April 24, 2010

Virtual Book Tour-Author Lea Schizas

For this month's Virtual Book Tour, I am happy to be hosting the talented, and very, very busy Lea Schizas. Lea is the author of Bubba & Giganto: Odds Against Them

Lea Schizas is an award-winning author and editor, a short story competition winner, living in Montreal with her husband Jimmy and five children. She describes herself as “finally woke up after a 23-year self-induced coma taking care of the family, and rediscovered my passion for writing.”

She is the Founder and Editor in Chief of two Writer’s Digest 101 Top Writing Sites since 2004 and recipients of several Preditors and Editors Awards: Apollo’s Lyre, an online writer’s Zine: http://www.apollos-lyre.com/; the online writing critique community The MuseItUp Club, http://museitupclub.tripod.com/;
-Founder of The Muse Online Writers Conference, http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/
-Founder of The Muse Marquee, http://themusemarquee.tripod.com/
-Founder of The Muse Book Reviews, http://themusebookreviews.tripod.com/
-Reviewer for the award-winning site AllBooksReviews.com
-Editor for Double Dragon Publishing
-Submissions Editor for Red Rose Publishing.

She is the author of the Young Adult paranormal suspense/thriller “Doorman’s Creek”, co-author and editor of the nonfiction writing reference book “The Muse On Writing” (http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonwriting ) and the fantasy “Aleatory’s Junction” (http://aleatorysjunction.tripod.com/ ), and author of “The Librarian Who Wasn’t”, a short story appearing in the EPPIE award-winning Anthology “Twisted Tails II”, and an article published in the book, “Hollywood Experts” a Silver Foreword award winner.

In 2009, she has been offered three new contracts:

Libby the Odd Squirrel and Robbie and Katie Get A Hairy Scare
both contracted by Guardian Angel Publishing and 4RV Publishing has offered her a contract for I Don’t Want A Haircut

You can read more of Lea’s bio and accomplishments at:

Lea, tell us a little bit about Bubba & Giganto.

Bubba hates it when his dad gets a contract for a new project. That means uprooting the family from one city and moving to another. Attending a new school is a major pet peeve of his. His smart alecky nature attracts the bullies in every school he’s attended.

On the first day of school, Bubba bumps into this rather large student. Fearing a confrontation, he wears his tough guy attitude and waits for the punches to begin. Remarkably, the new student apologizes, and Bubba and David (aka Giganto as Bubba eventually nicknames him) become best friends.

Bubba and Giganto try out for the high school soccer team, and that’s when trouble begins. Bubba knew eventually he’d meet the bullies of the school, and he was right.

In the first initial weeks, Bubba learns about a death that occurred the previous year; faces the bullies on several occasions; helps Giganto practice soccer before tryouts; and challenges the bullies to a scrimmage.

Little does Bubba know Giganto holds a secret - one that will place Giganto in a deadly situation.

Readers can find Lea's book at the following:


4RV Publishing

Barnes & Noble

The Reading Warehouse

Lea, a few questions if you don't mind. What or whom inspires you to write?

I’ve joked on several interviews that I mistook my umbilical cord as a cool writing implement and that’s how my writing career began. In all honesty, it was my dad’s love for the penned word that set me on my path. As a young girl I remember hearing dad’s speeches at weddings, meetings, get-togethers, and how he captivated the audience with his words.

Along with dad’s talent, it was my collection of comic books that really moved me to write. I loved the cliff-hanging endings, pushing me to buy the next comic book to find out what was going to happen. And that is exactly how I set up each of my chapter endings, thanks to comic books.

Where do you work? What is your ideal writing environment?

I’ve worked wherever I can get peace and quiet, alone time with my laptop. Right now I’m in a corner in my living room. The ideal writing environment would be my own office, where I can close the door to the yapping of my five kids and friends, to have my own shelves in front of me with my stack of writing books instead of having them spread throughout the house. But, this is one lesson writers need to adapt to – writing whenever and wherever you can, regardless of your surroundings. So, I’ve adapted quite nicely.

How many hours do you devote to writing and how long does it take you to write a book?

I am involved with many writing commitments so I work looonnng hours on my laptop. My day usually starts at 6:30am and doesn’t finish until midnight strikes. Now, I do clean, cook, and all the other motherly things so my time isn’t spent leaning over my laptop constantly.

Each day I devote to moving my own writing and editing forward, and then give one or two other writing aspects (updating sites/blogs, preparing zines/newsletters/reviews) my devotion as well. This slows down the time to complete my own work but I can safely say that I can finish three books in a year.

What do you most enjoy about the creative process? Are your characters based on people in your life?

I enjoy the freedom of no fear. What do I mean by that? I don’t fear being locked up in a nuthouse for stepping into my characters shoes while penning their stories. I become a teen with visions of past murders; an alien who finds himself tried for treason; a girl who discovers she is a princess to this whole new world she never knew existed. Writing allows you an escape, along with your reader, to leave your own safe domain and live another person’s life. This exhilaration can’t be felt in another profession as it is felt by those who write.

My characters are not based per say on anyone in my life but each do possess characteristics of family members. By keeping it ‘in the family’ it’s easier for me to flesh out their personalities, reactions and actions, to their fullest potential. And it doesn’t matter if my characters are human or animals; characters need to ‘feel’ real.

Thanks for stopping by Lea. Best of luck with Bubba & Giganto and congratulations on all your publishing successes.

April 12, 2010

An Eyeball in my Garden-Update

I mentioned in a previous post that I was involved in a poetry anthology being published by Marshall Cavendish titled, An Eyeball in my Garden and other Spine-tingling Poems. This anthology was created by my poetry critique group. The Poet’s Garage. Well, I finally got to see the cover and the interior, and it’s really a fine piece of work. Johan Olander is the illustrator, and the illustrations he came up with are terrific. I’m particularly fond of the illustration he came up with for Winking Wot Warning by Debra Leith. I have two poems in there titled, Our Neighborhood and The Gargoyle. There’s already a link for it on Amazon. It’s officially due out in July, but you can pre-order it at http://www.amazon.com/Eyeball-My-Garden-Other-Spine-tingling/dp/0761456554/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270138057&sr=8-2