Today’s interview is with blogger and author, Elizabeth Comiskey. I took the opportunity to ask Elizabeth some questions about herself and her work.
DM: What is the title and genre of the book you want to tell us about?
EC: More Things In Heaven And Earth – mythological fantasy
DM: Can you summarize your book in one short sentence?
EC: (One sentence is hard! Haha!) Simone is an “average” woman, asked by an angel and a goddess to help them stop a demon and his army from provoking God’s wrath and destroying the earth.
DM: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
EC: Adults who love to question everything will love this book. It truly explores the question, “What if there really are more things in Heaven and earth than are dreamt of?”
DM: How did you come up with the title?
EC: It’s one of my most favourite Shakespearian quotes. I based the book on that idea.
DM: Tell me about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
EC: Paramita Bhattacharjee from “Creative Paramita” designed my cover. My editor and I looked at dozens of different options, but we both fell in love with this one instantly. It is so bright and bold, slightly creepy, and a perfect accompaniment to the story! Paramita captured exactly what was in my head.
DM: What are your biggest writing influences (another author, another book, a movie, etc.)
EC: I’ve always loved to read, but when I came across Jean Hegland’s novel, Into the Forest, it set my mind on fire with questions. Her book changed the way I see the world. I realized that maybe I could make a similar impact by sharing the stories in my own mind.
Over the years, I fell in love with authors who looked at the same world I did, but saw a little something more: Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, Tom Robbins, and others. I see a bit of each of them in my own book.
Finally, my dear friend, Jennifer Friess, was the one who inspired me to actually get published. Her first book, The Wind Could Blow A Bug, came out a few years ago, and I knew I couldn’t let her have all the fun without me.
DM: Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
EC: I love Donovan. I can’t share all my reasons why without giving away some of the best surprises in the book, but he’s a child who is faced with some truly extraordinary life-circumstances and he faces them with a hero’s heart. He is good, through and through but, at the same time, just a little bit deliciously wicked.
DM: How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Well, there is an especially nasty villain, so that’s the obvious choice, but aside from him I’d have to say Mark – Simone’s childhood pastor. He’s polished and smooth on the outside, but his core is rotten. He’s weak-willed and has no real passion. I felt slimy just writing about him.
DM: If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
EC: I would make it three times longer, so the readers could see every tiny tidbit of beautiful detail that I see. But, of course, there’s a great deal to be said for leaving the details to the reader’s imagination and a 300K word book would be a horrible thing to read!
DM: Give me a fun fact or a few about your book or series:
EC: The situation that the characters are in is (very loosely) based on the Biblical story of Noah. The series will continue to follow the Old Testament story up to the time of King Josiah. It’s not in any way, shape, or form a “re-telling.” But it shares similar themes.
Each book will be told by a different character. Since each has a unique personality, the “flavour” of each story will be significantly different.
DM: What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?
EC: James Somers’ Descendants Saga definitely has a similar feel. Both involve a wide range of legendary creatures, but both are set in a world governed by the Judeo/Christian God.
The protagonist’s journey through the many realms shares many likenesses with what Anne Rice’s Lestat is shown in Memnoch The Devil.
DM: Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
EC: My children will tell you I’m a master builder of blanket forts. My husband and I own a little hobby farm and it delights my soul to be in my garden, barefoot, with my chickens, just living the hippie life.
DM: How can we find out more about you and your books?
Please visit my author page at www.eacomiskey.wordpress.com or my blog, www.lazyhippiemama.wordpress.com, or find E.A. Comiskey on Facebook or Twitter. I also write as EAComiskey on www.wattpad.com and would love to connect there.
My publisher’s page, www.nuffsaidpublish.com, also has links to all the good stuff.
DM: What can we expect from you in the future?
EC: Book two, Dwelling In Heaven And Earth is completed, but release details are not available yet. It begins five hundred years after then end of More Things In Heaven And Earth, but seeing as many of the characters are immortal beings, several familiar faces will still be key to the second story.
I’ve just started work on my third novel. It takes a very unique look at the famous Roswell Incident. I’m excited to see that story unfold.
DM: What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
EC: For any author, the best thing you can do is tell a friend. Share your good reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. Help spread the word. Publishing is a business that thrives on word of mouth!
DM: Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
EC: Practice your craft. Read about the industry. Never give up.
If you have a story in your heart, it is your moral obligation to share it. Publishing is a highly subjective business, so you might have to wade through a sea of rejection before you find the right people to partner with you, so keep your vision in front of you and never quit.
DM: Can you give us an excerpt from your book?
Raziel walked at my side as we strode through the now subdued crowd. Every eye was on us. The cracks of thunder coming from the two powerful creatures had been more than enough to attract their attention. That a human was involved, and walking out unscathed, was a wonderment to them.
The door slammed behind us and I sensed waves of excitement and fear move through the beings that were nearby, and yet unseen. My own words had changed whatever was happening, both increasing and re-directing the intensity somehow. Sides were being taken. Battle lines would be drawn. The angels had chosen a prophet, and she had survived channelling the Power.
As we walked toward the car, a horrible snarling sound and a flurry of movement caught my eye. I wasn’t sure, at first, what I was seeing. My mind simply couldn’t make sense of it, until it came into focus. Several creatures appeared to have the bodies of humans, the claws of beasts and the heads of birds ripped apart a piece of meat. I had once seen an eagle eating a rabbit in much the same way. After a moment, one of them tilted his head just slightly and I saw fingers hanging from the end of the thing in his mouth.
They were eating a man’s body.
This is boring.
This wasn’t the otherworldly chatter I was used to. Their very thoughts shivered through the air. I could hear everything. I could see anywhere I chose to look. God help me, I could taste the man’s blood in my mouth if I tried.
The extraordinary sense of power that had come upon me while I was inside remained, and I charged at them, enraged beyond all reason and thought. I cried out at them, unintelligibly. My heart throbbed in my chest, forcing the hot blood through my body, and I was completely aware of every single cell. I could sense the pain of each blade of grass trampled under my heavy, racing footfalls as I marched toward them. I saw the beings rise to their full, horrible height. They were ready to face this new challenge, for a fight held no fear for them, only the promise of more blood. More excitement. The largest opened his blood-smeared beak and shrieked, and still I did not stop until I stood directly in front of him. “I will not bear witness to this abomination! You will not do this. Leave this place!” I demanded.
He bent down, so close to me that his awful, blood-smeared face nearly touched mine and again let forth a terrible cry. His fetid breath washed over me, and flecks of the gore splattered my face, but I didn’t yield one inch. I stood trembling with the effort of holding in the surge of power that threatened to burst forth from the very pores of my skin.
From behind the great beast, one of the smaller creatures lunged at me, and I instinctively threw my hands out. The creature was thrust away from me. I staggered back, mentally pulling away from the force that had taken control of me. In an instant, the angel was between the birdmen and me.
Before my eyes, he cast matter away from himself and, spreading his arms wide, he grew in size and power. The earth faded away beneath his feet, and the monsters fled from the abyss as the sky opened with a crack of thunder and great flashes of lightning.
Though on some level I understood he was acting to protect me, I couldn’t help but be filled with a powerful terror. The realms, layers upon layers, of entire universes, shimmered like gossamer veils behind him and he was bigger than any of them, and all of them.
His form became radiant, and began to change and shift until he did not resemble a man at all. Rather, he was a boundless composition of color, blindingly beautiful and infinitely intricate.
The power that he’d strained to minimize within the house was loosed as he spoke to me. It was the stunning voice I’d first heard from him, magnified to an immensity a thousand times greater. The sound swept forth from him like the wind of a hurricane. It washed over me, crushing me with its enormity.