Eliza David is the erotic romance author of eleven self-published novels, including the Cougarette series. She was born and raised on the noisy South Side of Chicago, but now lives in quiet Iowa City, one of the renowned Cities of Literature. A member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), Eliza also maintains a local literary presence, serving on the Iowa City Public Library’s Board of Trustees, moderating the romance writing group at the Writers’ Rooms, and serving as an annual headlining author at the Iowa City Book Festival.
In addition to writing the naughty words, Eliza is a blogger as well, having served as a contributing writer for Real Moms of Eastern Iowa, The Good Men Project, and Thirty on Tap. Toward the close of 2018, Eliza will be featured in three upcoming anthologies: Best Women's Erotica: Volume 4, The Sexy Librarian's Dirty 30: Volume 3, and Cleis Press' Erotic Teasers. Her next project, The Lamar St. Jon Experience, is currently out for query.
When she’s not writing, working full-time, or raising two children with her loving husband, Eliza enjoys reading throwback Jackie Collins, acting out on Twitter, and indulging in the occasional order of cheese fries.
1. Will you tell us about your most recent published work? My latest novel, The Follow 2: Blocked, was published in February. It was the sequel to my story about King Smith, an A-list R&B singing sensation who privately battles a sex addiction. Meanwhile, he finds himself falling in love with Shauna McIntyre, the woman on his team who handles his online public image. This duet of stories juggles a romance laced with themes of mental health, celebrity, and social media. It’s been my most well-received releases of my 11-book self-published career – very proud of the tales of King Smith!
2. What personal challenges do you face as a writer? I am a voracious reader, always have been. So, when I’m wrapped up in a great book, my writing can fall to the wayside. (I know, BAD WRITER! J)
3. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process? Definitely the dreaded middle of the novel. I’m a plotter so I always come to my WIP with an outline locked and loaded. I tend to treat my outlines as roadmaps – if I get lost, I use it. Eventually during the writing process, your characters do whatever the hell they want to do and soon, I find myself lost in the middle. A part of it is fear as well. I’m a reader of romance and I like to think that I know how fellow romance readers think. Once I get preoccupied with those thoughts, the writing slows. That middle gets murky and it takes every bit of will inside of me and my pen to pull through to the end.
4. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer? My ego. After indie publishing eleven books, I’ve come to know my readers. This causes me to go into writing the next book thinking, “Will my writers dig this? Am I letting them down?” I realize a lot of that is ego and a fear of failure. It blocks my creativity. Letting go of ego and just letting the pen go is the only way for me to enhance my craft. It’s something I have to remind myself of every time I open the laptop.
5. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? Ah, the reviews. LOL! I have a love/hate with reviews. I love to get them because we writers need them, good or bad. We need the good ones to keep us motivated to write. We need the bad ones to see where we need improvement. Both have to be quality reviews. In fact, being a writer has taught me how to give better reviews as a reader. “This book sucked” or “I loved this book”, while they may both be honest reviews, doesn’t help me. Tell me why it sucked. Get specific with me about what you loved about the book. Was it the characters? The plot? The love scenes? I encourage all readers to let loose in review – give writers what they need to get better.
7. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? In my Cougarette series, there’s a mention of Prince in each of the six books. He was mine and my MC’s favorite musician.
8. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? This question reminds me of one of the first author friends I made when I was working on my first book. I was so new to the process and she was an excellent resource. Cut to me finishing the first draft of The Cougarette (my first novel). I sent her my draft, as she was going to review it and post it on her blog. She DMd me and said, “I won’t be featuring the novel on my blog.” I DMd back and asked her what I could do to improve it. She never replied and I was quite devastated. I published the novel after an additional self-edit and it’s still sitting at 4.5 stars. Later, I learned that the author friend who had been so eager to counsel me and then refused to give me feedback was going through her own creative & personal struggles at the time.
That exchange taught me to never take anything personally. Sometimes, it’s not about you. Thankfully, I’ve cultivated supportive and beneficial writing communities both off and online since then. I’m just grateful that I didn’t let that unfortunate exchange hinder me. I’ll never know whether or not her brushoff was truly about the content of the book but I know who my people are now and how to find them – and that was priceless. (Thank you, girl!)
9. What are common traps for aspiring writers? Repeat after me: ‘No first draft – including mine – will be perfect.’ I think all writers could use that reminder, but I really struggled with that reality in the beginning of my writing career. I often remind myself that my first draft is simply me telling myself the story.
My writing mantra? “You can make it pretty later.”
10. What’s the best way to market your books? While social media is a great vehicle, the best way to use social media to push books is to be yourself. Don’t become human spam. You’ll lose followers quickly! Converse with readers online about something other than your books. You are a human being and your readers (current and potential) deserve to see that side of you as well.
You can follow Eliza on:
o Website: http://ElizaDavidWrites.com
o Blog: http://www.elizadavidwrites.com
o Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/elizadwrites
o IG: https://instagram.com/writegirlproblems/
o Twitter : https://twitter.com/elizadwrites
o Amazon Author Page : http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00S3T495M
o Google+: https://www.google.com/+ElizaDavidWrites
o Goodreads Profile/Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12419007.Eliza_David