Today I have the lovely Eliza Crewe on the blog to chat about her amazing sequel and her plans post Strange Chemistry!
Hi Eliza! Welcome back to us! Really looking forward to reading the sequel to Cracked (such a great book!) I'm looking forward to reading more about Meda!
Thanks for having me, Leah! I’m so glad you enjoyed Cracked.
How has the writer’s life been since the closing of Strange Chemistry? *whimpers* I can't even imagine how tough that must have been for all involved!
When they first shut their doors, it was a shock and it sucked, but I had a c’est la vie attitude. Strange Chemistry was new, publishing is hard to make profitable, the YA market is saturated, and our books were off-beat, so I always understood the possibility that SC could end. Don’t get me wrong, it was a blow, but I was pretty philosophical about the whole thing.
It was the weeks following that were really hard, because we were given almost no information. I was told that I’d get my rights back to Crushed, but only by someone who no longer worked there, and could get nothing official. I’d spent a year working on this book, and it could be all for nothing. Even if I got the rights to Crushed back and self-pubbed, I didn’t know if Angry Robot (the company that owns Strange Chemistry and who my contract is actually with) would continue making Cracked available--I might be self-pubbing a sequel to a book that, for all intents and purposes, didn’t exist. You hope they’d do the right thing, but it wasn’t reassuring that we’d been trying to get them to pay me the rest of my advance for Cracked for over a year, and the delivery portion of my advance for Crushed since February, and we kept getting (and are still getting) the run around. All that work, and I was powerless to stop them from just throwing it away. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to at least get the rights back!
Did you find self-publishing difficult? Or was it something you'd been intrigued by anyway?
It’s not that it’s difficult, but there is a LOT to learn. There are different formats with different formatting requirements (.mobi v. epub), figuring out which programs will convert to epub format and how to use them, choosing between different platforms, different online stores and their requirements. I’m still trying to figure it all out. Of course, I made it a lot harder than it had to be by only giving myself three weeks! I don’t regret it though--I’m so happy to finally have Crushed out there.
Do you have any plans for the series following Crushed? Any other projects in the pipeline? (Gotta sneak that one in!)
I’m working on Cracked III right now, hoping to get it to my editor by the end of the year. After that I’m wide open.
What was it that got you into writing initially?
Road rage! I’ve always read a lot, of course, and filled notebooks with random scenes, but I never attempted a whole book until about four years ago. We’d just bought our first house and it came with a half-hour commute in rush hour. I needed something to think about other than how much I hated every idiot on the road! That might be why my main character is so blood thirsty….
Are there any characters that you wish you'd have written?
Only a million J. I love Kel in Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series, Gen in Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queens Thief series, Talia in Mercedes Lackey’s Arrows of the Queen series, and Bryony and her sister Rose from Franny Billingsly’s Chime, just to name a few.
If you could put Meda in a battle against ANY literary villain, who would it be and who would win?
Oh boy. Who would I most like to see ripped to pieces? You sure it has to be a villain?
Yep - sorry!
Fine, I’ll go with the guy who tortures Verity in Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity. And of course, Meda would win--it wouldn’t even be a contest.
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Harry.
Sweet or Savoury? Sweet.
Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Fantasy.
Black or White? Black.
Kindle or Paperback? Kindle.
Traditional or Self-Pub? Both?
Hero or Villain? VILLAIN!
Author: Eliza Crewe
Series: The Soul Eaters #1
Publication Date: 7th November, 2013
Meet Meda. She eats people.
Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.
They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her “kind” is.
Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and staying one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.
The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.
Author: Eliza Crewe
Series: The Soul Eaters #2
Publication Date: 22nd September, 2014
Meda's back. This time, she has a friend.
The battle is over; the choice has been made. Meda Melange has officially hung up her monstrous mantle and planted her feet firmly on the holy and righteous path of a Crusader-in-training. Or, at least, she’s willing to give it a shot. It helps that the Crusaders are the only thing standing between her and the demon hordes who want her dead.
The problem is, the only people less convinced than Meda of her new-found role as Good Girl are the very Crusaders she’s trying to join. So when a devilishly handsome half-demon boy offers escape, how’s a girl supposed to say “no?”
After all, everyone knows a good girl’s greatest weakness is a bad boy.
Eliza Crewe always thought she’d be a lawyer, and even went so far as to complete law school. But as they say, you are what you eat, and considering the number of books Eliza has devoured since childhood, it was inevitable she’d end up in the literary world. She abandoned the lawyer-plan to instead become a librarian and now a writer.
While she’s been filling notebooks with random scenes for years, Eliza didn’t seriously commit to writing an entire novel until the spring of 2011, when she and her husband bought a house. With that house came a half-hour commute, during which Eliza decided she needed something to think about other than her road-rage. Is it any surprise she wrote a book about a blood-thirsty, people-eating monster?
Eliza has lived in Illinois, Edinburgh, and Las Vegas, and now lives in North Carolina with her husband, her hens, her angry, talking, stuffed dwarf giraffe, and a sweet, mute, pantomiming bear. She likes to partially-complete craft projects, free-range her hens, and take long walks.
Check out the other stops on the Cracked Blog Tour here!