#ASI: Elizabeth Cash

Hi Elizabeth, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

-I was born in Lake City, FL but moved to St. Augustine when I was six. I’ve lived here since then and have grown to love it, and I consider it my hometown. I am 23-years-old, married to a crazy, wonderful man, and I have two wonderful kids. Aaliyah, who is 5, and Bentley, who is 2. They drive me insane and keep me whole. I’m extremely goofy and kindhearted.

Discuss your newest book.

-The Only Way Out is my debut novella. It is about a girl named Wednesday Emmerson, who struggles with depression and anxiety. She has been dealt a really bad hand in life. She is constantly having traumatic things happen to her. The final straw was Brian. Her boyfriend of three years. When he leaves her, she makes a decision that will change her life. And in the words of Rein, everything else is “Just another day in paradise.” I don’t want to give away too much because this is a short book, so you’ll have to read it to find out. I must read it to find out!

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Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

-I found that I truly loved writing when I was in my high school ENG 3 class. We had an assignment to do on The Catcher in the Rye, and we were prompted to create an alternate character for Holden. It was a lot of fun, and ever since then I would make alternate characters for characters I would read about to see if it would fit them or I would write a short story to finish a book that felt unfinished to me. Cool, #GOSCHOOL!

What are your current projects?

-At the moment I am working on a psychological thriller/horror. It is still in the baby stages of planning and plot twisting, but it will be gruesome and awesome. Sounds scary.

What books have most influenced your life most?

-Every book I have read has impacted me on some level. The one that influenced my life the most I believe would be Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. It was a very emotionally raw and traumatic book. It took me forever to pick up another book because I didn’t want to feel all the feels like I did reading that. It was also one of the very first books that introduced me into the amazing book-hangover world.

What inspired you to write your first book?

-I have seen first hand what depression and anxiety can do to someone you love. My mother suffers from them, and my husband does as well. I wanted to give insight on what depression can do and how hard it is to overcome. It’s not just a get over it type of thing. It’s a constant pull, a constant battle to stay alive when all you want to do is curl up and wither away. That is great, I know a lot of people out there struggle with depression, it sounds like this book could be an inspiration for them.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

-Wednesday is a sweet girl but has been dealt a very sharty hand in life. She struggles with depression and anxiety. She does her best, but it seems like life has other plans and wants to keep her down. In the end, she finds out what it means to have a happy ending. Love the name, and she sounds very down to earth. I hope she gets her happy ending.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

-You are never alone, no matter what struggles you are going through. Even if you need to talk to a stranger, there are people who will be a listening ear and friend to you in your time of need.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

-I’d love to see Anne Hathway play Wednesday. She is an amazing actress and kills every role she has played.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

-It wouldn’t go away lol I have always loved to write short stories, and this was originally a short story that I had written and put away, but it wouldn’t leave me alone. In the back of my mind, the story kept growing, and eventually I sat down and finished it. All the good ones do that.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

-I wish I could write full-time. But I am a mother, a hospitality worker, and a full-time student at Ashford University. Between all that and adulating, I write half-time. Sometimes, none. I’d give my left leg to be able to be an author full-time and still have all my bills paid lol Wouldn’t we all? lol

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

-It was hard having to write such a broken character. I love Wednesday and she is an awesome person, but she has some serious demons that are truly heartbreaking.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

-Tori. Her bubbly personality made things a little brighter and a little easier to write.

What book are you reading now?

-I am in the process of reading CoHo’s Never Never series. I love her books and the way she writes.

What is one random thing about you?

-I am a weirdo who loves all the lacy and black things. Oh and I am a huge procrastinator. I am a ‘wait-last-minute-then-stress-out’ type of chick. Some times procrastination turns out to be very helpful.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer?

-It depends. If I’m at home, my computer is my go to. But I always keep a pad and pen just in case a good scene or plot twist decides to pop up in my mind.

What does your writing process look like?

-Very sloppy. Most authors like to have everything planned out, but I just go with the flow and take notes as I am writing. It can get confusing, but once I have everything written, I organize it and go from there.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

-I have to have background noise. Silence is such a buzz kill for me. If it’s quiet, I can’t write or concentrate.

How important are names to you in your books?

-They are very important to me. I want for the names I use to be unique and memorable. They have to match the character as well. Wednesday was originally Shelby, but it didn’t live with my character at all. So, I changed it and created Wednesday Emmerson.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

-I will never format my books myself, ever again. I used Calibre and messed up so many things. My awesome author friend fixed everything for me and formatted it. It was horrible.

