Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing my good friend, Zizi Cole
Her debut novel, Sweet Nightmares was released at the weekend. I’m currently reading it, captivating me from page one.
Hi Zizi. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi Phil! I’m really excited to be here. I am a mother of two wonderful little boys. I live in a small town in Missouri, USA. Before I started writing, I was a preschool teacher for a few years, then I went back to college and received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources.
- When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
It was actually a recent development. I mean, I have always loved writing and everything to do with books. When I was a teenager I started a book, but I got stuck and put it away.
- What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would love to be a bestseller. My biggest dream though is to be able to quit my muggle job and be a full-time writer.
Join the club mate!
- Which writers inspire you?
Oh goodness, there are so many. I would have to say that Laken Cane is one that I look up to the most. She is a great writer, and a fantastic person.
- So, what have you written?
When I was younger I used to write poetry that I had published on poetry.com. I wrote my first full-length novel, Sweet Nightmares. Sweet Nightmares is the first book of the DAMNED series.
- What are you working on at the minute?
I am currently working on the second book of the DAMNED series, Sweet Visions. I also am developing an idea and doing research on another book that is a dystopian type book. I don’t want to go into too much detail on it yet.
- Why do you write?
I need to. I have noticed that writing tends to calm my soul. It settles my mind, unless the characters are running rampant. When I was a kid, my cousins and I would sit around and tell stories for days on it. We would keep the story line the same and did character building and setting scenes. The stories would get pretty intense.
- Where do your ideas come from?
They just come to me. I can be doing anything an idea will hit me. I was in the shower when I got an idea for a vital part of Sweet Nightmares, which was obviously inconvenient. I try to keep a minimum of one notebook with me at all times in case an idea pops up. I tend to get most of my ideas while I am at my muggle job.
- Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I am definitely a see where an idea takes me type of writer. I have problems plotting or making outlines. Occasionally I will write down points that need to happen or will happen, but I rarely follow it exactly.
- How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I am getting really creative in ways that I need to start to torture and maim people. *Disclosure- Any torture or maiming that is do is strictly fictional. No one was hurt in the process.*
Lol. That’s funny. I can’t wait to get to the gory stuff….
- What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?
The hardest thing is definitely coming up with the blurb. You aren’t supposed to give too much information, but keep it exciting and readable. I also tend to have troubles, well forget more or less, that the reader can’t see my characters the way I do and I have to describe them a little better. The easiest is writing the story.
- Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I always read when I have time. I actually am currently reading Unknown by Phil Price. I have several favorite authors. Laken Cane, Joanna Morris, Elda Lore, Jeaniene Frost, Karen Robards, Laurell K. Hamiltons (her earlier stuff), Shannon Mayer, Wendy Knight, Suzanne Collins, Pippa DaCosta, and so many others. I know I’m forgetting some. I love reading, especially new authors. They are full of so much potential.
I hear that Phil Price guy is pretty good….. I’ll have to interview him soon…
- What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
One of the main advantages of being self-published is that you set your own deadlines and can work at your own pace. You also have complete control of the book. The disadvantage of being self-published is that you have to do everything on your own, and you have to pay for everything that a publisher provides. I feel very fortunate that I was able get signed on with a publisher. I feel that it will help my books get more exposure and they are getting the best treatment.
- Do you have any advice for other budding authors?
What I tend to tell people is to just start writing. Don’t force it, don’t stress. Just write what is on your mind and before long, you will be writing stories. It’s a lot of work and can be discouraging, but it is worth it.
- How do you relax?
I read, listen to music or watch a comedy on television. I also like to play with my kids. They are always entertaining.
- What is your favourite book and why?
That is probably the hardest question you have asked so far, haha! My favorite series is the Rune Alexander series by Laken Cane. It is a kick-ass series that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I love it. It gives you the full experience of emotions.
- Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?
I would have to say Rune Alexander because honestly, she’s a bad-ass. I love the fact that she is self-sufficient yet has her flaws as well.
Thank you so much for inviting me here today. I’ve enjoyed talking to you.
Many thanks Zizi. It’s been a pleasure to delve into your world. Best of luck with Sweet Nightmares and all future projects.
Zizi’s links can be found below. Check back soon for more…….