Topic: Author Interview
Lea Schizas the person
1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Generous, tenacious, optimistic
2. How do you think others would describe you?
Never thought of this before but most likely: writeaholic, generous, straightforward
3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
My family, no question about it. Their woes, their accomplishments, anything to do with my husband and children comes before anything else.
4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
Yes, my two year old Daisy...or as we refer to her, "Crazy Daisy". There's a really neat story behind her and one after you read will understand why Daisy is more than a pet to us.
I happened to go on a Thursday night with my little one to the pet shop for a visit, not to buy because my little one had a tremendous fear of animals. But more of a ‘see, animals are nice' type of a trip. Anyway, I spotted Daisy in the cage and fell in love with her right off. Now the only thing I had to do was somehow convince my little one to try to open her mind in allowing a pet in the house. (Daisy is a mix of Shih Tsu and Llasa Apso) My daughter said she would give it her best shot so the deal was she would be alone with me and the puppy in a backroom in the pet shop. This was for me to see her reaction. Well, she jumped so fast on the bench the owner took the puppy back and I took my daughter home. As soon as we got home, she started crying.
"Why are you crying? Because we didn't buy the puppy?"
"No, mom, because I didn't try to be brave."
Well, my heart melted and after she said yes to give it another go we went back to the pet store. I almost cried when I saw the SOLD sign on Daisy's cage. We were leaving when I decided at the last minute to ask the owner to please call the people who placed a deposit on her to see if they really wanted her. Turned out it was a mistake. They had placed the SOLD sign on the wrong cage. We went home with Daisy that very night and my daughter's fear of animals went away in about three months.
But that's not the end of Daisy's story. After four days of owning her, she came down with pneumonia, ended up in the hospital in an oxygen tank for a week. My three hundred dollar puppy now cost us three thousand in hospital fees...but you know what, we wouldn't have done it any other way. Amongst our family and friends pleas to put her down, we wanted to give her a chance and boy are we thrilled we did cos she's one energetic dog, full of love.
5. What is your most precious memory?
This may sound odd, and I'm not an odd person but the most precious memory is when my mom fell halfway into a sewer. That had to be the highlight of my life. To better understand: I was thirteen at the time and my parents and I were coming back from a dance. Mom kept badgering me about tearing my nylons. She's Greek, don't ask. Anyway, I get out on the driver's side the same time like my dad. Then all we heard is, "George! George! Help me!" We ran to the sidewalk and what did we see? Mom hanging on the sides for dear life. As a youngster the first thing that popped into my head was, "Mom, I hope you didn't tear your nylons." Yep, she was a bit annoyed at that to say the least.
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
When I was in junior high school. Mom had purchased these overalls for me, which were nice and all but way too small. Now if you only knew my mom you'd understand that if she believed her baby looked nice in them there was nothing on this earth that would change her mind. So I was ‘forced' to wear them to school. Those overalls kept riding me all through first period so I decided to wear my coat (winter season) for the rest of the day. Principal stops me as I was going to my locker, thinking I was getting ready to skip school and asks me to follow him to the office. I did, he asks me where I think I was going, and the first thing that came to my mind is what came out of my mouth, "Nowhere, sir, but I got my period and my pants are all bloody. That's why I'm wearing my coat." Come to think of it, not sure if he was more embarrassed or me having to say ‘period' to my principal.
7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
As a child I always wanted to be a teacher. I would line up my Barbie dolls and stuffed animals as my students. I even made an attendance list. Now, to clarify, my dolls never talked to me. They were the perfect classroom setting.
8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
the writer: Lea Schizas lived and gave her all in her lifetime the way I am sure she'll be doing wherever her journey now takes her. Sorry, that's about it. Kinda creepy.
Lea Schizas the Writer
9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?
