Elizabeth Corrigan is the author of the Earthbound Angels series. It’s an adult fantasy series, though it seems to be ok for a slightly younger audience too so far. I have read and reviewed both her books and she’s been kind enough to answer a few questions for me!
1. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself.
This is a hard question for me, because in most situations, the most interesting thing I can say about myself is that I’m an author. But you already know I’m an author and want to know something else about me, so I have to think a bit. I live in Maryland with two cats and a purple Smart Car. I spend my days working as a public health data analyst and my nights reading, baking, and motivating myself to write.
2. Did you always want to be an author? What did you want to be when you were little?
On some level I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’ve always made up stories in my head with the plan of writing them down someday, until a few years ago I actually did it. On some level, though, being an author always seemed like a glamorous thing I could never achieve. But now I know that being an author is a lot of sitting in front of a computer in sweatpants, aka not glamorous at all. When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher, if I couldn’t be a singer or an actress. But I think author works better for me as far as arts go, because I can do all my work from my apartment.
3. What’s your favourite and least favourite part about writing?
My favorite part is making up the stories. I love it when I get a new idea in my head and can spin it out into an entire story. I like lying in bed at night, thinking of more things to do to my characters, or listening to the radio, realizing how the songs relate to my characters’ lives. I like the actual writing part less, and the editing part is even less fun, as it involves making all the changes that don’t come naturally to me as a writer. But after that come the awesome parts where I get to see my cover and find out how people like my book.
4. How do you pick character names for your books?
This is an interesting question for me, because most authors I know spend a lot of time thinking about their characters’ names, but I just name them the first thing that comes into my head. Or sometimes I’ll hear a name and think, “Oh, I should name a character that.” For the Earthbound Angels series, though, I put more effort into my characters’ names. I spent a lot of time on Wikipedia’s page about theophory (putting the word of God into a name, as in the “El” that ends angels’ names), and I looked up many historical cultures’ names to find appropriate past names for Carrie and for the people she met.
5. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Hm. I don’t think so. I mostly just sit in front of the computer and type. I have recently started to unplug my internet during my writing time, so that I spend less time faffing around on facebook. I do have a lot of strange writing neuroses, like that I sometimes become so terrified that my book will be too short that I can’t write at all. Earthbound Angels 3 is my first book that I’m pretty sure is going to be long enough that I don’t need to worry about it.
6. Are there any authors that continuously inspire you?
Kelley Armstrong, definitely. She wrote her Women of the Otherworld series from different points of view character because it’s what she wanted to do, even though she was told she would sell better if she kept to a single heroine. And she stopped writing her main money-maker series to write something completely new, which, so far, is just as awesome. The other writers who inspire me tend to be ones I know personally. My friend Mary Fan spins out these amazingly complicated stories and worlds with what seems like no effort from my perspective, and Stephen Kozeniewski has a dogged persistence that I admire, and he writes funny zombies books. (And not so funny zombie books.)
7. For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or physical copies? Why?
E-books all the way! I bought a Kindle when they were still $400 because I had just moved from a 2 bedroom house where my books had their own room to a studio apartment. And I have never looked back. I love being able to have every book I own on a single device, and I extra specially love being able to instantly download any book I want rather than having to go somewhere to get it.
8. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I love good reviews! Nothing makes me happier than when a total stranger picks up my book and likes it. Bad reviews are less pleasant, but they are a necessary part of author life. Not everyone is going to like my book, and I accept that. There are many, many books that I don’t like. And negative reviews do serve a purpose. They add legitimacy to a book. If someone goes on Amazon and sees all 5 star reviews, they’ll assume all the reviews come from an author’s friends or family, but throw in a few one and two stars, and they’ll give more credence to the good reviews.
9. How do you market your books?
I close my eyes and wish really hard that someone will buy my book. And when that doesn’t work, I sigh and resort to other methods. I email a lot of bloggers asking them if they will review my book. I had a blog tour for Raising Chaos a few months back, and I ended up with over 40 bloggers joining the tour between all the ones my publisher and I contacted. The other big thing I do is go to science fiction conventions. I set up a table in the dealers’ rooms with some of my author friends, and we pitch our books to the con attendees. We’re also working on getting on some panels at some of the cons we attend.
10. Any recent books that you really enjoyed?
The book I’m currently recommending now to anyone who will listen is The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. It’s an absolutely unique and amazing urban fantasy. And I just finished Grunge Gods & Graveyards by Kimberly G. Giarratano, a young adult paranormal romance from my publishing company, and I liked it a lot.