Please welcome Liz Reinhardt to A Dash of YA!
Liz, I read all three books in the Brenna Blixen series in less than 3 days. I must ask, are you Team Jake or Team Saxon?
Hahaha!! Oh no! As a cop-out answer, I will say that I have plans for both guys to find long, lasting love, because they both deserve it. As far as who Brenna will end up with? That's not quite as easy...and, to tell you the truth, I have no real idea. I can remember writing *Junk Miles* and I'd get up from the laptop so frustrated, so angry at all of them. My husband would say, "Well, just change it. Just make it the way you'd like it to be." But it doesn't work like that, at least not for me. I write with no real plans. I just let the characters take me where they want me to go, and I follow, sometimes kicking and screaming! I love Jake's good heart, his resiliency and determination to make his life better. I love Saxon's hilarious wit, his growth from a cold bad-boy to a vulnerable lover, and his self-deprecating humor. But I just can't choose ;)! I know...lame!! Hahaha!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Was there a defining moment when you knew this was what you were meant to do?
When I was young, I did really well in English classes, but I thought I'd be an anthropologist. In high school, I was pretty sure poetry could take me far, because I was very caught up in the poetry movement in my artsy little high school. Through college, I was a double major in women's studies and art history, and I'm glad that I pursued English as a minor, because exploring other interests helped me grow. And it kept reading and writing as a love for me. It was never a chore. When I was a senior, I was supposed to be writing a bio paper, but I started writing this crazy historical romance. I did eventually finish my bio project, but that book...I grabbed on and finished. I went on to write and submit several adult romances before I finally found my true passion with Brenna's books. Those I knew were the real deal because I was absolutely in the zone, writing when I should have been sleeping and eating and hanging out. I was addicted, and it never slowed down or stopped.
When you set out to start writing a book, do you outline or just go with the flow?
I am a total, absolute go-with-the-flow kind of writer! I fall in love with my characters and really burrow deep into their heads. And once I'm way, way, way into the characters' lives, I just let them take the reins and tell me what will happen next. I trust them, even when, in the back of my head, I'm like 'What?! This will never work!' When I'm working on a book, I'm very focused until it's finished, and I absolutely live their story as it unfolds. It's a gorgeous surprise to me what will happen to them.
How do you write such incredibly sexy scenes? Every time I try I usually end up blushing!
Hahaha! That is an awesome compliment! Thank you ;)! Well, I think one big piece is that I'm still really super giddy in love with my husband. We've been together for eleven years, married for eight, and I still run out to meet him when he comes home from work everyday. I was also raised by parents who were very open and accepting of the body and sex and never made me feel like I had anything to be embarrassed about. They were super strict about contraceptives and safe sex and we always talked very openly. My husband jokes that I can't blush ;)! I think feeling open about sex and respecting what a beautiful and important thing it is in a loving relationship makes it easy for me to write about. And I very much appreciate that readers have given me such positive feedback. I love reading sexy scenes, so I love that my sexy scenes have been enjoyed.
You co-wrote LENGTHS with Steph Campbell, what was your favorite part of that process?
I loved every single part of writing with Steph, but the best part, by far, was that our friendship really grew. I always admired her as an incredibly talented writer and an awesome person, but writing is a very intimate process. We were showing each other all of our deepest secret thoughts in their roughest forms, and you need so much trust to do that. Writing together was a completely respectful, unbelievably fun, incredibly energizing exercise. I would wake up so excited to see what Steph had written and wanted to challenge myself to write something that would match her awesomeness. The strangest thing was that we didn't wind up meeting face to face until the Chicago author event this September! It was absolutely amazing and I'm so grateful to have Steph in my life. I love her as a co-worker and a close friend!
I know FALL GUY was recently released and has received fabulous reviews! Congrats! Do you have anything you are currently working on?
Thank you so much! I've been blown away by the sweet response people have had to Winch and Evan's story! I am deep in Benelli's book right now. I love it, because she's pretty much the polar opposite of her brother on every count, and her love story is so unexpected. She really drags her feet over not just love, but life. So, even though she's so different from Winch, she's also got those same Youngblood hangups. And, of course, finding love is going to help her open up to so many possibilities.
Thank you very much, Liz!
Thank you so much for interviewing me, Erica! I absolutely loved these questions and so enjoyed sharing!!
You can find Liz Reinhardt's books here and here. You can also check out her blog Team Indie Pubbed!
Thank you so very much for having me on your blog and for your thoughtful, fun interview questions! <3ReplyDelete
Thank YOU for writing such fabulous books! :)Delete
How am I supposed to keep up with all the books you blog about! I just finished Existence. I need to quit sleeping and start reading! I'm adding this series to my kindle now!ReplyDelete
Huge fan of Liz!! I've read everything and at least twice again! Can't wait for the next book!!ReplyDelete
Loved the interview Liz!!!ReplyDelete
This is such a fun interview! Thanks for all of the kind words, Liz. <3 The Brenna Blixen series restored my faith in finding realistic, snarky, fun main characters in YA. I havent loved a series that much since the Jessica Darling books. Team Saxon, FTW!! ;-)ReplyDelete
Happy you enjoyed the interview...maybe I can interview you next?!? :)Delete