What is your favorite book and why?

-The Fish Tale Series. I read the whole series in three days, and it wrecked me and molded me and then killed me again just to tape me back together. It packed a huge punch and that’s what I love about it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

-Do no give up. It can get hard at times, but it’s worth it in the end.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

-Eat. I’m a big foodie. I am always eating. I even dance a little while eating because it makes me happy.

From where do you gain your inspiration?

-It comes from all over. The book I am working on now was a dream I had. Or more of a nightmare. The Only Way Out was inspired by my loved ones who struggle with depression. I have another book partly planned that was inspired by a photo my friend took. For me, inspiration comes from all over.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

-I love the freedom the self-publishing gives me. I make my deadlines, and I get to pick and choose who my editor will be or who will design my cover.

How do you market your books?

-Social media mainly.

Would you or do you use a PR agency?

-I would, but at the moment, I enjoy doing things on my own.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

-SHARE! On any and every social networking place you can. #SpreadtheLove!

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

-About half of it goes to marketing. I want people to get a feel for it before it comes out. I want them to become interested in my work and want to get it when it is released.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

-I have been using promo pages on Facebook and Twitter. I try to share my book as much as possible for people get it and leave a review. Since it was just released, I do not have many reviews, but I will continue to do what I’m doing until the reviews grow.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?

-If someone wishes to review my book, I’d be more than happy to give them a copy. I also use promo pages for that as well. Some of them have a place you can submit your book for review. I have submitted my book to a few places already. I’m waiting to hear back.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?

-Since I’m new to all this, I don’t have one. I wish I did, though.

Which social network worked best for you?

-Facebook. There are so many people that use Facebook, and a good portion of them read. I’d say over half of my friends are authors, reviewers, and just book lovers in general.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

-I did not. I just shared my little heart out on all of my social media pages.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

-I would love to meet either Edgar Allen Poe or Tim Burton. I have loved their work since I was a kid and it’d be amazing to meet someone I’ve looked up to since I was a kid. They are two of my favorites as well.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

-That’s a tough one. I’d go with SNAP by Tara Dawn. It is a series, but SNAP is the first book, and it is amazing. It’s one of those books that leaves you wondering what kind of world we live in and it takes you a while to figure out how you are gonna review it because words just don’t seem to do it justice.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

-Keep writing. No matter what. If you love it, keep going. I promise, in the end, once you upload it or have the print in your hands, you’ll feel so complete. Total euphoria comes from seeing your blood, sweat, and tears on the screen or in your hands.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Facebook lol I am a social media whore and I am on there all the time promoting an sharing my work.

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That Time of the Year Again!

Not that time…yet! In less than 48 hours #NaNoWriMo begins and authors everywhere make reservations for psych wards come December 1st.

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So what is everyone doing for this year’s novel? I am somewhat cheating. For the past two years I have tried focusing on just one novel for the whole month, but have never finished them by the end of November. I came very close (two or three words! 😡 ) to finishing during one of the #CampNaNoWriMo’s but just couldn’t do it. I run into never ending writer’s block for that book and focus on other WIP’s. This year I am just focusing on writing 50,000 words period. I got the idea from my friend Zoe Ambler who did this during #CampNaNoWriMo, I can work on all of my WIP’s and still meet the 50K goal.

So Good Luck to everyone!

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Pop In!

Just thought I would pop in and apologize for the past two Mondays of no #Musical Monday Reviews. I have been busy with school and preparing for Camp NanoWriMo and waiting for a beta reader to get back to me about another book. I lost track of days and realized yesterday was Monday again. I am going to try to have three reviews for this next Monday. I’m not going to promise anything as I am crazy and could forget. I still have many musicals in my grasp and can’t wait to review them.

July Camp NanoWriMo is coming up and I am working on Naturally Luna. It is my first werewolf novella and is already up to 23,000 words with a goal of 40,000. I’m excited, I might actually make this goal! As for my beta reader, I’m lost.

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I know it takes time to read and give one’s opinion but it’s been over a month with no word from her. I have emailed just to check up on her and see how she is doing. No pressure, it was just a worried author asking nicely how she was coming along. I didn’t badger or repeatedly send emails, it was just one, and nothing. I have sent books out to others and never heard anything back as well, so either I can’t write or they haven’t had a chance to read them yet or they just wanted free books.

