Elizabeth Fountain is the guest author at today’s An Author’s Desk. Liz writes science fiction and fantasy. Her debut novel, An Alien’s Guide to World Domination, is a new release from BURST! Books, the scifi/fantasy imprint of Champagne Book Group. Elizabeth left a demanding job as a university administrator in Seattle to move to the small town of Ellensburg, Washington, and pursue her dream of writing novels. Her first book was five years in the making, and offered lots of opportunities to give up along the way; that might be why it’s a tale of people, aliens, and dogs who face the impossible, and do it anyway.
Liz has three more novels in progress. She takes breaks from writing to teach university courses, spend time with family and friends, and take long walks while leaning into the diabolical Kittitas valley wind. She holds degrees in philosophy, psychology, and leadership, which contribute to a gently humorous view of humanity well suited to tales of aliens and angels, love and death, friendship and dogs. Let’s check out Liz’s desk.
Moving from a house in Seattle to a small apartment in Ellensburg, Washington – a town of about 20, 000 people in the heart of the state – presented some challenges in terms of creating a space for writing. Fortunately, my apartment is just one block away from the Ellensburg Public Library. The library has semi-private carrels, plugs for my laptop, free wireless connections, comfy chairs when I need them, and, of course, books. It’s wonderful to write surrounded by so many of the best books ever written. I feel inspiration leaking out of their covers and sometimes, if it’s very quiet, it seems I can almost hear them whispering their best lines to me.
The Ellensburg Public Library, like public libraries all over this country, provides a free, clean, warm-in-winter, cool-in-summer, friendly place to work, read, or just be. I couldn’t resist the chance to sing the praises of public libraries and to thank the folks at mine for all they contribute to our communities. I also write at home, usually in bed, with my laptop propped on a pillow, and some good music on my iPod (or a baseball game on the radio).
I am a binge writer – I write in waves rather than routines. A few days will go by with very little writing at all; then I start, and soon enough I’m lost in the world of story creation for hours at a time. I’ve tried writing first thing in the morning when my mind is fresh, and writing at the end of the day after I’ve taken care of all the other demands on my time. Either can work just fine if the inspiration is there. I keep thinking I need to be more disciplined and establish a real writing regimen; maybe one day I’ll get there. In the meantime I adore riding the waves of creativity as far as they will go.
An Alien’s Guide to World Domination
Louise Armstrong Holliday is the last person on Earth you’d expect to save the human race. But when she uncovers proof that her boss is an alien the color of lime Jell-O ™ gone horribly wrong, and is at the center of a plot to destroy humanity, Louie decides to do exactly that. She begins a journey from her company’s suburban Seattle office park to the old cities and castles of Eastern Europe. Along the way, Louie is attacked by flying books, overly-sensitive bat-crow monsters, and her own self-doubts. She must learn the truth about her closest friend, stand up to her boss, confront her oldest enemy, and make peace with her Aunt Emma, who annoys her in the way only true family can. She also has to rely on Buddy, the little blind mini-Schnauzer who saves her life twice – and really is from Mars.
Liz’s Note: I like to say this book is for anyone who’s ever looked at her boss and thought: you must be from another planet. In other words, everyone. Maybe that’s why, in its first month of release, I’ve had so many readers contact me claiming to know who the characters “really” are – because we all know what it’s like to feel surrounded by aliens, or to feel we are the ones who are lost in a strange world. One of my favorite reader responses appeared in a review of the book on Amazon.com: “By the end of the story, you are thinking ‘perhaps _____ is an alien, too.’” I love it!
Thank you, Liz, for visiting. Check out Liz’s buy links and contact info:
Tomorrow: More of Aphrodite. Rita Bay