I was tagged by Jenelle Schmidt to do this tag. Hers was so fun, and I loved getting to know this brilliant, sweet lady! I haven’t done anything like this in years (think back to those survey tags from the days of just-email). Yes, I am kind of old school to remember that!
I also did want to let you know, since there has been a bit of confusion over Newsletter subscription vs. blog subscription: if you are seeing this blog post in your email and thought you were signing up for the Newsletter, this is not the Newsletter. 🙂 This is the blog post, and you have subscribed to the blog. If you’re still confused, feel free to private message me. (Thank you either way!) I just didn’t want you to think that you had been deceived or anything.
So now that we’ve got that cleared up, here we go!
Name: Elizabeth Ann Koetsier
Nickname: I have had many, but most often I am just Liz and I like this nickname the best.
Birthday: March 2
Hair color/ length: Dirty blond and long. Straight as a stick. I’ve had it permed maybe 3 times? I looooved that, but it didn’t take as well the last time I did it. Considering doing it again…
Eye color: Blue-gray, with brown around the iris.
Braces/ Piercings/ Tattoos: Just pierced ears. That is all. I was afraid to have my ears pierced, so I didn’t get it done until I worked up the courage at 21.
Right or Left: Right.
Ethnicity: Dutch American Michigander. Most likely 90% Dutch at the very least. There was once a rumor of French Huguenots in the family, but I think it was just that: a rumor. There was also mention of a sliver of Irish in the family, and even though I have no way to know for sure if it is true, I will own that 0.00009% chance regardless because Ireland is gorgeous, I love Celtic mythology, and it sounds cool.
First novel written: Um, I have no idea, actually, because I’ve written so many. It was probably a horse story. The first series I wrote was a set of Star Wars spin-offs that no one shall ever see because it will burn your eyes with its lack of plot and awful prose.
First novel completed: I lost track on this, too, but the first one I can think of was the first of the above mentioned Star Wars spin off series. The title is now lost to memory.
Award for Writing: Does a 2018 CampNaNoWriMo graphic count as an award? I actually never do contests, because I have a difficult time with small word counts, and I also feel that I’m wasting my time on good names/ characters/ plots/ time on a short story and think “That’d make such a better novel, I should just make it a full novel.” Or just… oops. How’d I hit 10,000 words again?
First publication: Nothing yet! Hopefully Ember.
Conference: My very first writer’s conference was the Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference and it was a great first experience!
Query/ Pitch: I haven’t done one yet. As I’m strongly leaning towards Indie publishing, I may not be pitching. For one thing, my targeted age group is not one that the Christian market recognizes enough yet, and pitching to a general market agent for that age group would not be beneficial to the story (or me). For another, I like setting my own timelines at this point in life, lol. I know myself quite well enough to know that someone giving me a deadline right now would kill all creativity and there would not be a story.
Novel (that you wrote): Ah! This! The White Hawks is probably my very favorite. <3 It’s the final result of a decade+ of writing, planning, plotting, worldbuilding and language weaving. The characters had taken on a life of their own, and I can still picture the green Obsidian Valley when I close my eyes. I would love to publish this series one day.
Genre: Fantasy! Such an easy question. Sometimes I deviate on the type of fantasy. Most often midieval or mythological inspired fantasy. The Atremento Chronicles (White Hawks is part of this) was portal fantasy with lots of inspiration from Celtic mythology. Ember surprised me with its strong YA contemporary, dystopian leanings, and the another story I have in mind may be Egyptian steampunk. I love creating new worlds from the ground up, it is a lot of work but so rewarding- like gardening.
Authors: Tolkien, Brian Jacques, Nadine Brandes, Tricia Mingerink, Timothy Zahn, Aaron Allston, JK Rowling, Mollie E. Reeder, I mean, I can just keep going.
Writing music: I don’t listen to music while I write, but I do listen to it to spark inspiration. I like trailer music (Two Steps from Hell, City of the Fallen type stuff), soundtracks (The Greatest Showman, Hans Zimmer), violins (Lindsey Stirling, Taylor Davis), Celtic and/or classical, Within Temptation, a few Christian artists such as Plumb and Veridia, and Oonagh, Celtic Woman, and Blackmore’s Night. That’s just a few. My mixes are a little eclectic but strong on the melodies.
Writing snack/ drink: Tea. Tea is good thinking drinking. But I don’t do snacks because then my hands cannot type.
Movie: Signs. <- Yeah, that movie tops all. I do also love LotR, Star Wars, Marvel films, Monsters Inc & Brave, The Waltons, Betwiched, Harry Potter, and Psych among a few others.
Writing memory: I can’t think of any specific writing memories right now, but I can tell you that sometimes, when you’re writing, it is as if your fingers know everything and there is no dictation. It’s a little like soaring, a little like climbing, and a lot like magic. I used to write everywhere. A few years ago, I was working on a scene during my lunchbreak. There was nothing special about the scene, but I really wanted to feel that soaring feeling and I was really distracted by people popping in and out of the room. One of the top guys in the company bursts into the room just as I was getting to a good spot and stops in front of me with a fork in his hand. “I’m grilling. You want some steak?” I tried to politely decline as I’d just finished my lunch, but he insisted, then looks at all my paper and asks, “What are you writing about me? Stop writing about me.”
I did not get much done that day. But this is normally how a writing session goes for me- it is interruption filled, so writing for longer periods of time is something I’m working on. 😉
Childhood book: Are you serious, why is the word books singular here? A few that come to mind are Grumpets in Trumpet Land (because the illustrations were amazing, the story world was simple but awe inspiring- I mean, have you read it??? It is kid’s fantasy on steroids), a book whose title is forgotten but it had cross-sections of animal houses inside trees and underground homes, and finally, I adored Russell Hoban books. Harvey’s Hideout was often my companion at night, as well as any of the Frances books.
Writing: At the moment, this blog post. 😉 I have just completed the first draft of Ember at the end of April, and intended to begin a new project, but I’ve also been caught up in managing work/ life/ branding/ social media, and it got put on the back burner for a second or two. I’m disappointed in that, but, well, priorities. Oh- but I did purchase a notebook I saw because I had to, and the color of the cover made me think of my new MC for the Egyptian story.
Listening to: Two Steps from Hell or Thomas Bergersen are my go-to’s at the moment.
Watching: A lot of Bewitched at the moment, finishing up Merlin, and Arrow now and then (I liked the first season but it quickly fell out of favor for me after the second season or so, now I’m just finishing it to finish it).
Learning: Always learning! I am taking a branding and business course for authors with Katie Phillips at the moment, and it’s deep, guys.
Want to be published: Yes <3 It would be the dream of a lifetime. I’ve realized that all I really ever wanted growing up was to be a book mama. Most days I’m feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, trying to understand how to make this fit into my life, but I’ve never been more sure of any project I’ve taken on before. Every second spent on this is a gift, and I devour it gratefully.
Indie or traditional: I sort of already answered this above. While I’ve pretty much decided Ember will be published independently, I am still toying with the idea of finishing the Atremento Chronicles and publishing them with a small Christian Fantasy publishing house in the future.
Wildest goal: Well, what I wrote above seems pretty wild to me right now. But it would be icing on the cake to do well enough to cut back to part time at a day job to take on more authory things. Recently I’ve had this idea of a worldbuilding challenge based on the 6 days of creation, and I’d love to coach young writer women on worldbuilding someday. But it might just have to be a nice idea for a while, lol.
I am so pleased with this part! Tagging 11 people seems wild, but okay. Also, if you’re tagged and don’t feel like doing the challenge, feel free to skip.