Date Published: E-book to be published July 12, 2016 / Paperback to be published September 13, 2016
Publisher: ZB Publications
Trail Rule #5: Let Sleeping Gods lie…
Sitka’s Quay appears to be like every other coastal tourist town on Highway 101, but lurking below its southern grove of ancient spruce are three sleeping primordial gods. For an eon, their bloodthirsty dreams have radiated into the ground and restore anyone who walks within the Grove. The Keeper, Dayla Fischer, must remain in control of her magical abilities or fall into sickening madness, but lives a relatively quiet life with her husband, Oliver. That is, until the delusional, but charming Jonah Leifson comes to town with a plan to awaken the Three. Soon, children begin disappearing. With powerful suggestion spells and mind reading abilities, Jonah wins over other sorcerers, meth users, the police, and eventually even her husband. Though no one believes her and she doubts her own sanity, she must stop Jonah, before he wakes the Three and brings about the end of the world.
Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
I never think there is a message while writing my books, but one always rises in the prose naturally. For The Grove there are two messages. While we live in a flawed world, there is still beauty and wonder to experience. And there are no easy answers to the world’s problems; no one can save us, except ourselves.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Every book so far has had different challenges, but I tend to struggle with pacing since I want to create characters and settings so authentic that the reader believes they really exist.
With The Grove, specifically, I wasn’t trying to add so many current issues. I originally planned for the antagonist, Jonah Leifson, to be a veteran suffering from PSTD from the Iraqi Conflict, which is there, yet more of the world’s problem leaked into my book: mass shootings, gun control, domestic violence, and drug abuse.
I also had trouble writing Dayla’s husband, Oliver, who is an important secondary character in the novel. It’s challenging to write someone who is getting manipulated and doesn’t understand what’s happening. I ultimately had to come to terms that readers probably were not going to like Oliver very much. Due to Jonah’s influence, he will come off as critical and overbearing because he fears his magic more than he loves it. However, most readers won’t like him because he is kind of an “every-man,” but not one that we want to identify with. No one likes to think we are the kind of people who can be deceived so much that we will forget what/who we love.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
I have been a working author for the past decade and I’ve created 4 graphic novels, one five-issue comic book series, been published in a few short story anthologies and written three novels. I have to admit I hate everything I write once its done. I see all of their flaws and yet I am weirdly proud of them. Going back is not an option for my personality. I like to explore ideas and try new things. So right now, my next project is my favorite.
If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
Dayla: Cote De Pablo This one is easy because this is literally who I was looking at when I described Dayla. I admit my husband and I were watching a lot of NCIS at the time. De Pablo can paly a role that’s funny, flustered, and yet masterful.
Oliver: Ryan Reynolds Oliver has a few lines that would need comedic timing and Reynolds has an every man/good husband quality to him.
Galeno: Otto Sanchez Though the actor is a little older than the character, Galeno’s magic has worn him down so he would look a little older. Plus Galeno is on the edge of being a danger to others most of the novel and did you see Sanchez in Oz?
Samantha: Rosamund Pike – I know she might seem like a weird choice, but she has played a wide variety of roles. Seriously, did you see her Doom?
Jonah: Ian Somerhalder – I was first introduced to this actor’s work in Lost and I am even thinking of this role, since Jonah has a try-fail, try-fail arc.
When did you begin writing?
I was 12 when I decided I wanted to be an author. It took me many years, but I found my voice at 29.
How long did it take to complete your first book?
My first book, Faminelands: The Carp’s Eye is a graphic novel. It took me 13 months from beginner sketches, writing a script, drawing it, hiring my partner-in-comics Maria Masterson to edit, then self-publication in March 2008. My first written novel was Other Systems published by 48Fourteen in 2012. It took me 18 months from bright idea to publication.
Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
Stephen King, Tanya Huff, Ray Bradbury
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I have found a seven draft process that works for me, but I have found my favorite part is the second draft. That’s when the book starts to really take shape, but the idea is still new and exciting.
My first draft is so rough in places it looks like notes. The third draft is polishing for beta readers, but in the second draft it is totally mine and I can explore any idea I want. I make major changes. I take chances and delete them if they don’t work.
I also enjoy the fourth/fifth drafts because there is reworking from whatever beta reader comments that I have gotten (My beta readers are specifically looking for plot holes or confused points.) This specifically means more exploring, more experimentation.
Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Sorcerers duel, save World!
Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
The Grove is a standalone dark-fantasy thriller set in contemporary Oregon. Sitka’s Quay appears to be like every other coastal tourist town on Highway 101, but lurking below its southern grove of ancient spruce are three sleeping primordial gods. The Keeper, Dayla Fischer, must remain in control of her magical abilities or fall into sickening madness, but lives a relatively quiet life with her husband, Oliver, their cat and two garden gnomes.
That is, until the delusional, but charming Jonah Leifson comes to town with a plan to awaken the Three. Soon, children begin disappearing. With powerful suggestion spells and mind reading abilities, Jonah wins over other sorcerers, meth users, the police, and eventually even her husband. Though no one believes her and she doubts her own sanity, she must stop Jonah, before he brings about the end of the world.
The Grove touches on social issues, rural methamphetamine abuse, a tourist-based economy and how magic can lower one’s quality of life. With this book, I wanted to play with a few genre tropes, mix it with fantastical elements and a sense of humor. I also created a coloring book for this project and some fun monster art.
As for my next project, I’m heading back to science fiction with An Alien Double Feature which explore the hilarity of first contact situations.
In the short story: For The Love of Pancakes, an alien needs a cup of sugar and knocks on a science fiction fan’s window...
In the novelette, Percentage of The Saved, aliens are trying to save all intelligent life before the universe grows cold. They come to Earth and try to save us, but end up confused by societal issues and cat videos.
The stories are written and edited, I still need to hire a proofreader, do the illustrations and book layout, but I am on track for a Spring 2017 release.
Much to her chagrin, Elizabeth Guizzetti discovered she was not a cyborg and growing up to be an otter would be impractical, so she began writing stories. Guizzetti currently lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs. When not writing, she loves hiking and birdwatching.
She is the author and illustrator of independent comics: Faminelands and Lure and a comic book series Out for Souls& Cookies! Her debut novel, Other Systems, was a 2015 Finalist for the Canopus Award. She continues to write science fiction, horror, and fantasy. The Grove is her third novel.