I got the honor of interviewing fabulous self-pub author, Liz Steinworth! Today I wanted to share our interview and discuss how fantastic Liz’s book is! Hope you enjoy!
Hi Liz, thanks for joining me today!
L: Always a pleasure! Thanks for reaching out to me!
When did you decide you wanted to try out writing? What drew you to it?
L: What drew me to it? A drawing, or rather a painting. In 2014 I began an art piece to help me express my love for vigilante characters. Something about the tension between their darkened life and need to do good. After I hired my cousin, Dominic Pitera, to pose for me and a photographer I created something that best expressed this. After I painted the 30×48” oil of Burden, I was introduced to Alden, the main character in The King’s Renegade. For two years he was just an idea, a play thing in my mind to keep me inspired to paint. Eventually though, I realized that I had much more to express than oil paint. So, I wrote.
Is Asunder your debut novel? When was it first published?
L: Yes, I self-published Asunder May 11, 2018. I’d never considered writing before this. And now, I don’t think I could ever stop.
What inspired you to write Asunder?
L: See question 1.
Do you have a favorite character you enjoyed writing the most in your novel?
L: Alden. As my first character, I will always be inspired and passionate about him. I paint him the most, I love thinking about his life the most. There is depth in him that I admire.
Now, Asunder is book 1 in a series. How many other books are you planning to write for said series?
L: The King’s Renegade is going to be a trilogy. Asunder, Burden, and Valor. Maybe a prequel if I feel the need to write what happened which led to the war.
What was the hardest part about writing Asunder?
L: Learning the craft of writing since I’d never done it before outside an assignment in high school. I wouldn’t say it was hard or difficult though, just something that needed to be done. I don’t get too overwhelmed with learning new methods or accepting how to improve, that said it I did need to learn a lot.
What was your favorite part about writing Asunder?
L: Developing the relationship between Alden and Mayli. It’s tender, wanting, but challenged. It’s a battle of love. I enjoyed writing them in a genuine light in a fantasy setting.
You are an absolutely brilliant painter, and the cover of Asunder is actually one of your paintings. What inspired you to paint Mayli? Did you know that painting was going to lead to you writing a full-fledged novel?
L: So, I painted Burden first and had that in mind as book one’s cover and title until I finished writing book one. After it was completed I realized that the story told was more about Princess Mayli and her life being torn Asunder rather than Alden’s Burden. So, months before publishing, I boldly made the decision that I needed to switch my initial plan and start painting Asunder, which had been thought to be book 2. Luckily I knew in my mind’s eye the look I wanted for about a year already and a model who had agreed to provide me reference, Fran Nardone. Once I received the pictures I quickly painted Asunder finishing a month before publishing the book.
I never expected Burden would inspire me to write. (see question 1)
How would you describe your writing style?
L: I would say I write like how I paint, a gritty realism with wisps of abstracted fantasy. My subjects are what I call #Roguemance. Rogues, thieves, and questionable individuals destined to do good, or princes, ladies, and knights forced to do wrong. I enjoy writing these contrasting lives and unifying them with love.
Do you have a favorite snack or drink you enjoy while writing?
L: Lavender Earl Gray tea with orange peel, vanilla, and a splash of sweet cream. I love It so much I included the blend in The King’s Renegade as Brim Tea. You can even get my Brimely blend at Adagio teas.
Just because I’d like to include it for readers’ purposes, what would you say your target audience is for your novel? Is there any content I should warn readers about?
L: Anyone who wants a solid and balanced mix of Action and Adventure with Romance who enjoy vigilante characters. I love fantasy so I looked for good fantasy books to satisfy. While the action was great, I always felt there was a hint at romance but was never addressed, leaving me wanting. So, I went to Fantasy Romance books. I’ve found that to have the opposite problem. Too much relationship, and not enough attention to plot or adventure. If you find one, please, I’m desperate. So, I wrote something that could offer a good balance which both men and women could enjoy. I also advise ages 16 plus for sexual themes and violence. I am not shy to write more intimately, but kept Asunder tame to test the waters.
Since I follow your Instagram, I’ve noticed that you really enjoy dressing up as Mayli and having photo-shoots “in character.” What draws you to Mayli and her character so much?
L: Mayli is awesome. As a princess, she has her beauty, but as a woman she is also someone who like anyone else. She has hopes and dreams that don’t always line up with others expectations. Her choice mannerisms or styles are not often what her higher society wishes. Until recently, I hadn’t realized how much alike Mayli and I are. I suppose wrapping an orange scarf around, or curling my hair is a way for me to channel her strength.
In Asunder, Mayli is pretty good at archery. Do you enjoy archery or was it something solely used in the book?
L: I own two traditional long bows handmade by River Reed Crafts. I started in 2014 and shoot as a hobby, not regularly or professionally like Mayli. I don’t claim to be good, but I enjoy the activity.
When can we expect book 2 to come out?
L: I keep telling myself how great it would be to release next November, but I don’t know how realistic that is. Writing a sequel has become a harder task than I expected. I’m letting go the stress of expectations though and allowing the artist in me to allow myself time to craft it.
What is some advice you can give aspiring authors out there that you wish you had known when you began your writing and publishing journey?
L: Accept that there is always room for improvement. Advice offered, even unsolicited, is a gift to you and I advise to analyze it with unbiased eyes. Don’t take other’s opinions personally but consider where they are coming from and if their suggestions hold merit to your work. Always ask yourself how can you improve. I offer this advice because so often I see other writers be hit with depression or feel as though they are awful when receiving feedback. It never means that. And those who offer it are not cruel. They offer help because they wish to see you improve, as should you.
I had such a blast interviewing Liz! She is a phenomenal author and an overall really sweet human being. If you’d like to follow her, you can find her anywhere here:
And please check out her AMAZING book, Asunder! The blurb is added for your convenience below:
“Mayli’s world shattered when her mother, the queen of Ammos, was assassinated. The heir to the throne of Brimley—Mayli’s fiancé at the time—was accused of the crime. The resulting war between the two kingdoms destroyed Brimley and refugees fled across Vatan. Now the grieving princess travels to court a new royal suitor, but her plans to secure a strong alliance go awry when her carriage is attacked.
Alden, a Brimleyn loyalist, goes undercover in the Shadowen Thieves Guild hoping to find evidence that will clear his prince’s name. His efforts prove futile until their latest assignment: abducting the Ammosian princess. Completing the job could expose her mother’s murderer, but at what cost?”