Liz Maverick, Author of Book: Arcania- Trial By Fire
YA: When did you decide to start writing?
LIZ MAVERICK: I was commuting super-long hours to a cubicle job and it just wasn't working for me. One should not be having an existential crisis every morning before breakfast. It's not healthy. So, I thought to myself one day, there must be a job that allows you to set your own hours and work remotely from far-off exotic lands. "Writer" was at the top of that list!
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YA: Tell us a little bit about your latest work.
LIZ MAVERICK: Arcania is a young adult fantasy series in a new genre of ebooks called interactive fiction (www.coliloquy.com)—there are points during the story where you can make a choice about what happens in terms of the action, who you want to eavesdrop on, etc.
On the surface Arcania: Trial by Fire is about a group of teen magic users who are fighting against evil. But it's also about loyalty, the definition of "family," what to do when you work with the person you're in love with and he doesn't love you back, what to do when you work with a person who does love you but neither of you want to go there, dealing with people who are mean to you that you still depend on in one way or another, and living with the specter of death.
YA: What are some of the qualities in your latest work that set you apart from what's currently out there on the market?
LIZ MAVERICK: Are you asking me to brag? Zoiks! Well, aside from the cool use of technology from Coliloquy that lets you participate in the story way beyond what's offered in a regular book, I think what makes my work stand out the most is the emphasis I put on relationships. Not just between the protagonist and her love interest, but also on the tricky relationships between friends. Even when I'm writing in first person, I'm always thinking in terms of the ensemble, and how shifting emotions affect everyone in the circle.
|YA: What attracts you to the young adult genre specifically?
LIZ MAVERICK: Being young is a time when emotions are big and bold and raw. When you do things because the wiring in your brain is still shiny, straight out of the package and you just have to do them. That's a great time to write about.
I also like the feeling of wide open spaces—it's a genre without limits.
YA: Who would you count among your strongest influences for your latest work, and why?
LIZ MAVERICK: I would say playing video games as well as my personal relationships acted as the strongest influences for my latest work. I really don't look to other authors or books for inspiration. (See how I make playing video games sorta righteous?!)
|From the Book:|
YA: Who or what do you hope not to be compared to?
LIZ MAVERICK: I might be kind of bummed if you compared my work to, say, The Encyclopedia of Gardening Tools. I might take that as a kind of sign that something wasn't working, that perhaps my message was not coming across the way I wanted it to! Seriously though, I just want my work to be enjoyed on its own terms. I write to entertain and to express ideas that have been bumping about in my brain.
YA: Do you have pursuits outside of young adult fiction?
LIZ MAVERICK: I work full-time, running the Heroes and Heartbreakers website, so that keeps me pretty busy. Other than that, I balance writing with eating a lot of dessert and obsessing over brewing the perfect cup of coffee, playing more video games, traveling to far-off exotic lands (as advertised), reading, and blabbing with friends and fans on http://www.facebook.com/lizmaverickcentral and http://www.twitter.com/lizmaverick.