry in college, I know that wasn't going to be the career path for me. I worked briefly at the college newspaper and then took a job as a stringer for the local scripps paper covering small towns in Ohio and Indiana. I broke a story about a fire chief who had stolen a police radio for his own car and filed an insurance claim for it to cover his tracks, and uncovered Ku Klux Klan activity in Brookville, Indiana, and I was hooked. Looking back at the stories now, it's amazing how bad they were, but after 20 years of writing, I think I'm a little better now. The thing about writing is that you're never finished learning how to do it better. And that excitement over crafting the perfect sentence, the perfect description, the perfect turn of a phrase, never gets old.
What's the story behind your latest book?
After working as a reporter in Anderson County for several years, I became friends with the then interim administrator Rusty Burns. We talked a lot about my writing and the books I was working on and about some of the other stuff my family did, including organizing a Zombie Pub Crawl to raise money for a local domestic violence and child sexual abuse prevention organization. During dinner one night, Rusty looked at me and said "Liz, I know what you need to do. You need to write a kids book about zombies." We all laughed at it, but later that night, at about 4 a.m., I woke up with the whole book in my head. I got up in the middle of the night, wrote the book on a piece of paper in my kitchen and fell back into bed. The next morning, I typed it into the computer and signed the original and gave it to Rusty. As far as I know, it's still in his kitchen. And since then, I've been working on getting it published and illustrated. This year, I decided to publish it on my own as a birthday present to my mother, who always wanted to say her daughter was an author, as well as a reporter.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
For years, I've pushed my work out to publishers and agents. But "My Little Zombie" was different. I didn't want to wait until it was too late to publish it. I wanted to take control and try e-publishing with something I knew would sell in order to test the waters.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love hearing people laugh at what I've written. Or to see their eyes light up when they get the hidden joke in the turn of a phrase... Whether it's creating a character people love to hate, or setting a scene that makes people just a tad uncomfortable, there's something in being able to make people have a reaction to what you write that is like no other feeling in the world.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are, without a doubt, the people that keep me going. There are days when I am too tired, or too lazy, or too blocked to come up with one more word. But a kind word from some of the people who are my greatest fans and I am back at it again.
What are you working on next?
I have several children's books that I have written that I will be looking to publish either electronically or in printed form - maybe both. And I have three murder mysteries that are in various states of completion. On top of that, I will once again try my hand at National Novel Writing Month and see if I can't complete a novel in 30 days. Wish me luck!
Who are your favorite authors?
Without a doubt, I love Karl Hiassen, Tess Gerritsen, Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich. For kids books, my favorites are Jaime Lee Curtis and Maurice Sendak.
Published 2013-09-04.
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Books by This Author

My Little Zombie
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 770. Language: English. Published: September 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Monsters, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
What happens when Lily finds a zombie in the park? She takes it home to make it her pet, of course!