Monday, February 18, 2008

Rock of Realm, author interview and bio

Today is my day to post an interview with Lea Shizas. I have had the pleasure of knowing Lea in many different capacities (as can be seen by her bio) and now we are both authors with the same publisher. So without further ado, here is her info. Don't forget to leave a comment on my blog and be entered in the drawing for an ebook copy of Rock of Realm. Lea will stop by during the day and comment as well. Winner will be announced on Tuesday. See you all in the postings - E :)

Title: The Rock of Realm
Written by: Lea Schizas
Hardback: 242 pages
Ages: 12 and up
Publisher: Star Publish
ISBN: 1-932993-08-8 (Print Book)
ISBN: 1-932993-09-6 (E-Book) (check Lea's website for availability of ebook)
Publication: March 31, 2005

(Ordering information - where to get Lea's book: Want a read with lots of twists and turns and excitement? Buy THE ROCK OF REALM here:

Print Book Price: $12.95
Barnes and Noble

Amazon CA

Amazon UK


Or just walk into any Borders Bookstore and order it directly. The ROCK OF REALM ISBN # is ISBN: 1932993088)

LEA'S BIO: Lea Schizas is an award-winning author and editor. Her award-winning novel, The Rock of Realm, a young adult fantasy/adventure offers readers a twist to the ordinary perception of 'villain'. The story centers on 14-year-old Alexandra Stone and her discovery that she is the princess to this world she finds herself mysteriously transported to one day along with her best friend and her two pets.

One adventure after another followed with dangerous creatures, the Braks, hot on their tail, Alex needs to overcome her fear and help guide her friends somehow back to their own time. Why her parents never told her about her heritage is always on the forefront until she discovers that her uncle is the mastermind behind her sudden appearance in Rock Kingdom. This enigmatic villain will confuse her to the point of possibly endangering herself and her friends when she comes face to face with him.

Lea Schizas is also the author of the young adult paranormal suspense/thriller, Doorman's Creek, published by She has signed two contracts for four new books to be published at the end of 2008, and beginning of 2009. One is the children's picture book series, The Robbie and Katie Adventure Series, and the other is the middle grade chapter book, Bubba and Giganto.

For more information on Lea and her writing career link here:

I asked Lea a ton of questions and I know with her busy schedule and all, I was thankful for her answers to some of the questions. I'm sure there will be other author interviews and I we can all gain some more information about Lea. Here are her answers to my questions:

*When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always joke that I mistook my mom's umbilical cord for a neat writing implement. So that kinda tells you I've always loved to write. But the first time I knew I wanted to be a writer was when I picked up my very first Superman comic book and realized there was a continuation. I remember thinking that when I wrote a book, I'd make sure never to have "To Be Continued". Yeah, right. Realize now that's what kept me going back and buying more.

*How long does it take you to write a book?
Depending on the peace and quiet and other commitments going on in my life. On the average, I should have one full book, and I mean a novel of over 50,000 words, within six months.

*What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Hectic. Did I mention hectic? I made a decision about three years ago to close my fulltime business and go fulltime as a writer and editor. Haven't regretted that day a minute. The only thing I realized, however, is that I wrote more at work than at home because the peace and quiet factor I mentioned above doesn't exist.

I open my laptop around 7am, sometimes ealier and shut it a bit past midnight. I do spend at least ten full hours on it each day, working on my stuff, editing for publishers or clients, updating my newsletters/sites, or promoting my books.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Writing quirk? Not sure if this is unique or not but I work using what I call my Rotating Disc schedule. I pop in a disc, work on what's on that disc, get a block, plop it at the end of the pack and place a new one. This allows some time before I get back to that disc to refresh and clear my head. All of my writing pieces are worked on and I'm always moving my writing forward.

The biggest quirk however is what I say to myself: Lea, you have one year to live. What should you do to get your books out there? This is a bit morbid but it works for me. Gives me that push I need.

How do books get published?
I'm one of those nutty writers who researches publishers (as most writers should) and then sends a query. I don't stick with one publisher because I like to open up doors to many. This is a goal of mine not only for my books but to also open up possibilities to members in my Muse groups.

*Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
All in my head. There might be a situation around my house that triggers a, "Aha, what a neat storyline to write about." So I would say my nutty kids are my inspiration.

