My Books!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Saving Casey From Decadent Publishing

Hello and thanks for visiting.  My guest  today is Liza O'Connor,  author of Saving Casey.

Liza, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved to write novels. I’d come home from a hard day of stressful work and detox by writing. I had to put a timer on my light in my home office so the lights went off at 11 p.m. ensuring I’d stop writing and go to bed. When I write, I lose track of time. Without the timer, I would write until 3 in the morning, which did not bode well for the following work day. Still, the click and the room turning pitch black, except for the glowing pc screen, always took me by surprise and I so wanted to turn the lights back on for another hour of writing…


About eight years ago, I grew weary of that timer and stopped working so I could write all day and night if I wished. I didn’t try to publish, I just wrote to my heart’s content. Not a concern about publish-ability or offending readers with controversial topics and statements. I just wrote whatever I wanted. Complete freedom of expression.


I also genre hopped with no worry about confusing my readers, because I didn’t have any readers to confuse.


I call those my Liza Unfettered Years. They were pure self-indulgent joy. All I had were critters. (I belong to two excellent critter groups because even unusual plots and disturbing characters should be well-written,)


How long did you write before you got published?

In 2012 I wrote a story, Saving Casey, that one of my multi-published critters insisted I submit for publication. I had actually placed it in my ‘unpublishable but excellent novels’ folder. But she thought it needed published, so I sent it off. The first publisher rejected it, the second publisher made no response whatsoever, not even to my queries once their 3 month promised response time came and went, then I sent it to Decadent Publishing for their Bono Book division. When I received their response, I expected it to be a rejection, not because it wasn’t a great story, but because it touches too many ‘avoid’ issues. To my shock and great pleasure, they liked the book; they just wanted me to change the age of my character Troy.


Their suggestion would make the story more palatable to a wider range of readers, so I had no problem making the change. 


From my first attempt to landing a contract, it took me 6 months and 3 submissions to find Saving Casey a home.


What is your favorite scene from your book?

It’s when Cass comes home from the hospital. She can’t believe the absurd level of wealth of her new family. Her middle-class attitude can’t help but make fun of it all.


What are you working on now?

I’ve got three books I’m working on.

Lyrical Press just contracted my story Ghost Lover for publication. It’ll probably come out in the first half of 2014. It’s a humorous sweet, double-romance with a lascivious ghost and his ghost ocelot intervening when it appears his family line is about to go extinct.


Since a year and a half gap is too long between books, I’ll be independently publishing Worst Week Ever in 2013 midyear. It’s probably the funniest book I’ve ever written and a favorite among my critters. Being of a curious nature, I wanted to see how independent publishing compares to using a publishing house.


Honestly, I suspect I’ll prefer using a publishing house, but to give this experiment a fair shot, I’m using one of my best novels and have hired an editor with proven talent, Danielle Fine.



Then I’m working on a paranormal romance suspense thriller. I’m hoping to get it submitted and contracted for publication near 2013 yearend, but if I don’t work a little faster, that probably isn’t feasible.



Do you have any advice for new authors?

Since Saving Casey is my debut novel, I’ve lots of first-hand advice.


Do not rush into publication. First, join several critique groups, and then drop any that aren’t working for you. (They vary in their approaches. Locate authors with similar voices to yours and ask them to become your personal crit partners).


While you’re building your backlog, TAKE A MARKETING SEMINAR.


You need to market yourself even more than your book. Books come and go. But you, the author, must remain current. Marketing yourself should begin before you ever submit a novel to a publishing house. In fact, if you don’t have a social network presence at time of submission, you might be rejected even if they love your book. This is a ‘market or perish’ new literary world. They need authors who understand and are fully committed to marketing themselves and their books.


Create a backlog of really good books first before you send out your first submission. 3-5 books is reasonable. I’m not the only one who advises this. It’s standard advice. But let me assure you, it’s great advice. Once you sign your first contract, your writing time will become scarce as water in a desert. These books will give you a buffer to allow for future submissions while you acclimate yourself to all the new stuff you are learning.


Well that’s it for the questions. I had fun answering. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy reading them and they inspire you to read Saving Casey. Be warned, you’ll laugh, cry, and yell at characters when you do.

For this blog stop’s contest, I’m offering to put tats onto one lucky commenter’s picture. Just leave your email and say you want your picture marred.

Liza, thank you so much for your interview and your good advice.  Readers, if you'd like to win that prize follow the tour and comment often.  You can find the tour schedule at  Let's have a blurb and excerpt now.