Oh, yes, as though it was yesterday. I was in sixth grade and had entered a writing contest. I stood in front of the class, read my four-page horror tale, all the while thinking my teacher was going to be upset with me because everyone's stories were about animals, and lovey dovey things and here I was scaring the beegeebees out of everyone. Anyway, the time came for the class to vote and guess what, I must have scared them to vote for me subliminally because I was the first prize winner. My prize- a bundle of books.
10. What is going on with your writing these days?
Plenty. I recently got an agent who in turn, in a fast turnaround timeframe, got me a contract with a publisher for a three book children's picture book series, The Robbie and Katie Adventure Series. We're starting with three books and then build from there.
I've completed my middle grade chapter book, and have reached the mid-sections in four other novels. Now this might now seem a lot to some but for me, with everything else I have going on in my writing career, this is a huge step forward.
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
I'm so happy you mention ‘goals' in this interview. I always have a five-year goal chart I try to achieve. So far, the first five-year goals have been achieved and surpassed my expectations. They were mainly to get a name for myself. Now, my goals are to write, write, write my own stuff, promote my stuff, and try to pull back a bit of my energy and time promoting others. As much as I love doing that I would love to have more of my own writing in the forefront.
12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
Let me give you the short end of it otherwise we'll be here all day. I'm a fulltime writer/editor now so my laptop charges up at 6:30am and never closes before midnight. Each day is devoted to one area: my sites, my newsletters, emails, promo...but everyday always has me writing my stories/articles and editing for publishers. These two things are my everyday MUST DO things and the rest are divided to work on various days of the week.
13. Why do you write?
To escape. Love my family, love my life, but writing is a passion to become someone other than the mom of five children. It's nice being their chauffeur, their bank, their nurse, their cook- but I'd now like to be a teen who has visions of murders, a young girl who finds out she's a princess to this new world she never knew existed, a vampire with a mission, an alien warrior who faces charges of treason. Come on, who else other than a writer can experience these things and not be locked up in a nuthouse.
14. What writer most inspires you? Why?
I read a lot of various writers, love each of their writing voices but can't really say any of them inspired me since I've always written from a young child. If anything, I would say it was the Archie comic books that first grabbed my attention and inspired me to write. But as an adult, if I would have to choose, then it would be J. K. Rowling for her backstory and how her determination finally worked for her. This applies to Stephen King, the master of rejection letters plastered all over his walls. Both of these writers offered me the true impression of what it means to ‘never give up'.
15. How do you define your writing?
I don't write purple prose, long descriptive details. I begin with action, end all chapters with cliffhangers. I write to entertain, to awaken the reader's emotions, to bring them into my penned world. If anything, I would compare my writing to Dean Koontz-straight forward, short sentences, no elaborate descriptive details to add word count, just give you the story.
16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
After all these years, her books continue to be read by many.
Lea Schizas the Details
17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
My website contains all the links to anything and everything I'm involved with:
The Writing Jungle: http://thewritingjungle.blogspot.com/
Branches of Life: http://brancesoflife.blogspot.com/
18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?
Those who know me know I'm always on email mode and can be reached at:
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
*The Rock of Realm -YA fantasy adventure by Lea Schizas (Amazon and all major online bookstores)
*Doorman's Creek - Paranormal suspense/thriller http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/Lea_Schizas/doormans-creek.htm
*The Muse On Writing - nonfiction writers how-to book-co-authored and edited by Lea Schizas
*Aleatory's Junction - fantasy anthology-co-authored and edited by Lea Schizas
20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
They can expect entertainment, a connection to the characters, and a sense of being there riding the adventure of highs and lows.
21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?
I'm a dedicated writer who never stops learning her craft. There is so much in the writing business to absorb that I believe I would be a fool to say I knew it all. What I do know is what I want to offer to my readers- books that will allow them to escape, even for just a little while, and give them a chance to realize what I meant above when I wrote "I become a teen with visions of murders, an alien warrior facing charges of treason..." When a writer connects his reader to his fictional character, there is no greater satisfaction.