Elizabeth is not a cyborg, she is human – so begins her biography and it introduces us to someone who lives and breathes science fiction and fantasy. She is the author and illustrator of independent comics and graphic novel series Faminelands and Lure and a comic book series Out for Souls & Cookies! Her first book and the first in this series is called Other Systems published in 2012. The second book in the series is The Light Side of the Moon. She believes the best advice for all aspiring authors and artists is “Believe you have a story worth telling and get to work!”
Earth’s society has undergone dramatic changes economically, structurally and democratically. It is riven with deep fissures emphasizing the massive differences between those who ‘have’ and deemed to be acceptably and those who don’t and are cast out. Many dream of an alternative colony where they can live out more utopian ideals and a better life. The only option for the protagonists in this story though is a newly formed penal colony on the moon. Getting there is one thing, maintaining it is something else entirely and it rests upon key characters coming to understand the roles they must step up to and the pasts they must leave behind.
Elizabeth’s book is not an easy read but it is a satisfying one. I could see how current times and challenges might be re-envisaged in the future. It also gives me hope that the basic human values of respect and love are endurable, even into the non-human world.
The Elizabeth Guizzetti Interview
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
People pretty much see who I am, but as they get to know me or follow my work, people are often surprised to learn that I have a wide variety of interests. For some reason, people are always amazed that I enjoy watching professional wrestling. I watch and live-tweet during Raw every week. When WWE comes to town, my husband and I always go watch it live…and yes, I do wear my Stardust t-shirt.
Are the names of your characters important to you?
Names are important as they are one of the first judgements that the reader makes about the character. I tend to pick out easy to say names based upon character attributes and choose the spelling due to ancestor’s nationality.
For example: In The Light Side of the Moon, Ivonne Tallier is the industrialist who rebuilds Serenitatis Colony. She has deep roots to her family and yet wants to stretch out and grow on her own. She play the long game so I went looking for a feminine tree name. Ivonne means Yew.
As Ivonne is from a Parisian Family, I choose the French spelling of Ivonne rather than Yvonne, Eevone, Lavone, Lavette, Ivette. When I wrote Other Systems, I had already decided that the wealthy and middle class families on Earth bear four names. So her middle name is grandmother’s given name which is Andrea though I never used it in the novel. For her surnames, Martin is her mother’s surname, and Tallier is her father’s surname.
How did you choose a title for your book?
The Light Side of the Moon was a challenging book to write and name. I had four titles that I liked—my favorite was Lift. In a blog post I asked for advice and my fans didn’t like my original ideas. So then I spent a day writing down a list of possible titles. Two words kept repeating: Light and Moon.
When going over them aloud, my husband suggested The Light Side of the Moon. (He is a Pink Floyd fan.) I realized how perfect it is. Not only is it a story of hope, but the location of the colony is on the Sea of Serenity.
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
Have you ever written naked?
Yes. But the curtains were drawn (I live in the city and don’t want to get arrested.) Mostly I write in my pj’s.
What is the single biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?
I had to discover the importance of slowing down. I have heard advice that an author needs to be putting out new work all the time. And my fans were asking for my next book. However, if I want to write well, I need time to think and to write. If I am honest, because I felt I had to get work out now, now now, my work suffered.
Though they had published Other Systems, 48Fourteen originally rejected The Light Side of the Moon with a long feedback letter. The most important point was to slow down and rewrite it. It took me a few weeks to get through the pain and disappointment I felt. Then I really thought about what the feedback letter said. I did not follow their advice exactly, but it did give me many ideas on how to make The Light Side of the Moon better.
For example, my feedback letter suggested I remove the android characters, because the editor didn’t feel anything for their storyline. I kept the androids, I just made the editor feel for them. 😉
Four months later, I sent 48Fourteen another version of the book which they accepted.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
My best tip is under the question about jealousy 😉
How do you remain sane while working?
It is difficult to detach myself from my work at times, but every morning, I take at least a half hour walk with my dogs. We (the dogs and I) on a longer hike in the woods, shoreline, or the mountains at least once a week. I also have a loving and beloved husband. For his sake as well as my own, it is important that I eat at least two full meals a day (breakfast and dinner), a snack in the afternoon, shower, and exercise.
Are you jealous of other writers?
Yes. I think we all sometimes feel competitive with each other or the object of my jealousy doesn’t have to work as hard as I do.
However, I also found two great ways to combat that tendency. First of all, when I get jealous, I try to figure out why I feel that way, then I do an action. For example: if I am jealous over another author’s great review, I send out a couple of review requests.
Secondly, I try to help others. It’s really hard to be bitter, when I am trying to be my best-self. Because the joy that my best-self shares is contagious—even with my less-than-best self.
What is the strangest thing you have ever had to do to promote a book?
When I put out my first comic, Faminelands, I dressed up as an elf maiden at conventions.
Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?
Coffee in the morning and then I switch to water for the rest of the day. In the summer, I sometimes enjoy an iced Chai tea in the afternoon and in winter, I also confess a love for a nice cup of cocoa.
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Elizabeth and her BOOK?
You can find The Light Side of the Moon in Kindle and Paperback format here:
WHY ‘THE THURSDAY THRONG’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.