Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
Hi! I’m Elizabeth Menozzi. I’m originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and I am currently living on an island in the Salish Sea, north of Seattle.
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I spent most of my career working as a program manager in the technology industry. I worked for almost all the big name companies at some point in my career, but I wasn’t happy with the corporate life. I’d always wanted to be a writer, so I attempted NaNoWriMo back in 2007 when I was taking some time off from work to travel with my husband. I wrote a (terrible) first novel during that month and “won” my first NaNoWriMo. I decided not to continue working on that novel, but that experience taught me that I could do it. So, I started taking writing classes (online and through the local university’s continuing education program), and I wrote a few more novels. Some of them I eventually finished and edited. A few I entered into RWA contests. Eventually, after saving up enough money to fund annual expenses for the many years I expected it would take to turn writing into a career, I quit my job, moved with my husband to the middle of nowhere to reduce living expenses and be closer to family, and published my first book.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
I’m currently working on the first round of edits on the third book in my Modern Fae series (Will of the Fae). And by “currently,” I mean I am procrastinating by answering these questions when I should be fixing the “grovel” scene and ending. :) My most recent release was book two in this series (Dawn of the Fae). That one hit stores at the end of June. Book three is scheduled to release in January.
What is the most challenging part of writing paranormal romance?
I love plot and world-building, and I like my books to have individual story arcs that fit into an overall series arc, sort of like individual episodes fit into a season of a television show. I’ve also promised that each book will have a satisfying HEA for the featured couple. So, it’s a balancing act for me between nailing all those key romance beats while telling a complex story that will continue through a series of books.
What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
I research the places where I’m setting the story so I can find out what it would be like to live there or visit (depending on what my characters are doing there). I also research my characters’ occupations -- well, the human ones, anyway. :) And names. I spend a lot of time trying to find appropriate names for characters based on their culture and who their parents were and when/where they were born. I also try to read other popular books in the genre to get an idea of what’s already been done.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors - what do you wish someone would have told you?
The one piece of writing advice that has stuck with me and that I keep coming back to is a quote from Neil Gaiman: “Write. Finish things. Keep Writing.” That one is really important to me because it wasn’t until I’d read his advice about finishing things that I began to realize the importance of finishing your projects and how it helps in your development as a writer. I may have “finished” that very first NaNoWriMo attempt back in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2016, almost ten years later, that I actually finished editing a draft of a novel I’d started in 2009. I spent all the years in between writing the start of things, but never quite getting to “the end.” Endings are still REALLY hard for me, but every time I finish something, I get a little better at it.
Do you have any work experience involving the elements of paranormal?
What is your favorite paranormal-related (horror or fantasy can be included!) books, author, or movie?
I really love The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The descriptions and the magic make it a perfect fall read.
If you could be any paranormal creature for a day, which would you be?
Hmm… probably one of the elves from the Lord of the Rings books/movies.
Any last words before we go into the speed round?
Books are magic. Read widely. Find new authors and share your favorites with your friends.
City, suburb, or small-town? Small town
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate? Dark chocolate, definitely
Alpha, beta, or both? Both?
Vampire, werewolf, demon or angel? Demon
Wine, whiskey or punch? Wine
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, or other? Christmas
Boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers
Cowboy boots, biker boots, or flip-flops? Flip-flops can be super sexy
Leather, lace, or silk? Leather
Cake, cookies, or crumpets? Cake
Top, bottom, or against the wall? Against the wall
Biceps, abs, or buns? Abs
Cats, dogs, or exotics? Dogs
A half demon on the run. An Elemental Fae with broken magic. Together they could end a war or bring both sides down in flames.
Nigel wants no part in his demon mother’s war against the Fae. Hoping to cash in on a favor and hide out until it’s over, he ventures deep into the forest in search of the Faerie Queen’s son. Lost and frustrated, he encounters an Elemental who he hopes will help him.
Dawn has two days to get her fire magic under control before she will be tested for the Conclave. This once-in-a-millennia competition will pit the most powerful Elementals against each other in a tournament to determine who will earn the title of Guardian of the Elementals.
Nigel makes a deal with Dawn. He’ll help her get her fire magic back if she leads him to the Fae Court. But the last thing Dawn should be doing is bringing a demon to a secret Fae ritual. If Nigel learns the true power of the Fae, he could use that knowledge against them. As sparks fly between Dawn and Nigel, the two must decide where their loyalties lie and what price they are willing to pay for falling in love with the enemy.
Elizabeth Menozzi is an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy with romance. A former Midwestern girl with a bad case of wanderlust, she currently resides on Orcas Island with her husband. In her spare time she is a competitive swimmer, reluctant runner, and devourer of books.