Friday, August 6, 2010

Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Kolodziej

This week, Elizabeth Kolodziej, author of Vampyre Kisses is stopping by for a visit.

Elizabeth J Kolodziej, a young fiction writer originally from Torrance, California, is a smart and original thinker who has researched the origins of vampires, werewolves, and witches for many years. She writes her books from the knowledge she has gained while trying to be as original and inspiring as possible. Her books encompass both true folklore facts along with innovative ideas motivated by the great writers around her. This is the first book in Elizabeth's Vampyre Kisses series.

Welcome, Elizabeth, please tell us a little bit about your book Vampyre Kisses.
Well, Vampyre Kisses is a story about a young woman, Faith, who meets a sexy Irish vampire, Trent. Soon after this, Faith is told that she is a witch. The last witch in the world. Then I introduce the werewolf royalty and the master vampire. Gems are stolen that are important to both races and therefore they must work together to get them back. While all of this happens Faith is trying to gain more power through learning about all of the elements and trying to keep the slayers from killing her and her friends.

This is a love story about Faith, the last witch on Earth; and Trent, a 400-year-old Irish Vampire. How did you come up with such interesting characters? What inspired you?
I have always loved witches. Ever since I was little I wanted to fly and have fireballs come out of my hands. Then there are vampires, whose immortality and romance-ism attracts lots of young girls. So, from a young age, I was constantly reading books that either had witches or vampires in them.

Then one day when I was around the age of 18 I started writing this story. Actually, what is a fun fact is that Faith’s name when I began the story was Alex. I always liked names for girls that could be mistaken for a guy’s name. Anyways, when I was younger and read those stories I used to put myself into the story and fantasize what it would be like and how the story would end up if I were in it.

When I began Vampyre Kisses I think I started Faith out as being me but what happens is that these characters become their own individuals and they start talking to you. When Faith started talking, I started listening. The same thing goes for Trent. He started out as what my dream guy would be like, but then he ended up as someone more. He became his own person too.

When it comes to what inspires me there are actually many different things. Certain books inspire me. I’ll think, "Well that sounds neat, but what if this happens," and I will make something new happen all together. Then there are movies that do the same thing for me.

For example, I was trying to write out the synopsis for Vampyre Kisses and I just couldn’t get it flowing. I let it go and started watching Push, with Dakota Fanning, and all of a sudden in the middle of the movie the idea for the synopsis came to me.

But what inspires me a lot more is the people around me. I am a big people watcher and I get ideas for what characters should look like or gestures they might make by watching others. Family, friends, strangers, it doesn’t matter. I even take some of their personality traits and try them out on some of my characters.

Mostly, though, I have one particular friend of mine that is into writing like I am. We have known each other for years now and there is some sort of connection between the two of us. No matter the problem I am having he will talk it out with me and offer ideas or act out a scene and I will get inspired all over again.

Reviews for Vampyre Kisses comment on how skillfully you blended fact and fiction. How did you research your book?
From a very young age my parents were always supportive about my brother and I reading. We would make trips to the bookstore all the time. Well, due to my mother I found my interest in the supernatural. So I would get books on folklore or books that taught you how to use magic. For example, Dancing With Dragons by DJ Conway. I have tons of her books.

So when I started writing my book I wanted to include what is real (or folklore) and what is my own. So I just read whatever books I could find about vampires, witches, and werewolves. It is even much easier with the Internet being as vast as it is now.

I will say this though; researching werewolf history and folklore stories is not easy. There is much more information out there about vampires.

Also, I was very lucky. I wanted my book to end with them being in Ireland but I had never been there. I had just finished college though and my parents offered to send me out there for a month. Being able to really be in the place you are writing about is important.

I think research is just about reading everything you can on your subject along with having real life experiences. What I find so funny, is that I didn’t think of blending fact and fiction as being my hook but everyone seems to like that best about my book!

There is also a whole other mystical universe in Vampyre Kisses. Where did that come from? How much of that was from your imagination?
The universe in my book comes from my imagination, sort of. You see; it goes back to those fantasies I use to have when I was younger. It was like I would pick and choose different things from books that I liked and I would fantasize about a world like that.

For instance, I was always interested in the Greek Gods, no matter what religion I would look into, like the Norse Gods, the Greek always seemed to be my favorite. So those were the Gods I wanted in my own story. Like this, I would pick and choose certain abilities for my vampires to have that I read about. I wanted to be traditional so I kept the fact that they couldn’t go out in the daytime. However, I added my own spin to it by making them able to walk under the sun for the first 10 years of their life after being changed. That was purely my idea.

What it comes down to is what I grew up knowing and liking and then adding my own twist or new things to the mix. That is how I came up with the universe in Vampyre Kisses.

Do you have any plans for a sequel with Faith and Trent?
Oh yes! What I have heard from my readers so far is that they want to find out more about the werewolves. Well, before people started telling me that I already had the sequel in mind that would revolve more about the werewolves than vampires. Mostly because I introduced a new kind of thing with werewolves in my book and a lot more explanation needs to be done.

The first book is just an introduction to the main characters. A little tease to say this is who they are and what they can do. The second book is going to take it further.

Hopefully it will be done by the end of this year and it will be out and published by the middle of next year just like the first one was. And don’t worry … I even have a third one in mind!

Is there anything else that you would like to tell our readers?
The reason that I wrote my book and wanted to publish it is because I wanted to inspire people. So many authors, friends, family, and movie stars have inspired me. I wanted to do the same thing for someone else. Even if it is only one other person. I really hope I can do that.

Also, if there is something wrong with my book or something you don’t understand tell me. It is possible that I can explain what it is in the next book. I love getting feedback about my book no matter if it is negative or positive. But I prefer the positive. :0)
Where to buy the book:


1 comment:

Welcome said...

Great intervieuw with Elizabeth! Very inspiring!