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.


Darcia Helle said...

Lea, I don't know how anyone finds time to breathe while raising 5 kids, much less write! You are one busy and talented lady - an inspiration to all.

Kevin, thanks for sharing Lea's story with us.

Lea said...

Thank you for hosting me today, Kevin.

And Darcia, I've said it once and I'll say it again...when you love what you do there is time for anything. :) Thank you for taking the time and commenting. I really appreciate it.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Wow, Lea sure accomplishes a lot. Her books sound great, too.

Margaret Fieland said...

Lea, I'm in awe of you -- where do you find time to sleep? Many, many thanks for all you do -- I wouldn't be writing fiction if it weren't for you and the muse conference.


Karen Cioffi said...

Lea, you're a wonder. I wish you could bottle your, what seems like, never ending energy--I'd buy a bottle or two, or a hundred. :)

I wish I had my own office to work in also!

Anonymous said...

Lea is one busy girl. Maybe she doesn't sleep. That's how she does it. But it helps to have your own place to go to write. Have a great weekend.

Stephen Tremp

Vivian Zabel said...

At the 12-state library conference (MPLA conference, this year held in Oklahoma City, next year in Billings, Montana)earlier this week,several librarians were interested in Bubba's message about bullying. Hopefully their interest will become orders.

kathy stemke said...

I love Lea, I love all that Lea does for the writing community, and I love Lea's book "Bubba and Giganto."

Joe Douglas Trent said...

Some day I'm going to fly to Canada, follow Lea around for a day, and figure out how to squeeze the last drop out of a few precious hours.

Nancy Famolari said...

I agree with Lea, to keep writing and editing and etc. the way she does, you have to love it. Getting into your characters is "hopefully" a way for all of use to stay out of the asylum.

Great post, Kevin

Lea said...

I want to thank Kevin for hosting me today and for everyone taking the time to add a comment.

Time is relevant. Passion is crucial.

Remember that we have only one chance on this earth. So let's make the best of it.

Here's wishing everyone tons of success with their own writing.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Lea, I always enjoy reading about your busy life. You are amazing. Bubba and Giganto is a great story that should appeal to teens experiencing some of the things that Bubba and Giganto face.

Wishing you the best.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the great interview via, Lea. The woman is amazing.

Lea, I really don't know how you do it all, but don't stop. I know you've got many more places to go.

All my best,


Kevin McNamee said...

Thanks for the great interview Lea, and thanks to everyone for all the comments.


Paul and Karen said...

What an inspiring interview. If Lea can do it, I can certainly try. Thanks! Great timing for this book. I'm glad it's on the market.


Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Wonderful interview! It's so nice to learn more about your Lea.

Dallas said...

Wow Lea, you are amazing! Thanks for the dose of inspiration this morning.

Dana Donovan said...

Are you sure you are not getting up in the middle of the night and sleep writing? That would explain a lot. Much luck and success with your book, Lea.

Kit said...

nice work Kev and Lea-