Eighty-year-old Cass wakes up in the body of a troubled seventeen-year-old girl named Casey, which all believe has survived a suicide attempt. Cass intends to turn the girl’s life around, only it’s harder than she expects. All Casey’s troubles have now become Cass’s and someone wants her dead.
Upon settling down on the toilet, Cass noticed the floor to ceiling mirror facing her and screamed at the sight of the creature within it. Short black hair spouted about its head, black circles surrounded both eyes and fell like triangular knives down the cheeks. Black lips, stretched in horror as if in a nightmare. Pulling up her pants, she moved closer to the mirror.
She was a ghoul, an honest to God ghoul!
The door crashed open and her father stared at her, fear and panic clear in his eyes.
She touched her face. “Please tell me these aren’t permanent.”
His panic remained a second longer as her words filtered into his brain and then he pulled her into his arms. “Don’t worry, we will get them removed—if you want to…”
“If? Oh, I definitely want them removed,” she said.
How can I turn around my life if I look like the walking dead from a low-grade monster movie?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Adventure Bio:
I live in Denville, NJ with my dog, Jess. We hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, I learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. I’m an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through my entire life, my first love has and always will be writing novels. I love to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.
Amazon Link to Saving Casey:
Barnes&Noble Link to SC:
Video links:
Saving Casey Trailer:   
Abridged My Crappy New Life series:
Liza links:
Blog and Website:
Facebook Profile:

Saving Casey will be reduced from $5.99 to $2.99 for the duration of the tour (March 5th-April 11th) at Amazon, B&N, DP/Bono, ARe, Coffee Time Romance, BookStrand and Smashwords.


Andra Lyn said...

wow that's actually an amazingly short time to have waited for a debut novel to be published! Congrats! I've seen authors who waited 5+ years to get any notice for their work!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Mary Preston said...

I love your commitment to writing. Having the lights timed to go off would be an abrupt reminder.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm all pumped for the book right now!!!


Liza O'Connor said...

Elaine, Thanks for having me on your site. I just want to remind your readers to leave an
email address when commenting. That’s so I can find you if you win the gift. If
you don’t like spambots grabbing your email, just spell out AT and DOT. (I see the early birds all got it right! Go EB's!

Thanks for reminding everyone that for the duration of this blog tour, the price of SAVING CASEY has dropped to $2.99 at
AMAZON. Once the tour is over (April 6th), it goes back to $5.99, so buy it now.

In addition to the GRAND TOUR PRIZE-$25 Amazon Gift Card, I am offering a special
gift for this blog stop. For one lucky winner I will mar a digital photo of you with tats like Saving Casey's. and send you a copy of my tat instructions so you can convince all your friends you actually applied temp tats and they just missed it.

Feel free to ask me questions. I love hearing from you. I’ll be popping in through
the day and evening to catch any comments. Have a great day!

Liza O'Connor said...

Andria--I agree. I have been most fortunate.

Mary- The sudden darkness shocked me every night. I would be so into the story, I didn't know what happened. Then reality would hit me.'s time to go to bed.

Hense-Right now is definitely the time to buy it. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and yell at characters.

Ingeborg said...

The book sounds fabulous.


Ami said...

How many drafts did you make before the final novel?

shadowrunner1987 at gmail dot com

Lyra L7 said...

What is your favorite scene in the story?

lyra.lucky7 AT gmail DOT com

Liza O'Connor said...

Ingeborg- thanks. I hope you'll buy it and see. Reviewers had loved it.

Ami- Well it went through a great deal of critters to help me clean up points of confusion, then once I signed a contract, I contacted specialists and lawyers to tightened up certain scenes. I lowered the age of Troy, but otherwise, its the story I originally wrote.

Lyra- My favorite scene is at the end, but since I don't want to ruin that for readers, I'll choose Cass into to her new home/butler/room scenes. That's the fun part of the book, before matters become serious.

MomJane said...

Just goes to show that you should never give up. Glad you got this one published. It really sounds good.

Liza O'Connor said...

MomJane- Thanks. I'm hoping you'll eventually put your email address on one of these so have a chance to win.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. This is such a great book. I tweeted.

D'Ann said...

I like you when you're serious, Liz...but I barely recognize you! Way to go with the books!

Nancy S. Goodman said...

Well you know I love the book, and I love the butler! Great advice on the marketing!

Liza O'Connor said...

Ella- thank you for tweeting

D'Ann Yes, I normally keep Serious Liza doing financials and reading WallStreetJournal.

Nancy - Thanks for stopping by and giving my book so much love.

bn100 said...

Sounds like a nice fav scene