Monday, February 4, 2008

Guest Author: Lea Schizas

Please join me in welcoming author, Lea Schizas today! She'll be floating around please don't hesitate to ask her any questions that you may have...she'll be happy to answer them.

Lea shares with us today as to What Inspires Her:

There's nothing greater than knowing children and young adults are inspired by my words, entertained by my characters, and learn a lesson from within my penned words.

Being a mother of five, I'm only too aware of this age levels nature, such as their curiosity, their dialogue, their need to prod for answers, their sneakiness, vows to be good and then forget those vows. I use all of these characteristics in several of my characters to bring the realistic side to them.

When I came up with the idea for my young adult fantasy/adventure, The Rock of Realm, I wanted characters that were distinct from each other.

Alexandra Stone is the main character: strong, discovers a secret that makes her wonder why her parents never told her, needs to carry the image of strength and bravery around her friends in order to keep their morale up while they search for a way back to their world.

Sarah Breckinridge is Alex's best friend: puts up a front of bravery but without Alex by her side, she cowers. She draws her own strenght from Alex.

Butch is the hero: a 110 pound German Shepherd who is not afraid to put his life on the line to protect Alex. Pops is Butch's best friend- he's a sneaky, humorous and sarcastic squirrel who takes pleasure in putting down Jinx. Jinx is the six-legged hamster, their guide in Rock Kingdom. Pops and Jinx have a love/hate relationship throughout the novel.

As you can see, each character above inspires different attributes we find in real life, and also each character brings a lesson to the reader.

So my inspiration is a deep love to offer children and young adults stories that will make them laugh, cry, grip the edge of their seat, and travel through my world, all the while learning something important hidden within my novels.


  1. Hi Donna! Thanks for hosting Lea on your blog. This looks like great fun!

    Lea, how long does it take to write a children's book?
    Kim Smith

  2. Hello and thank you, Donna, for hosting my first visit for my blog book tour. I'm delighted to be here and eager to answer and read everyone's comments.

    For those leaving a comment/question, please make sure to leave your email address so Donna can contact you if you are today's lucky reader to win my ebook, The Rock of Realm

    Lea Schizas

  3. Hey Donna and Lea,

    Fun, fun, fun - Lea, if you still need some more hosts on your book tour, I'd be happy to do so for you. I know the hardest part of being an author is putting yourself out there and what better way for someone who claims to be unable to speak out in public than a virtual book tour.

    I don't really have any questions but Donna and Lea and anyone else who need hosts, I'll be happy to volunteer my time and services, can do an interview or book review, post an excerpt and bio, whatever you guys need - see you in the postings - E :)

  4. Thank you, Kim, for stopping by.

    As for your question, it all depends on time. For the Rock of Realm, it took me slightly over a year, from beginning to the final draft but it was pure pleasure. To see your characters come to life, to feel their emotions as they go through their adventures...this was absolutely fun and exciting for me.

    My newest book for middle grade to young adult readers, Bubba and Giganto, I wrote it in about three months. Right now I'm in the editing stage before it goes to the publisher, 4RV Publishing, to begin its line edit stage.

    Lea Schizas

  5. Thank you for your invitation, Elysabeth. I'd be delighted to visit your site and meet your readers.

    Lea Schizas

  6. Hi Lea:

    I know you invited me to join your reading to schoolchildren program, and I never responded. I don't have children and don't find myself on their wavelength at all. I don't mind discussions with the older or more 't think mature ones, but I don't think I've connected with any younger than university students.

    A reader did suggest that my forthcoming novel, Arrival, would make a good YA title -- if only I would clean up Gisel's language. She does swear like a trooper, but that's exactly what she becomes.

    If I were to try bringing writing to high schools, how would I be able to keep control while opening myself to their thoughts?


  7. Hi Chris, and thank you for visiting.

    I'd like to find out what you mean by 'control'? Are you referring to keeping control of the students to listen to you? If so, then you would need a plan of action before you head off to their class.

    One thing I came up with is a forty question sheet project. This is based to teach students on how to build their characters. If you want, email me offlist and I'll be happy to go further into this.

    One thing you need to understand is that as long as you bring a 'fun' aspect to your class visit, kids will enjoy you. And your main character in Arrival is certainly colorful and someone kids can relate to.

  8. Ha Ha -- I do mean control. A few years back our Toastmaster club sent a couple of us the help the cadets get ready for their speech contests. when they sent me off to a classroom with a bunch of them, the whole scene descended into chaos before a girl sergeant stepped in to settle them all down.

    I would certainly think about taking Arrival to the YA classes. Maybe I'll discuss it more with you around that time.


  9. Hi Donna and Lea,
    Good luck with The Rock of Realm. Your characters, especially the six legged hamster and the squirrel sound great.
    You refer to life experiences as basis for your story. Do you keep a journal, or do you rely on memory?
    It would take a certain personality to reflect on trying moments and turn them into humorous anecdotes or learning platforms.
    I guess a squirrel's POV could help there?

  10. Donna & Lea,
    Good job! I'm saving my questions for Lea's stop at my blog. I'm really enjoying The Rock of Realm. I'm on chapter 11. The most enjoyable part for me is Lea's development of their unique personalities/voices. In most cases, I know who's talking b4 I read the tag (so and so said).
    Jessica Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer

  11. Chris, when Arrival is published, I would be more than happy to offer you any help I can. One will be to offer you a visit on my blogs to promote the book.

  12. Thank you for stopping by, Dragonmuse.

    No, I don't keep journals. Living and raising five children, all of their antics are implanted in my head for life!

    When I originally wrote The Rock of Realm, I had Butch(the dog), Pops(the squirrel), and Jinx(the hamster) as humans. The more I wrote the more I found their humour and antics weren't getting across to me the way they should have. They read like spoiled and rude kids. So I switched them to animals and never regretted it. Pops and Jinx are always vying for Butch's attention much like the way kids do for a special friend. They are in this love/hate relationship that comes through more clearly because they are animals.

    The Rock of Realm is book one in a series. The first book introduces my characters, my main character's shock to discover she's a princess to a whole new world she didn't know existed, her angst why her parents kept this from her, and the introduction of my very unique villain.

    The rest of the books will take you deeper into Rock Kingdom, to reveal its history, new characters, and more adventures for everyone.

    Lea Schizas

  13. Thank you for visiting, Jessica. I had to go into my book to see what Chapter 11 was about. You'll be entering one of the newest adventures now for my characters, The Qulany River.

    So glad you're enjoying the book and the distinct personalities I've given them. I really had a great time conjuring Pops and Jinx. They're my Robin Williams and Billy Crystal comedy break throughout the book.

    Hey, I may contact these two comedians and see if they'd like to make a movie out of The Rock of Realm. :)


Thank for you taking the time out to visit with me and to learn about my writing career.

Please be sure to leave your blog address so I can reciprocate.

I look forward to visiting you too.