My Interview with AUTHOR ZIZI COLE!!!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m Zizi Cole. I write dark fantasy with an emphasis on paranormal mystery and horror.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Sweet Nightmares just came to me one night. I had been wanting to write a book, but hadn’t had a solid idea. After my grandma passed away six months ago, I thought that starting out a book with a funeral and a dark secret hit me and it went from there.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I wanted to write what I know. I am a fan of Urban Fantasy and genres like that so I wanted to write something that I would want to read.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I looked up different types of satanic rituals. I also researched dreamcatchers and the power and meaning behind them.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The DAMNED series is about the agents of the DAMNED agency. The it is introduced in the first book and the paranormal world is burst open and goes from there.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
So far, I only have Sweet Nightmares, but the second book that I am currently working is my favorite right now.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
They just hit me like a truck and I have to write them down as soon as they come to me. I can be doing anything and come up with an idea. I was driving when a character introduced herself to me, I was in the shower when I had a vital part of Sweet Nightmares come to me. I get a lot of ideas while I am at my muggle job.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I am researching police procedures, insults in Italian, interrogation techniques stuff like that. I had to learn about shooting ranges as well.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. It started out as a three book series, but it is probably going to be four or five books.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I tend to write while sitting on my bed. I watch Chopped and listen to music while I write. I don’t usually have a daily goal, but I do writing sprints with a few other authors and I try to get as much done as possible.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Yes, I am working on the second book of the DAMNED series. It is called Sweet Visions. I am hoping to have the first draft finished in the next couple weeks so I can start edits.
How important are character names to you in your books?
Is there a special meaning to any of the names? Their names really don’t hold any special meaning. They just have to fit the character I am picturing in my head. The name Alexandrea is what I planned on naming a girl if I had one. But I didn’t so I made my own. 😊
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I would have to say writing the blurb is probably the hardest part of writing for me. It is the one thing I really struggle with. I also have troubles describing my work to others. I never feel like describing it does it justice.
What do you think of book trailers?
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book? I like book trailers. I feel they are a good marketing tool to hook readers that may not have normally chosen your book. I actually created my own trailer for Sweet Nightmares and plan on making one for all my other books as well.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Honestly, getting signed with a publisher and publishing my first book is my best accomplishment (besides having my children).
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Being able to bring happiness and excitement to my readers. I love knowing they enjoy my books.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
On the bestseller list, and writing full time.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes. When I was younger I wrote poetry, but never could rhyme. I had a few poems published on Poetry.com
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I would probably be doing my muggle job only which is proofreading yearbooks. Haha! It’s always about books for me.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I have been reading them, but I don’t respond and I take the bad in stride. At least that’s the plan. I haven’t had many reviews good or bad yet, so I will know when I get them.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Writing the blurb and marketing.
What are you working on now?
Sweet Visions, book 2 of the DAMNED series
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Yes. Remember, this is completely unedited.
There was a creak of a door opening and closing softly. Then heavy footsteps on the stairs. The footsteps were getting closer. As the footsteps got closer, my heart started pounding louder. I was sure that he could hear my heart pounding. I was sure he could smell my fear.
The man was standing right in front of me. I looked up and he was wearing all black. He had a hoodie and the hood was pulled low over his face. I couldn’t see in the hood to see his facial features. He turned to the left and picked up bolt cutters from the table.
As he approached me, my eyes widened in fear. My breathing grew rapid again, and I broke out in a cold sweat. The man hadn’t made a sound or spoken a word since he approached. He towered over me and opens the bolt cutter so my pinkie finger is in the cutters at the first joint. I tried to pull away but my arms were tied down to the arms of the chair.
He snapped the bolt cutter together. The cutter cut through the joint quickly. There was a searing pain so intense that I blacked out for minutes. When I regained consciousness, the man was sitting on a stool in front of me, with the table beside him. On the table, was the bloody bolt cutters and a mini-blow torch. He picked up the blow torch and turned it on.
He aimed at my still bleeding pinking and began to burn my finger to cauterize the wound. I screamed from the agony of the burning. It felt like my whole arm was on fire. The smell of burning skin made my stomach churn. I prayed for unconsciousness.
Where did your love of books come from?
I have always loved books. I remember sitting and reading RL Stine and getting lost in his books. My favorite was Night of the Living Dummy. I will never forget RL Stine books.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I have several favorite authors. Some of the are Laken Cane, Martina McAtee, Wendy Knight, Joanna Morris, Debra Dunbar. My favorite books are the Imp Series by Debra Dunbar and the Rune Alexander Series by Laken Cane.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I would have to say my favorite so far is Cole. He is a very deep character with a rough past. Cole comes off as an asshole, which he is, but he has so many layers he is intriguing.
Where can readers go to discover more about you and your books?
My website http://www.authorzizicole.wix.com/mysite
My author page http://www.facebook.com/authorzizicole
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me and calms my mind. However, if I am writing an emotional scene, it drains me.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My children. I can’t concentrate on my writing when they are around so I write either early in the morning or late at night.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to be original. I am going to be me, no matter what. It may upset some readers, but you can’t please everyone and in the end, the person that needs to be pleased most with your work is you. It comes from your soul, so it should be something you should be proud of.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am friends with a lot of writers, Laken Cane, Phil Price, Jane West, Al Burke, Erin Lee, R.L. Weeks, Alana Greig, Randi Cooley Wilson, Joanna Morris, Cameo Renae, Lainy Bradshaw and so many others. I know I’m forgetting a lot and I apologize. I think being friends with writers helps you become a better writer because they give you tips and their opinions on how you can improve without being harsh or overly critical.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?