Joy, you are Liza’s winner! Congratulations! Liza will be in touch with you! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you’ll come again!!
There are so many great Midwest romance authors and I’m delighted to introduce you to one of them–Liza Malloy! Malloy writes contemporary romance, women’s fiction, new adult romance, and fantasy. She’s a sucker for alpha males, bad boys, dimples, and muscles, and she can’t resist a man in uniform. Liza loves creating worlds where her heroine discovers her own strength and finds her Happily Ever After. When Liza isn’t reading or writing torrid love stories, she’s a practicing attorney. Her other passions include gummy bears, jelly beans, and the occasional marathon. She lives in the Midwest with her four daughters and her own Prince Charming. Her books are available in both paperback and ebook, and can be found on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, and more! \
GIVEAWAY!! Liza will give one lucky commenter a copy of Book 1, Mafiosa Princess and a $10 Amazon gift card, so be sure to say hello down in the comments! A winner will be chosen at random on Friday at noon.
Liza and I had a fun chat…
N: Welcome to the blog, Liza. I’m so delighted to have you with us today. I love featuring hometown authors! So, first question, what comes first—characters or plot?
A: It’s always the characters for me! Once I develop my main characters, the plot flows out of their personalities and the conflicts they’re likely to create as they interact.
N: You’ve tackled (no pun intended) a new type of publishing with your new episodic sports romances on Kindle Vella. What do you think about this book outlet so far?
A: It truly is a whole new world! I naively thought publishing on Vella would work similarly to publishing on Kindle, aside from the episodic format of the stories. In reality, everything is different. I can’t run Amazon ads for my Vella stories, and apparently traditional ebook and paperback romance readers aren’t the main audience on Vella, so I’m starting from scratch building a fanbase and marketing. The Vella dashboard is different, the cover parameters are different, and the method of formatting is foreign to me. I have a lot to learn if I want to build a bigger audience on Vella! For readers, though, Vella offers a fabulous opportunity to meet daily reading goals. Stories are offered in bite-sized episodes readers can devour no matter how busy their schedules and Amazon lets readers enjoy the first three episodes of every story for free. Amazon also offers many free tokens so readers can continue stories for free, too. As a reader, I am excited about Vella. As an author, I’m less certain.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself since you’ve been writing?
A: I learned that I am a mood-writer. My mood completely dictates what writing tasks I can perform well. For example, if I’m grumpy, I know I’ll excel at edits, but love scenes would be a disaster. If I’m tired or depressed, I can write action or dialogue. If I’m feeling confident, I need to work on marketing and social media. If I try to force myself to write a specific chapter when I’m not in the mood, the quality of my writing will suffer.
N: You write in several genres—contemporary romance, young adult romance, women’s fiction, and fantasy. Do you have a favorite genre?
A: Contemporary romance is my favorite, with women’s fiction a close runner up. I write steamy open-door love scenes, and it is surprisingly challenging for me to leave the physical aspect out of the relationship when writing young adult. I love the women’s fiction focus on the growth and self-discovery of the female main character, but I enjoy sprinkling that same element into my romance novels.
N: What’s the most difficult part about writing for you? Beginnings? Middles? Ends? Conflict? Sex?
A: Beginnings are difficult for me. For that reason, I almost always write the beginning last. I realize that sounds counterintuitive, but after I’ve spent an entire book getting to know my characters, it is easier for me to spot the perfect beginning for the story. I usually know exactly how the book will end far before I decide how to start it. I love writing dialogue and conflict, and even sex scenes aren’t too daunting for me.
N: Are you strictly an indie published author or have you published traditionally as well?
A: I am strictly indie published. I was moments away from signing a traditional publishing contract for my first book, Sixty Days for Love, when I decided to rip it up and venture down the indie path instead. I am considering traditional publishing for my young adult romance, but I’m happy to continue as an indie author for my contemporary romance.
N: What is the toughest criticism you’ve received as a writer? The best compliment?
A: The toughest criticism I received was when a reader commented that there was more telling than showing in my first book. Since then, I’ve made it my mission to keep rewriting each paragraph with the specific goal in mind of showing, not telling.
The best compliment I’ve received is when readers are truly excited about the books. I love when readers are frustrated over a cliffhanger, angry at a character, or eager for the next book to come out…all of those things tell me they’re invested in the story and that is such a great feeling as a writer.
N: I know you are also a practicing attorney as well as a mom of four active girls. How do you do it all and find time for writing?
A: I don’t sleep much! Also, I find nuggets of free time to daydream about my books, like when I’m driving carpools, stuck in line, or running on the treadmill. The more I think about my characters, the quicker I’m able to write a chapter when I finally do have time to sit down.
N: Writing can be an emotional, stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
A: Remember that you love writing. When you’re bored by a scene you’re writing, readers surely will be too. Don’t be afraid to take a break and come back to your work when you’re in a different headspace. And don’t expect perfection. Nothing stalls a book faster than attempting to produce a final-quality product on the first draft. Finally, read as often as you can. I’ve heard many writers say they’re too busy with their own books to read, and to me, that’s a big mistake. Every writer has room for improvement, and we can all gain so much by reading.
N: Favorite book when you were a kid?
A: Matilda by Roald Dahl.
N: What’s coming up next for you?
A: I have several more books in my Mafiosa Princess series coming out over the next year. I’ve also written a couple prequels for this series, following the main characters through high school when they first meet, fall in love, and become involved in the mafia. When I’m not focused on sexy mobsters, I’m working on a completely different project…a vampire pirate post-apocalyptic steampunk romance trilogy.
N: And here is my signature question that everyone loves: If you could choose three people, living or dead, to invite to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
A: I’d love to name a few amazing writers or historical figures, but the honest answer is…my grandparents. Both of my grandfathers and one of my grandmas passed away before my first book was published. I’d love to see their excitement when they learned I followed through with my dream of becoming a writer. I’d also love to tell them all about my daughters that they didn’t meet.
Mafiosa Princess- Trust: Book 4, Mafiosa Princess Series
In a world built on lies, is there anyone she can trust?
Giada Conti knows what she wants. This time, she won’t let anyone get in her way… not even the notorious mafioso, Salvatore Marino. But just as Giada nears her happy ending, betrayal ruptures the Conti family.
Luca spent years protecting the love of his life from the perils of the mafia. But when the threats hit close to home, Luca isn’t sure whom to believe.
Meanwhile, Adrian is determined to prove Giada will never be able to reconcile her lofty moral code with her newfound awareness of Luca’s activities.
With everyone seemingly hiding something, the results could prove deadly if Giada trusts the wrong Family.
Mafiosa Princess- Trust is the fourth book in the hot new romance series. The Mafiosa Princess series is intended for mature audiences only and the books will be best enjoyed if read in order: Mafiosa Princess, Mafiosa Princess- Sacrifice, Mafiosa Princess- Honor, then Mafiosa Princess- Trust.