Monday, 15 October 2012

Musa Monday: Liz DeJesus

Welcome to Musa Monday. My special guest today is YA author, Liz DeJesus.  

Welcome to the Taverna, Liz!

· How did you come to write YA? What attracted you to the genre? 

It sort of happened by accident. My intention was to write a fantasy novel that happened to have a seventeen year old girl as the main character. But the more I wrote, I quickly realized that this was meant for Young Adults. And I’ve always read Young Adult novels…it really doesn’t matter as long as the writing is good. (grin)

· Please tell us a little about your road to publication.

My whole writing career has been a series of ups and downs, so I’ll stick with the road to publication for First Frost. Once I finished writing First Frost, needless to say, I was excited about the book. I submitted it to agents and publishers hoping that someone would love the book as much as I did. I got a lot of rejections, but some came with personal notes from the head editors of a lot of publishing houses so that was a very good sign. It let me know that I was on the right track. But after a while rejections started to get to me. Why didn’t someone just say ‘Yes’?

Enter Musa Publishing. I forget how I found out about them, but I ended up going to Absolute Write forums and was reading some of the things the other writers were saying about this brand new company and Celina was also there answering questions and explaining to everyone what Musa was all about. I liked the way she patiently and politely answered questions. That was what drew me to them. So I read their guidelines very carefully and submitted First Frost. And I waited…then I waited…and waited some more (I had my baby and still nothing). And what happened was that the head editor had emailed me asking for the rest of my manuscript and the email got lost in cyberspace. Lucky for me she wanted the book badly enough that she emailed me again two weeks later asking if I got the first email.

I couldn’t believe it! She wanted the rest of the book. I emailed her back with the book and a few days later she asked me to revise a few things and rewrite a few chapters. I don’t know how I did it (sleep deprived much?) but I did everything she asked and before I knew it…I had a contract with Musa Publishing. BEST. DECISION. EVER. I’ve had a wonderful experience with the company. I can’t wait to send them my next book, which incidentally is the sequel to First Frost, titled Glass Frost.

· Your current release is First Frost published by Musa. Can you describe this book for us?

Here’s the official blurb: 

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

There’s so much more to the story obviously. Rose gets kidnapped and taken to Everafter (the world where all the fairy tales took place). Bianca has to figure out how to use magic in order to rescue her mother. There’s romance, adventure, humor (Bianca and her best friend Ming are hilarious together), magic, a dashing prince, and last, but certainly not least…The Big Bad Wolf.

· Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

Panster all the way. The way I write is kinda stream of consciousness. I let my mind wander and whatever scenes stand out are the ones that I write. Then it’s my job to tie everything neatly together and make sure everything makes sense in the end.

· What are you currently working on?

I just finished Glass Frost. Gonna give it one last read through before I submit it to my publisher, Musa Publishing. And I just started working on the third book in the series, tentatively titled Shattered Frost. I’m also writing a few short stories here and there for a couple of anthologies. J

· What is your favourite part of the process of writing?

It’s a tie between the beginning and the end. Because when you start writing a novel it’s exciting to discover where your characters are going and what they’re going to say and do next. But after a while you’re looking forward to the day when you finally type those two little words…THE END. And that’s extremely satisfying to me.

· You’re also a poet. Is it hard for a poet in this day and age to get their work out there?

I hate to say this but yes. A long time ago I published a book of my poetry but it’s currently out of print. I’ve tried getting more of my poetry published but it’s gotten rejected so many times that I decided to focus all of my energy on fiction. I still love poetry and hopefully one day I’ll publish another book of my poems. (grin)

· What are you currently reading? 

I’m all over the place right now. I’m reading Shannon Connor Winward’s novel To the Touch (still unpublished which is a crime all by itself), I’m also rereading Cinder by Marissa Meyer and I’m reading Nadia Knows Best by Jill Mansell.


Thanks again to Liz for joining me at the Taverna.

For more information about Liz DeJesus and her writing please visit her website:

Check out Liz's cool book trailer.

Try our video maker at Animoto.

And here are the Buy links for First Frost
Musa Publishing | | Nook



Sloane Taylor said...

This is GREAT! Congrats on a wonderful interview and your genius.:)

Liz DeJesus said...

Hi Sloane! :D Thank you so much for stopping by and reading the interview. These were great questions.

Eleni Konstantine said...

Hi Sloane, thanks for stopping in. Such fun learning more about Liz and her writing. I'm loving my Musa Mondays.

Thanks Liz - glad you liked the questions! :)

Sharon Ledwith said...

Gotta say, I'm both plotter and panser - depending on how my muse feels! Wonderful interview gals! Will hit the social media with this! Cheers!

Rita Monette, Writer said...

Congrats Liz. Sounds like a great book!

Liz DeJesus said...

:D Thanks everyone, for the amazing compliments and for stopping by to read my interview. It means the world to me. :)

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