Thursday, June 29, 2017

GUESTOPIA: Bestselling YA Author Eliza Nolan

Eliza Nolan

It is with great pleasure that YATOPIA welcomes Amazon bestselling author Eliza Nolan to the GUESTOPIA slot today to help celebrate the release of her latest book!

Eliza Nolan was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for a few years, after which she returned to icy Minnesota, where she now lives with her two unruly cats in a house smaller than your closet.

She is an avid reader and writer of YA. She has ghostwritten a novel or two, but also writes her own stuff, and is finally publishing her debut young adult urban fantasy novel, Phoenix Awakens.

Is this your first published book?

This is my fourth published book. The first two were ghost-written. This is the second one I’ve written for myself and that I can claim as my own work. It is the second in the Phoenix series.

What’s it called?

From The Ashes (The Phoenix II)

Which genre?

YA paranormal/urban fantasy

Which age group?

It’s great for tweens, teens, and adults who read YA. 12+

Is it a series or standalone?

It’s book 2 in what will be a three book series.

Are you an agented author?


Which publisher snapped up your book?

J I did!

How involved have you been in the whole publishing process of your book?

Every single step. Which is both wonderful and overwhelming. Self publishing, when done well, is a very time consuming process. Hiring designers and editors, learning how to grow mailing lists, and setup advertising is a full-time job.

Do you have another job?

LOL, yes. I work at a university in administration 9-5. J

Did you receive many, if any, rejections prior?

I had a few requests which all resulted in rejections. I didn’t query long, because I understood that agents weren’t looking for YA Paranormal. I saw my other writing friends doing well self publishing, so I decided to take the plunge.

What created/what were you doing or watching when the first idea for this book sneaked up on

The idea for the series came ten years ago, after I finished the Twilight series. I enjoyed Meyer’s story, however I was saddened by the trend of YA paranormal (at the time) to give the boy’s all the power and strength. So I decided to write my own story.

How long did you plot/plan until you started writing it?

Phoenix Awakens (Phoenix I) was written without a plan. I pantsed the whole thing. From the Ashes had a loose outline. Every book is different for me.

Once you started, did the story flow naturally or did you have to step in and wrestle it into submission?


How many drafts did you write before you let someone read it? Who was that someone? I revised From the Ashes twice before letting Alisha Bade—my friend and the voice on the
Phoenix Awakens audiobook—take a look. It just made sense to share it with her since she’s also invested a lot in this story. J

Did you employ an editor/proofreader or did you have a critique partner/beta readers before you started querying?

I didn’t query this one, however, I have many critique partners and beta readers. I also have it professionally edited before I publish.

Roughly how many drafts did it take before you sent the manuscript off into the real world?

From the Ashes went through about seven drafts before I published it. My first book went through WAY more.

Has the book changed dramatically since the first draft?

Not too much. There were some setting changes and a character or two who didn’t make the cut. J

Are there any parts you’d like to change even now?

Oh yes. But the things I’d change are small, and the readers want that second book. At some point, you just have to call it.

What part of writing do you find the easiest?

Plotting. I love throwing obstacles in front of my characters to see what they’ll do.

What part do you find hardest?

I struggle sometimes with character portrayal. I know exactly who they are in my head, but my editor and critique partners are the ones who always remind me to share their nuances with readers.  

Do you push through writing barriers or walk away?

I’m very deadline reliant. If I have a deadline I’ll push through.

How many projects do you have on the go at the same time?

I currently have three projects going. All in different stages.  

Do you think you’re born with the talent to write or do you think it can be learned?

I think you can be born a great storyteller, but the art of writing does have to be learned. We aren’t born with language, but some of us learn to use it more quickly. More gracefully.

How many future novels do you have planned?

I have the three I’m working on, plus a fourth idea I can’t wait to get started on.

Do you write other things, such as short stories, articles, blogs, etc?

I currently only write novels, however, I’m thinking about writing a serial.

What’s the highlight of being published so far?

Being able to share my stories with everyone is the best part.  

Give me one writing tip that work for you.

Join a critique group. I love learning from my writing friends.

And one that doesn't.

I can work with an outline, but it can’t be too detailed. I need the story to be able to go off course when it wants to.  

Can you give us a clue or secret about the next book?

It takes place in Charleston, SC, where we’ll see some of the characters from book one again and maybe a few from book two.

Awesome! Huge congratulations to you, Eliza, on the release of FROM THE ASHES. For anyone who would like to find out more about Eliza and to follow her journey—and read her fantastic series (book # 1 is just 99c now!)—these links will help!

Phoenix Awakens ($0.99 through July 3):
From the Ashes:

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