February 1, 2013

Please Give A Warm Welcome to Liza O'Connor

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/WxcaMP0Dgzc
Welcome to Cheryl’s place!  I’m thrilled to have you here.

Cheryl: Today we have Liza O’Connor, author of, Saving Casey. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Liza: I believe in living life to its fullest. For me that means pushing boundaries, trying new things, risking my life, and laughing a great deal. That way my characters can engage in a great many activities and have a great deal of fun. I live in Denville, NJ with my dog, Jess. We hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. 
 Having an adventurous nature, I learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. I’m an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through my entire life, my first love has and always will be writing novels. I love to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.

Cheryl: When did you first get the writing bug? 

Liza: I had the storytelling bug before I knew how to write. I was entertaining my neighborhood friends with oral stories the moment I ventured out and found small children to listen to me.

Cheryl: Any advice for new writers just starting out? 

Liza: Yes. Don’t worry about the grammar rules when you write your first draft, but DO pay attention to POV rules. They are a pain to rewrite, so make sure you know who is writing your scene. Then always de-was and de-that your manuscripts before sending it in for submission. And join a crit group and become crit partners with people who have a similar voice to yours. We are all blind to our own mistakes, but someone with a similar voice can be incredibly helpful in finding better ways of saying something without altering your voice beyond recognition. 

Cheryl: What is a typical writing day for you?

Liza: I actually have an hourly schedule to map my days out for me. It starts at 7:30 a.m. and goes to midnight. After breakfast Jess and I hike for two hours. We’ve some great shaved mountains around us. We return around noon and I start going through emails while I eat. Emails take forever! But once it’s done, I get to work on editing or writing determined by what’s pending. After three hours, I switch to writing blogs and promotional material. Then I hop about trying to be social and meet new people. I find it very hard to find ‘new people’ outside of the author family. But no one said marketing is either easy or comfortable.

Cheryl: What genre or genres do you write? 

Liza: I write almost, but not quite everything. Most of my books I’ve written are in three basic categories: Sci Fi, Contemporary thriller/romances, and Historical Late Victorians. However, I’ve also some fantasy, quite a few young adult stories, some erotica, and some paranormal.

Cheryl: Do you see yourself trying any another genre in the future and if so which one?

Liza: I think the only genres I haven’t written about are zombies and steam punk. While I’ve read some really good stories in both genres, my muse has yet to bring one to me in my sleep.

Cheryl: Tell us about your latest release? 

Liza: The first book I’ve sent out into the world is Saving Casey. It’s about an old woman who dies and wakes up in the body of a troubled seventeen year old’s body. She has no choice but to turn this life around, but man, does that prove harder than she ever imagined. Her biggest challenge is that her face is tattoed liked a ghoul. How is she expected to turn this life around when she looks like a character from a B-grade horror movie?

Cheryl: What makes your heroine special? 

Liza: Cass enters Casey’s body with the memories of her 80 years of life. She has none of Casey’s memories. Within a very short time, Old Cass becomes young again. How can you not when your body feels young. But becoming young also includes the hormones causing crazy mood swings and explosive out bursts. Her hormones really go wild when she meets her Troy, her security specialist.

Cheryl: What makes Troy special?  
 Liza: Troy is an incredibly honorable guy. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever expect to fall in love with a teenage girl. He’s 30 years old, for God’s sake! And while he cannot change the fact that he loves Cass, he can make certain nothing happens. 

Cheryl: Please share an excerpt of your book.  

This excerpt is a phone call between Cass and 

Troy. She’s hiding out to avoid being tossed into 

a mental institution.

Any chance you’d be willing to go to a different doctor to get another treatment on your face?”

“I really like Dr. Grey.”

“I know, but we can’t take the chance. You’d visit a doctor in Montana after office hours.”

“Does he have the equivalent experience and skills as Dr. Grey? Because I already have nightmares where I’m blind and irreparably scarred.”

“He won’t touch your eyes. He’ll just work on the cheeks.”

“And if I’m scarred, causing little children to scream at the sight of me, will you still love me?” She expected him to flounder with his response because it required him to actually admit he loved her, something he’d refused to do. To her shock, he replied at once.


“No hesitation?”


“So explain why you’ll love me without hesitation if I’m hideously scarred, but won’t even kiss me when I’m just ghoulishly tattooed?”

“Simple. Dan wouldn’t mind if I’m the only man in the world who still thinks you’re beautiful. But as long as millions of better alternatives exist, Dan would never forgive me for stealing your future.”

She hated it when he nailed the truth. If she were really seventeen, she would agree a hundred percent. Sighing heavily, she muttered, “I’ll see the doctor.”

“He’s not going to leave you scarred, Cass.”

“I hope not, but if he does, I’m holding you to your word.”

“You have it.”

She smiled at the turn of this conversation. “So you think I’m beautiful?”

“Inside and out,” he replied. “We need to change the conversation now.”

