Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Liz Gruder

Short Summary and Overview

Starseed concerns a sixteen-year-old girl who falls in love with a starseed boy who reveals that she, too, is half extraterrestrial, and is forced to choose her allegiance between Earth or her star family. (Available in paperback and eBook).

Click here to see my review!

Interview Time!

with Liz Gruder, author of Starseed

A little something about her :
As a youth, Liz Gruder saw a series of UFOs with her best friend while riding bikes. Ever since, she’s held a fascination for the stars. She has degrees in English and Psychology from Tulane University, a nursing license, a RYT 200 yoga certification and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Liz lives in New Orleans and after going through Hurricane Katrina, she realized how short life is. She is now slowly fulfilling her bucket list: she’s been to the Egyptian pyramids (totally awesome and thought provoking) and is now teaching yoga and writing speculative fiction.

1.  What was your inspiration to start writing?
I broke my wrist and had surgery with an external fixator device attached to the bones. The slightest movement caused pain and I couldn’t do anything. Being an active personality, I started getting really depressed. So I started writing Starseed in my head (because I couldn’t type) to keep my mind engaged. I’d seen UFOs as a youth and researched everything I could find on ETs. After a few months I could type and dived into Starseed, alien hybrids … and lovers born of different worlds.

2. Do you have any favorite books or authors?
When I was growing up my favorite books were Gone With the Wind and Rebecca. Since then I’ve loved countless books in different genres. My favorite YA book I’ve read this past year: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Wonderful writing . . . sigh.

 3. When will you release another book? Any teasers or snippets to show us?
I spent the past several months working on a collection of ghost stories. I took a writers’ workshop with the New Orleans Arts Council and treated each story as its own entity. It was an exercise in improving craft and experimenting with voice, characters and point of view. Some of them were really “out there” to modernize ghost stories. So I’ve only just recently started concentrating on another YA novel. It’s all outlined and now the hard (and fun) part: writing and editing it. The male love interest is someone I would love to meet. Whew! (fanning self).

 4. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
When writing a novel, I create a loose outline so I know where to steer the ship. Even when I don’t feel like writing, I force myself. But I did experience a block writing one of my ghost stories. The story would not come—it was like pulling teeth. Every. Stinking. Word. I fretted and fussed, yet my workshop said it was some of my best writing. Go figure.

5. Where’s your favorite place to write?
Since I was young, my mother has often said, “You’re like the wind. I never know when you’re going to blow in.” Ha. This means I move around a lot. I have a bohemian mindset and can be happy writing on a sofa, kitchen table, or a porch. Right now I’m writing this on my boyfriend’s couch with ear buds in while he watches reruns of “Everyone Loves Raymond” on TV. I carry stories in my head and all that’s needed is my laptop.

6. Do you do anything special while writing? (E.g. Listen to music, eat chocolate – Yum!)
I find that listening to music stimulates and changes the mind waves. Sometimes if a particular song opens a channel, I’ll listen to it over and over while writing because I don’t want to break the mood… then, at a pause, time for a Mounds bar or some pistachio nuts. Or a walk and yoga to move the blood and breath.

7. What’s your favorite part of Starseed?
My favorite part of Starseed was the section I wrote last because I was too freaked out to write it in sequence. This was the part where Kaila defects away from humans to be with the aliens and Jordyn takes her aboard the craft to indoctrinate her. This is when the aliens abduct the entire town and high school on board the mothership and Kaila learns first hand what it is to be this type of alien. Horrifying! I’ve seen it in my dreams. There is a vital connection between sleep, dreams, creativity, and alternate realities. 

8. Who’s your favorite character in the book?
While I love all my children, especially the protagonists, Kaila and Jordyn, I have always enjoyed a good villain. Therefore, I love all of the “hive”-- the half-human, half-extraterrestrial students invading the high school--especially Echidna who sneers at human emotion and the self-righteous and smug physics teacher who protects the hive, Mrs. Bourg.

9. Where did you get your imagination and ideas from?
I think that no matter what you’re writing, it’s essential to do a lot of research. Reality is often stranger than fiction. You can well imagine that researching extraterrestrials can open a Pandora’s Box. From there, it’s not hard to imagine someone who was born on Earth, yet half-extraterrestrial, and not know it. We’ve all felt different and alienated at times, especially in high school, when we are struggling to know who we are and where we fit in. To remember who we really are, to stand up for ourselves, to celebrate our differences and accept and love ourselves—and others-- is growing up and the task for our world. Plus, I have always held a fondness for the weird, the outcasts, the misfits, the free thinkers of our world. Great inventions, achievements, thought and art rarely spawned from those who adhere to the status quo. 

10.Lastly, would you like to give any shout-outs to anyone?
Yes, a shout-out to my dad, who passed away a few months after Hurricane Katrina. Hi dad, free from your bodily vessel, I did it. Though you’d consider Starseed a “weirdo” book with its talk of multi-dimensions, teleportation and telepathy, I know you’re smiling and wouldn’t consider it “weirdo” now. I’ll see you again one day.

Thank you Liz, for your time and effort! I hope everyone out there will enjoy your book just as much as I do. I'm sure your dad will be very proud of you. And now, here's the best part!

Giveaway Time!

Win my e-copy of Starseed by Liz Gruder!
I can give you almost any format, as long as it can be sent through e-mail :)
This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL so everyone can join!

Also, if you follow my blog and Liz's via GFC, add starseed to your 'want to read' shelf on Goodreads and become a fan of Liz, let me know and I will DOUBLE your entries when the contest is over.
But be sure to leave links so I can check.

Liz's Website

 Liz's Goodreads profile

Please remember that I will check all entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Personally, your blog font is too small >_< you should make it a bit bigger... It's more comfortable that way, I think :)

  2. Aliens and star-crossed lovers...sounds fantastic!

  3. I would suggest making the actual post body wider. It just seems kind of tight to me :)

    1. Thank you for the advice!
      I've followed your blog!