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Honestly, I’m going nuts worrying over beta readers. It drives me insane, waiting and waiting. Am I wrong in wanting to hear an update? I’m not even wanting a long, detailed update just a “It’s going well” or “Almost done.” Nothing more than three words. Is that wrong? Am I impatient for freaking out about not hearing from a beta reader, good or bad, for a month? Half a year or so in some cases? What is the standard waiting period? Is there a standard waiting period before it’s OK to freak out? All of this rolling around in my head, plus math class, creative writing class and everything that comes with school, writing, catching up on the shows I watch (by myself and those with the family), reading, life and just I’m a crazy person obsessing about everything.

Creative Writing Classes

Yay! I’ve started my first creative writing class. I have never been more scared in my life. I can’t speak for other authors, but for me I’ve always been scared to put my work out there. I remember the first day I nervously put my first book, Touchdown Interruption, I was shaking so bad. Watching Amazon flip my book from the preparing stage, to published was agonizing. Then of course when it didn’t sell, self doubt and depression started to sink in. Eventually it did sell and I was in a happy little bubble. Until the time came for my second and third books to come out. Each time my bubble being popped a little earlier as I thought about working on the next book.

What does this have to do with my class? I mean none of this anxiety comes with turning in my assignments. Now I have to write on cue and the writing isn’t researched based. Our first assignment is writing a poem illustrating imagery of something in our surroundings. I have written a poem, but I don’t know if it is good enough. I don’t know for sure if it is what the teacher is looking for. To me it meets the sparsely stated requirements but that’s because I wrote it. I know the imagery I’m trying to convey, so rereading it brings the images I want. I think this class is going to kill me.

Guest Posts

I have been contacted by a talented writer, who would like to do some guest posts for my blog. I’m new to them, and we are still talking but if this works out I will be having her do a few posts on here. She will mainly be talking about marketing strategies for your books, writer’s block being your friend (yikes!), and book presentations.

I think this is a great idea and I welcome her aboard the crazy train I am running.:) i f this works out, I hope you will enjoy her posts as well.

February #Wrapup

This has been a fast, but lazy month. I only finished one book on my To-Be-Read list (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes vol. 3), struck up an editing deal, got the paperwork completed for me to start classes Monday and wrote the first of many musical reviews.

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I finished reading and reviewing The Road of Darkness by Zoe Ambler. Read and reviewed Alex Apostol’s Hunted Angel, and two Author Spotlight Interviews. As for my personal writing…I worked a little on two of my books but ultimately did not get much done. Stupid voices are quiet…wonder what they are up to.

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#Music Monday Review 1: “7 Brides for 7 Brothers”

Overview: Seven brothers living together in what appears to be a two room cabin up in the mountains of Oregon around 1850. The Eldest, Adam, sets off to town for some supplies and to get married. After their parents passed, it had only been the seven of them and they were in need of a womanly touch around the home. Adam finds and marries Milly, the hotel cook, brings her home to meet her new family. Rightly so, she gets mad at the fact that Adam “forgot” to tell her about the brothers living there and she married him to basically be a maid. The two eventually fall in love, and Milly straightens out the other six into proper gentleman. They all go to town for a barn raising party and meet girls of their own. Well they all get a case of “love at first dance” (and what a dance it is!) and become love sick. Adam, genius that he is, decides to take the boys into town late one night and kidnap all the girls. On the way home, the pass they travel through has an avalanche while they are being pursued by all the townsmen and the women are stuck there through the winter. Of course the women are mad and upset about being kidnapped and Milly sides with them, forcing the menfolk to sleep in the barn. As time goes on the girls start to fall in love. Come spring, the townsmen set off to bring their girls home but there’s a bigger problem they never intended on.

Opinion: Great musical. It was filmed in 1954, so the sets are fake but beautiful. The music; written by Gene de Paul, Adolph Deutsch, and Conrad Salinger; is charismatically performed by an amazing cast. I’m not that big on soprano singers, but Julie Powell has a nice clean voice without taking it too far up in the “screeching” register as some can. Howard Keel (Adam) has a nice low voice, but not as appealing as I have heard from others. He’s not in the song I posted here but he is definitely worth checking out.

One of my favorite dances, happens to be when the boys are love sick and singing about how lonesome they are. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous ones I have seen, because they are woodsmen swinging tools around as if they are toys. I know that they more than likely are toys/fake props, but if you imagine it in real life, they could accidentally chop off someone’s head just because they are in love.

The ending is also really cute, but I’m not going to tell you about it in hopes that you will check it out for yourselves.