Why? I like this conversation.”

Cheryl: Tell us what excites you about writing and getting published. 

Liza: Writing is living in a world I create. I start with an interesting scenario and let the story go where it wants. Sometimes the result is fabulous, like Saving Casey. Other times it requires a few rewrites to get it right. But writing is candy to my soul.

Publishing . Let me break that down into its components. Editing polishes your book to a higher level, so while I’m not always happy during the process, I love the end results.

Publication gives voice to your words and a validation you are an author.

 However, without marketing, your voice will never be heard. You’ll sink into the mire of a million authors.  Marketing is the life support of publication.

Cheryl: What inspired you to write Saving Casey?

Liza: I watch my friends struggle with raising their teens. To me, being a teen seems to get harder every year. Is this because the teens no longer listen to our life experiences, or because those experiences are no longer helpful? So I asked myself, what if a teen had an old person’s life experiences. Would it make a significant difference in the decisions and actions a teen would make. 

Cheryl: And did it? 

Liza: I’m not sure. It certainly wasn’t the cure all I initially thought it would be. You'll have to read the book and decide for yourself.

I want to thank you so much for having me. I’ve really enjoyed your interview. So civilized and calm. 

Saving Casey Book Trailer Link: http://youtu.be/WxcaMP0Dgzc






Book Trailer Link: http://youtu.be/WxcaMP0Dgzc


  1. Thank you for having me today. I love you site.

    1. Sigh! I can't even proof 9 words. How hopeless am I.
      The above should read:

      Thank you for having me today. I love your site. I feel safe here. No Enforcer kittens swatting at me, no dog demanding her walk. Can I just hang over here for a few days? It's one fiasco after another on my site.

      Do you have a day bed? bathroom? fridge somewhere on your blog?

      Hold on! What's this about Abducting Casey?
      Absolutely Not! I've enough problems. You cannot steal the main character of my book.

      How can I save her if you abduct her?

  2. Hello, Liza. LOL. You are welcome to hang out as long as you like. It is usually very quiet here, so you should be able to get a lot of rest.

    But, you will be able to see from the clicker at the bottom of the blog...folks do actually pop in, most don't stick around to chat. Busy ladies!

    Sorry, Casey has already been abducted...lol, it's out of my hands now, It's up to the heroes to save them. ;>)

    1. Maybe I'll abduct your casey and we can have a hostage exchange.

    2. No, your Casey is a little scary. lol.

  3. I truely loved this interview. Liza, I never knew how organized you are. Great job, ladies. I tweeted.

    1. Me either. Am I organized? Yes, I make a lot of schedules and tracking devices, but I'm not sure I've mastered being organized. Just today I could find a file that's somewhere on my computer, named god knows what.

  4. Great interview, Liza! Sounds like you've got a lot of experiences of our own to toss into your stories. Saving Casey sounds wonderful!

    BTW, those eye tats are gorgeous...

    1. I do have a great deal of experiences. However,when I put them in a story, people complain they aren't believable. For example...oh never mind, you wouldn't believe me.

      However, my crazy life does mean I'll accept whatever an author writes. Nothing is too bizarre for me. Crazy stuff happens all the time.

      As to the tats: They are gorgeous on Casey, but when I put them on me, hideous! I put them on Cheryl once. Not as hideous as me in tats, but Cheryl definitely looks better without the tats.

  5. Congrats, Liza! Love the concept for Saving Casey. It's fresh and original. Great post!

    I admire your thirst for adventure,too.

    All the best!

    1. Thank you Kathleen,
      I like writing novels that have some weird twist to it. They keep me guessing as I write.

      I think hang gliding was my fav extreme sport...except for landing in the sheep pasture. My instructor assured me the sheep would get out of my way.

      Sheep fluff isn't nearly as soft when the sheep still owns it. But I'm happy to say no one died, however, I will never trust sheep to get out of my way again.

  6. wow - your organizational systems put me to shame.

    1. Don't be. Right now I'm supposed to be tweeting. Do I look like I'm tweeting to you?

      Sigh...I have to go tweet now. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. You know, the more I think about it the more being 80 then a teenager really would be like karma took a shot at you. Yes, youth would be great...but a teenager? To go through that hell again?

    And that hot guard? Oh my. Sticky situation.

    Story sounds wonderful.

    Bobbi Romans

    1. Yeah, Casey keeps waffling between God hates me and God really likes me.

      I can really relate to that.

  8. That was a wonderful interview, ladies. It was good to read more about you, Liza. Such an interesting person. :)

    1. It's been a weird life, but I really like it. Oddly, when I drop stuff in my books that happened to me, it often gets pegged as unrealistic. Shame I didn't have a film crew following me about...

  9. Wow, you certainly have lived life to the fullest. Good on ya! And that's great advice for authors just starting out. All the best!

  10. Thanks? I should have hired a film crew to follow me about. It would be the funniest TV show ever.