Welcome to Starseed Author Liz Gruder! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions about your life and book!
As a youth, Liz Gruder saw a series of UFOs with her best friend while riding bikes. Ever since, she’s held a fascination for the stars. An avid reader, she used to hide under her covers and read with a flashlight. She has degrees in English and Psychology from Tulane University, a nursing license and a yoga certification. After going through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Liz realized how short life is and is now slowly fulfilling her bucket list: she’s been to the Egyptian pyramids (totally awesome and thought provoking) and is now teaching yoga and writing speculative fiction. Starseed is her debut novel.
Starseed Interview with Liz Gruder:
If a movie was made about your book, who do you picture playing the lead roles? Why?
For Kaila: Amanda Seyfried or Emma Stone For Jordyn: Alex Pettyfer or Sterling Knight Both because Kaila and Jordyn are half human, half extraterrestrial and the players need large eyes that can change color when they do a “mind stare” on the human students.
Please tell us in 20 words or less, why we should read your book.
Love and Aliens in High School: Starseed incorporates ET research, dark suspense and out-of-this world romance.
–Being interrupted when writing.
–Sites that ask “Are you SURE you want to leave this site?”
–Loud, random ring tones in restaurants.
–emails from Nigeria or Ghana ʺrefugeesʺ claiming they have a huge inheritance and only I can help them out by providing my bank account.
–Facebook political arguments.
–Movies with car chases/crashes, lots of loud guns and F-bombs, scantily-clad women cast solely as lobotomized ornaments and mind-numbing plots.
–People who blare radios at the beach, assuming that what they’re listening to is what you want to listen to.
If you could have a first edition signed copy of any novel, what would it be and why?
A signed, printed anything from Johannes Gutenberg, the man who invented the printing press in 1450 and ultimately changed the world by disseminating books to the public.
Describe the cover in 10 words or less.
Some love it. Some hate it. It’s different.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
I use the term “starseed” loosely as my book deals with both malevolent and benevolent ETs, depicting both biological starseeds and higher dimensional starseeds, whereas the traditional use of the term “starseed” (google it) is a person whose soul has galactic origins. True starseeds seek to advance our world, raise consciousness and create peace. While I have good and bad ETs in my book, I felt that having characters that are half-human with their ET half seeded by the “stars” allowed a broader definition of the word “starseed.”
Did you lose any characters along the way?
Three characters die in Starseed.
Which of your characters is most/least like you, and in what way(s)?
I would like to say, “Oh, I’m one of the good guys,” but like most of us, I have both shades of light and dark within. So on my good days, I’m like Priscilla Snowden, the benevolent, higher dimensional ET, trying to help and inspire people and on my bad days I’m like Echidna, an ET student who disdains humans and bullies, seeing that our lower, self-seeking agendas and emotions create conflict and war.
What is your favorite Quote?
“This too, shall pass.” It’s true. No matter what’s happening—good or bad—it will pass.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read. Yoga. Cook. Dream. Walk. Lunch. Surf. Travel.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Yoga. (I’m a yoga teacher).
What are three words that best describe you?
Free-spirit. Tenacious. Imaginative.
What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’ TV show?
Ancient Aliens. Oh, and “Are We Alone?” airing during March on the Science Channel.
Facebook or Twitter?
Both. Neither. Depends on the day and my mood.
You’re hosting a dinner party for a famous writer, dead or alive. Who’s on the invite list and who’s your guest of honor?
No Guest of Honor—a Round Table with the following: Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Edgar Allan Poe, Cormac McCarthy, Charles Dickens, H.P. Lovecraft, Khalil Gibran, Oscar Wilde, Roald Dahl, Plato, J.K. Rowling, Sylvia Plath, A.A. Milne, Ray Bradbury, Victor Hugo. Note: Shakespeare not invited. I snoozed through him in school.
What inspired you to write your first book?
When I was about thirteen, I wrote in longhand about 19th-century pianist Chopin’s maid who loved him dearly. Chopin died of consumption. Boo hoo.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
My writing teacher chastised me for “purple” prose. You know, those flowery, over-romanticized sentiments originating from the 19th-century. Then, I laughed when he critiqued a story and said, “Liz, I’m putting you on an explanation point diet.”
If you could jump in fairy tale, and live in that world… which would it be?
Most fairy tales have an ominous side. So I’d like to live in Priscilla Snowden’s world, a benevolent ET in Starseed, who heralds from a higher dimension where Earthly hatred, judgment and negativism don’t exist.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Persistence. Read. Write. Read, write some more. Don’t listen to haters or anyone negative who seek to tear down your dream, but be receptive to honest criticism.
What book are you reading now?
Do you skip around, peek at the ending, or do you read straight through a book?
If I truly love a book, I won’t allow myself to peek. I savor every word, knowing it will end. If I’m bored, I skim, then go to the ending.
What were your favorite books as a child?
Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager; Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne; James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.
What’s your favorite holiday?
When I was in school, July 4, because it was the middle of summer and no school.
Cable, Satellite, Antenna or Netflix?
Cable= Hundreds of channels and nothing to watch. Watching TV puts people in a hypnotic state and most of the messages aren’t what I choose to receive, so I try to read or write rather than TV. I’m weary of car chases, guns, explosions, medieval politics, lawsuits, double standards and plasticity, and mind-numbing “reality” shows that bear no resemblance to reality. Stream internet and cut the cable bill. Don’t couch potato to other’s creative visions: create your own.
What does your workspace look like?
My lap. It’s portable.
What’s your favorite thing about Spring?
Cold is necessary to allow tulip bulbs to flower in spring.
Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Starseed concerns a sixteen-year-old girl who falls in love with a starseed boy who reveals that she, too, is half extraterrestrial, and is forced to choose her allegiance between Earth or her star family.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I broke my wrist and had an external fixator attached to the bones. I couldn’t sleep so I listened to Coast to Coast (talk radio) in the middle of the night. They talked about alien abductions and creation of human hybrids. I imagined what if one of the unsuspecting mothers got in a car crash while pregnant and lost the tracking device during surgery. Then, a human hybrid would be born on Earth without knowing she’s half ET. Kaila Guidry, my sixteen-year-old protagonist was born…
What genre does your book fall under?
Like its characters, Starseed is a hybrid. Sci-fi because it deals with aliens, dimensions, teleportation and telepathy and Romance because Kaila, an earth-born hybrid falls in love with star-born Jordyn.
How do you replenish your writing spirit?
By reading. When you read something really captivating and beautifully written, it inspires.
Tell everyone where they can go to stay up to date on your latest news!
Liz Gruder website: www.lizgruder.com Liz Gruder facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlizgruder Liz Gruder twitter: https://twitter.com/LizGruder Liz Gruder goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LizGruder WiDo Publishing: www.widopublishing.com Amazon link to Starseed: http://www.amazon.com/Starseed-ebook/dp/B00B3KYYLC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362164988&sr=8-2&keywords=starseed+liz+gruder
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Raising the PJs Praline & Cream Iced Coffee I’m sipping right now to Cuzinlogic–thanks for having me today. –Liz Gruder
Jordyn was born and raised far from Earth, a starseed, one of six new students sent to Louisiana’s Bush High to learn human ways. But Jordyn didn’t count on meeting someone like Kaila.
When Kaila is pushed to her limit by high school bullying and cruelty, Jordyn awakens her to a new reality—and to love. But to prove herself, Kaila must look the other way as the real purposes of the starseeds unfold.
As the horrific plan behind the starseed visit to Earth moves inexorably forward, Kaila and Jordan, caught in an impossible love, must determine where their true loyalties lie.
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Purchase Starseed at Amazon.