August 23, 2013

Meet Lizzy Charles...(and by 'meet', I really mean check out this interview...)

I'm so excited to be hosting my first interview on this blog for Lizzy Charles' Blog Tour (how many times can I use the term 'blog' in a sentence?)! If you've been following my blog, you may remember that Lizzy Charles is the author of Effortless With You (and if you didn't remember, now you've been told). In short, a great read and an awesome debut novel. Congrats Lizzy (actually, double congrats as I just read that you found out you're having a boy!!)! Happy (belated) Book Birthday to you!! x

Before we get down to the short interview I had with Lizzy, here's a bit about her straight from her publisher, Swoon Romance

When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels. 

And now, without further ado, my short interview with Lizzy...

hc: Let’s start with the basics. Tell us a little about yourself. After a bit of digging, I know that you’re a mother of two (soon three) and a NICU nurse (whoa!). Pretty accomplished, if I do say so myself!
L: Ooh, you did a great job digging! I am all of those, but in reality it’s not as accomplished as it seems. Let’s just say that I’ve had to make a rule of how many hours I’m allowed to go between showers in order to balance everything. But, a little bit more about me? Hmmm. I’m a Minnesotan girl through and through. I married my high school sweetheart. I’m brave enough to sing on stage, when my husband makes me (he’s a musician), but I wouldn’t consider myself a singer. I also dabble in photography, but wouldn’t’ consider myself a photographer. Oh, also, I’m a big foodie. Not that I need fancy food, I just really love to eat!

hc: Going from the nursing profession to the writing profession is a big change. Have you always wanted to be a nurse or have you always wanted to be an author? What spurred you to write a book?
L: I’ve always wanted to be an author. Through elementary school, I was always typing up crazy stories. Choosing to become a nurse was a journey for me that put my passion for writing aside. It took me a few years, until after the birth of my first daughter, for me to be able to combine the two. I started writing EFFORTLESS WITH YOU (EWY) while on maternity leave and have been able to finish it between working part-time as a nurse and full-time parenting. 

hc: What are your inspirations? Where do you get your ideas from? Do you have any momentous occasions during the writing of this novel?
L: I’ve had two momentous occasions! The birth of both of my daughters, which really drives the subplot of my novel. The subplot between Lucy and her mother is a combination of my own fears of losing a relationship with my daughters when they become teenagers and my own hope of fighting for that relationship, no matter what.

hc: What brought you to write a novel that touches on hot topics such as bullying and mental health? You have to admit, there are not a lot of novels out there that even mention these very real issues. Do you have any personal experiences that help you better write about them?
L: Being a NICU nurse, it’s my responsibility to educate mothers about postpartum depression (part of the subplot of EWY). It’s more common than people think but people don’t talk about it. As a result, there is a lot of confusion as to what causes post partum depression. It is NOT the baby that causes the depression. It’s usually extraneous life stressors and triggers, mixed with the cocktail of hormones that the postpartum period throws you into, that can lead you into postpartum depression. There are many levels of postpartum depression, and, can, if left untreated, lead a woman into a new diagnosis of severe depression (which Lucy’s mother experienced) or even psychosis (not explored in EWY).

I incorporated the topic of bullying because it’s out of control. I’m not okay with it. It needs to stop. I wanted to talk to the individuals who aren’t really bullies, but may find themselves in the position of being followers and not realizing what they are doing. I wanted to show them it’s not them, they can grow and be better than that.

hc: Which character do you feel you relate most with and why? Do you have a favourite character?
L: I relate most to Lucy. I was never a “teenage drone” but the oscillation of thoughts and the second guessing of herself stemmed from my own experience. My favorite character is a tie between Justin, who makes me swoon, and Alex, who makes me smile. 

hc: As with many others (those who have read and those who will read), I absolutely love the fun-loving Alex! Will there be an Alex story to follow? Have you thought of/do you have plans to make Effortless With You the first in a series?
L: Hmmm, the thought has crossed my mind. But I have no solid plans yet. And, yeah, Alex is lots of fun! He’d be great main character!

hc: I’m not just tooting your horn when I say I really enjoyed Effortless With You. What’s next? Will you be writing through your pregnancy/maternity leave (if you’re taking any)? 
L: Aww, thank you. That’s so sweet of you. It means so much to me that you enjoyed the novel!

What’s next? Right now, I’m editing my most recent young adult contemporary romance novel before it goes out on submission. I’ll give you some of the ingredients: New York City Girl + Cowboy + Divorce + Fire = WHERE THE SUN BURNS (Title is a work in progress). How’s that for a pitch? (I’m REALLY horrid at pitching!)

hc: Thank you, Lizzy, for taking your time to do this interview—I’m sure they’re all fairly similar and you get bombarded with the same questions over and over again! 
L: These questions were fantastic! I loved answering them. Thank you so much for having me and I’m so happy you enjoyed EFFORTLESS WITH YOU!

There you have it. My first interview!! Hope it was mostly painless for those reading...but, really, what a sweetheart Lizzy is. Can't wait to see if she'll end up writing EWY into a series *fingers crossed* Actually, I can't wait to see what a NYC Girl + Cowboy + Divorce + Fire makes LOL. 

Sounds interesting... But for now, go check out Effortless With You. Now available for Kindle at and for Nook at

You can follow Lizzy Charles on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads or through her Blog!

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