*When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first writing was in grade six, I was twelve I believe, and I entered a writing competition. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I had won first place. Truly I believed I was going to be given a lecture about appropriate writing for a grade sixer but I guess my twilight thriller scared the judges into naming it a winner.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Going to the movies or watching movies. But there's not enough time because I'm always writing.

What does your family think of your writing?
They feel I spend way too much time adoring my laptop than them. I do, to be honest, but it's an escape, a freedom that I really enjoy. I can't explain to you the tranquility and euphoria that comes over me when I'm writing. Only a writer can truly understand what I'm talking about.

Two of my children write so they are totally supportive. The others get annoyed when their clothes haven't been washed.

*What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The hurt and meloncholic state you go through saying goodbye to your characters. This really took me by surprise. You connect with these fictional characters to the point you mourn when you pen THE END.

*How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have published two books, four more have been contracted, and I have several books I've co-authored. Each one is different and dear to me but I have to admit The Rock of Realm holds a special place in my heart and Doorman's Creek as well since this latter one was my first screenplay adapted to a book I had ever written.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
The best suggestion I can offer, Elysabeth, is to get tough. Many writers out there fall apart when they get a bad review or a bad critique. This is part of the game. Fall apart and you will begin to lose your edge.

Keep two qualitites always close by as your best friends, determination and perseverance. Never give up.

As to becoming a better writer, remember that when you're writing your stories, make sure to bring the action forward, as though watching a movie. Each passage should bring you into the character's plight, into the scenery and setting, as though it's happening right then and there.

*What do you think makes a good story?
When you begin to cry because of what is happening to the character
When you try closing your eyes because you are afraid of what is going to happen
When you jump for joy over a certain passage

All of the above means the writer has been able to write a story that not only shows you his whole world but has successfully brought you, the reader, into his book to feel, taste, see, and hear the surroundings. That is what makes a good story.

*As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? I wanted to be a teacher. But in some ways I guess I am a teacher but of a different sort. I educate by entertaining.


Vivian said...

Ah, that time the link worked, and I'm very glad it did.

The interview with Lea and the information about the book interested me and kept my attention.

It's always good to get to "know" an online friend better.


elysabeth said...


Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you found other things on my blog interesting too. Lea is a sweetheart and seems to have it going on. I'm in the process of reading Rock of Realm and will post a followup book review when I have finished reading it.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Wow, I got on finally. I think it's because I had omitted the blogspot. part in the address.

Hi Vivian. How's the migraine?

Elysabeth, I am so looking forward to reading your impression on my book.

Lea Schizas

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Loved the interview with Lea. Got a good laugh out of the writing implement given to you by your mother, and the fact that one of your kids would prefer clean clothes! If you interview like that, sure makes me want to read your work!

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Thank you, Sylvia, for visiting and for the kind words. I speak my mind and at times that gets a few looks my way. :)

Lea Schizas

Jessica Kennedy said...

Lea & Elysabeth,
Great interview. I'm getting to know the person as well as the writer. I think I like her. LOL
Jessica Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Writer

Anonymous said...

That was a great interview, Elysabeth! Each one I read about Lea and Rock of Realm gives me more information about her.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Thank you for stopping by, Amber. Now I hope I'm not revealing too much about me. :)


Aidana said...

You do really good interviews. And I am already a fan of Lea's.


Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Thanks, Aidana. Thanks for stopping by and reading my sometimes off the wall answers but hey, I'm a writer, what can I say.


elysabeth said...

I would like to thank everyone for stopping by today and leaving a comment. Tomorrow the winner will be announced, so be on the lookout. I look forward to finishing Rock of Realm and posting a followup review for you all. And anyone who has a copy if they would like to post a review on their blog or website, that would be very much appreciated, right Lea?

I haven't been around much today but looks like we had some good fun again.

Anonymous said...

That was a great interview Elysabeth, since I'm too late to enter the drawing, I'm going to order the book.

elysabeth said...


Thank you for coming over and posting. Sorry you missed out on the drawing. I'm sure Lea will be happy to know you are ordering a copy. Enjoy - E :)

zhadi said...

What a great interview! Both questions and answers were thoughtful and informative. Leah's writing is great fun to read! I'm going to try her 'I have one year to live' method of motivation...

zhadi said...

I misspelled Lea...d'oh!!!

Stephen Prosapio said...

Great interview. I enjoyed the questions and answers...especially about determination and persistence!