ALL ABOUT ME
How do you pronounce your last name?
CHEW-kiss. Two fun things to do with your mouth.
Where are you from?
Do you have a cow?
No. I live in a city. I don’t even know any cows. I’m sure they’re lovely.
What’s your favorite book?
Are you kidding me? Wasn’t this question made illegal by the Geneva Convention? You can’t ask me to choose between them all! If I absolutely have to answer, I can only do it with a list.
In no particular order:
- The Stand by Stephen King
- A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- If I Stay by Gayle Formann
- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Where did you go to school?
I went to an all-girls Catholic high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For undergrad I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers!). And for grad school, I went to Marquette University.
Did you study writing in college?
Nope! I majored in History and Anthropology in college, then decided to go to nursing school. My Master’s Degree is in nursing.
What did you do before you were a writer?
Mostly I worked in a nurse, but I’ve also been a writer for About.com, a Customer Service drone, an office cubical drone, a waitress, a shop girl, and a Teen Peer Counselor for Planned Parenthood.
ALL ABOUT MY BOOKS
Where do you get your ideas?
Out of the blue, without warning, and almost always without a pen and a piece of paper to write it down on. I once sketched out the idea for a story on the shower wall with one of my son’s bath crayons. I took a picture of the wall afterwards, and the rest is history.
How long does it take you to write a book?
If you’re asking about from the first draft to the finished project, it’s highly variable. But if you’re asking about a first draft, it’s highly variable. Some ideas haul me to the keyboard for a few aching weeks until I’m done, others take months. Still other ideas beg to be started and I still have yet to find the courage to finish them.
Are your books available in other countries?
So far, ASK AGAIN LATER, and WHEN JOSS MET MATT are out in Germany, and CALL ME, MAYBE will be soon! WHEN JOSS MET MATT is also available in Italy!
Are your books going to be made into movies?
Why did you choose that cover?
I didn’t. The lovely designers at my publishers do. Luckily, they’re professionals, so I trust them.
ALL ABOUT PUBLISHING (OR AT LEAST LIZ’S LITTLE CORNER OF IT)
Who is your agent?
Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency. You can learn all about her and her submission policy at her website.
How did you get published?
The old-fashioned way. Query letters to agents, then my agent took my book out on submission. I’d like to say I got lucky, but I also worked really hard.
How did you find your agent?
QueryTracker and Google were my best friends. I looked for agents who were interested in Young Adult, then sent out query letters. A LOT of query letters. I didn’t get an agent with the first project I queried. Or the second. Or the third… Meanwhile, I kept working on new books, working with critique partners, reading other unpublished writers’ work critically, and reading reading reading. Oh and then I read some more, and wrote some more.
Can you read my book?
Unfortunately no. I have a lot of deadlines of my own, and I have my hands full with my critique partners. Plus, I’m not the person you have to impress. Start with yourself. Then find some trusted readers. Work your way up to the pros (agents and editors) when you’re ready.
CONTACT, MEDIA, ETC.
Can I have a copy of your book for free?
Umm…no. I get a few Advanced Reader Copies (ARC), but they all have homes already. If you’re a book blogger (and let me just say that if you are, you’re a wonderful, essential part of the reading community today, and also how nice you look in that outfit) most of my books have ARCs available on Netgalley or Edelweiss a few months before publication.
If you want a final, for-real copy, well, those are available at bookstores, and online!
Will you sign my book?
I would love to! If you come find me at a signing, a conference, or even if you see me on the street (in which case I apologize for my hair in advance) please feel free to come up and say hello! I’m happy to sign books. Even other people’s books, if you’re into that sort of thing. But if you want a signed copy delivered to you in your own very house, well that’s a little more complicated. Books aren’t cheap to ship, and I would go broke sending them to everyone who wanted one. I would be happy to send you a signed book plate, however. You can email me to request one.
Can I contact you?
Sure! I love email. I’m not super keen on publishing my home address on-line, however. I know, right? Boundaries–what’s up with that? If you want a quick reply, I’d find me on Twitter if I were you. I’m a bit on the forgetful side, and the in-your-face nature of Twitter really lends itself to covering up that flaw.
What if I’m an important publishing or business type person?
Then I’d go with my agent. She is the Ferb to my Phineas. Well, I’m probably more like Isabella to be honest. Maybe Baljeet. Anyway, go with Laura. She knows things.
What if I’m an important media type person?
You can email me, and if I’m not the right person, I’ll forward it to my publicist.